I've been nursing a semi all day because it's Europa League day!
I am absolutely gutted that The Kazakhstan Dream has died
AA23's Kairat lost 3-1 on aggregate to the Albanian makeweights, as did Irtysh to Red Star Belgrade. This ruins all the comedic potential of posting Kazakh flags, national anthems and Borat videos in this thread over the coming weeks. It's also also sad because Kazakh teams have started to qualify for the group stages - twice in the last four years in the EL and once in the CL - so the dream wasn't as pie in the sky as it may have looked. Although there may be some hope for the dream, if Astana make it to the play-off for the Be All and End All and get knocked out and drawn into our group
I hope that FC SKA-Khabarovsk (470 miles north of Vladivostok) qualify for the EL next season, so we can play a European game at mid-morning (assuming we qualify), seeing as they are ten hours ahead of us. Anyway, the back-up dream of Azerbaijan will have to do for now. Gabala won their tie, barely keeping that dream alive, seeing as Inter Baku and Zira crashed out tonight to Luxembourger and Romanian opposition respectively. Hopefully we will come up against Krasnodar of Russia, although I was desperately hoping for a game east of the Caspian; east of the Black Sea will have to do
Sadly the two Irish sides were knocked out, preventing the small possibility of a piss-up in Oireland. The last Scottish survivors in the competition, Aberdeen won 3-1 on aggregate against their Bosnian opposition. The aforementioned Odd of Norway beat the eternal Leichtenstein Cup winners Vaduz, knocking them out until next year. Sturm Graz were able to overturn their deficit to their Montenegrin opposition; still, not bad for a league who have only existed for a decade.
the only european final the fraud hasn't lost is the inter-fucking-toto
then again, what other manager can say that
I'm pretty sure that The Old Fraud has ever entered the Intertoto Cup, in order to lose it. After winning the title at Monaco he kept them in Europe in the three main trophies, but was unable to reach more than one European final before taking Monaco to mid-table. Interestingly, his 'Arsenal didn't play much in the European Cup/Be All and End All before I came here' shit can be easily counter-acted by the fact that he himself only played in just ONE European Cup tournament, seeing as you had to win your league to qualify for it; only reaching the quarter-finals and being knocked out by Galatasaray. He also qualified for the then-new Be All and End All in his final full season there, reaching the semi-finals and being knocked out by eventual winners AC Milan. Then again, this wanker has only won four league titles in '40' years, yet is looked upon as in irreplaceable sage
The Intertoto Cup was a weird trophy wasn't it? It was ran to keep the football pools going through the summer. It was a half finished tournament, with no single final since the 60s. The Arsenal never played in it, even when we were shit. Anyone could apply to enter who hadn't qualified for Europe. It was whoever won their group, then whoever won the fifth round ties, then third round ties were joint winners. Then it was whoever won the third round and then got furthest in the UEFA Cup. Newcastle actually won it in 2006, as you can see from the sheer joy
on Scott Parker's face. Unsurprisingly, it was merged into the Europa League, like with the Cup Winners Cup, hence the over-bloated Europa format.