With the reputation of the EFL Cup, known as the Carabao Cup for sponsorship reasons, already at a new low in the modern game, this season has done nothing to change the mindsets of football fans across the UK.
The draw for the quarter-final stages of the Carabao Cup were due to take place at 4pm on Thursday 26th October, with fans being able to stream the draw through Twitter’s ‘Live’ feature rather than broadcasted on television.
What occurred next was a catalogue of technical errors and apology tweets by the Cup’s sponsors Twitter page, angering and frustrating fans, with many making accusations of the draw being pre-recorded so none of the ‘big teams’ would have to face each other.
Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United spectacularly all avoided each other when the draw was finally made over an hour after the scheduling 4pm start.
Both Manchester United and Manchester City will travel away against Bristol City and Leicester City, with Arsenal hosting West Ham United at the Emirates whilst Chelsea secured a home tie against Bournemouth.
The competitions disaster cup draws have been a problem since June of this year when in the first round, Charlton Athletic managed to feature in two ties when overviewing all the fixtures from the draw, away to Exeter City and then Home to Cheltenham Town.
Then the decision by the competitions board to have the 3rd round draw take place in Beijing, China at the 04:15 BST says a lot about how far the reputation and importance of the cup competition has fallen in the modern game.
Instead of taking into account fans in the UK, the EFL decided it was more important to network and grow their market in Asia, a clear example of globalisation in the modern game.
These decisions have only enhanced the rapid decline in the cup’s reputation and that reflects more than ever in football clubs attitudes towards not taking the competition seriously.
The team lineups put out by managers of sides, even in the lower tiers of the English Football League, are heavily rotated to rest players and give youngsters a run out in the first team.
It was clearer than ever on Tuesday 24th in the Round of 16 when a Wolverhampton Wanderers side made nine changes to their usual first team line-up even though they were facing a super in-form Premier League team in Manchester City.
With their still being seven more Carabao Cup ties between now and the end of the season, the EFL must be hoping there are no more farcical embarrassments, and may want to solely focus on working in the UK instead of focusing in overseas markets.
Would you want your team to take this competition seriously? What do you make of it as a whole? Let us know in the comments below!