The Capital One cup has often been used as an excuse for managers to rest players and play youngsters and players who have not played a lot so far that season.
The big teams of the country usually don’t take the competition as seriously as they used to so smaller teams can take advantage and attempt to go all of the way and win the trophy itself.
It used to be a cup that all of the teams took seriously but in recent seasons it has become less fashionable.
Last season’s winners were Swansea who were in the Championship a couple of season ago. Before that Liverpool won the competition, their first trophy for six years, when they just beat Welsh club Cardiff on penalties.
In 2011, Birmingham City surprisingly beat Arsenal at Wembley to win the competition in a season that saw them relegated to the Championship. They are still in the second tier of England’s top divisions.
As said before, the bigger teams used to take the competition as another way of winning a trophy and not long ago, the country’s top dogs used to dominate the cup.
Back in 2005, the Capital One cup was new Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho’s first chance at a trophy and he took that chance, beating fellow European giants Liverpool in the final three goals to two in a final that the Champions league would be proud of hosting.
It was a trophy that started Mourinho’s dominance at Chelsea, being the first of six trophies he won at the Bridge in just three years in England.
The 2006 final featured another big club, this time four time winners, Manchester United. The red devils hammered Wigan Athletic four nil with Wayne Rooney playing a brilliant game scoring twice and earning the man of the match award.
In 2007, another big final contested with Chelsea playing against Arsenal. The scenes turned out ugly in a very entertaining final with Didier Drogba scoring both of the Blues’ goals.
John Terry was knocked out after an hour with Mikel, Adebayor and Kolo Toure being sent off towards the end.
Chelsea were in the final yet again in 2008 but lost for the first time that decade with Tottenham winning the game 2-1. It was another game that featured two big teams.
Yet again, two of the so called top six teams in the league competed in the final with Manchester United and Tottenham both taking to a penalty shoot-out to find out the winner. Utd won the game on the shootout but this game was further proof of what the competition used to be like.
2010 was Sir Alex Ferguson’s year again as his side beat Aston Villa in the final, the last league cup he won at Manchester United.
Things then changed. In 2011 Chelsea were knocked out by Newcastle, Liverpool at home to Northampton, Man Utd to West Ham and Arsenal to Birmingham in the final.
The scenario has been pretty much the same, with big teams resting big players in this cup, meaning defeats to smaller oppositions who play their bigger players.
Last week was the same and it seems that structure will continue.
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