Frank is back here with your Monday edition of “Learning Soccer So You Can Have a Conversation at a Bar About Soccer and Not Look Like a Jackass”. While it may not be the catchiest name, the title is being work-shopped. Regardless, let’s get it into it…
With England having so many leagues and teams, there can’t possibly be only one trophy at the end of the season. There are various different types of titles to play for throughout the season and each one has their own different spin on them making them all special, or stupid.
The FA Cup
What makes the FA Cup fun is that teams play across different tiers. So a Premier League club like Manchester City can play a lowly Cambridge United. On paper the Premier League club should always win, but this doesn’t happen here. If a power house club has a Champions League game coming up soon or team in a Relegation battle has a must win game soon they will most likely rest a key player or two. It’s as if the Dodgers where to play the Toledo Mud Hens on a Wednesday but then have to play Yankees on Sunday. Obviously the Dodgers are going to be thinking ahead here not really paying much attention to the game at hand. Meanwhile for the Toledo Mud Hens, this is the biggest game of the year for them. Not only will they sell out the stadium but you frequently will see young fans climbing to the roof of the stadium just to get a glimpse of some of the top talent. Also, Budweiser is a sponsor so suck on that lobsterbacks.
The Capital One Cup
Pretty much bullshit. This is like winning a Division in the NFL. It’s nice to talk about and have it in your trophy case but otherwise silly. Whom ever wins this does get entry into the Europa League. But the Europa League is just the JV tournament of Europe. If someone starts bragging that their team won the Capital One Cup, they are simply a fool whose team can’t win something of importance.
This locks in a chance for the Champions League. Not an actual trophy unless you are an Arsenal fan. After 1,000 years with Arsenal not winning anything Arsene Wenger (Arsenal Manager) said fourth place is a trophy. He has defended this claim many times and if you saw him today and asked, he’d defend it wildly again. He also is famous for not being able to use a jacket (please refer to my nicely placed GIF).
The Community Shield
It’s a preseason trophy. The team who had won the previous FA Cup plays the team who won the League. Both teams normally don’t start the “real” team and marketers just fluff it up to get views. It looks very nice with the three lions on it. Maybe the real purpose of it is decoration for an office.
All right, so weekly on Monday’s you’re going to get these quick soccer lessons and on Friday’s you’ll get your EPL Weekly Parties. Stay tuned tomorrow and Wednesday as this week’s slate of games is filled with some Grade-A footie.