Europa Squad for Group Stages Announced

This seems to have flown under the radar a bit with all the hand-wringing about Sunday, but our squad for the Europa League group stages has been announced. Not too many surprises, except one.

Goalies
1 Mark Schwarzer
22 Csaba Somogyi
38 Neil Etheridge*
41 Marcus Bettinelli*
44 Jesse Joronen*

Defenders
2 Stephen Kelly
3 John Arne Riise
5 Brede Hangeland
6 Chris Baird
14 Philippe Senderos
18 Aaron Hughes
26 Zdenek Grygera
28 Matthew Briggs*
39 Stephen Arthurworrey*
40 Alex Smith*

Midfielders
4 Steve Sidwell
10 Pajtim Kasami
13 Danny Murphy
15 Marcel Gecov
16 Damien Duff
20 Dickson Etuhu
21 Kerim Frei
23 Clint Dempsey
37 Courtney Harris*
43 Josh Pritchard*

Forwards
8 Andrew Johnson
9 Orlando Sá
25 Bobby Zamora
30 Moussa Dembélé
35 Richard Peniket*
42 Marcello Trotta*

No, the surprise is not Ruiz. UEFA laws stipulate that a player cannot register for any other team that’s also in the group stage, even if said team “qualified” by dropping down from the Champions League. Silly rule, but something we should have known and Jol should have considered.

Also not included is Bjorn Helge Riise, which means a loan spell should be on the cards for the other, other, Norwegian.

But it’s Simon Davies exclusion that I find most surprising. Yes, he’s injured, so it would make sense not to include him.

Yet this makes his injury seem much more permanent to me. It drives home the point that, unfortunately, he won’t feature for the side for a long, long time. And . more importantly, the club isn’t waiting around for him.

If Zamora (or Murphy, or Hangeland) were injured but was targeted to come back in early winter, we’d probably include him anyway considering his impact to the side when available. But Davies’ ongoing knee injury and the other players waiting in the wings for his spot means he won’t even make an appearance in the final group stage match even if his recovery goes swimmingly (initial reports on his injury said a five month layoff, but physioroom has him down for November).

Sad.

8 thoughts on “Europa Squad for Group Stages Announced

  1. It is sad abotu Davies. Everyone goes on about how underrated Hughes is, but Davies is my most underrated Fulham player. He was crucial to our run last time.

  2. I had a dream last night I was on the team. A striker. We were losing. I scored and ran the ball back to half field.

    What could it mean?

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