You've probably noticed that Tottenham doesn't play its best football after a mid-week Europa league match. Mauricio Pochettino has noticed it too, and he thinks that maybe this is something that should change. In a recent interview Poche hypothesized that clubs that play European matches on Thursday should not have to play again until Monday evening.
"Maybe it is a good idea," he said. "For Sunday, we are in the same position as Everton. They play in Germany [at Wolfsburg] and we play at home.
"Yes, maybe it is a good idea to play Monday. Why not? One day more is good for the players to recover.""One day extra is very good for the players to recover because maybe you play in Turkey, Serbia or Greece and you arrive [home by] 4am.
"It changes your sleep and after it is Friday, you need to train, then Saturday, then Sunday you play at one o'clock. It is very difficult for the players."
It's certainly no picnic to have to travel to far-flung locales in the Europa League, but it's also not that different from what Champions League teams have to do, either. In a Champions League week, a club will either play on a Tuesday (having played the previous Saturday) or on a Wednesday (playing again on Saturday). Either way, that's the same amount of time, and conceivably a similar amount of travel, as what Europa League teams do.
Nobody likes having to travel to Turkey, Ukraine, Finland, or the like, and that does put a strain on a team with the time changes. But, considering the amount of rotation that Poche has done with his Europa League teams, I'm not sure he can confidently say that the reason Spurs have been poor after continental matches is solely due to travel fatigue. Methinks you doth protest too much, Mauricio. But hey, I'm certain nobody would turn down an extra day of rest between matches, so sure, let's do it.