The EFL League Cup – Is There Any Point?
February 25, 2017 (No Comments) by Dean Fitzgerald

the-efl-league-cup-is-there-any-point

The EFL League Cup, formerly known as the Carling Cup or Capital One Cup to most people, reaches its exciting conclusion on February 26th (4.30pm, Sky Sports) when Southampton and Manchester United face-off in Wembley Stadium. In recent years, this trophy has been won by English club powerhouses such as Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, and ahem, Swansea City and Birmingham City… but this year plans to be a cracker.

Who’s In the 2017 Final?

Southampton

Southampton have been baffling in the last few seasons. Despite selling basically their entire squad to Liverpool, along with Luke Shaw, Morgan Schneiderlin, Victor Wanyama and Calum Chambers to various ‘top-six’ clubs, they have stayed in the top half of the league through smart buying in the transfer market, a fantastic youth set up, and great manager appointments by their board. They’re possibly the best-run club in England.

Having finished 6th last season in the league, Southampton may view this as the potential breakthrough they need. A trophy can be the perfect catalyst for future success, and unlike Swansea in 2013, selling top players – Swansea sold Bony, Michu, Vorm and Williams – most likely won’t have as big an effect on the club.

nathan-redmond-efl-cup-semi-final

Beating The Best

Southampton have beaten only Premier League teams to earn their place at Wembley. Crystal Palace, Sunderland, Arsenal, and Liverpool over two legs (1-0 wins in both games) all fell to the Saints as they went marching in (I apologise but it was literally right there!). Admittedly, their opponents weren’t always full strength, and Liverpool basically spent January saying “We’ve played too well this season, we should keep our fans on their toes by being sh*t for a while”, but nevertheless Southampton are deserving finalists.

If you’re looking for a player that can make be a match winner for this team, look at Virgil van Dijk, Nathan Redmond, or Ireland’s very own Shane Long, who’ll always be known for that historic goal against Germany. In case you’ve forgotten, here it is with the Titanic song to make it even more beautiful.

Manchester United

United, Or ‘Man U’ to people who probably eat pizza crust-first, have been motoring along nicely in recent months, having lost only once – to Hull in the EFL Cup semis second leg – since early November in all competitions. This United team is taking shape under Jose Mourinho, with his trademark hard to beat style mixing well with a more attacking approach in the last few months.

Led by the mercurial Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with a talented supporting cast including Juan Mata, Anthony ‘Tony’ Martial, and Paul Pogba when he finishes dabbing (Yeah Paul we get it, you’re a trend setter, great…) this United squad has looked more than capable of bringing home the endlessly renamed EFL Cup after the final whistle on February 26th.

marcus-rashford-efl-cup-semi-final

Making A Statement

Mourinho will also want his players hungry to win this competition to kick off what he hopes will be a long, trophy-laden United career. Let’s be honest, the Community Shield is great and all, but it’s not really considered a real trophy. United have beaten Northampton, current holders Manchester City, West Ham and Hull so far, and will try to make a statement in Wembley.

Prediction For The Final

The form book usually goes out the window for finals, so it’s quite difficult to predict. Can’t expect more than a one-goal game, but big game experience may be a telling factor. – Manchester United 2-1 Southampton

What’s The Point of The EFL Cup?

With fixture lists already jammed, some have asked what the point of the EFL Cup is. La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A have no such competition, and with complaints of fatigue every year by managers, there are arguments that the competition could be scrapped. I mean for the love of God, next year it’ll apparently be called the Carabao Cup. Carabao is a Thai energy drink for anyone that didn’t know (Don’t act like you knew, nobody knew).

However, the EFL Cup is seen by many clubs outside the ‘top-six’ as an opportunity to get into the Europa League, which brings with it a lucrative pay day, and in modern landscape that’s most important. The ‘top-six’ (Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool, Man Utd) also see it as the beginning of a successful season, or a kickstart to a stagnant one.

the-europa-league

A Platform for Young Talent

It can also be used as a stage for developing players to showcase their abilities. Robbie Fowler announced himself in the League Cup against Fulham in 1993, scoring a goal in the first leg before humiliating them five times in the return fixture. Resting first team players in this competition gives younger, less experienced players a chance they wouldn’t normally have.

So, is there a need for the EFL Cup? Yes. It gives all teams a chance at silverware and less regular players a chance to perform that they wouldn’t ordinarily get. It’s not perfect, I mean they could maybe have one legged semi-finals in a neutral ground, and try and have one consistent sponsor (Carabao? Jesus. They sponsor Chelsea too), but this cup has its place in the English club calendar. For now.

Dean Fitzgerald
Can relate any life problems back to GAA. Has an interest in sport of all kinds, including even cricket for some reason.

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The EFL League Cup – Is There Any Point?
February 25, 2017 (No Comments) by Dean Fitzgerald

the-efl-league-cup-is-there-any-point

The EFL League Cup, formerly known as the Carling Cup or Capital One Cup to most people, reaches its exciting conclusion on February 26th (4.30pm, Sky Sports) when Southampton and Manchester United face-off in Wembley Stadium. In recent years, this trophy has been won by English club powerhouses such as Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, and ahem, Swansea City and Birmingham City… but this year plans to be a cracker.

Who’s In the 2017 Final?

Southampton

Southampton have been baffling in the last few seasons. Despite selling basically their entire squad to Liverpool, along with Luke Shaw, Morgan Schneiderlin, Victor Wanyama and Calum Chambers to various ‘top-six’ clubs, they have stayed in the top half of the league through smart buying in the transfer market, a fantastic youth set up, and great manager appointments by their board. They’re possibly the best-run club in England.

Having finished 6th last season in the league, Southampton may view this as the potential breakthrough they need. A trophy can be the perfect catalyst for future success, and unlike Swansea in 2013, selling top players – Swansea sold Bony, Michu, Vorm and Williams – most likely won’t have as big an effect on the club.

nathan-redmond-efl-cup-semi-final

Beating The Best

Southampton have beaten only Premier League teams to earn their place at Wembley. Crystal Palace, Sunderland, Arsenal, and Liverpool over two legs (1-0 wins in both games) all fell to the Saints as they went marching in (I apologise but it was literally right there!). Admittedly, their opponents weren’t always full strength, and Liverpool basically spent January saying “We’ve played too well this season, we should keep our fans on their toes by being sh*t for a while”, but nevertheless Southampton are deserving finalists.

If you’re looking for a player that can make be a match winner for this team, look at Virgil van Dijk, Nathan Redmond, or Ireland’s very own Shane Long, who’ll always be known for that historic goal against Germany. In case you’ve forgotten, here it is with the Titanic song to make it even more beautiful.

Manchester United

United, Or ‘Man U’ to people who probably eat pizza crust-first, have been motoring along nicely in recent months, having lost only once – to Hull in the EFL Cup semis second leg – since early November in all competitions. This United team is taking shape under Jose Mourinho, with his trademark hard to beat style mixing well with a more attacking approach in the last few months.

Led by the mercurial Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with a talented supporting cast including Juan Mata, Anthony ‘Tony’ Martial, and Paul Pogba when he finishes dabbing (Yeah Paul we get it, you’re a trend setter, great…) this United squad has looked more than capable of bringing home the endlessly renamed EFL Cup after the final whistle on February 26th.

marcus-rashford-efl-cup-semi-final

Making A Statement

Mourinho will also want his players hungry to win this competition to kick off what he hopes will be a long, trophy-laden United career. Let’s be honest, the Community Shield is great and all, but it’s not really considered a real trophy. United have beaten Northampton, current holders Manchester City, West Ham and Hull so far, and will try to make a statement in Wembley.

Prediction For The Final

The form book usually goes out the window for finals, so it’s quite difficult to predict. Can’t expect more than a one-goal game, but big game experience may be a telling factor. – Manchester United 2-1 Southampton

What’s The Point of The EFL Cup?

With fixture lists already jammed, some have asked what the point of the EFL Cup is. La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A have no such competition, and with complaints of fatigue every year by managers, there are arguments that the competition could be scrapped. I mean for the love of God, next year it’ll apparently be called the Carabao Cup. Carabao is a Thai energy drink for anyone that didn’t know (Don’t act like you knew, nobody knew).

However, the EFL Cup is seen by many clubs outside the ‘top-six’ as an opportunity to get into the Europa League, which brings with it a lucrative pay day, and in modern landscape that’s most important. The ‘top-six’ (Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool, Man Utd) also see it as the beginning of a successful season, or a kickstart to a stagnant one.

the-europa-league

A Platform for Young Talent

It can also be used as a stage for developing players to showcase their abilities. Robbie Fowler announced himself in the League Cup against Fulham in 1993, scoring a goal in the first leg before humiliating them five times in the return fixture. Resting first team players in this competition gives younger, less experienced players a chance they wouldn’t normally have.

So, is there a need for the EFL Cup? Yes. It gives all teams a chance at silverware and less regular players a chance to perform that they wouldn’t ordinarily get. It’s not perfect, I mean they could maybe have one legged semi-finals in a neutral ground, and try and have one consistent sponsor (Carabao? Jesus. They sponsor Chelsea too), but this cup has its place in the English club calendar. For now.

Dean Fitzgerald
Can relate any life problems back to GAA. Has an interest in sport of all kinds, including even cricket for some reason.

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