The Game's Gone Crazier

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Thursday, 10 January 2013

After the exploits of Swansea, Bradford City and Leeds, should the League Cup be officially downgraded?

To be honest, the League Cup has become a farce hasn't it? Repeatedly changing the name hasn't helped. One year it's the Carling Piss Pot Cup, the next the Capital One Fan Cup, soon it will find it's appropriate sponsor - The Sanilav Cup perhaps, or The Primark Cup or the Cadbury's Chocolate Egg Cup.

One thing's for sure, as long as the Premiership clubs use it as a competition for blooding youngsters and getting reserves match fit, winning the damn thing should not merit qualification for Europe. The semifinal line up this season was absurd, and that was before Swansea and Bradford City took two goal first leg leads over their Premiership rivals. Just imagine a Swansea v Bradford City final - I don't mean to be rude here, but what a joke!

And because of the example set by this second rate competition, the FA Cup has been downgraded too. It has become ONLY a cup. And, if I'm honest, I have largely lost interest in the greatest cup competition in the world myself.

I can only see two ways forward. Either downgrade the League Cup and remove European qualification from the prize. Or punish the selection of understrength teams by removing league points from clubs that treat official competitions with contempt. How could this be enforced? Simple. The side playing in the Cup game MUST include at least eight players from the side that started the league game that preceded it. Or if a club complains about injuries from the previous game, then eight players starting the cup game MUST start the very next league game.

Meanwhile, the romantic in me would love a Bradford City v Swansea final even though it would confirm the competition as a joke. And, of course, the sight of Leeds fans with so much curried egg on their faces as their little neighbours down the road play at Wembley, would be a joy to behold.

How many years now is it since Leeds reached a proper Cup Final?  Bradford City fans would suddenly be claiming the title of Biggest Club in Yorkshire!

36 comments:

  1. Remind me how did Wet Spam get promoted to the PL,OH yes thats it play off final now was you excited.
    So the last time Leeds were in a final was 2008 not that long ago really.
    Regarding Bradford gook luck to them why don't you ask about 40,000 fans that will go to the final if they get there if it is a tin pot cup.
    Give me 1 reason why Leeds fans would have curried egg on there faces,let me tell you there is no rivalry with Bradford whatsoever.
    So before spouting your cockney mouth off get your facts right.
    Love from a very happy LEEDS fan.

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  2. A Swansea vs Bradford Final would be great for football. Why should all the big clubs get the silverware.

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  3. West Ham got to the Premier League by finishing third in the Championship my friend, with ten points MORE than the club in fourth place and a massive 25 points more than Leeds. Three clubs go up, so top three clubs went up. THAT is promotion based on merit!

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    1. Well said 6.57. That IS a bite you got from plastic hammer.

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  4. 1996. Play off finals are NOT cup competitions 0657.

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  5. This article smacks of jealousy. Didn't Arsenal play their full strength first team when losing to Bradford City? What about Villa's team the other night? And Wigan? Don't belittle their cup run with untrue facts.
    This is the magic of the cup, the magic that has all but disappeared so as a neutral let's all celebrate Bradford for bringing cup football back to life and cheer them on in the second leg.
    Plonker.

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  6. I will be cheering them on 0718.

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    1. I'm sure they'll be elated with that news, plastic hammer.

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  7. Just as well chelsea fielded a weakened side full of youth development, otherwise swansea wouldn't have beaten them...... Hold on thats wrong is it not? I thought they did put out a full team.

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  8. Rubbish article, both Swansea and Chelsea put out full strength sides.

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  9. Get your facts right. Who was desperate to win this cup ? Arsenal with a full team, Villa with a full team and I didn't see too many youngsters being blooded or reserves playing for Chelsea !!
    Swansea had a full team because they want to win and keep the fairy story moving forward ..... great for football. What's your problem ?

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  10. I don;t get it,N.F.,whats your point?

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  11. The romance of the FA Cup/League Cup is that it gives the opportunity for lower league clubs to compete with the big money clubs, underdogs lifting the cup is not a recent occurance....As a closet Leeds fan you will surely remember a little 2nd division team from the north east in 1973 turning over the previous years FA Cup Champions?
    As stated above many big sides have played with full strength sides and been knocked out by lower league clubs and even when resting players, still played with players earning more in a week than the total cost of the oppositions squad.
    Most Leeds fans I know were cheering Bradford on in their recent cup runs HF so I think you will find any rivallry between the two clubs is one sided.

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  12. Last time west ham played in a cup final? Not playoffs please..

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  13. As a leeds fan i will be supporting Bradford all the way because even though they are neighbours they are also from a county that over the last few years has not had much to cheer for. Bradford are going to do Yorkshire proud no matter what happens and I'll cheer for them all the way. No true Leeds fan sees Bradford as a rival anymore, more like a little brother that you want to do well.

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  14. You don't rate the cups then....the league is the most important then....when did the bubble blowers last win the league? Oh and we don't mind Bradford. Did us a favour a couple of years ago against liverpool and we subsequently qualified for the champions league..you know the comp that the spammers would struggle to play in on a playstation....MOT....I have set up a weblog on your club but no interest so don't blame you for doing the Leeds thing. A lot more entertaining

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  15. What an awful article!

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  16. It's the big clubs of the Premier League (with the notable exception of Arsenal) who've ruined the game. Or maybe perhaps you think the billions of pounds paid to a bunch of cheating prima donnas has been good for the game?

    It's the teams like Bradford who's players you're more likely to see in the local supermarket rather than Hello magazine who are the true stars of the game

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  17. Chelsea & Villa played full strength teams in the semi kid. Do a little background research. By the way, given the amount you spent in the championship you massively underachieved.

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  18. Shouldn't you be exchanging "Get well soon" cards with david gold?

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  19. I've never read as much tosh in my life.

    If Bradford and Swansea make the final then that will be fantastic.

    It will be about pure football, not overpaid pre-madonnas that Arsenal/Villa took to Bradford.

    Belittling the cup is just jealousy.

    In my eyes, a cup final would be more boring with West ham in it, than Bradford.

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  20. Arse about tit.
    The rewards (a European Cup spot) are there for all to see.
    If managers choose not to play their first team squad then they've only got themselves to blame if they don't win.
    Perhaps the cups are more of a reflection of management and team charisma as opposed to the skewed financed driven results we see week in week out in the league.

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  21. I thought you would be happy for Bradford, they put out the side that smashed you out of sight at Upton Park 4-1.

    If you just want to see Man U, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea win everything year after year then the world would be a boring place.

    If Swansea and Bradford reach the final they have done so on merit, by beating Arsenal, Chelsea, Villa, Liverpool, etc who all put their first teams out against them.

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  22. allways get one knob

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  23. Can you tell me what player in the Chelsea line up versus Swansea was not a senior player? In my opinion, they could not have started with a stronger team, the same goes for Swansea. Ben Davies, the left back, was the only youngster at only 19, but as the first choice senior left back, Neil Taylor, is out for the season with a broken ankle, Ben has played most league games since and done a fantastic job.

    How does this warrant your comment "blooding youngsters and getting reserves match fit"...yes Swansea made, I believe, 5 changes from their previous league match but with the stupid hectic match schedule, some players were rested in the league game so they could play in the cup game, therefore, in the case of Swansea at least, they fielded a stonger team in the cup than they did in their previous league game.

    You make it sound as though Swansea are not a decent team and shouldn't be able to compete with Chelsea but how often have they been outclassed by their "higher reputation" opponents...I'll tell you, never (or once in a blue moon...maybe). Swansea are sitting in the top half of arguably the best league in the world and on merit, not luck!!

    Bradford and Leeds, you should take nothing away from them...they can only play the team in front of them and the managers surely must be fielding a team they think can win them the game, even if it is not their strongest team. What's the point in having a squad if you had rules stating you have to field your strongest team all the time? Who is to say what the strongest team is, it is a matter of opinion.

    I would love to see Swansea Vs Bradford in the final as, I'm sure, most would...it is unexpected and what the cups are all about, to give the "smaller" teams a chance in those one off games, to put a good performance in that gets you a huge reward. Both teams have a lot of work to do though as both Chelsea and Leeds will be no push overs, although I would say Chelsea have the harder task looking at Swansea's home record against the bigger teams, but that could be me being biased as a Swansea fan.

    I don't think there is anything wrong in keeping this cup competition as a qualification route through to Europe although I do agree that the constant change of name due to sponsorship is annoying. It should just be the League Cup sponsored by X if there has to be a sponsor name in the title, but I don't think changing the name makes any difference in terms of the importance of the cup...it still gets the winner through to Europe.

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  24. When you look at the joy and pleasure and press coverage coming from these shock results against full strength premiership sides I think this has enhanced the cup competitions. Football doesn't end below the Premiership. I thought a season in the championship might have made your fans a bit more humble but no. Hey ho.

    I bet Premiership sides will not play understrength sides as much next season, as losing this year, nearly cost a few managers their jobs. Therefore a few shock results will enhance the competition as it will say to managers. Play understrength sides and you will get knocked out and you may lose your job as us little ones are taking this seriously. Plus if you listened to the phone ins after the games, the fans hardly took it lightly.

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  25. Oopps...Why am I talking about Leeds when I clearly meant Aston Villa. Must be because I was just chatting with a Leeds fan and they were in my head. Sorry.

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  26. Ohhh Hammersfan... At it again are we? Your delusional rants of belittling others to try to compensate for your pitiful clubs small amount of time in the Premiership. When will it occour to you that West Ham are just...well...boring!

    Yes ladies and gentlemen, you heard it here first, West Ham United, the 'London club', the famous club of Bobby Moore and co, who single handedly won the world cup, without the help of any northern clubs players or anyon else what so ever. It was all Leeds and Revies Fault that we all went down hill etc etc.... WHAT A BUNCH OF DROSS.

    Hammersfan, you've made it clear in your previous articles ( perhaps over-articulately) that you blame and hate Leeds for the England football teams demise and lost opportunities. But once again, like every Leeds fan will tell you... You have a boring club; you are from a city where the majority support bigger and better teams and laugh at you, you're supposedly buying a ground that will be used as the national council sports centre and whats more, like most Leeds fans i'll admit, you're stuck in the past, with not a lot of future ahead of you. I pity you. Leeds will, at somepoint, get promoted. This is inevitable, you know this. However, how long will it be until West Ham get relegated again? Next season, season after? Lifes hard in the run down east end; must be a few bob for an evening standard and your apples and pears and your chelsea buns, that you need to rely on parachute payments for a squad you cant afford; and rely on a free stadium to 'inherit' and in doing so selling your heart and memories, thus creating another highbury, long and forgotten, un cared for and discarded.

    DO your clubs fan base a favour, and stop representing yourself as the voice of West Ha.; you're not. Yet i think a lot of fans are getting the wrong idea of fans because of the articles you write.

    Have a nice day. I will wait for your deluded response of "we're in the premiership now" and the whole "look at us we're magnificent" and "we won the world cup you know!". The Former, yes you are; but will always be a boring club, (Same class as Wigan) and the latter two, the truth is completely the contrary.

    Good day to you, sir.

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  27. Didn't Arsenal field a near-full strength team against Bradford? Szczeny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaalen, Gibbs, Podolski, Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshire??? I believe every player bar one in the Arsenal side that night had represented their country? I believe the combined total cost of the team was over £60m?

    This article is a load of tosh

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  28. As for it being a mickey mouse cup, Arsenal and Villa took a full allocation to Bradford, Chelsea took a full allocation to Leeds and last night they had near enough a full house.

    If it's a nothing cup you'd think the fans wouldn't bother to show.

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  29. I love how you even put down the FA Cup in that article, you wouldn't have done that if it weren't for RVP would you?

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  30. As a little Bradford City fan, it makes me laugh when fans from Big premiership clubs (and West Ham)get peeved when their clubs are not there. Bradford and Villa played a classic cup tie the other night. Could have been 5 all. If he get hammered (no pun)at Villa Park, we do. Nobody expected a 4th division team to get that far. We are very happy with our team, even shocked with support from leeds!

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    1. I'm a Leeds United fan and hope you win the cup. I would say the vast majority of Leeds United followers would say the same thing. The thing is unlike the bitter, deluded and unfortunate individual who created this blog, I can safely safe we all appreciate the romance of a good cup competition.

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  31. Jealous much? Arsenal and Villa fielded full strength sides so get your facts right and grow up a bit.

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  32. this is why i cant respect you as a blogger or a man hf,you ignore all the points and facts presented to you.your argument gets picked apart so you go and write another one because you cant think of anything smart to comeback with.grow a spine....

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  33. What a crock of shite this blog is. Bitter little ponce.

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