Spurs win battle of who-could-care-less

Posted by Dan Fitch

If ever proof be needed that the Europa League is colossal waste of time, that match was it.

Yes, it gave a run out to a few players who haven't played much this season, but did it really stretch anyone more than a game in the U-21 league?

- Report: Tottenham 3-0 Tromso
- Villas-Boas allays injury concerns

This was the second of two cup games that all season ticket holders receive for 'free'. The empty seats of said season ticket holders that normally surround me, gave it's own verdict on the value of this game.

People would rather view this tosh in the privacy of their own homes, where they can feel free to read a book or switch over for five minutes, rather than to be forced to stand and watch this nonsense as if it were a sombre church service.

What did we learn from this game?

Jermain Defoe is adept at scoring against weak opposition. The very impressive Danny Rose can get injured in games that don't matter. Christian Eriksen is too good for the likes of Tromso.

Nothing that we didn't know before. Tromso qualified for this competition though the lottery of the Fair Play League. They are currently third from bottom in the Norwegian League. This is a team that are worse than Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland.

Nor are there more difficult games to come. FC Sheriff's proudest achievement is to boast a sheriff's badge as the official club emblem. Anzhi were a good team a year ago, but have since sold all their best players - coming perilously near to flogging Spurs a certain Willian.

For the next few weeks these games will serve an nothing but a nuisance. The best hope is that Spurs win their first four and can then field a team of teenagers that aren’t required for any serious action.

It wasn’t always like this. The UEFA Cup used to be renowned as being more difficult to win than the European Cup. After all, it used to contain the teams from every country that finished second, third and fourth. It was the Champions League without the champions and the bit where they played in a league.

It was decided that the competition should be more like the Champions League in order to live up that experience. It has only succeeded in making a once proud competition an utter irrelevance.

The obvious truth is that the best way for UEFA’s secondary competition to prosper is to make it a knockout competition, with a Champions League spot waiting for the winner of that pot of gold.

Instead, we have to wait until 2014 before things actually get serious and interesting. This is the price for finishing that point behind Arsenal last season.

The one way that the Europa League can aid the pursuit of finishing above Arsenal is by giving experience and fitness to the players that need it.

Younes Kaboul and Sandro got 90 minutes under their belt, while Erik Lamela will be better off for having made his quiet debut. Lewis Holtby was given a start and managed to enthrall and frustrate in equal measures.

There's not much more to say when a team of Tottenham's quality meets a side that would struggle in England's lowest professional leagues. Spurs won, as you'd expect, and the biggest concern is not where the team is in the group, but as to who might be injured for the real action at the weekend.

Surely that tells it's own story.


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