Well done, fronted. -Kevin
Earlier, Brian Mechanick wrote an article explaining the squad rules for the upcoming Premier League season. It also explained what we can expect in terms of the roster that will be submitted for Tottenham this year. We are also competing in the Europa League this season, and while it's squad rules are similar to the Premier League's, there are a few key differences. The squad rules for the Europa League are as follows (summarized from the official UEFA Europa League Regulations available here) :
1) A team can register no more than 25 players for participation in the Europa League, two of whom must be goalkeepers.
2) 8 places are reserved exclusively for "locally trained players." This means that 8 of the 25 registered, regardless of nationality, must have been trained in England for 3 years or 36 months between the ages of 15 and 21. The "association-trained players" have to be registered with an English club for at least 3 years or 36 months, but not necessarily consecutively. Also, no fewer than 4 of those "locally trained players" must be "club-trained players," which means they must have trained at the club for 3 years or 36 months consecutively between the ages of 15 and 21. If we fail to meet any of these requirements, we are forced to adopt a new maximum squad limit. If we can only register 7 "locally trained" players then we can only have a maximum squad list of 24 players.
3) We can register unlimited "List B" players, and they may be registered at any time during the competition provided names are submitted at least 24 hours before any game they can appear in. "List B" players are those that are under the age of 21 and have been training with the club for at least 2 years or 24 months consecutively. This rule takes the place of the under 21 rule for the PL. These players do not count towards the requirement of the 8 "locally-trained players."
4) We can make changes to the roster in January, but we may only add three replacement players, and they must take the place of another previously registered player. Also, we can register one player who has played for a club in the UEFA Champions League in the group stages, provided the club we purchase from has not dropped into the Europa League knockout stages. We can also register players who have not competed in the Europa League group stages, but have competed in the previous rounds.
These rules are a little more convoluted than the squad rules for the PL, but that's how it goes. With these in mind, let's take a look at what we can expect to see the submitted roster look like for the Europa League group stages.
(Sorry for the not stellar quality of the table)
So this is actually a lot harder to predict than I initially thought. Players in white are just regular players, and don't count as either "association-trained" or "club-trained." Players in yellow count as "association-trained," blue means "club-trained," and green means they qualify as "List B" players.
To start off, like Brian I have included Modric only as a placeholder because I believe that he will be sold and immediately replaced with a first team player.
We obviously need at least two goal keepers, but I think it's safe to say we'll register three. Two of which are certainly going to come from the current squad, but one might be a new purchase. I think it's fair to say that we won't be registering David Button because he needs a loan move. Whether we keep Jordan Archer and play him is inconsequential to the squad limit. So with 3 spots gone and 22 remaining, we have no "locally trained" players at all.
Moving to the defense we see some interesting things. We have a lot of "association-trained" players but only one "club-trained" player, Danny Rose. I'm going to assume we register most of our senior defenders, so that gives us, Dawson, Kaboul, Gallas, BAE, Bassong, Walker, Naughton and Vertonghen. That's already 8 defenders, and 11 total players. This leaves Zeki Fryers and Grant Hall in precarious positions. They might be under the age of 21 but they don't qualify as "List B" players, so in order for them to play they have to be registered. Steven Caulker and Adam Smith do qualify as "List B." This begs the question, do we leave out some senior defenders so we can play our new young signings, Fryers and Hall. We could always register the senior players in January, but we can only add in three replacement players, and we might buy some players in January. So what do we do? Because of the midfield situation, I think the best option is to just keep Danny Rose and let him play these games, and sell Bassong. That gives us an open spot, which as you'll see soon needs to go to a midfielder. I don't even rate Danny Rose as a Premier League LB or LW, but we desperately need that spot for a midfielder. What must also be considered is that if we don't register Danny Rose, we will be forced to have a squad of only 24 players, plus our "List B" players. Moving one of the "List B" players onto the registered players list effectively does nothing because they can play anyway. It's all very complicated, and really rather annoying. For the purposes of this article, I'm going to include Danny Rose, because well, I really can't see us registering David Button. So, that gives us 10 defenders including "List B" players, what two we don't register is up for debate, because I really don't know what we plan to do with the Europa League this year.
After the defenders and goalkeepers, we have 12 free roster spots. The midfield is crowded to say the least. Bale, Lennon and Livermore basically have to be registered, so we're dealing with 10 open spots left on the roster. I'm going to leave three spots for forwards, so I'm going to go with us registering Modric('s replacement), Sandro, Parker, Siggy, Van der Vaart, Johnny Two Saints (or a new winger), Huddlestone. That means we can't register Bentley or Jenas. Perhaps we do register them for the group stages and not the knockout stages, but like the defenders, who do we leave out? With only three replacement spots available this gets very tricky. With our "List B" players we'll have 10 midfielders.
Now, on to forwards. Defoe will almost certainly be registered, and Kane is a "List B" player, so that leaves us with two spots on the roster for whoever we purchase in the remainder of the transfer window. This is by far the most clear cut position to account for as far as the 25 man squad is concerned.
So, this is my predicted 25 man squad for the Europa League. I failed too include many of our other "List B" players we have on the books. However, two players worth mentioning that definitely don't count as "List B" this year are Iago Falque and Souleymane Coulibaly. Falque is now 22, so I can definitely see him getting loaned out this year. Souleymane has only been with the club for a year now so he doesn't count as "List B." This means we almost certainly won't see him play in the Europa League this year. Massimo Luongo wouldn't have counted as "List B" this year because like Souley he hasn't been at the club long enough, and that's probably why he was loaned out.
Finally, this wasn't really the point of the article, but it's been staring me in the face ever since I started organizing the squad and I'm sure we're all well aware of it. We have a dearth of "club-trained" players. We have 5 in the squad, and that's it. These rules will be implemented in the Champions League as well, and if we want to compete we're going to have to start producing more quality academy products who can make it in the first team. The club might even end up having to keep players who aren't quite up to our standard just to fill out the squad.
Anyway, what do you think? Do you agree with what I've laid out here, or would you do it differently? Discuss in the comments below.
(Big thanks to Mechanick for inspiring this, and laying out a format.)
The squad as I see it (List B):
Goalkeepers: Gomes, Cudicini, Friedel
Defenders: Gallas, Kaboul, Vertonghen, BAE, Dawson, Naughton, Walker, Rose, (Caulker, Smith)
Midfielders: Modric('s replacement), Van der Vaart, Sigurdsson, dos Santos (or new winger), Sandro, Huddlestone, Parker, Bale, Livermore, Lennon, (Carroll, Townsend)
Forwards: Defoe, (Kane), #weneedastriker, #weneedanotherstriker