Ex-Arsenal captain wants Gunners to give Capital One Cup greater priority
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Arsenal legend Tony Adams has urged the club to treat the Capital One Cup with greater importance as they bid to end their trophy drought.
The Gunners have squandered opportunities to win the competition in recent years, losing the 2011 final to Birmingham City and going out to League Two side Bradford City in the quarter-finals last season.
Manager Arsene Wenger has often used cup games for experimental purposes, fielding a surfeit of youngsters in his side – but Adams feels he may need to rethink that policy.
The ex-Gunners defender, who won the first trophy of his career when George Graham’s side beat Liverpool in the 1987 League Cup final, told london24.com: “I’m all for winning, whatever competition you’re in.
“Either/or is a tough decision and I do understand Arsene’s argument – we’re trying to get as high as possible in the league. But he may want to look at some of the development because he’s been putting a lot of kids out in this competition.
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“I went to the Reading game last season [in the Capital One Cup] and we eventually won 7-5, but if you play too many development players you run the risk of not winning those kind of games.
“So maybe Arsene could look at that – maybe play a few more in the under-21s now and take that a little bit more seriously, but it’s a difficult balancing act.”
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As well as their 1987 victory, Adams was captain when Arsenal won the trophy for the only other time in their history six years later, with a 2-1 success against Sheffield Wednesday.
The Gunners have twice finished runners-up in the competition during Wenger’s lengthy tenure, in 2007 when Chelsea came from behind to win 2-1 and the defeat to Birmingham by the same scoreline four years later.
Arsenal have been drawn away to West Brom in the third round of this year’s competition, with the tie to be played on September 24 or 25.