The League Cup is now well under way with the majority of Premier League teams joining in the most recent second round. But are the top divisions' teams taking this cup competition seriously enough?
Premier League teams tend to rest a large amount of their first team players and opt to play a reserve and youth team XI with one or two experienced players thrown in.
This shows a certain disregard for not only the opposition but for the Cup itself. Many mid to lower table Premier League teams often give the reason that they are more interested in securing their Premier League status than staying in the League Cup; so they take this as an opportunity to rest crucial players so they are fit and ready to give better performances in the league.
The result of this is usually an early exit for many Premier League teams, while those which find themselves progressing will eventually take the competition seriously come the quarter-finals.
However, mid to lower table Premier League teams do tend to have a thinner squad and can't risk many injuries before they have to call upon reserves that are not up to standards.
Plus staying in the Premier League offers more of a reward than going on a bit of a League Cup run, TV rights alone would keep enough money rolling in to pay the wages. So it is understandable when Crystal Palace make 11 changes to their starting XI when they play in the League Cup.
Fans however do not see this as an excuse; they want a cup run and see Wembley as the finish line.
For a team who's highest target is to just stay in the top flight a cup run is a great way to boost morale and get the fans cheering, so their disappointment comes all too soon when they see players playing who they have never heard of and are eliminated in the third round all too soon.
Has the Premier League become so far apart from the Championship and the other leagues that Cups no longer matter to these teams only securing their status as a Premier League club? The top teams are no better; they are fighting for European qualification and have no time for "lesser opposition" in the League Cup so put out a bunch of kids.
How come a Premier League team still manages to get their hands on the Cup? Well, their reserves are still just as good as any Championship side because they have the money to buy quality players and only use them in competitions such as the League Cup. This means that the big clubs will always find themselves in and around the final even if they are not too bothered about it to begin with.
However, every now and then a lower league team fights their way through not caring that their entire team cost less than one weeks wages to their opponents or that the striker used to be a post man and the left-back was a bin man, yes this "little" team no one would have given a chance in August sometimes can do something just that bit special and make it to Wembley.
This is why cups such as the League Cup are still around because it gives fans of league teams the chance to see their team maybe go on that cup run they have been hoping for and be the team that caused that huge upset by taking down one of the giants of the Premier League.
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