Is this REALLY more important to Arsenal than a trophy?

I can see why Arsene Wenger chooses to play the Arsenal fringe players and youngsters in the early stages of the league cup, now called the EFL cup, especially when the early rounds pit the Gunners against clubs like Reading and Nottingham Forest from a lower division.

However much this competition might be a lower priority for Arsenal, with the Premier League, Champions League and then the FA cup all more important, it is still a trophy and in recent years we Arsenal fans have not been so overloaded with silverware that we can afford to be blase about any chance of winning something.

So now that the second string Arsenal team has managed to get us into the quarter-finals of the competition we could reasonably expect to see a stronger Arsenal line-up from now on, but that is not what it sounded like the boss is planning from his post match comments reported on the Arsenal website.

The Frenchman spoke about how good it was to be able to give some proper game time to players that needed it and he was clearly happy that they performed well, but he also suggested that giving the likes of our third choice keeper minutes on the pitch is more important than the result.

Wenger said, “It was a dynamic game between two teams who tried to play passing football and build up the game from the back. For me, it was also good to see some young players who practise every day with a top team, and also give them a chance with the other players who needed competition. It was positive. It was an interesting game which we were able to win in a comfortable way in the second half.

“I felt that Rob Holding did well and also Ainsley Maitland-Niles, he did well. Jeff Reine-Adelaide did alright too.

“Look, if we stay in all the competitions, it’s not too difficult [to give them game time]. And that’s a positive of qualifying tonight. We have always targets and the players who, for example, we have three top class goalkeepers, because you see Emi Martinez as well. But as long as we are in this competition, he obviously gets his game so they have a focus, something to focus on.”

Arsenal could face another Championship side when the draw for the next round is done, but if we are drawn against a big club, is it really more important for the second string to get another game than it is for Arsenal to get another step closer to a trophy?

Dave N.

Tags Reading Wenger


  1. Kostafi says:

    England has one too many domestic competitions. Because of injury, the competitions (including CL) need to be prioritised. We lost Walcott and the Ox at Sheffield Wednesday last season, compounding injuries picked up in the league and other Cups. If lower league and Championship clubs are doing it to improve their primary aspiration (staying up/promotion), who are we to prioritise it ahead of say the latter stages of the Champions league in February?

  2. Tekena says:

    Its important to play young ones and develop them. The other option is to buy players at extravagant sums, because other teams were patient enough to play them.

  3. Arsenal_Girl says:

    It will be tough to win the League Cup because we strictly play a lot of youngsters/reserves. Other Top teams will play stronger players the closer they get to the Final
    We lost in the Final to Birmingham City (a team relegated the same season)

    Anyway, its important to play players who haven’t had much playing time as well as giving rest to our Starting line-up

    To me, I want to win ALL competitions but honestly I value the FA Cup, PL and CL the most

  4. NY_Gunner says:

    It’s vital match time for our reserves. This way, they’re ready when called upon during the crucial parts of the season…

  5. atid says:

    We should have entered a team in the EFL TROPHY as well as the cup, then more of these youngsters would have had even more focus and opportunity of reaching a Wembley final.

    I just wish we could now strengthen our squad in January, by recalling wilshire and campbell and letting Debuchy and Sanogo go out instead. Their days are very obviously numbered and we’lre basically that way before the season started.

    Still that cannot be done so, let’s either get them playing u23 football or get their wages covered at least by loaning them out.

    1. Budd says:

      You can’t recall Wilshere. He is for the whole season at Bournemouth. Any Arsenal supporter knows that. It is amusing saying that you will strengthen the squad by releasing two players.

      1. stubill says:

        I’m guessing that’s why he said he wished we could re-call them, not we should re-call them!

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