Arsenal are in the quarterfinals of the league cup – now known as the Capital One cup – for the 10th year in a row. This year, it was achieved in dramatic fashion as the Gunners came back from 4-0 down against Reading away from home to record a huge 7-5 win with Theo Walcott contributing with a hattrick of goals and assists. With an away game against Bradford City ahead in the quarterfinals, Arsene Wenger’s men should really take the competition seriously now.
It’s well known that Arsenal are suffering from a trophy drought with their last trophy being the FA Cup win in 2005, however, it is also well known that the league cup is low on Wenger’s priorities as he reiterated in the recent AGM that qualifying for the Champions League is more important than winning any domestic cup. Wenger has used the competition over the years to help his youngsters and fringe players get game time as well as experience and has lead his side to two finals in the last 5 years, however, being on the losing side in both games.
Now, with a relatively easy quarterfinal tie along with the fact that strong teams such as Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham are no longer in the competition, Arsenal have a real chance of finally ending the trophy drought, maybe winning even more in the near future.
Of course, the Capital One Cup isn’t really a major trophy but it still is one regardless and potentially winning the competition could really provide the springboard for greater things at Arsenal – for example, Manchester United went on a barren run, not winning a league title for 3 years as well as finishing trophyless in the 2004-2005 season. However, a 4-0 thrashing over Wigan in the Carling Cup final the next season won them a trophy as Sir Alex Ferguson’s men went on to win three Premier League titles in a row as well as a Champions League the following seasons. As with Jose Mourinho in his time with Chelsea, having won the Carling Cup – his first trophy with the Blues – provided the platform for Chelsea to go on and win two league titles, another Carling Cup and an FA Cup under the Portuguese manager.
As it is, Chelsea remain the only true competitor left in the competition and as long as Arsenal don’t underestimate their competition, there should be no reason why the Gunners can’t lift the trophy. Winning the Capital One Cup would be the springboard for greater success, remove the trophyless tag from the Gunners as well as lift off pressure and give the fans something to cheer about – not to mention, instil a winning mentality and habit which most of the current squad lack.
Taking the competition seriously would immensely benefit Arsenal – beat Bradford City and Wenger is just three games away from winning a trophy.855151