Manchester City - The Carling Cup IS Important To Clubs Like Us
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The Carling Cup IS Important To Clubs Like Us

Let's not play down the significance of tomorrow night's Carling Cup clash with Arsenal, for there is more than team morale and the boss's job under scrutiny.

Whilst some teams treat this competition as a hindrance to their Champion's League aspirations and others as a grooming ground for their up and coming young studs, City have made it public knowledge that they are taking it as serious as any other silverware this year.

Of course, critics will be quick to focus on the fact that we are playing against a young Arsenal side full of promise but not exactly first eleven standard.

But past history tells us that nothing could be further from the truth as Arsenal's youngsters have shown time and time again that they are no push overs. Each young Gunner knows full well this is the place to showcase his talents and make a claim for that all important first team spot.

Media hacks and fans alike have devalued the competition for years and point to other Premier League clubs' team sheets as to how seriously teams are taking the competition.

Perhaps the fact that seven of the last eight teams still left in the competition are from the top division might change their mind, and shows that it will be an achievement to get that all important ticket to Wembley come final day.

All at City know that results sooner rather than later will be the benchmark for their success or failure this season and of the three potential prizes on offer, getting to the Carling Cup final is undoubtedly the easiest option on paper.

The Blues don't even have to win the competition for it to be considered an improvement on over a decade of failure, which is something Hughes will be acutely aware of (which is why he mentioned it twice in his pre-match press conference today!).

In fact when was the last time you can remember the Blues playing in a Semi Final of a major competition and no the MCFC Girls under fourteens victory in the Tesco Cup last May doesn't count (No disrespect intended ladies)!

The last time City managed a Semi Final appearance was in 1981 against an impressive Ipswich Town side, when star man Paul Power scored a fantastic left footer in extra time and we went on to play Spurs in a sensational final (for them!).

If we do win tomorrow, nothing will be able to describe the elation that will be felt at all levels of the club from the fans up to the gaffer himself, as a win will break this demoralising Ground Hog Day we find ourselves in.

So let's put things into perspective, tomorrow is massive for all stakeholders involved with God's own club and if we do progress to the Semi Finals, well it will be the furthest the Blues have managed for almost thirty years.

That's got to be worth some brownie points, hasn't it! On the other hand, if we fail to make the Semis there might be a fair few people growing tired of hearing 'invariably' and 'gelling' and there couldn't be a more difficult game than the one coming up after that.

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The journalist

Writer: GloucBlade Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday December 1 2009

Time: 11:33PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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It's a shame even this cup is out of your reach
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02/12/2009 00:14:00

Ah, the return of the Nobby Allcocks!
Johnny Baguette
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02/12/2009 00:51:00

I said it in the last round and I'll say it again, if we beat Arsenal I hope we get The Rags. Nothing to fear accept the ref!
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02/12/2009 01:49:00

If we win, people will point at the fact we have arrived at a place not seen in close on thirty years, and the goodwill factor from the fans will spill out on to the players - if we lose, however, it could very well spell the end of Hughes, particularly if we are playing against the Arsenal under-12's.
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02/12/2009 08:13:00

I'd take the Zenith data System's cup right now! i remember listening on the radio to City beating Newcastle, (don't think it was live on telly), playing footy in the back garden in Timperley with my 3 brothers and mates, and hearing the commotion and joy when Denis Tueart performed his overhead scissor kick miracle - absolute magic for a ten year old lad. I love City!
It's Grim Oop North
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02/12/2009 10:11:00

Nice one, IGON!
Johnny Baguette
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02/12/2009 11:17:00

That was before my time unfortunately hence the reference back to 81 only. You're one of the lucky ones then IGON, hope we can join you this year or next.
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02/12/2009 12:02:00

For me this is a big chance for some success this year. We don't have to worry about Europe this year which means we can put all our resources into a good cup run and the Carling Cup is there for the taking.
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02/12/2009 13:10:00


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