Newcastle United's Capital One Cup Loss Is a Blessing in Disguise
Another year is set to tick over with Newcastle United's trophy cabinet looking rather remiss of League Cups.
Honestly, I think this was a good thing—I don't believe enough depth was added in the off-season to seriously compete in three competitions.
I know I run the risk of being labelled a closet mackem by saying this, but the reality is that competing in the Capital One Cup would have done nothing but hurt progress in the Premier League and the Europa League.
As it is, Liverpool will be the ones tasked with a short turnaround as they host Swansea just two days before the league fixture between the two teams looking to finish in the top six.
Even without the small advantage in the league, it was unlikely that Newcastle would win the Capital One Cup anyway.
Arsenal have lost four of their best players in the last two years because they haven't made a serious run at silverware for years—their hunger for the trophy cannot be overstated.
Teams like Aston Villa, who have decent squads but are struggling a little in the league, are more likely to field full-strength teams for subsequent fixtures as the chance to win silverware becomes more important to their season.
Even a win at Stamford Bridge would not have made the cup win much more likely, as long as teams like those are still in the hunt.
While Newcastle certainly aren't a small club, the biggest clubs in the league can field second-string squads laced with three or four stars that are capable of beating even United's top lineup.
That's not to say they would necessarily be favourites for such a fixture, but a win would certainly not be off the cards. Meanwhile, fielding a full-strength squad in the Capital One Cup would mean Newcastle would have to compromise by fielding a weaker team in the following league fixture (in this specific case, against Liverpool).
They could field a reserve team themselves, but I would suggest the Europa League is a better developmental tool than England's second-tier trophy competition.
With the Capital One Cup out of the way, they are now free to fully focus on building from last season's fifth-place. Now they can work on strengthening their UEFA co-efficient to obtain a stronger standing in the future.
That said, it's good that Papiss Cisse scored in an English fixture.
Hopefully he can get his confidence back and become the dominator in the box we all know he can be.
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