Arsenal have been urged to pull out of the Europa League next season and instead focus their attention on snaring some silverware in the Watney Cup. Indeed, Arsenal may have a decent chance of winning this trophy as opposed to the FA Cup or Premier league for instance — although if you want to bet on the Gunners enjoying success you should check out the odds on having a bet.
The trophy was played for in the early 1970s but its success was hardly uproarious and it soon fell on its sword with clubs, certainly the bigger teams in the old top flight, largely ignoring it. Now, though, it is being reinstated as a recognised and sanctioned tournament after being resurrected by a group of supporters who are keen to see a surge in the values of the game as it was in the past.
Jim Marmite-Frosties, a Tranmere Rovers season ticket holder, heads up Football Nostalgia Limited the firm behind the new version of the Watney Cup. And he believes the Gunners could add some sparkle to the competition and argues winning the silverware would be on a par with any success in the Europa League. Unai Emery’s side missed out on glory last season as they lost 4-1 to Chelsea in the final.
“The Europa League is very much a poor man’s Champions League and hardly worth bothering about,”
said Marmite-Frosties, a pig farm labourer from Cleckheaton, Kirklees, in West Yorkshire.
“Arsenal still have some star quality and we would be totally thrilled if they chose to take up our offer of entering the competition. They entered a team in the Checkatrade Trophy last season — they got knocked out by Pompey — so it’s certainly not beneath them to enter a less-than-prestigious cup competition. We’ve written to the club and we’re awaiting a response. We remain confident… er, well, confident that they will reply, anyway.”
Marmite-Frosties explains that the cup has a rich history, adding:
“The first ever penalty shootout in England took place in a semi-final of the 1970 game between Hull and Man United, who won it — and the first player to take a kick was none other than George Best, and the first to miss was Denis Law! So, you see it has a decent track record and we want to bring that type of football back to life. Nostalgia is our thing and we don’t care who knows it.”
Clubs who have already confirmed they will play in the Watney Cup include Crewe, Walsall, Grimsby, Hull City, Cardiff City Plymouth, WBA and Real Madrid. Crewe chairman Eric Shaw says giving it a go in the Watney Cup was a no-brainer. He added:
“Giving it a go in the Watney Cup was a no-brainer.”
- For the record, the Watney Cup originally ran from 1970 through to 1973 and the winners, in date order, were Derby County (who actually beat Manchester United in the final), Colchester United, Bristol Rovers and Stoke City.