Category: League Cup


In case any of you were too busy watching the relegation battles on Tuesday night, you may have missed the news that, after three straight years of play-off heartache, Cardiff City were promoted to the Premier League after a 50-year absence from the top flight.

Vincent Tan, Malaysia's ninth richest man, celebrated his club's promotion along with Cardiff fans at Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday (Image | football365.com)

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan celebrated his club’s promotion along with fans at Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday (Image | football365.com)

The achievement has been heralded as a landmark moment in the history of Welsh football. Ten percent of next year’s Premier League teams will be Welsh… but is there really much that Welsh footballers stand to gain?

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When Capital One took on the sponsorship of the League Cup, as it is traditionally known, it may perhaps have been dreaming of a showpiece final pitting Manchester United against rivals and Premier League champions Manchester City.

All aboard the Bantam bus | Bradford City fans celebrate their side's victory over Aston Villa. (Image | The Guardian)

Bantams of the opera | Bradford City fans make their voices heard following the two-legged victory over Aston Villa. (Image | The Guardian)

As a worst-case scenario, the banking firm would surely have expected two teams of a similar calibre to Everton and Liverpool to be contesting the final at Wembley Stadium in front of 90,000 supporters.

Not in a million years would Capital One have ever anticipated that its brand name and image would be projected around the world on the basis of 90 minutes of football played between Bradford City, of League Two, and top flight outfit Swansea City.

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Rodgered | The League Cup has, in recent years, seemed to provide far more upsets than the FA Cup, and last night was no exception. (Image | Wales Online)

The past two decades have almost put paid to the relevance and validity of the League Cup in the eyes of football supporters up and down the country. It is frequently deemed a “distraction” by managers who field drastically weakened sides in the hope of making an early exit.

With this level of disdain in mind, one would expect the football to be not at all worth watching. Yeah, right.

Tuesday’s encounter between Reading and Arsenal and yesterday’s Chelsea v Manchester United clash were both stellar examples of the often-lauded “pace and high tempo” of English football. Admittedly, the excitement in both largely stemmed from appalling defending.

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