Let’s Try And Win This Cup by Dan Smith
I say it every year about the League Cup, Arsenal are not good enough to be putting their nose up to any competition.
Realistically, we have three chances of winning a trophy this season. This applies to most Premiership sides, if you take things seriously you become one of the favourites, because so few do.
Sponsors won’t be happy as governing bodies haven’t done anything to entice more respect shown to the cup, if anything the opposite.
Since Project Restart, in discussions how Football catches up with itself, it’s the two cups which have been diluted. The Semi Final won’t be 2 legs this campaign while extra time was taken away a year ago. The FA Cup has abolished replays.
That’s of course because the 2019/20 season finished late, meaning 2020-2021 has to find dates to cram everything in. Ideally, they can’t extend this season as the Euros are next summer.
So there will be coaches who will see this as a chance to rest talent that they feel are being overplayed.
It’s funny though how we hear talk about fatigue, yet FIFA are about to send players travelling around the world for a second international break inside 2 months.
I know they are no longer called friendlies, but the Nations League could have been postponed and there would have been some time freed up in the calendar.
There’s nothing like seeing your team lift something at Wembley, but it’s a feeling we shouldn’t take for granted. You never know when the next opportunity will come.
On paper we been handed a tough route. If we win at Leicester, it’s most likely a trip to Anfield in the next round. Yet look closer and they might be easier ties then you think.
Brendan Rodgers has already admitted his squad isn’t big enough to juggle Europe with domestic football, so might rotate on Wednesday, while Klopp made it abundantly clear what he thought of the cups last year so might again field his kids.
What’s curious is that we don’t yet know our manager’s attitude towards this Cup. When being mentored by Pep Guardiola he won this trophy twice as assistant, so maybe he cares more then we think?
If you assume who started on Saturday will be rested, you could still field a decent 11 at the King Power. (I’m not expecting him to give second chances to Guendouzi or Ozil. Nor those currently negotiating moves away).
Going by that criteria you could start something like this.. .
Leno – I think he could do with it to get West Ham out of his system and boost his confidence for Monday.
Niles (LWB), Luiz, Saliba, Kolasinac, Cedric (RWB)
Reiss Nelson, Eddie, Pepe
Consider the benefits of our FA Cup win? How mentally it’s helped this squad have that experience of knowing how to win something. Wouldn’t it be great if we added another trophy so quickly?
It’s funny some Gooners are talking about Arsenal being title challengers this season, yet if you offered me just the Carabao Cup, I’d bite your hands off for it. It would be another big step in our rebuild.
Plus watching my team win things isn’t something I take for granted. Isn’t that what football is all about?