The Europa League draw: everything you don’t need to know. And then some.

by Tony Attwood


The draw for the group stage of the Europa League has been made, with Arsenal and Manchester United representing the UK.

Here’s the full draw for the groups…
Group A: Arsenal, PSV Eindhoven, Bodø/Glimt, Zurich
Group B: Dynamo Kiev, Rennes, Fenerbahce, AEK Larnaca
Group C: Roma, Ludogorets, Real Betis, HJK
Group D: Braga, Malmö, Union Berlin, St Gilloise
Group E: Manchester United, Real Sociedad, Sheriff, Omonoia
Group F: Lazio, Feyenoord, Midtylland, Sturm Graz
Group G: Olympiacos, Qarabag, Freiburg, Nantes
Group H: Crvena zvezda, Monaco, Ferencvaros, Trabzonspor 

And a quick preliminary view of how the clubs in our group are doing

First PSV.  PSV have won both their games thus far with a combined goal difference of +6


1 Ajax 3 3 0 0 10 3 7 9
2  Feyenoord 3 2 1 0 6 2 4 7
3  PSV Eindhoven 2 2 0 0 9 3 6 6
4  Excelsior 2 2 0 0 5 1 4 6


Next Bodo/Glimt

The Norwegian league is of course a summer league (I wouldn’t fancy playing in northern Norway in the winter) which gives any Norwegian club that makes it through to the knockout stage a certain difficulty.

As for Bodo Glimt, according to the notoriously inaccurate Wikipedia (at least as far as football history is concerned, as we’ve repeatedly tried to make Arsenal’s history more accurate on the site but the Inaccuracy Committee (Football) will have none of it and want their inaccuracies to remain)  “After being promoted to the top flight ahead of the 2018 season, the club has experienced the greatest success in its history, winning the league twice in a row, reaching the quarterfinals of the UEFA Europa Conference League and the Play-off round of the Champions League before dropping into the Europa League in the following season.”

Apparently, their supporters carry giant toothbrushes to matches.  As for why, the Glasgow Times (obviously) carried the details:

“The oral hygiene tool [that is Scottish for tooth brush] became an emblem of “The Yellow Horde” during a North Second Division game at their Aspmyra Stadium in 1975 when one of their number was trying to start a chant.

Arnulf Bendixen grew frustrated at their lacklustre efforts so he asked around for a baton to conduct the singing – and a nearby fan passed him a toothbrush which he had in his pocket.

A representative of the toothbrush manufacturer Jordan was sitting in the stands at that match and he arranged for the supporters to receive several large yellow demonstration toothbrushes afterwards.

“It became a symbol for us supporters,” said Bendixen. “It helped us get in everywhere and when we were away it became very important.”

Jordan launched their Bodo/Glimt range of regular-sized toothbrushes back in 2009.   They were initially only available in the club shop but were soon put on sale nationwide.

“We are very proud that the toothbrush has become such a strong symbol for Bodø/Glimt and that it has such a special place in history,” said Jordan representative Tom Pettersen.

So there we are.  Maybe I could try and get a chant going by waving a fake £10 note, and then the Bank of England could see that and give me a real one.  Or two.

Norwegian Eliteserien
Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1  Bodo/Glimt 30 18 9 3 59 25 +34 63
2  Molde 30 18 6 6 70 40 +30 60
3  Viking 30 17 6 7 60 47 +13 57
4  Lillestrom 30 14 7 9 49 40 +9 49


Meanwhile Zurich are having greater problems.


# Team P W D L F A GD PTS
Young Boys
5 3 2 0 11 1 10 11
St. Gallen
5 3 0 2 10 5 5 9
5 2 3 0 9 7 2 9
5 2 2 1 8 7 1 8
5 2 2 1 3 4 -1 8
5 2 0 3 10 8 2 6
4 1 2 1 4 6 -2 5
4 0 3 1 2 4 -2 3
5 0 2 3 3 9 -6 2
FC Zürich
5 0 2 3 1 10 -9 2


Last season they won the league, and now they are bottom of the table, the manager has had a vote of confidence from the chairman, and they are scoring rarely despite having loads of expected goals, while conceding regularly while having very few expected goals against them.   Probably by the time we play them, they’ll be sorted out.

But yes they really did win the league last season.

So there we are: three clubs to play home and away, just as we always used to do.  Thursday nights will never be the same, although actually they will – the same as when we played in the Europa before.

And Sunday afternoons, with our Saturday games moved to Sundays.   Which I quite enjoy because I like to go out on a saturday night for a dance.

PS What is the Norwegian for toothbrush?

3 Replies to “The Europa League draw: everything you don’t need to know. And then some.”

  1. Well, visibly we are to expect Sp*rs being helped beyond expectations this season…
    Stay braced for penalty, tackles and card stats going their way.

  2. I read that the people of southern Norway take the mickey out of those in the north (e.g. Bodo/Glimt) for allegedly having bad teeth and this was their way of being ironic. Who knows?

    I also understand that they also inflicted Jose Maureenhio’s biggest ever defeat as a manager when they beat Roma 6-1…..which gives some pleasure 🙂

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