By Tony Attwood
Had Eintracht Frankfurt defeated Vitoria in Germany, Arsenal would have finished second in their group in the Europa League and been faced with the prospect of meeting the best Champions League dropouts in the next round of the Europa League.
But it didn’t happen and so we’ve got a slightly easier draw for the knock out stages of the Europa starting with the round of 32. The draw takes place on December 16 at noon, GMT.
The clubs left in the competition will be the group winners such as Arsenal and the runners-up, along with eight teams that came third in the Champions League group stages and now drop into the Europa.
So as a group winner, Arsenal are among the seeded teams which gives a fractional advantage for this round, but not for any rounds after that.
Also seeded are four Champions League drop downs, that being decided by their results thus far. The seeding system is simple – unseeded teams are drawn against seeded teams, with the seeded team playing at home in the second leg. So we already know we have an away game first.
As a result of all this, to help those of us in Untold’s crowded office keep tabs with who is who we’ve got the list of clubs together just to show us who we can and can’t play.
So that’s three English teams and two from Scotland in the knock out stages.
And here are the teams dropping down from the Champions League with their results from their Champions League group stage games this season
For this next round in the competition teams from the same group in the earlier stages cannot meet again, nor can teams from the same member association, so we can’t play another English club. But after this round there are no more restrictions and anyone can play anyone.
So that is it for the European set up, but there was one other thing I thought of while taking a quick review of what’s what in the football world.
Maybe you can remember when Eddie Howe was said to be the next Arsenal manager? Now that Arsenal need their next manager he is not mentioned any more, largely because Bournemouth have won just one of their last 11 matches and lost their last five games. Yet there was a time when multiple journos and bloggers were talking him up as the man to replace Mr Wenger. Makes one think that maybe not every current hot shot is the right man for the job.
But more to the point, the journalists who talked him up so much have hidden the story, largely because it reflects badly upon themselves as judges of how things should be in the future. Wenger out, Howe in was the call. So what went wrong? We don’t know because the journalists will not go back and revisit their past failures of judgement.
Moving on, here is a sentence I really liked in the papers this week.
“I do not like to criticise managers, because I have never managed or coached myself.”
That was from Ms Eni Aluko writing in the Guardian. Unfortunately the next sentence began with “But,,,” which rather spoiled the effect.
- The home and away scandal: ignorance, or cover up?
- The reason why Liverpool and Man C are ahead of Arsenal.
- How which referee a club gets has a major impact on the result of each game
- The statistical evidence that shows PGMO are biased against Arsenal
- How European football has taken up the fight against clubs breaking FFP