Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has questioned the worth of the Carabao Cup, calling the competition a “waste of energy” for his side.
Guardiola’s views echo those expressed by Manchester United counterpart Jose Mourinho, who said some clubs could be better off without the League Cup.
City’s manager 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 this weekend 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.”
Mourinho made nine changes but still fielded a strong side containing 11 internationals as the holders 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 handed rare starts to internationals Claudio Bravo, Fabian Delph and Eliaquim Mangala.
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 last four seasons.
However, Guardiola does not believe success in the competition brings with it much lasting recognition.
“If you have to play the competition you have to play the competition, but it is a title that when you win it is okay, but after that people don’t give too much credit,” he added.
City host Championship side Wolves in the fourth round of the League Cup on 24 October, three days after they take on Burnley in the Premier League and four days prior to their top-flight trip to West Brom.
Source: BBC Sport