Suddenly Winning The League Cup Is Not Embarrassing!

Last updated : 26 August 2008 By Footy Mad - Editor

The League Cup is suddenly "in fashion" when it took 40-years to establish itself ... and only because winning the Premiership has become a three-team domination. 

Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal are the three title contenders - we can discount Liverpool because they have NEVER won the Premiership (or come close) - so the crumbs of the League Cup are thrown to others as the big boys field their reserves.

It says much about Newcastle United's desperate quest for silverware that they have not even reached the final of the competition for 32 years.

But the League Cup, in its many different sponsorship guises, offers a route into the Uefa Cup for the winners, and that has helped last season's winners, Tottenham Hotspur, bring in star signings this summer.

Newcastle are forced to take the competition seriously, because we have little choice.

In the 11 years since Kevin Keegan quit as manager, Newcastle have reached the quarter-finals three times - losing to Liverpool 2-0 in 1998 and twice to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, 1-0 in 2000 under Sir Bobby Robson and again in 2006 under Glenn Roeder - and that is as close as we have come.

Keegan: "It's one of two chances we have to win something if we're honest.

"We can win FA and the Carling Cup, they're definitely the two chances we have. At the moment we've got a chance of winning the league, but that may peter out as the season goes on, it depends on how we play. If I talk about putting a strong side out, I had my only 19 fit players against Bolton at the weekend and one of those, Obafemi Martins has picked up a groin strain.

"But I will put out the strongest team I can against Coventry because it is a competition we have to take seriously and it's going to be a tough place to go."



Mahoney, Nattrass, Kennedy, Barrowclough, Keeley, Howard, Burns, Cassidy, Macdonald, Gowling, T Craig. Sub: Cannell.                 

The Football League Cup has had many names, but has never been lifted by a Newcastle United captain. The competition started in the 1960/61 season and Newcastle lost to Colchester United 4-1 in their first fixture, and to be honest, there hasn't been much glory since. United beat Tottenham in the 1975/76 season 3-1 at St James' Park to overturn a 1-0 defeat at White Hart Lane and reach their one and only final. They played Manchester City at Wembley but lost 2-1. Ex-Sunderland winger and Newcastle-born Dennis Tueart scored the winner with an incredible 'bicycle kick' and picked up his winners medal wearing a black and white shirt.