“Tottenham take the lead in the first seconds of extra time through Jonathan Woodgate!” I don’t think any Tottenham fan needs reminding of this glorious moment in 2008 when we went on to win the Carling Cup, now known as the Capital One Cup.
Despite it’s numerous number of sponsors, the competition has always been held in high regard and valued as much as any other piece of silverware. Until recently. In the past seven to eight years, teams have begun to lose value for the League Cup and often field weaker sides in order to focus of their League and FA Cup campaigns. However, for some teams this has backfired and we need not look further than the club who share North London with us.
Hilarious to some, painful for others it is a widely known fact that Arsenal have not managed to get their hands on a piece of silverware since winning the FA Cup in 2005. They have progressed well in competitions, reaching the last 16 of the Champions League every year and the League Cup Final in 2011 but have never crossed the final hurdle. Why? Since 2007, Arsene Wenger has been fielding weaker and weaker sides in the competition, regarding it as a ‘minor’ trophy. This attitude has rubbed off on the fans of Arsenal, who endlessly mocked – largely out of jealousy – our lack of ambition and over celebration of an unimportant competition. Little did they know that eight years on, they would become the laughing stock amongst many after failing to lift any sort of silverware (including a trophy they themselves invented). Their lack of respect towards to competition has left Wenger to rue his mistakes and leaves Arsenal in search of a trophy.
This competition is not to be taken lightly and all managers should field semi-strong, if not their strongest sides in an attempt to progress as far as possible. We were unfortunate to exit the competition at Carrow Road last season but I am sure that André and the rest of the team will be doing their utmost best to bring silverware back to Tottenham High Road this season. Come On You Spurs!
That day at Wembley in 2008: