I like it. I really do.
The knockout stages of the competition beat the Champions League by several miles for games that are actually competitive. (CL matches get so cagey from the round of 16 on).
But in these early rounds? I just can’t bring myself to keep track of all 48 teams (it’s hard enough keeping up with the 32 in the CL).
With that said, one thing I do enjoy about the group stage of the Europa League is finding out about the little known teams that get to play on one of European football’s main stages (Hey, FC Sheriff!) I see you Kuban Krasnodar!). The English-speaking press doesn’t give us much info about these teams unless they a) make the KO stage and b) play a well-known team. The most we get is trivia like this.
And that’s all I have to tide me over until Europa League moves to KO stages in 2014.