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The League Cup – is it worth the hassle?

September 23, 2009

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So the big boys have joined the rest of England’s many, and are now starting their quest for the country’s second most important domestic cup competition trophy.

The League Cup is still considered by many teams as a viable competition. Its allure is also improved by the fact that it hands the winners a passport to the Europa League..whereas once upon a time, the winners would instead be guaranteed a years free supply of milk, when the tournament was sponsored by the National Milk Board (No to Champagne. Yes to Gold Top) Wonders never ceased.

The tournament has been much maligned by many factors over the previous decade. These include the increasing amount of games that clubs are playing, the demands of the Champions League, and club managers persistent will to “give the kids a run out”. No less, it was only  this evening that Wenger fielded half a dozen twelve years old, two ball boys, a fifteen year old girl (in goal..shes quite tall for her age you see) and some next big things in Wiltshire and Vela (both who you can see weekly playing at your local ground in the Reserves League) No doubt tomorrow night against Wolves, Sir Alex will field all of those players who have not been good enough to make the league squad this season..Yes. That means you Zoran Tosic.

So it really does flag the question: Is it all worth it? Why do we put up a pretence? The modern game dictates that even the magic of the FA Cup (the worlds oldest football knock out tournament first contested in 1871) has been bastardised by the soccer calender. There simply isnt enough time in the day. Got to hold a training session for the players..check. Got to wash my hair..check. Got a press conference to do..check. Pick a team for the League Cup..erm..cant be arsed.

ben fosterNow i know that this may sound to many that its a big club mentality problem. That we are raping the game of tradition. That we should play in these tournament just because that is the English way. Oh well. Maybe you are right. I think Wenger and Fergie’s idea of the tournament is wrong, but if i were them i too would play the kids. Win, and you can say its a great experience. Lose, and you can say its losing that teaches you to be winners. Whatever. It is time that the tournament be demoted as it has already been devalued. It should be stripped of its European status. Id rather the Premier League positions dicate who plays in the marquee continental tournaments. It should be played between those from the Championship, League 1 and 2. It can still have its big Wembley day out with all the whistles and bells..just without the Prem teams. There is too much football and something has got to give…anyhow, do we really want to see United’s third choice players win the tournament as they did last season??

The fickle nature of the football fan will dictate that i get interested in this cup when it gets to the semis, and if my team are still in it. If we lose to Wolves tomorrow, i wont flicker an eyelid…AND THAT IS NOT RIGHT. It is the only time i don’t care that we win or lose. For me, that is a direct reflection of the tournament itself..look at the attendances. Look how clubs have to discount the tickets just to get bums on seats. If it takes that much effort then why should we bother?

I don’t think we should.

Oh, also tonight Burnley (like Arsenal) put out a weakened team..and got knocked out by a lower division side. Even Burnley dont care about it!

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. September 23, 2009 12:50 am

    It’s the Rob and Katie shooooowwww.
    Don’t we have 7 or 8 writers?

    • September 23, 2009 1:23 am

      I thought it was just you and me and about 4 readers who hit the site 4000 times a day

  2. Shortbus permalink
    September 23, 2009 6:38 am

    38,000+ At Elland Road… Midweek!
    For a match that don’t mean fook all in your opinion….Midweek!

    This is Football!

    • September 23, 2009 11:06 am

      Haaaa! I was waiting for the first Leeds Utd comment about their attendance against Liverpool!

      This will probably be the biggest visit from a team this year for the team from the third tier of the game..yes..this is football indeed. Being a lower division team you should be interested in the League Cup..my point exactly. Ah the romance of the cup..lol

  3. Rite$h permalink
    September 23, 2009 7:10 am

    For me every cup/trophy is up to be taken, and all teams involved need to show more interest rather than play young kids only for the sake of participating, else it was better they withdraw their names and allow other teams who are hungry for a trophy to participate.
    Of course it is never bad to allow youngsters to gain some experience, but to play an outfield team of say 8 to 9 youngplayers is ridiculous. United playing today, so we’ll more likely see Tosic, De laet, Fabio, Macheda playing, but why not allow Carrick, Owen, Rio, Brown,Neville, Nani and some who lost confidence to play as well. As for Arsenal cannot say anything about them since most of their players are young and even play in the first team for the league games.

    • September 23, 2009 11:14 am

      Ritesh..it is because the Uniteds of this world play about a million games..this cup is not important in the grand scheme of things

  4. Michael permalink
    September 23, 2009 4:12 pm

    Rob,

    I think for some teams the League Cup really is the only chance of silverware, so why should the Euro prize be stripped from it. Aston Villa, Spurs, Fulham etc are not going to get their hands on anything else so should be rewarded for committing to the tournament.

    • September 23, 2009 5:41 pm

      Michael..my opinion is they should put their back into the league a bit more instead. Those three clubs could qualify for Europe thro the league instead.

  5. September 23, 2009 5:55 pm

    I actually think it’s brilliant the big clubs are putting youngsters to play in the League Cup. If it wasn’t for it, we wouldn’t have seen Ben Foster, Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and the likes. In fact, I think even Cesc Fabregas benefited from it.

    It’s not on top of the big clubs list, and that means its an even playing ground for the other clubs. Plus it gives supporters of other clubs something to cheer about. And the original magic of the FA Cup has recently moved over to the League Cup, with more Championship sides featuring in the latter stages of the draw. Some will say this reflects on how bad the quality of the sides being put out are, but I say its because more players are willing to fight to win, because it’ll prob be their biggest and only moment to shine.

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