Often Partisan

League Cup preview – Who cares?

Tomorrow, for only the fourth time ever, Blues will enter into a competition as the defending champions. It’s been nearly twenty years since Birmingham City strode out at the Victoria Ground to defend their Leyland Daf Cup (which was then renamed the Autoglass Trophy) – a game that ended in a 3-1 defeat. To tell the truth, I think I’d take 3-1 to Manchester City as well.

Whilst the League Cup gave us the joy of winning at Wembley, having knocked out the Villa and coming from behind to do West Ham last season, this year it’s just extra games we don’t need. I’m not one for “throwing” games, but I have to be honest, I really don’t care what the result is tomorrow. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the worst possible outcome would be extra time and penalties – the team just doesn’t need that.

We’re not the only ones either to have the League Cup low on our list of priorities. With Manchester City having their inaugural Champions League campaign this year, I have no doubt that they will see the League Cup as a chance to give the fringe players, the academy and those returning to fitness a run out instead of their normal XI. Unfortunately, with Man City that means Owen Hargreaves is likely to get a debut, and I could easily see Mario Balotelli starting as an example – which gives an example of the kind of hiding they could dish out.

My last memory of Blues playing Manchester City in the League Cup was just prior to Trevor Francis’ sacking, in 2001. If you remember, we got tanked 6-0 in that game – talk about omens, huh? It just adds up to a potential night to forget for Bluenoses, and I sincerely hope that if younger players do get blooded, that Chris Hughton impresses on them that the result is utterly unimportant as long as they give their all and try their best.

The big question I guess is who does play? Squad rotation clearly isn’t helping our players bed down, and yet we need to keep our better players fit and ready for the challenges of the league at least, if not Europe as well. I’d also be loathe to give youngsters debuts if it meant their first memory of pro football was taking a stuffing from the Citizens. If I was pushed, I think I’d say I’d like to see Colin Doyle given a game; play Guirane N’Daw in the middle of the pitch and maybe start Asante alongside Rooney (I doubt we’ll be allowed to play Wood). Otherwise, I will admit I don’t know, and that I’ll trust in Hughton to make the right call.

Whilst I’ve consistently spoken of the likelihood of Blues taking a hiding, I’m going to hold onto the hope that the complete lack of expectation will give the players playing the freedom to enjoy the game, and maybe that will allow them to play better than would be expected. After all, wouldn’t it be typical of the topsy-turvy nature that sometimes pervades football if Blues were somehow to sneak a win?


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14 Responses to “League Cup preview – Who cares?”

  • alan AGM says:

    16 games to reach the europa league final
    48 games to reach the play off final
    9 games to reach the FA cup final(inc replays)
    5 games to reach the LC final(the top sides resting there players for prem league games),get through this game and it could be worth focusing on as it looks the easiest chance of silverwear!,and of course,we are the HOLDERS.

  • Martin Dalzell says:

    Well I’ll be there – I live in the North West and my Man City friends have got me a ticket in their end for a bargain £15. I’ve told them I’ll only do the Poznan if I can do it on my own when Blues score ! I’m hoping they take us lightly and we spring a surprise win to boost confidence.

  • Bradley says:

    In regards to Alans comment, what have you been smoking because I tell you, i’ll have a kilo of it. Silverware – It took us 50 years to win the last one

    • alan AGM says:

      i definately dont smoke,it really is bad for you(and would cost you a fortune too)but up agaist a volatile ballotelli,if he got got sent off`early doors`wouldnt that be nice lol

  • Agree with you Almajir. But for some reason we always seem to pull out our best performances against the sides who should beat us, so who knows what will happen. I will applaud CH for saving our best players for the Championship.

  • Mark says:

    Again I will mention it not interested in this cup take 3-1 against a very good side. We have a home match coming up thats where we should focus on. Every bluenose would like us to be competitive in every game. I hope that CH can sort out this away form and with abit of luck we can get on bit of run. KRO…………

  • ScudMuffin says:

    Youth team.

  • Ben says:

    My team would of had Butland but as we loaned him for no reason, I would play.


    Not many would agree

  • Bazzathebluenose says:

    It all depends on how we defend. Sunday’s performence in this regard does not bode well. I reckon we’ll be lucky not to get turned over by at least four but as the writer says football can throw up totally unexpected results but I doubt it somehow. :-(

  • Bluehobba says:

    Worst outcome is extra time, pens, injuries and go thru. I think what we need going forward is more leaders on the pitch. I know its early days but as Mcleish always went on saying he had a great dressing room, I wonder what it’s like now.

  • Just noticed the Stoke line up for tonights league cup game includes Upson , Pennant , Palicios and Jerome.. who scored a great goal in europe last week in his first game . Never mind we still have Zigic !

  • Mark says:

    I think CH got great dressing room all players are behind him, they enjoy their training, we just abit a luck in front of goal then just keep going and don’t throw games away with silly goals against…………..

  • viperblue says:

    would like us to score without Woods,low expectations.maybe 4-1,in normal
    time so these super fit footballers can get home to bed & rest their weary bodies!!!

  • Mark says:

    I believe Zigic will play at some stage this will give us some idea how CH might play him….

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