On Sunday afternoon, Manchester United lifted the first major trophy of Jose Mourinho’s reign after beating Southampton 3-2 in what was a thrilling match.
Since the triumph, the football community has seen equal parts United fans overstating the significance of their win, and rival fans mocking their excitement at winning the “Mickey Mouse Cup.”
Many Manchester United fans would agree with me in concluding that the EFL Cup takes last priority out of the four competitions in which the Red Devils are involved, but the importance of winning the trophy should not be understated.
Throughout history, the League Cup has acted as a very valuable stepping stone at bigger clubs such as Manchester United, both for younger players making their way into the first team and for the future success of the club.
The current feeling at Old Trafford is that Jose Mourinho is building his dynasty, breeding through a backbone for a team that can bring success for the next decade or so; there’s no better way to start than winning the EFL Cup.
For Mourinho, securing this victory was an excellent way of giving his current crop of players a taste for winning trophies.
There are players in the Manchester United squad who are very clearly coming towards the ends of their careers. For example, not many could imagine the likes of Wayne Rooney or Michael Carrick staying around for much longer. However, using their previous experiences in winning trophies to inspire younger players at the club could act as a significant starting point for Mourinho’s rule.
Adding a trophy to the Manchester United cabinet in his first season may provide some serious momentum for his side, and while the EFL Cup itself may not be the most prestigious award, the impact it could have on this side in the forthcoming seasons may prove critical with regards to bringing the glory days back to Old Trafford.