Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has claimed that Manchester United will not have it all the way in the Europa league despite being one of the biggest teams in the competition’s knockout stages this season.
Their failure to beat Wolfsburg recently saw United drop into the second-rate European competition. It has been seen as a major embarrassment for many players, who have been consistently used to Champions League football. The likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger won the competition only recently with Bayern Munich. His experience in the Premier European competition is unlikely to count according to Pochettino.
The former Southampton boss says that United can expect unique competition in the Europa league. The prospect of playing on Thursday nights will also be something that the players have to accustom. This has the possibility to dampen their form in the Premier League. Manager Louis van Gaal will be hoping that it is not the case especially since United are in a great position as far as the domestic league is concerned. The Europa league knockout stages do not start until early 2016. This gives Van Gaal some time to build the domestic form. Failure to score goals was seen as the major problem, but lacklustre defending proved to be the reason for downfall against Wolfsburg.
“It’s a big, big difference. When you play Thursday and Sunday, it can affect the mentality and the psychology of the players.Thursday night, [long] travel and you need to play Sunday afternoon. Always for the player it affects them. Football is [supposed to be] Saturday three o’clock.It’s never easy. You never know how it will affect you. But it’s true that, for now, United must feel very disappointed because they had the possibility to go through to the next round,” said the Tottenham manager, who is eyeing a top four spot this season.