So, this Europa League business

The new, the improved Europa League has its first ever pair of finalists, and it will be a showdown between...wait, what? Fulham are playing Atlético de Madrid in a European final? Fulham? Atlético?

It's not so much that I want to take anything away from Fulham (he said with an excusing tone, while proceeding to do just that), which seems to be a sympathetic club in today's football, but if I drew a line in the middle of the table of the EPL today, Fulham would make the bottom half. Atlético would sneak into the top half in Spain, but only by a hair (a blonde, long hair; yes, Forlan's). It's too soon, and we have too small a sample, to draw far-stretching conclusions about the tournament as a whole at this point. It can find its feet, shed the baby fat and go on to be a respectable competition. But right now it's difficult to view the finalists in any other light than it being a competition with a ridiculous amount of games to reach the latter stages, and that competing in it as well as remaining competitive in the domestic league season seems very difficult to do.

The astute reader will by now have recognized there is no mention of the finalists in the Champions League, two teams that are both on top domestically as well. The reasons for this number two: first of all there's the inescapable fact that bringing Champions into the equation means I would have to acknowledge that Inter are having an extraordinary season, something I very much want to avoid doing. Also, while it is no doubt more difficult doing well in both the CL and league than doing well in both the EL and domestic league, the teams doing so are also among the world's richest and biggest (awkward namedrop: causality). They have squads to match their commitments, and can use a turnover policy and still steamroll near everything domestically. Europa Leauge clubs don't. Even Roma, surely one of the biggest clubs in this edition of the Europa League, could keep both things going at once as it does not have the depth of squad to match that ambition.