Villas-Boas rates Europa Cup highly
Group J Panathinaikos v Tottenham:Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is baffled as to why the Europa League is valued so little in England.
Villas-Boas’s career took off two years ago when won the competition with Porto to cap a sensational season that saw him win four trophies and replace Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea.
Although that move turned sour, the 34-year-old is still regarded as one of the most promising coaches in Europe and is aiming to boost his standing further by winning the Europa League with Spurs.
“The profile of the competition is raised in other countries, but not England. I don’t understand it,” Villas-Boas told a press conference in Greece.
“I respect the competition. I certainly think it is viewed as a punishment in England and I cannot understand why. It is a traditional trophy.
“We have lost the Cup Winners’ Cup, which I did not think was a good decision. But it was taken to enrich the Europa League.”
Goalkeeper Brad Friedel was the only fit senior squad member not to make the trip to Athens.
Friedel’s absence means Hugo Lloris is likely to make his second start since an €10 million move from Lyon on transfer deadline day.
Emmanuel Adebayor has not travelled with the team due to a hamstring injury, but could be fit for Sunday’s home game against Aston Villa.