I know we’ve been starved for silverware for years. I know that to create a “winning mentality” you need to win. I’m not daft.

Arsene Wenger is able to temper our expectations by selling us the future. A big part of this is showcasing the next big thing coming through the Arsenal ranks in the Carling Cup. Last year and the year previous we’ve seen such talents as Merida, Wilshire, Ramsey, Gibbs, Traore, Jay Emmanuel Thomas, Jay Simpson, Nacer Barazite, Mark Randall and Henri Lansbury to name but a few.

Allowing the youth to cut their teeth in the Carling Cup is a treble-pebble bonus for Arsene. It rests his top first-teamers and it gives much needed experience to players on the fringe of the first team and match fitness to those in the match-day benchwarmers club.

We’ve celebrated in the successes of our youth in this competition. We’ve revelled in their results against premier league opposition. We loved it. “Our kids are better than your first team” is a great chant.

So are we really that desperate to win the Carling Cup that we forget the youth this year? My opinion: Arsene Wenger will sacrifice the Carling Cup to try and succeed elsewhere. Of course he’ll try to win the Carling Cup but he’ll do it with youth and back it up with first teamers resting on the bench. If it doesn’t happen then his targets will naturally revert to what he really wants, the Champions League and the Premier League.

Arsene Wenger isn’t daft, he knows a Carling Cup win doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme. His targets are above and I’m with him. I’d rather us have a real shot at the Prem than get half our first teamers injured in a nothing game in the Carling Cup.


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