After this weeks “enthralling” Carling Cup fixtures we are one step closer to knowing which club will be winning the lesser of the English trophies this season. But does anybody really care about the trophy which is rapidly losing its appeal.
I think the attendances of this weeks games tells a story about the demand for a secondary cup completion. Just over 33,000 turned up for Newcastle’s game with Arsenal, a match which had it been in the FA Cup would have attracted 50,000 plus to St James’ Park.
The Gaffer has already blogged where he discussed the need for the Carling Cup. Personally I don’t think there is a need. The cup was brought in as an extra revenue stream for clubs in the days before the TV money of the Premier League, and in many ways has now served its purpose.
I write this as a fan of Crewe Alexandra, a League Two side that have had some brilliant nights out as a result of League Cup run. But even I see the tournament as a distraction in the bid for League success.
It’s not just individual sides that suffer because of the competition, the England national side is also at a disadvantage because of the insistence on sticking with two cup competitions, and I truly believe that should the cup be scrapped; the Three Lions would in a much better position to challenge for a major tournament.
Scrapping the Carling Cup would free up a whole host of midweek dates that could be utilised in order to give the country the much needed winter break. Without a mid season break, England will only fall further behind other nations.
The Premier League is played at such a pace that to not give players a couple of weeks off during the middle of the campaign is meaning that come May, burn-out strikes and ultimately the standard of football suffers. This means that when the World Cup comes around, in many ways it is impossible for England to challenge.
Scrapping the Carling Cup solves this problem, and while each club might lose a special cup-tie know and then, I think everybody would back the plan if it would give the England side a better chance of success.