24 September 2013

Daily Links: The Return of the Crap-ital One Cup Edition

15 - Capital One Cup Final
Who'll be playing at Wembley this season?
(Photo courtesy Bradford Timeline)
Everyone's favorite domestic cup returns to the spotlight today, as the top Premier League clubs make their season debuts in the League Cup; which, due to commercial rights, I'm sure I'm obliged to call the Capital One Cup. Standout ties today (Tuesday) include two fixtures of claret-and-blue teams versus those in red (Burnley v Nottingham Forest; West Ham v Cardiff); a repeat of last season's FA Cup final, as Wigan visit the Etihad looking to repeat their shock victory over Manchester City; and a Midlands derby-of-sorts as Leicester face Stoke.

Quite what this competition offers is beyond me. Obviously, a trophy in the cabinet and a spot in the Europa League await the winner. Not exactly the most appealing prize for a top-4 club, though it gives teams around the level of Swansea (last season's winners) and lower-league clubs a chance at European football. Admittedly, as an Arsenal fan, any trophy would be good now, if only because we would no longer have to hear about how many years it's been since we won something.

The Club continue to look fiscally healthy as they announced their financial results for the last tax year. Turnover from football rose again, thanks to a profitable relationship with Emirates Airlines, and expect them to rise even further next year due to the 'lucrative' new deals Ivan Gazidis was so proud about earlier this summer. (Arsenal.com)

After investigating the figures, Arsenal Supporters' Trust estimate that the Gunners should have around £80m left in the transfer kitty, and have called for Arsene Wenger to continue spending in January. (The Telegraph)

Monsieur Wenger may use some of this money to sign Basel centre back Fabian Schar, 21, in the January transfer window. Sources are expecting competition for his signature from Juventus. (Metro)

Theo Walcott will be out for "a few weeks" with an abdominal injury that requires surgery. He will miss England's crucial World Cup qualifying ties against Montenegro and Poland. (BBC Sport)

After the least surprising managerial sacking, former Brighton boss Gus Poyet has emerged as the favorite to take over at Sunderland. (The Mirror)

Bayern Munich look to strengthen their choke-hold on German and European football, as a Polish newspaper reports they will sign Robert Lewandowski on a free when his contract ends next July. (ESPN FC)

Delusional Real Madrid president Florentino Perez claims that their world record signing of the guy from Planet of the Apes "came cheaply", and that Manchester United also made a bid. (Sky Sports)

Crossbar challenge champions... Qatari side Lekhwiya complete an incredible 3-second hat-trick. (The Guardian)

The reward for a heroic diving header attempt to break up an attack? Three broken teeth and a yellow card. (The Guardian)


  1. Honestly, I see more use for the League Cup now than the last couple of seasons. We've got a bunch of senior squad players coming back from injury and who need games to get back to fitness. This provides them an opportunity to get game time, plus it allows Wenger to play them without having to force a crucial part of the league campaign (Ramsey....er okay...Ozil) into the squad. IMO, it allows for a better balance of older players and the youth that we actually like to see in this competition. This particular fixture comes at the right time.

  2. Well, I can't argue with that point. Historically, however, it hasn't been a particularly exciting cup. I agree the timing of this particular fixture is almost perfect; Arteta to return, Vermaelen should get a run out, Bendtner might get some match practice, etc.