Saturday, September 19, 2020

What does everybody think of the Nations League?

David Nugent in Editorial, General Soccer News 7 Sep 2018

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Anybody who reads Soccernews and my editorials will know how much I hate international breaks. Just as the European league campaigns kick-off, a pointless two-week gap in the schedule appears and breaks up the flow of the league campaigns.

To be honest international football had really turned me off, until the summer’s World Cup that is. The tournament was one of the best I have witnessed in my lifetime.

However, the newly established Nations League to me is just a load of glorified friendly matches. The new competition kicked off last night with the supposed highlight being former world champions Germany hosting current world champions France. For those few interested, the game finished goalless.

An overcomplicated format

I have to say, many people inside the game do not understand the competition or the reason for its existence. Four Four Two explain the rules on their website, which makes it slightly clearer.

The competition is supposed to keep peoples interest during international breaks while filling tournament-less summers. However, UEFA has organised it in an overcomplicated way, to me makes it about as much sense as a chocolate teapot.

Why have UEFA invented this competition?

UEFA are wasting their time trying to make the international breaks more interesting. In reality, they should limit the international breaks in a season. Let’s face it unless there is a World Cup or other PROPER international tournament, the majority of fans switch off from the game for two weeks and entertain themselves with other things.

The Nations League seems like it may be one of those short-lived competitions that will be quickly consigned to the dustbin of football history. The main purpose for the competition from the outside looking in seems to be the lining UEFA’s pockets.

There are still some poor souls who will go to these virtually meaningless games. Well, the games are meaningless to the big football nation, even the middle football nations.

However, for the smaller nations, this competition is a prospective opportunity to qualify for the next European Championship. Many teams who would not usually have a prayer of making an international tournament could book a place at Euro 2020 by performing well in the Nations League.

It may prove great for the minnows who qualify for the competition. However, it could prove horrible for the tournament itself. Euro 2020 will be made up of 24 teams, that is a high number the 55 UEFA members.

This is surely going to lead to some very one-sided results. Shocks do happen, but not the likes of the Faroe Islands beating Germany or Spain. It is just too much.

Not much interest in England v Spain

In what would usually be a friendly match, England take on Spain at Wembley on Saturday night. Both teams are odds of 17/10 to win the game, as the bookmakers cannot seem to decide on a favourite.

In all honesty, I will not be showing much more interest in the game just because it is in the newly established Nations League. I have read a fair few comments from many other football fans who echo my sentiment on the competition.

Of course, I am sure many fans out there in the football brotherhood will be supporting the competition, especially those of a Georgian, Faroese or Kosovan persuasion.

The Nation League is just not for me. I believe it is just another way for UEFA to fleece their fans of their hard earned money. If it is a roaring success, I will eat humble pie. However, I have a feeling that many people feel the same as I do about the competition, so fans of the new competition may have to enjoy while it lasts.

What is your opinion of the Nations League?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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