Arsene Wenger won't admit it, nor will many other Premier League managers, but a lot of teams go into the Capital One Cup with the aim of losing.
Winning the Capital One Cup doesn't prove anything as a big club. Any top team could win it, if they really wanted too, if the players actually cared.
Instead, they care about major honours like the Premier League and the Champions League. That's how players and managers go down in history. Not winning what used to be called the 'Milk Cup'.
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This is why Arsenal, in fact Arsenal's B team, were thumped 3-0 by Sheffield Wednesday. This means they are out of the competition and they don't have to worry about losing key players to injury - despite losing Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in this game.
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Now to the amazement of Arsenal fans, Wenger has actually done a similar thing in the Champions League. That's completely embarrassing at the start of the campaign.
What's the point finishing in the top four to earn a European place if you're just going to take the money and run?
Arsenal should play fringe players
However, now they have thrown it away, they might as well carry on treating it like the League Cup.
The Gunners need to win their remaining two games against Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiakos. Including winning by a two-goal margin in Greece. Not to forget that Olympiakos have to lose to Bayern Munich too.
It's not impossible to qualify, but is it worth the risk to try and get there? If Arsenal go and beat Zagreb and then fail to beat Olympiakos by two goals, they enter the Europa League.
Arsenal want a clean break going into the title running. How many times have we seen Arsenal get to the last 16 of the Champions League, get smashed, and then crumble in the next few games?
Yes, the morale might be low due to not making it out of the group stages initially, but the fixtures after these remaining European matches are much more favourable than the ones in February and March.
The Gunners would much rather go into games with low morale against Norwich and Aston Villa, as opposed to going to Old Trafford and Goodison Park.
Neither would they like a long trip in the Europa League before they go into a crucial run of fixtures.
If Arsenal have a week break in-between matches, allowing their key players like Ozil and Alexis Sanchez time to recharge their batteries, they could become unstoppable.
Everyone knows how strong their starting 11 is when they're all fit, it’s when Wenger has to delve into his backup players the Gunners start to fall away.
Not only that, but with Arsenal's biggest title rivals Manchester City already qualified, this leaves Pellegrini's main assets vulnerable to injuries.
Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Sergio Aguero are constantly picking up injuries, extra games in Europe will only take its toll on their ageing squad.
This leaves Arsenal with a clean path to the title, with only the FA Cup in their way. Something again that they don't need to prove they can win.
You have already began treating the Champions League like it's the Capital One Cup, you might as well keep it that way, Wenger.
Arsenal fans: Should Arsene Wenger throw in the towel in the Champions League and just focus on the Premier League? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!
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