This Tuesday will see the fourth round of the Capital One Cup, which for many of us we still call the Carling Cup after the beer company that brought us their cheap Carling Black Label lager.
For purists of course it will always be known as the League Cup which back in the day was taken very seriously as it was always a back way to get your team into Europe, and a nice bit of silver for the trophy cabinet.
As the years have gone by its importance to the bigger clubs in the Premiership has lessened, with some of them even looking at it as being a burden on then when winning the Premiership or just getting into the Champions league carries much more weight.
Even the FA Cup which was at one time considered almost as important as winning the league has become insignificant when compared to the money available in the Champions League which is estimated to be worth up to £50 million for clubs who take part while the Capital One Cup is only worth a paltry £100,000 to the winners, and the FA Cup is set to net the winners this year£1.8 million.
To put the importance of these competitions into perspective the FA Cup does have the excitement of a giant killer or two yet despite what Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish said in 2012 he still got the sack because Liverpool finished in 8th place in the league.
“What those boys achieved in 2012 was fantastic,” Dalglish told The Liverpool Echo. “To win the Carling Cup and to get to an FA Cup final was beyond any expectations. People will turn around and say we finished eighth in the league, but how many points would you swap for three Wembley trips?”
This next week league leaders Arsenal play Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup knowing that they must play second in the table Liverpool in a six-point match at the weekend, which means manager Arsene Wenger will field a team of youngsters giving the majority of his first team the night off.
Even Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho had threatened to play the clubs U-21 team against Arsenal in protest to the match coming so soon after their hard fought match against Manchester City yesterday.
Perhaps the time has come to let clubs decide if they want to take part in competitions like the Capital One Cup, or better still leave the competition for teams that are not in the Premiership, and stop the big boys from making a mockery of it by playing their reserves in a competition they really do not want to be in.