5 reasons to scrap the League Cup
Welcome to Tuesday Team Talk. Every week, the H+K Sports team will give a unique perspective on the week’s football action and the stories making the headlines across the beautiful game.
Sunday night City took on Liverpool in what was undeniably a hugely entertaining Capital One Cup final. A no-hope goalkeeper became a penalty shoot-out hero, Yaya Toure managed to take his nonchalance to new heights by not even bothering to take part in a post-game photo and in an even more bizarre twist, NFL player Mohamed Sanu staged a comically underwhelming proposal in the stands. All entertaining stuff.
But as good as it was, it hasn't changed the fact that the League Cup has a confused and arguably pointless place within English football. My point of view, get rid of the whole thing. I don't think we need a League Cup, and here are 5 reasons why.
Nobody really cares
Jonathan Liew, writing for The Telegraph last week, described the Capital One Cup as ‘somewhere between the Community Shield and a Blue Peter Badge’. In the moment a win in the League Cup might seem like a genuine trophy, but 2-3 years later, does anyone remember who won the League Cup? With the Champions League now seen as so important, the Premier League still the pinnacle for English clubs and the FA Cup with all the history and romance, does anyone care about the 4th most important competition?
Magic of the FA Cup
Now call me a romantic, but I still love the FA Cup - the nostalgia, the giant killings, the history – it’s brilliant. The problem is, it’s losing some of its lustre, as teams priorities other competitions. Man City may have won the League Cup, but it came at the expense of throwing away the FA Cup by playing a youth side against Chelsea. For those of us that want the FA Cup to prosper, losing the League Cup would undoubtedly help.
Hearing clubs moan about fixture congestion is really boring
When City bowed out of the FA Cup in the aforementioned game against Chelsea, coach Pellegrini was pretty clear in his post-match comments that fixture congestion was ludicrous and he couldn’t be blamed for playing a youth team. Now, if you’re anything like me you might question whether people who are paid to play a sport, and who work max 3-4 hours a day should be moaning about being overworked, particularly given the levels of compensation involved. I’ve often thought the argument for a winter break, when footballers already mostly get the entire summer off already, was slightly ludicrous. If you’re as bored as I am of managers and players moaning about just how overworked they are, losing one cup competition couldn’t hurt!
We don’t see the best players
Probably the best story of the Capital One Cup final was that of Willy Caballero. The reserve team keeper who kept his place and saved three penalties to win the final. Good for him. Problem is, the League Cup has been full all season with reserve team players. A nice opportunity for them to make their name, but personally if I wanted to watch reserve team players and U21’s I’d go and watch he U21s. I don’t find average footballers more exciting to watch just because they’re suddenly in the first team.
Hurts us in Europe
Since European football is now an obsession for English Clubs, it’s worth bearing in mind the impact cutting the League Cup potentially has on our European prospects. The top teams would benefit from squads that aren’t quite as stretched. As nice as it is for the occasional mediocre team to qualify for the Europa League, them losing in the first round is damaging for the all-important ‘coefficient’ determining the number of places English clubs get for Europe. As Europe has gone up in priority for English clubs, the League Cup becomes more of a hindrance.
Sunday night was entertaining, there’s no denying it. But in reality, we’ll have forgotten it in a few months. So for the sake of the crowded fixture list, it’s time for the League Cup to be retired.