In a way I find it slightly embarrassing that we are chasing the Carling Cup 'trophy' after dismissing it as being 'Mickey Mouse' in recent years.
When the Spuds won it I laughed. It wasn't a 'real' trophy and we had better things to aim for. Watching them parade the Carling Cup had me pissing my knickers.
We were the mighty Arsenal and 'that' trophy was beneath us.
Even the FA Cup, a competition Arsene Wenger used to take seriously, took a backseat as we pursued the major honours in the game.
The Premiership title and Champions League were our targets. Especially Arsene Wenger's.
Now what? Finally the Carling Cup is being taken seriously because we haven't won a thing for nearly six years.
I don't buy it. How can I?
Sorry, I know it would be great to actually win something after so long (despite the longer periods of not winning things in our history) without silverware but for some reason I'd feel a bit hypocritical to celebrate winning the Carling Cup.
Of course I want Arsenal to win the damn thing. I want Arsenal to win everything but we usually 'dismiss' the Carling Cup as a youth exercise and that is down to Arsene Wenger.
Over the years Wenger has blooded his youngsters through this competition and now we have to win it, to keep the pressure off him, we are using stronger team-sheets and it all seems slightly fake to me.
I know the players are professionals and should aim to win every trophy but they would have noticed that Wenger in recent years has seen the Carling Cup as second-rate. A cup not really worth winning so why now?
I hate having a pop at Wenger, believe me I do, but how can we go from not caring about the Carling Cup to it suddenly becoming a major honour again?
By treating the Carling Cup (and FA Cup) as being not that 'important' to win Wenger has bred complacency in the squad. They are both more than winnable competitions and maybe if taken a little more seriously in the past, and not just now, we wouldn't have gone without a trophy since 2005.
On the positive side winning the Carling Cup could springboard this Arsenal squad onto future success. That would be brilliant and of course that is the view of a lot of Gooners these days.
I do understand that reasoning. I believe that could be the case too.
However I think raising the Carling Cup is more down to keeping people off Wenger's back. People have been banging on about us not winning things for a while now and Arsene is under-pressure, probably the most pressure in his Arsenal career, to win something.
I'm just finding it hard to get excited about the Carling Cup. I've spent so long not even considering it as a 'proper' trophy that I feel a bit embarrassed that now it is considered a priority.
Maybe I'm just being a mug and should be more grateful that we are in with a serious shout of winning something but its just the way I feel.
Keep it Goonerish.............