I have to admit I have been sceptical about the league cup in recent years.
Big teams have put out reserve teams and not really taken the competition seriously.
However, round four of the Capitol One Cup produced some absolutely incredible games this week.
Whether teams have taken the competition seriously this season or not is irrelevant at the moment, because the last few nights has produced what football fans want to see, that’s entertainment and goals.
Arsenal’s 7-5 extra-time victory at Reading was one of the most extraordinary games I have ever witnessed in my time as a football fan. The score line was startling enough, but the fact that Arsenal came back four goals down was even more incredible.
Those players wearing Arsenal shirts at the Madejski Stadium seemed to be taking the game seriously and showed real joy when the goals went in.
Chelsea claimed slight revenge for their weekend defeat against Manchester United with a 5-4 extra-time victory at Stamford Bridge. Both sides fielded slightly weaken sides, but both sides still contained quality players and that resulted in a superb game.
United’s young centre-backs Scott Whotton and Michael Keane had decent games, but also at times showed some inexperience. Their latest taste of first team action will only help them in the future.
Chelsea won the game in extra-time, after the quality of the likes of Eden Hazard and Oscar shone through. Young United substitutes Ryan Tunnicliffe and Nick Powell were completely outclassed by their Chelsea counterparts in the centre of the park.
Holders Liverpool were dumped out of the competition by boss Brendan Rodgers former-club Swansea City 3-1 at Anfield. Despite fielding a relatively under-strength team Brendan Rodgers has received major criticism for his teams display.
The defeat has raised further doubts about whether Rodgers is out of his depth at Anfield. However, I’m sure this competition wasn’t his priority and this game would have been useful for some of his young players to gain further first team experience.
Unfortunately as the holders Liverpool fans will still feel disappointed to have exited the competition at the fourth round stage. The Reds fielded a strong team in the competition last season and got their reward by winning a trophy.
It’s a shame for Brendan Rodgers that his team have made such an indifferent start to the season. I like the style of play that Brendan Rodgers encourages his teams to play, but his team doesn’t currently look capable of playing in his style.
This season’s league cup has definitely proved far more entertaining than last seasons. Most seasons the big teams don’t really look like they want to win the league cup, as it is seen as the poor relation to the FA Cup.
However, the team that Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo named for the Blues’ clash with Manchester United showed that he really wanted his team to progress in the competition. The Capitol One Cup has become a vital competition for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.
The Gunners have now gone seven years without a trophy and even a Capitol One Cup victory would boost the morale at the Emirates Stadium.
I can’t remember a more enjoyable two nights of football in a long time. The league cup is often criticised for being low on the priority list of most Premier League clubs. For supporters though it’s still a chance to win silverware and I don’t think many supporters would turn their nose up at that.
Who will win the Capitol One Cup this season?