By Dave Marshal
It seems nowadays, that participation in European competitions is a requirement for struggling with league form. The likes of Chelsea and Liverpool have been soaring in the Premier League, as they have longer time to prepare and recover in-between games. The two English giants have been exceptional all season, as they have no Champions League or Europa League commitments to bother them as they aim to win the league come the May 2017.
Manchester United, on the one the other hand have been extremely poor in the league in recent weeks, winning just once in their last eight matches, something which Gary Neville believes is down to the club’s participation in the Europa League, according to report. The Manchester United legend, who played at Old Trafford between 1992 and 2011 believes the grueling nature of the second tier European competition makes it harder for The Red Devils to be fully effective in the league.
Manchester United drew their fourth successive home game against West Ham on Sunday despite winning convincingly against Feyenoord in the Europa League on Thursday. The result leaves Mourinho’s men sixth on the log, eleven points behind Chelsea, who are sitting pretty on top of the Premier League table. Neville while speaking in social media platform, Twitter said, “That EL is a killer!! Always has been and always will… Twitter please educate me on a team that’s excelled in the league and been in it.” “I think their are too many examples for it to be an excuse. Every team seems to struggle.” “I’d like to see a study of teams in EL and try and measure it.” he added when challenged by a fan.
United are second in their Europa League group behind Fenerbache. The incentive for winning the competition is an automatic place in next season’s Champions League group stages, which may prove enticing to Mourinho as the club have never won the competition before and could serve as a means of reaching their targets if they fail to make the Champions League by virtue of their final league position.
This assertion by Neville isn’t always true, though. Under Rafa Benitez in 2012/13, Cheslea won the Europa League and finished third in the league.