Spurs boss discusses Europa League and Greg Dyke’s B team league proposal
14:59 09 May 2014
Tim Sherwood says he is determined to secure sixth place on Sunday and book Tottenham’s place in next season’s Europa League.
Spurs only need a point at home against Aston Villa to ensure they finish ahead of Manchester United in sixth.
And, although the Europa League is often derided and viewed as an unwanted distraction that undermines league form, Sherwood is keen to qualify for the competition.
“I think it’s hugely important for a club like Tottenham,” he said. “Everyone aspires to be in the Champions League but we know how difficult it is to actually achieve that.
“Everyone wants to be there, the competition’s getting tougher and I think it’s a great opportunity for Tottenham to maybe progress to the Champions League through the Europa League, so it is hugely important.
“We’ve got a big squad of players when they’re all fit, which is an issue because they haven’t been fit for an awfully long time at this club.
“They need a games programme and I think the Europa League gives them opportunities to play games, keep themselves mentally prepared and physically ready.”
While the value of the Europa League is a frequently-debated topic, a controversial new B team league has also been proposed in England as part of a bid to increase the number of homegrown players in the Premier League and thereby strengthen the national team in future.
FA chairman Greg Dyke has recommended that a new League Three is inserted into the national pyramid, made up of B teams from Premier League outfits and Conference sides.
Dyke named Tottenham as one of the clubs who are in favour of the plan, and Sherwood said today: “I think it’s the way forward, I think other countries have shown us that.
“It’s something that I’ve been banging on about for three years or so now, since I took over at the development side of this club. I think it’s the way forward.
“Obviously there are implications for teams in lower divisions, but if we are going to try and improve the number of English players getting through to play for Premier League sides, they are going to have to be exposed to competitive league football sooner rather than later.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs