Rangnick suggests English football doesn't need two cup competitions

Ralf Rangnick is preparing his Manchester United squad for the traditional busy winter schedule.

United returned to training on Tuesday after the postponement of the games against Brentford and Brighton.

That has given them a gap before fixtures against Newcastle, Burnley and Wolves over the festive period.

At his press conference against of the trip to St James Park’, Rangnick said he likes the tradition of the winter fixtures but suggested that perhaps abolishing the EFL Cup could be a potential answer to the congested schedule.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

“You know better than I do what a big tradition it is in England to play on Boxing Day and the games on the 26th, or 30th and 2nd. I think this is a big tradition and we should stick to the tradition,” said Rangnick when asked about the frantic winter schedule.

“I’m looking forward to it. It will be the first time in my coaching career to be part of that. There might be two or three others issues that could be discussed, which have been discussed in the past. I think England is the only country in the top five leagues that plays two cup competitions.

“France abolished one a few years ago so currently we are the only country to play two cup competitions. This is something maybe we could speak about. I know the reasons for it. I know the League Cup has been still kept for third and fourth divisions to improve the financial situations of those clubs.

“But if we speak about the tight calendar and having to play too many games this is something we could discuss. There has been a change in the last two weeks, the FA Cup won’t have replays. This is a good idea. In other countries you play extra-time and penalties and never have that replay situation. These are issues you could speak about.”

Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

United last won the EFL Cup back in 2017 when they beat Southampton 3-2 in the final at Wembley. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a brace.

Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United were of course eliminated from the competition by West Ham this season back in September.

Solskjaer guided United to the semi-finals in the previous two seasons, where defeat was inflicted both times.

It would be a radical change to abolish a historic cup competition as well as removing one of the opportunities to win silverware every season, but Rangnick seems keen for the conversation to take place.

Thoughts? Comment Below
LOGIN to Comment
LOGIN to Comment
Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.