By February 26, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Swansea City and the Rise of the Capital One Cup

Nathan Dyer of Swansea City (Photo by Tom Jenkins- Pool/Getty Images)

Will all the excitement of the Capital One Cup this season, many will question whether it has become the premier domestic competition in England. Swansea City and Bradford City, this season’s finalists, had Britain buzzing with excitement after arriving at Wembley Stadium as two sides who no one expected to be battling it out for the cup trophy.

After losing 5-0 to Liverpool in their last league match, Swansea were slapped with a wake-up call. Club manager Michael Laudrup called the loss a “nightmare” and vowed to have the team prepared for one of the most important matches of their history this past Sunday.

And, in the end, the Welsh side proved to be far superior to fourth-tier Bradford City, overwhelming them in 5-0 victory. It was their first ever victory in a major final and was well deserved, as the side took their League Two opponents very seriously and never relented from pushing forward in order to secure the trophy.

The Capital One Cup (commonly known as the League Cup) has grown tremendously in popularity in recent seasons and even threatens the FA Cup in terms of attendance.

In the past, the tournament was a glorified reserves cup, which meant that it was an opportunity for mega-clubs to rest their starters and develop younger players. Now, the tournament has become a start-up for lower level divisions to prove their worth among the best English teams. Bradford are a prime example of how a small team with little money can rise to glory, beating the likes of Wigan Athletic, Arsenal, and Aston Villa to earn their spot at Wembley.

Swansea did not underestimate the underdogs, starting Michu, Ashley Williams, Angel Rangel, and Nathan Dyer for the final.

The Welsh victory further illustrates that mental preparation outweighs the physical preparation needed to dominate in world football. Unlike Wigan, Arsenal and Villa, Laudrup’s side understood the hunger of their opponent, but outclassed the League Two overachievers in a showcase of classy and attractive football.

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