Capital One Cup 2012: Arsenal Must End Trophy Drought Against Weakened Field

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08:  Jack Wilshere of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 8, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

I don't know if any of you know this, but Arsenal hasn't won a trophy in any major competition in the past seven years. Has that come up in conversation when discussing footy at the pub recently?

I'm sure it has. But in this year's Capital One Cup, the Gunners have a real shot to end the trophy drought. 

Take a look at the remaining teams in this tournament. Arsenal faces Bradford City on Tuesday, while Norwich City takes on Aston Villa. On Wednesday, Swansea City plays Middlesbrough, and next Wednesday Chelsea takes on Leeds United.

Notice how many teams listed make you nervous? Just one, right?

That team is obviously Chelsea, but the Blues haven't exactly been displaying sparkling form of late. Though the Blues have won their past two games by a combined score of 9-2, prior to that, Chelsea had gone six games without a win, losing three.

And when Arsenal and Chelsea played earlier this year, the Blues escaped with a 2-1 win in a tightly contested game. 

If these two teams meet, Arsenal is good enough to pull off the upset. 

As for the rest of the teams in the competition, the Gunners would be favorites against them all. That doesn't guarantee success, but the road to the silverware could be much more treacherous for Arsenal.

Arsenal is as healthy as its been all season, with Jack Wilshere really hitting his stride and Tomas Rosicky returning as well. Now, if only the team could wrap up contract talks with Theo Walcott and Bacary Sagna.

But more than any other reason, I simply have a hunch that this is the year Arsenal will end the trophy drought. Maybe it's the weakened field of the Capital One Cup. Maybe it's that nobody expects the Gunners to earn any silverware after losing Robin van Persie and Alex Song.

Or maybe it's that the team should be focusing on these competitions since winning the Premier League is already a pipe dream.

But sometimes, the team you least expect to do great things is precisely the team that shocks everyone. And while Arsenal has struggled of late, I can see the potential in this team.

Olivier Giroud has settled down and played good soccer. Lukas Podolski has shown flashes of brilliance. Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere are a fantastic combination in the midfield. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is going to be an absolute star.

Add a player or two with class in January, and things could be looking silver for the Gunners.

Don't be cynical. Believe.


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