A shocking name and an even worse decision for the third round draw to be conducted at 4.15 am this Thursday in China. However while the Carabao Cup runs the risk of becoming a laughing stock, it provides clubs with an opportunity for some silverware and this is why I am hoping my club Watford will go all out in the competition when they take on Bristol City at Vicarage Road.
We’ve seen in previous years that sides are much more focused on the league with the rounds so early on and this is what punished the Hornets last season when a much changed side put in a shambolic performance against Gillingham and as a result paid the price, losing 2-1 on the night. You can understand some of the decisions from teams to make changes, give opportunities to squad players and to prioritise the league. Watford’s opponent this Saturday in the form of Brighton & Hove Albion for example have yet to register a point in their opening two games. While it’s still early days they will not be wanting a third straight defeat otherwise they may start to panic about their Premier League status so in many ways the league will probably be their pure focus so can expect to make several changes ahead of their home tie against League Two Barnet.
While this is also a key match for Watford at the weekend, I simply cannot understand any fan that is not bothered should we exit the competition at such an early stage with a poor result like last season. We are now in our third Premier League season and judging by our opening two matches, should be eyeing up another comfortable season away from the relegation zone. A chance of silverware could be on the cards if competitors don’t take the Carabao Cup seriously like we didn’t under Mazzarri last season. There should be no excuses when it comes to this match if the right approach is taken, we are only two matches in, Championship clubs have already had two midweek matches and so it’s not like Premier League clubs are rigorously tested, we know all to well from our time in the Championship that players can handle three games in a week and so I would be very disappointed in Silva should he ring the changes. Our fitness looked good against Bournemouth on Saturday, much better than last season and so while it would be nice to see a few different players have an opportunity you run the risk of losing a balance and cohesiveness with several changes where players don’t have developed partnerships to work with or an understanding of their role. And finally if you take a lower league opponent for granted, you will get punished as we did against Gillingham, they will be motivated for the tie, it’s that simple.
I would only introduce Kabasele and Hughes for Britos and Cleverley into the team who could do with game time while both could easily be contributing in the coming weeks. There can be no harm in developing in Silva’s ideology and building confidence with a win which you give yourself the best opportunity at doing so with a full strength team. Bristol City will be a handful as it is so a serious attitude and application is a minimum requirement.
With a positive start already under Marco Silva, we as a fanbase surely want to have something to shout about come the end of the season and nothing can be better than winning a trophy regardless of its title. You win nothing for a mid-table finish and this is why this game has significance as hopefully the club can give it a real go to try and have a day out at Wembley and have a crack at winning something which is what football is all about.
Do you share these thoughts Watford fans? Let us know in the comments below!