FTK Blog: How much do you want the Carling Cup?

No TGIF during the International break, so it gives me a chance to go back to traditional blogging. The subject for discussion this week is the vexed question of silverware at Arsenal football Club. The persistent refrain of Arsenal MUST win something this season if the youth experiment is to be hailed as a success is rather doing my head in. Let me remind you that Arsene has virtually promised us all that silver will arrive at the Emirates. A promise that I hope he does not regret making. The obsession with silverware at the club is too distracting in my view. look at the current playing style and flowing football. The level of pleasure I am getting at the moment from seeing this high quality of football is better than any trophy we may or may not have won. How much greater will the sense of achievement be if we win a trophy playing quality football and having shown a refusal to buy our way to any kind of silverware. Chelsea, Tottenham and soon Manchester City have taken the false path of justifying the expenditure of hundreds of millions of pounds by producing this silverware. Lets not fool ourselves, because of the tendency of Arsenal and Man U to play weakened sides, the competition has been opened up to those clubs who think that they could then beat our kids with their regular premiership/championship sides.
Recall the pleasure of winning the premiership title after a hard fought campaign, this is a different sensation. It is a sense of unrivalled pride. Leading the pack, having beaten the likes of ManU, Chelsea and Liverpool over 38 games. This the the purest bragging accolade, of being the Top Dog in the pack! You are respected by all teams including those in Europe. But putting the Champions League trophy aside for this discussion, the other pieces of silverware available have less to due about achievement and more to do with luck in my opinion. Take the FA Cup for instance, my preferred option for silverware other than the premiership or the Champions league, mainly because it is an occasion steeped in tradition and history. From giant killing feats to eyeball to eyeball confrontations. This Cup is fiercely fought for and still carries a degree of pride for the winners. Which is more than can be said for the Carling Cup. What respect will we get if we win this trophy? A day out at Wembley is one thing, but seriously have we taken leave of our senses in wanting to call winning this trophy a triumph after so many barren years? Sorry guys, but I would rather eat my own vomit. Apart form this very distasteful remark, which I apologise to our readers with rather more delicate constitutions let me go on to explain further.
Remember when we used to call it the Worthless Cup? That is because there were no bragging rights attached to winning this trophy. Manchester City will put out the strongest side possible on December 2 because Mark Hughes needs to win something after the many millions spent. It will only enable a photo opportunity for the poor deluded fools. I have spoken to many Arsenal fans who want to win the Carling Cup at any costs because it is a trophy end of. I do not share their desire. I want our youngsters to play this competition and prove above all, it is the way that you play that counts, not just putting your strongest team of often spoilt less motivated older professionals. Sometimes the best Wengerball is played by the likes of Carlos Vela, Jack Wilshere Aaron Ramsey and Fran Merida. I argue that Arsene Wenger is right. If we change our policy, it will reinforce in player’s minds the weak Arsenal fan’s desperation to win any kind of silverware. It will not earn respect from our rivals. It will also signal a sense of lack of belief in our quest to win credible silverware at an early stage in the season. My view is that the Carling Cup is not silverware that is respected by all the pundits and commentators. Winning it would serve one purpose and one purpose only, and that is the delightful opportunity to ram the those words back down Alan Hansen’s throat, that “You don’t win anything with kids”

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