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Opinion: Manuel Pellegrini can make a statement with League Cup run

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It’s been over a decade since West Ham’s last major cup final, and it has been a long and gruelling wait for supporters for the next one.

The 2006 FA Cup final remains the Hammers only domestic cup final in the 21st century, with fans wondering if another one will ever come again in their lifetimes, but for Manuel Pellegrini and this current squad, there is potential that the Chilean could lead West Ham to such a goal, and the League Cup could be the competition to do it in.

Although the League Cup takes a significant back step to the FA Cup in terms of reputation and overall fan popularity, it is still a competition that Premier League sides, particularly teams in the same tier as West Ham in the English top-flight, should be aiming to win.

Indeed, Premier League sides in this era of the division are some of the wealthiest in European football, with broadcasting rights and the increase in transfer fees resulting in next-to-all sides in the English top-flight spending big bucks every transfer window, yet it seemingly appears that the same teams are the ones winning the cup competitions.

Looking at the list of League Cup winners since the turn of the decade, only two teams, Birmingham City and Swansea City, outside the recognised top-six have won the competition, and West Ham could make a statement by bucking the trend this season.

The League Cup is seemingly becoming less important to the Premier League big guns as European competitions take priority, with this in mind, West Ham could make a statement by aiming to win the League Cup this season, and with a seemingly winnable game coming up against Newport County, Pellegrini could bring silverware back to east London with a strong showing in the competition.
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