Neil Warnock Summarises The Decline Of The League Cup


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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9 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    All I know is that seeing Birmingham win their first major trophy in for ever was worth getting relegated for. This is from the man who as a kid got kicked out of Highbury for running down the sideline waving a ‘Birmingam City Leyland Daf Cup Winners’ scarf happily during the North London derby…

  2. 2ndYellow says:

    I’d like to see Warnock sanctioned for his comments, which are as close to an admission that QPR threw the match as you could get.

    We often moan about the bigger clubs but they tend to at least try and win – what would Arsene Wenger give to win the Carling Cup this season?!

    If Neil Warnock and the like can’t be bothered with cup matches, then why not excuse their clubs from both knockout competitions?

  3. Tim Vickerman says:

    I actually largely respect Neil Warnock for his achievements but think he was largely using it as a cover for his side’s result. His post-match comments are an insult to the QPR fans that paid to see the match, the players he put out (including Taarabt and Bothroyd) and the Rochdale players, staff and supporters – not that the latter group will mind too much.

    Yes, the League Cup has declined since its heyday in the 70s and 80s but football has changed. I think people forget that most knockout tournaments are largely underwhelming in the early stages. The ‘greatest tournament in the world’ – the Champions League is largely a tedious procession until the knock-out stages begin in the New Year. The latter stages of the League Cup have provided some great drama and matches over the last few years – the Manchester derby 2 years ago, Spurs squeaking through against Burnley, Birmingham’s comeback against West Ham to name a few.
    The League Cup is far from a perfect tournament – constant name changes, saturation coverage of Premier League and European Football, high ticket prices but I’m sure it brings in plenty of revenue.

    I think the perception of continued decline is bogus. When the top Premier League sides, followed by the mid-table mediocrities started using weakened sides, its prestige did take a knock. But I feel the tournament has found its place. It arguably kick-started Mourinho’s success with Chelsea, helped revive a flagging mid 00s Manchester United. Kenny Dalglish certainly seems to see the value in it to relaunching Liverpool as genuine contenders.

    We get the same every season with this, the FA Cup and the Europa League (which I fully agree should be trimmed and revised) but I feel increasingly clubs are losing touch with supporters who would rather see an attempt at glory than another season of battling gamely and sacrificing everything else to secure their place for another season at the Premier League’s golden tit.

  4. Could it be an option to run the League Cup as the name suggests: for clubs in the Football League only?

    Clearly, excluding the PL teams would reduce the revenue generated and the chance for smaller clubs to draw the big boys, as my club Exeter did on Wednesday.

    But would it not make for a more exciting competition, one that Champ sides really go for as they have a chance of winning and L1 and L2 sides have a chance of a good run?

    It would signal the death knell for the FL Trophy but this could free up more dates to have more two-legged ties, which would also add more interest.

  5. Chris Winter says:

    Solution – Seeing as the Premier League is not part of the Fotball League why not just take away the Premier League Teams and let everyone else get a shot at the win. The prize, a Wembley day out and a European place for a lower league team. Now there’s some Cup magic.

  6. Allan says:

    One other solution, stick to the same format. The heyday of the Scottish equivilent occured when the games were played with quick succession and played to a finish on the night. As a result the competition was done & dusted by the time the clocks went back. Whoever won got a big confidence boost going into the Winter. Unfortunately it’s not possiable now because of the creep of European competition.

  7. Michael says:

    Another solution would be to look at Brazil. As most team has already played in 2 leagues in the year, it is only logical to disallow the teams playing in Libertadores to participate in their National cup.

    Perhaps England can do the same.

  8. Steve Thomas says:

    It would be a great idea to drop the PL clubs, as long as the Europa League spot is still in place for the winners. I have a feeling a Championship club would take the Europa League more seriously anyway!

    Imagine, as a fan of a not-particularly rich FL club, knowing that perhaps you can aim for both a play-off spot and a spot in Europe… Sounds good to me.

  9. I’ve long been an advocate of making the League Cup for ONLY the FL teams and letting the PL teams do whatever else they want — like having their own cup competition with ties in far-flung places around the world, in lieu of that stupid 39th game. I doubt, however, that UEFA would look too kindly upon giving a Europa League spot to the winner of a competition that does NOT involve the top flight. Neither would the FA, who will worry about long-term coefficients and such.

    But dropping the League Trophy and leaving the League Cup to the non-PL league clubs seems far from unreasonable. Only sponsorship money and TV contracts are preventing this now, I imagine.

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