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Does the magic of the cup still exist in modern football?

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The Carabao Cup is something all 92 Football League teams enter until ultimately one winner is crowned, but has the competition lost its magic and appeal, as bigger clubs will not take the competition as seriously as others but do the small teams actually stand a chance.

Last year a Manchester City side which dominated the Premier League and competed well in Europe also added a fifth League Cup to their trophy cabinet but does this show exactly why the competition has lost its magic, as the prize of qualification for the Europa League is not needed by larger clubs so is just passes down to the highest placed Premier League team who has already not qualified.

But it is teams such as Watford, Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers that should be aiming to win this competition as Premier League safety is a comfortable reality but European qualification may be just out of reach, yet a competition as this presents the chance to play in Europe.

But these teams still face challenges in the competition, as this week saw Mauricio Pochettion's Tottenham knock-out Watford in the third round of the competition despite comments from Pochettion last year saying that "For a big team to win trophies, it means the Premier League or Champions League."

But Spurs still fielded an almost complete first team despite the manager's comments last year, this shows that the big sides will still compete to their best ability in the competition.

However, in 2012-2013 Bradford City did show that anyone can compete in the competition as the League Two side reached the final defeating Watford, Aston Villa and Arsenal on their way to the final, before ultimately losing 5-0 to Premier League Swansea.

But that historic cup run is and will be the highlight of the clubs recent history, some fans will never see a story better than that at Valley Parade in their time supporting the club, or it may have inspired young football fans to support their local team.

But more recently teams, from across all four divisions are having to field weaker sides in the competition due to the heavy focus on either other competitions or the league, which is a factor of the magic missing from the competition as small teams will be hoping for a draw against a large team either for the day out or the huge financial boost of a home draw. 

However, when they get the draw and the large Premier League team to decide to field a weakened side it takes away from the special occasion.

Image Credit - Flickr Commons.




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