Journalist compares League Cup to Manchester United - Why?

Manchester United 3

Giles Smith has suggested that the League Cup and Manchester United have both ‘stagnated and declined’.

The Red Devils suffered an embarrassing second round defeat from the competition, losing 4-0 at League One side MK Dons.

All of their Premier League rivals, however, made it through to the fourth round, with many aiming on claiming their first silverware of the season at the earliest possible chance.

Claims that the League Cup is of less importance than the other competitions entered in English football seem unfounded, with the trophy offering one of just three chances for a trophy every season - except for European entrants, who have four trophies to fight for.

However, the cup holds something of a weird reputation amongst the top two divisions, with both Premier League and Championship clubs often putting out weaker sides to instead focus their attentions on league action.

It has failed to move with the times, with the prime example of that being the disappearance of the vanishing spray used in Premier League action. Times journalist Giles Smith brought up the problem during his weekly column on the official Chelsea website, having watched his favourite team overcome Bolton Wanderers on Wednesday evening.

"[There is] just one small downer: no vanishing spray. The spray revolution that has taken the Premier League by storm, and has utterly changed the face of jurisdiction around free-kicks in the vicinity of the penalty area, appears to have passed the Capital One Cup by. The officials are running these games without any recourse to aerosol-based products.

"Why should that be? Is it because teams from the lower leagues aren’t seeing the spray at weekends and therefore there’s a worry that they would be startled by it if it suddenly came out on a Wednesday night?

"Seems unlikely. Surely everyone watched the World Cup over the summer, didn’t they? Everyone in the world knows about the spray.

"Or is it a funding matter? I’ve no idea how much it costs to equip referees with spray across a national competition lasting five months, but I can’t believe it’s that much, in the general scheme of things. And there must be cheaper, make-do or budget options. Such as shaving foam or party string.”

Whilst written in jest of the competition, Smith goes on to make a startling comparison between the aforementioned competition and Manchester United - calling them both ‘mere historical curio’.

"Whatever, we urge the Capital One Cup legislators to reconsider - not least with a view to remaining a leading-edge, contemporary competition. If you don’t move with the times, you stagnate and decline and before you know it, everyone is regarding you as a mere historical curio. Look what happened to Manchester United.”

United have suffered in recent seasons following the departure of long-time head coach Sir Alex Ferguson, with David Moyes, Ryan Giggs and Louis van Gaal slowly working their way into the previously untouchable job. Whilst Moyes was derided for inexperience, and Giggs was only in charge on a caretaker basis, the defining presence of van Gaal has yet to change the Red Devils fortunes, and the club are slowly becoming a presence only in the history of the Premier League.

Whilst Chelsea fan Smith is making the comment to rile those of a Manchester bias, he makes a valid point that moving with the times and remaining contemporary is required to stay at the forefront of people’s minds.

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