To many supporters (including Kopites) the League Cup has become a sort of a joke. And this irritates me no end as many seem to forget that Liverpool have lifted this so-called Tin Cup a record breaking seven times.
And before any smug fooking Man Utd fans start mouthing off that it's because no one else wants it - please note that we have beaten you lot twice in the finals (1983 / 2003) & once upon a fooking time, you people would have murdered a close relative to get yer filthy mittens on it!
As fer any proud peacock Gooners out there, I distinctly remember the euphoria among you lot when Charlie Nicholas scored the winner against us in the 1987 final. And what would you guys have given to have beaten Chelsea in last season's final, eh?
Yes, I know, in this day & age of Champions League riches & fixture congestion, managers need to be prioritise but that don't mean we have to dismiss it as unimportant. You didn't see Jose Mourinho taking this competition lightly & his two wins with Chelsea underlined a winning mentality.
I admit I have a soft spot fer this cup as they were some pretty fooking memorable finals over the years such as the Merseyside derby of 1984 which was settled by a Grame Souness rocket in the replay. Then there was the 2001 victory over Birmingham which gave us the impetus to go beat Arsenal in the FA Cup final & Deportivo Alaves in the Uefa Cup. Houllier & several other players admitted that the League Cup victory lifted the pressure as it was silverware & European qualification already secured in Feb!
But best memory of all was the 1983 final when the players pushed a reluctant Bob Paisley to go up the Wembley steps to collect the trophy himself as it was his last game in charge of the Mighty Reds as he had earlier announced his retirement. Tears welled up in me eyes as we bade a fond farewell to our greatest manager & what better way than to beat the fooking Mancs in a final. (Goals courtesy of Alan Kennedy & Ronnie Whelan after Norman Whiteside had given Utd the lead).
Thatr's why I'll be battling fatigue & sleep deprivation to be up fer tonite's clash v Reading (2am Astro ch80). The way we are playing in the league & Europe at the moment, this much derided trophy might just be our salvation . . . again!
PS: Pix is of Bob Paisley (r) & Matt Busby (l) receiving an ovation from the 100,000 supporters who crammed Wembley fer LFC v MU in 1983 final.
PSS: The vid above is one of the sweetest memories of this competition! Enjoy!