The big boys officially enter the fray this week in a cup competition that is much maligned by some managers who fail to see the benefits of it. You ask any football fan that gets the chance to go to Wembley and savour the cup final experience and it paints an entirely different picture. The League cup used to be heralded as the fan’s final – such was the greater ticket allocations that supporters would get for it.
I find it incredibly frustrating at the attitudes of those managers who pass up the opportunity of success. Sir Alex Ferguson shows great desire for it – then again the man is a born winner and is never satisfied unless there is a glimmering pot shining in the trophy room at Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho is another who would always be out to lift this trophy, during his time at the Bridge. Both men clearly know that winning silverware is what fans want to see regardless; a factor that seems to be lost on a certain manager in North London.
The failure to take a competition seriously is tantamount to cheating the supporters – something that cost Redknapp a huge amount of respect from the fans at White Hart Lane, due to his contempt for the Europa League. It sends out a negative message to supporters who subsequently feel wronged by it, especially as clubs still happily take any gate receipts that are forthcoming. I have heard a lot of people defend their actions, suggesting that it is good as it allows clubs to blood younger players – a view that is totally flawed. If you want a healthy youth set-up at a football club then the games they need are first team ones within all competitions, not a couple of cup ties every given season. Arsenal has been the champion in using the competition as a so called chance to bring players through – history shows (given the amount of different youngsters that have started) that it has proved fruitless and achieved little success.
A cup is cup at the end of the day and the managers should remember that those who pay their wages crave it.