Midweek Sports Special

You’ll excuse me if I don’t get over-excited, but the Football League Cup (aka the Carling Cup, the Worthington Cup, the Coca-Cola Cup, and so on and so on) gets under way tonight, with Coventry City taking on Peterborough United at the Ricoh Arena. It’s live on Sky Sports! It must be a big match! I have to say that I’m struggling to find a justification for the continuing existence of the League Cup. I’m as much of a traditionalist as anyone (more than most, I’d wager), but this trophy is probably the least worthwhile of all the domestic trophies. The big clubs, of course, hate it. Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal regularly put out youth teams, and even the rest of the Premiership doesn’t seem that concerned by it. The lower division clubs don’t have much of a chance, because two legs in the first round gives the bigger clubs a chance of atoning for their mistakes in the second leg if they mess up first time around, and, if we’re going to patronise them with a belief in them “dreaming of a big day out at Cardiff/Wembley”, then we should point out that all teams in the lower divisions would rather have their big day out in the play-off finals, or in the Autoglass Trophy, which they’ve at least got a decent chance of making the final...

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