x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Giants have a stranglehold on the Carling Cup, too

However, for all the anti-League Cup sentiment, England's biggest clubs still dominate.

Arsenal take on Birmingham City on Sunday in the Carling Cup final. The knockout tournament is England's second cup competition behind the FA Cup.

Since it was started in 1961, little-known club such as Rotherham United, Rochdale and Swindon Town have all had their names engraved on the trophy. The consensus in England is that the tournament has become pretty pointless.

Firstly, the biggest clubs get a bye in the early rounds and when Premier League teams do play, they often select a second-string side of reserve and youth players.

It also clogs up the fixture list, even though ties are now played over one leg, not two.

Some pundits have suggest scrapping it altogether (of all Europe's top leagues, only France also have a second cup competition), or doing away with the European qualifying spot for the winners.

However, for all the anti-League Cup sentiment, England's biggest clubs still dominate.

Just as the FA Cup has been won by Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool every season bar one since 1995/96, likewise the League Cup has been lifted by one of the "Big Four" or Tottenham Hotspur in eight of the last 10 seasons.

On that note, maybe neutrals should be rooting for Birmingham on Sunday. There just aren't enough upsets in football anymore.