Arsenal's Capital One Cup exit means for focus placed on Premier League

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When Arsenal were brushed aside 3-0 by Championship side Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night in the Capital One Cup, Gunners fans were embarrassed by their side, and perhaps rightly so.

However, what seemed like a disappointing night for the north Londoners could genuinely be a blessing in disguise.

When the Emirates side were criticised for not winning a trophy in ten years, judgement was made on their poor displays in the league, FA Cup and Europe, not for their performances in the League Cup.


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As a result, Arsene Wenger was right to rest his key players against the Owls and risk elimination. Big clubs should want to exit the competition early, as strange as that might sound.

The only 'embarrassment' to come from the loss was it created glorified headlines in newspapers the next day. The English media described it as an 'upset', when really, a second/third string Arsenal side was hardly expected to topple a decent Championship side.

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Those who want to challenge for major honours, like Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea, should disregard these competitions simply because of the threat of injuries.

Such a risk is perfectly epitomised by the fact Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott both suffered injuries against Wednesday, though the latter admittedly started as a substitute.

Incredibly bad luck for the Gunners, but nevertheless, imagine if Arsene Wenger started his best side. How would the north London outfit cope if Laurent Koscielny got injured, or Mesut Ozil, or perhaps, more crucially, Francis Coquelin?

Success in the more important competitions relies upon a team's bigger players to be available and fit. Therefore, without the League Cup to consider, Arsenal players have one less game to worry about in what is already a cramped and demanding fixture list throughout the season.

Arsenal do not need to prove their mettle in an inferior competition like the Capital One Cup. The success of their season will be determined by a high-placed finish in the Premier League, a decent run in Europe and a sustained challenge to once again defend their FA Cup title.

Not having to worry about the Capital One Cup means Wenger can focus solely on the competitions that truly matter - that's what Arsenal fans want, not a prolonged run in a competition that holds very little in the way of success.

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