Pep Guardiola: Manchester City boss says Carabao Cup can be ‘waste of energy’

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has questioned the Carabao Cup, saying it can be a waste of energy that you get little credit for winning.

Guardiola’s comments come after Manchester United counterpart Jose Mourinho said some clubs could be better off without the League Cup.

The City boss made eight changes for Wednesday’s 2-1 win at West Brom.

“The prize is good when you win another one, but you waste a lot of energy,” said the Spaniard.

City face Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday before hosting Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday. They then travel to Chelsea for a league game the following Saturday.

“You can’t imagine going to play a Tony Pulis team at West Bromwich Albion, play 90 minutes there in those conditions. And then after three or four hours – bus, come back, three days later Crystal Palace, three days later Shakhtar Donetsk, three or four days later Stamford Bridge,” added Guardiola.

“For the managers it is a lot of wasted energy, but we knew that before, so it is not a complaint in those terms. If we have to play we have to play.”

The League Cup provides winning teams with a place in the third qualifying round of the Europa League. City have won it twice in the past four seasons.

Guardiola’s men host Championship side Wolves in the fourth round of the League Cup on 24 October, three days after they take on Burnley in the league and four days prior to their top-flight trip to West Brom.

“If you have to play the competition, you have to play the competition. But it is a title that when you win, it is ok, but after that people don’t give too much credit,” he added.

Mourinho made nine changes but still fielded a strong side containing 11 internationals as holders United beat Championship side Burton 4-1 on Wednesday night.

After the game, he told BBC Radio 5 live: “If you ask me ‘could English football survive or be even be better without this competition?’ Maybe.

“Maybe we would be fresher for European competition.”

City gave first starts of the season to Yaya Toure and Ilkay Gundogan at West Brom, with another recalled player – Leroy Sane – scoring twice in just his second start of the campaign.

Guardiola also gave rare starts to internationals Claudio Bravo, Fabian Delph and Eliaquim Mangala.

BBC Sport pundit Danny Mills, who won the League Cup in 2004 with Middlesbrough, does not think that fans are short-changed by teams making sweeping changes to their line-ups.

He told BBC Radio 5 live: “The pathways for younger players at top clubs are blocked, and this competition is an opportunity. It’s competitive, it still means something, it qualifies you for Europe. These cup competitions for the big clubs are opportunities to rotate their squads.”


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