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Yes its the UEFA Cup who cares? bla bla bla....

well anyway yesterday has an intriguing statistic which says a bit about the higher mid-table teams of the 'dominant' leagues.

0 out of 9 teams from these big 3 leagues all failed to win in the UEFA Cup this week. Instead the likes of Depor lost to Aalborg, Tottenham to Shaktar, Sampdoria to Kharkiv. Fiorentina to Ajax while even bigger teams like Aston Villa drew at home to CSKA Moscow, Valencia drew in Kiev and Milan drew at Bremen (the last 2 were good results in a way though).

OK some teams had injuries, some teams did not put their best team out on the pitch, but aside from the really big guns such as Man Utd, Barcelona and co. is the myth that these big 3 leagues reign supreme, simply just a myth? after all the so called great EPL where every one of its teams are financially wealthier than every other team in the world, has a quite poor record in Europe's 2nd level competition lately. La Liga's dominance of this competition is also down, just 2 teams went through from the group stages and 1 is almost certainly out (bar a comeback like v AC Milan a few years ago). Out of the 4 Serie A teams that were left (1 which was a reject of the CL), just 2 of them picked up decent results, while Samp and them CL rejects lost at home to supposedly inferior sides.

Well I suppose all will be said by the end of this competition :cool: All we need is a few of these EE teams to start doing something in the CL, and finally we can have European competition back.
 

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I think it's a lack of Euro savvyness on behalf of the teams from the big three leagues. They're mostly losing to teams who are in Europe every season, when they're not, and it shows.

Plus they're losing to teams who are regularly top of their leagues, I doubt Depor would have much trouble with the 7th placed Danish team.
 

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Which is a sorry state of affairs really. Gone are the days when you had big sides giving a damn about the competition.
 

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I don't know what to make of these results tbh. I have only watched a handful of games of the uefa cup this season

Maybe the top 3 league-sides do care, but not enough to get them far in the tournament? whereas these smaller league sides care more for it to improve financial situation and so on?
 

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Basically the UEFA cup is the champions league for teams not from England, Spain, Italy, Germany, France or Portugal these days.
Wouldnt even go that far. The champions league has taken a step up since Porto won the Champs. League a few years ago.

Portuguese teams will say themselves, they have more chance of the Uefa cup than the Champions League. We also forget that Porto team was pretty special and a parallel wont be seen for a good few years.

PSG is my outside tip for the Uefa cup.
 

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Portugal have 2 sides in the CL last 16. Porto could beat Atletico and I wouldn't rule out Sporting vs Bayern despite the Germans being heavy favourites.
 

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Basically the UEFA cup is the champions league for teams not from England, Spain, Italy, Germany, France or Portugal these days.
Actually, the UEFA cup fits much more the level of the French clubs than the CL (Lyon apart).
 

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Portugal have 2 sides in the CL last 16. Porto could beat Atletico and I wouldn't rule out Sporting vs Bayern despite the Germans being heavy favourites.
Actually the Sporting team is 2kgs heavier.
 

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Sevilla won 2 years in a row..cant believe that they won it without giving 100%. Most teams care about the UEFA CUP but the fact is that the teams outside top3 has become better and more even in the last years. Teams like CSKA, Zenit play a lot better footy than the mid english teams like tottenham and Man City...and the teams that play better usually win...so its just a lame excuse that they're not taking the tournament seriously...who doesnt want to win UEFA CUP and play the champions league winner in Super CUp...a lot of prestige is on the stake...money too
 

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Good thread Deano, I was thinking the exact same thing.

What it comes down to is mentality, something that is often overlooked IMO. By and large a top of the table, championship club in a mid-level league is a tougher opponent then a more talented, middle of the table club from a big league.

1st place clubs from mid-level leagues are not used to losing , while the mid-table clubs from the big 3 are used to getting thumped by bigger clubs. They simply do not have the same winning mentality. Think about it, a lot of these clubs like Fiorentina, Deportivo, Tottenham, Man City etc are happy with a draw against Barca, Man United, Inter - Robinho said as much about Man City. On the other hand the likes of Shakatar, Ajax, Zenit, Aalborg, CSKA, etc expect a victory in every single domestic fixture - big difference in mentality there, which is key in any knock-out tourney.

I've expereinced as much playing football, I've won cups with 2nd division amateur sides FAR less talented then the teams we knocked out. This was not a one-off, we won 3 cups knocking out a handful of better 1st division clubs along the way. I think it was simply because we were top of our league and stronger mentally. We were not used to losing. We'd fight and die on the pitch for the win, raise the level of our game while the more talented teams would crumble after conceding a late goal and fear of losing would start to creep in. It's not the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog ). It's tough to explain because its not something tangible, however confidence and mentality goes a long way in any sport.
 

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England have four clubs,italy 3 or 4,Spain 2.

The rest is not world class......

Dynamo kyiv could be very well in the last 16 of the cl.No luck as in the draw with valencia in the uefa cup but we played better then them yesterday.
Against Arsenal was also two close games.

Cska did well against Villa and with both teams fit they are better.

Sampdoria is average as any italian team apart from 4.

So overall the big three leagues have 9-10 great teams the rest is beatable and overated.
 

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Wouldnt even go that far. The champions league has taken a step up since Porto won the Champs. League a few years ago.

Portuguese teams will say themselves, they have more chance of the Uefa cup than the Champions League. We also forget that Porto team was pretty special and a parallel wont be seen for a good few years.
Name one single club in the world that doesn't think winning the UEFA Cup is easier than winning the Champions League.

Good grief you amaze me sometimes.
 
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