Capital One Cup’s place in calendar should remain


The Capital One Cup has had many guises over the years and seemingly been a distraction rather than attraction for many clubs in the country.

Typically Premier League teams have wanted to focus on either battling for Europe or avoiding relegation, and Championship teams towards the top would rather concentrate on gaining promotion.

It could be argued that this is now changing. With entrance into the Europa League as a prize the likes of Middlesbrough, Cardiff, Crystal Palace, and Birmingham have all in recent years looked to progress in the competition. This can be matched this campaign with Bradford, Swansea, Aston Villa and Leeds.

Not only this, but for those so-called bigger clubs, the tournament is now an opportunity to get some silverware. Arsenal’s long drawn out search for a trophy since 2005 has seen them constantly aim for glory in the League Cup recently. Last year’s winners Liverpool could be mentioned in the same breath.

What this shows is that the competition is being taken more seriously and those clubs who may not have normally had a shot at glory now have that opportunity.

This has led to arguably some exciting matches and unbelievable upsets over the last few seasons. The competition seems to be more open than in recent years when second string team’s from the top clubs would continue to make the semi’s and finals.

However, this is not to say that it is not a distraction. Of course it is, as it runs parallel to clubs trying to build momentum for their league seasons. After all, the last few years have even seen the FA Cup lowered in the priorities of clubs in the Premier League and Championship, for the same arguments given above for the League Cup.

For an established and historic competition like this to receive the same criticism suggests that the perspective of many clubs is on the league, and that the cup competitions are equally as distracting as each other.

There is a general feeling that the competition is now being perceived in a more positive light. There is the possibility that it is only being seen in this way in light of teams like Arsenal wanting to win a trophy again, and therefore associating more importance with the cup.

Looking back at the history books just over the past 20 years would show that there have been a number of finals where a supposedly “lesser” team by today’s standards was competing.

Whatever clubs and supporters may feel about the competition, it is certainly worthy of its place in the English football calendar and long may that continue.

By Daniel Smith, find me here: @dmsmith1987

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