Arsenal’s search for a trophy that has being going on for five years now has been flashed in front of their face, after Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City were all knocked out of the Carling Cup last night.
Arsene Wenger’s side have been the butt of several jokes amongst the top four sides in England, including Tottenham Hotspur, who have won a trophy since Arsenal last did. That trophy too was the Carling Cup, back in 2008.
While the Carling Cup and its previous names have never been taken seriously by the top sides, despite their records in it (Manchester United and Chelsea have won 5 of the last 6), a trophy is a trophy none-the-less. With Manchester United being the only other top side left in the competition (Aston Villa are third favourites, Newcastle fourth), Arsene Wenger needs to look at the Carling Cup as an opportunity to put some silverware into the trophy cabinet down at the Emirates.
Playing the youngsters as he continually does in this competition may only go so far, as Newcastle proved to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. A mix of experience and youth prevailed at White Hart Lane on Tuesday when Arsenal overcame their biggest rivals after extra time in their third round match. Samir Nasri and Andrey Arshavin scored the extra time goals, while youngster Henri Lansbury had given Arsenal the lead in normal time.
Provided they avoid a trip to Old Trafford in the next round, Arsene Wenger must take their opponents in round four seriously and take full advantage of the big guns being eliminated early in the Carling Cup.
Arsenal are 3/1 second favourites to win this season’s Carling Cup.