Gibbs to play larger role for Gunners next season?
Triplec1988, Proud Member of THE GOONER FORUM
The League Cup is an age-old English club football competition started in 1961. For many this cup is a chance for glory, a bright sport in a perhaps otherwise disappointing season. But since the beginning of the Wenger era, the League Cup has been used by Arsenal to give it’s youngsters some game experiences and help acclimate new comers to English football. Arsenal has not won the League Cup since the 1992-1993 season. Two years ago we were close and this past season Arsenal met their demise at the hands of our fiercest rivals, Tottenham, in the cup semi-final. With the slate whipped clean again next season, Arsenal and Arsene Wenger will surely field another youthful squad to challenge for cup glory. I think that next season it is imperative that Arsenal progress all the way though and win in the cup final for three reasons: depth, pressure, and kick.
Anyone who witnessed the 2007/2008 campaign undoubtedly saw how lack of depth down the stretch helped unravel the Gunners season. Much of this was due to such a small and youthful squad. One more year of experience surely did the lads good and with Arsene set to strengthen the squad in the transfer window as well this will add much needed strength and depth to the roster. But Arsenal still has a number of youngsters pushing up through the ranks that could be of great service down the road as we drive toward the title. Players like Nacer Barazite, Mark Randall, and Kieran Gibbs all impressed this season in the reserves, so much so that all received a first team debut, with Randall even making his Premier League debut in the final game of the season at Sunderland, nearly grabbing his first league goal. These are all players that have made leaps and bounds this season and could be ready to challenge for minutes down the stretch in the first team next season, helping to give key players some well deserved rest as Arsenal try to regain the Premier League title. The experience, knowledge and fitness gained from games in the Carling Cup and not be underscored enough and will not just go to benefit the youngsters in the Arsenal youth system, but it will also allow new comers like Carlos Vela and Samir Nasri* to become more accustomed to the English game. And with the likes of Eduardo returning from a long injury (hopefully as soon as August), Carling Cup matches may prove pivotal in the Croatian striker’s ability to get back to full fitness and get back into the first team to give the Gunner’s some extra fire power in March and April of next year.
With a third trophy-less season just wrapped up, many fans and pundits have begun to question Arsenal ability to challenge for major titles as well as the managing credentials of Arsene Wenger. The pressure to bring silverware back to the club is being felt now more than ever. And while many contend that Arsenal need to bring the Premier League or Champions League trophy to the Emirates, I would argue that bringing the League Cup back is equally as important. For Arsenal to win the Carling Cup next season, it would send a signal to fans and pundits alike. It would tell everyone that this team can translate its untold talent into result and it can bring the silver back home. Winning the League Cup would, in a sense, take the pressure off of Arsenal to get something next season rather than come back home empty handed. And while the Premier League or Champions League would both be fantastic, those competitions go on much longer than the Carling Cup, adding even more pressure down the stretch for Arsenal to not come back home empty handed. The unique timing of the League Cup final could get us a trophy right before the crucial run in to the end of the season and thus alleviate some of the pressure put upon the squad to win some silverware. This could prove vital in Arsenal’s race to the finish next year, giving us the extra kick needed to go the distance in both the Champions League and the Premier League. Winning the League Cup next season could be our way of stopping in for some extra gas as we close out another long and challenging season.
Arsenal led the Premier League title race for the majority of the season this campaign. But at the crucial run in, March-May, the Gunners faltered and returned home once again empty handed. Winning the Carling Cup next season would see the Gunner’s finally end the three-year dry spell of trophies. In addition, it could give the first team the added depth and confidence needed in order to bring in even higher honors such as the Premier League or Champions League trophies.
Want to have your say about all things Arsenal related? Visit us at The Gooner Forum and join the debate.
*Samir Nasri has not officially signed on for Arsenal.
Adebayor, Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Carlos Vela, Champions League, Eduardo, Fabregas, Flamini, football, Hleb, podcast, Premier League, The Gooner Forum, Theo Walcott, Wenger, Carling Cup, League Cup, Nasri, Mark Randall, Barazite, Gibbs