The knock rounds of the UEFA Europa league are almost upon us and with the spade of signings made by the manager in the January, the club now has an important decision to make.
The decision involves which of their new players they should register into the competition as the choice at their disposal is limited.
Article 18 of the regulations of the UEFA Europa League 2012-15 cycle states that:
As a rule, a player may not play in a UEFA club competition (i.e. UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, but not UEFA Super Cup) for more than one club in the course of the same season. Exceptionally, however, a player who has been fielded in the first, second, third qualifying round or the play-offs of the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League is entitled to play in the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League for another club as from the group stage. Moreover, as from the start of the round of 32, a player can be registered in accordance with the following rules.
For all matches from the start of the round of 32, a club may register a maximum of three new eligible players for the remaining matches in the current competition. Such registration must be completed by 1 February 2013.
One player from the above quota of three who has been fielded in a UEFA club competition group stage match for another club in the current season may exceptionally be registered, provided that the player has not been fielded:
- in the same competition for another club; or
- For another club that is currently in the same competition.
In a nut shell, this means that out of all of the five first-team players that Newcastle signed in January, the club can only register three of them for the knock out stages.
Moussa Sissoko & Massadio Haidara can play and most definitely will be registered but Yoan Gouffran can’t given the fact that Bordeaux are still in the competition. So the choice there is clear cut. However the tricky situation comes in the case of Mathieu Debuchy & Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa who previously represented LOSC Lille and Montpellier HSC in the UEFA Champions league.
The rules clearly state that only one of them can be registered, so the ball is now in the club’s court as to who do they choose. A tough decision I would have thought and I would like to think that both of them would like to play in Europe. The club seem to have both options covered so would be interesting to see who eventually does get the nod.
If it were up to me I would go for Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. I see Debuchy getting more of an opportunity in the Premier League since he’s the undoubtedly the best right-back we have. However, in Mbiwa’s case, both Steven Taylor and Coloccini currently occupy the ‘first choice’ positions.
Although Mbiwa is set to feature a lot more over the coming months, especially with Coloccini set to depart in June, the near-future opportunities may be limited for Yanga-Mbiwa. Playing in Europa will help him to integrate within the squad and develop a strong understanding of how we play. In addition he can play as a right back if need be, so certainly another positive.
The other 2 spots I will give to Moussa Sissoko & Massadio Haidara. This will provide the club with a really strong and a balanced squad to have a real go at a competition that I firmly believe Newcastle United can do well in.
Let us know what you would do given the scenario and who would you choose?