Given that they are both our most realistic route to any silverware in the new season and a route into Europe, Gooners will be interested to know that the FA and Carabao Cup are going back to their traditional formats (kind of).
As part of ‘project restart’, replays in the FA Cup and the two-legged semi-Final in the League Cup were cancelled this year to support clubs during a compacted fixture schedule.
With the calendar back to normal, it’s been confirmed that the two-legged semi-Final for the League Cup will be returning this campaign and in a compromise to those who bemoan players being over exposed, replays will be part of the FA Cup up till the 4th round.
It’s a show of strength from the associations, indicating they will not be bullied by the ‘big six’.
As much as I respect what a Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have brought to English Football, their constant complaining about too many games and a need for rest has often troubled me.
They are part of a TV deal worth billions.
If a TV network is giving you that much money, they have a right to tell you when and where to play.
If a manager doesn’t like it, tell your employer not to sign the contract and/or demand a better squad if you feel can’t juggle more than one competition.
At the moment, one of the sports priorities needs to be supporting lower League clubs whose existence has been threatened by COVID.
If there is a way to get them possible extra revenue, then let’s do it.
To be fair if they held say Liverpool at home, they have earnt the right to a pay day at Anfield in front of the cameras.
There are stories where League 2 and even Conference sides have made so much income from a cup replay, it’s paid the bills for months.
So sorry, if Goliath can’t beat David after 90 minutes, then David getting financially rewarded takes precedent over Goliath wanting a week off.
If anything I’m disappointed the FA stopped at the 4th round because it’s not like the Big 6 are in a position to moan, is it?
Their owners wanted to take the team abroad every other midweek to play in the Super League.
From an Arsenal perspective, I want us to target both cups. We are not good enough to take the cups lightly and it’s not guaranteed that we will finish in the top 6.
A replay and/or a second leg gives you a second chance if things go wrong.
If, in the process, lower League clubs can garner some extra funds, then that’s a welcome bonus.
I don’t say this often but well done to the FA.
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