Carabou cup; Villa – Stoke

You know a cup competition has been so devalued, that it’s almost worthless, when there’s practically no mention of tonight’s game in the news.
It’s a massive shame as it’s a competition that brings back some of my best ever memories of being a Villa fan.
Was I the only one who got down on my hands and knees in response to Tony Butler’s request to “get yer prayer mats out” in the run-up to our second replay against Everton, for instance?
I doubt it.
Heh, the things footy does to you, eh?

So over the years I’ve forgot about and had to read up on the format.
It’s seven rounds and we had a bye in the first one.
We’ve won two and if we win tonight, we’ll be in the quarter finals, which to me makes things very interesting.
It’s easy to say the competition is a waste of time, but it’s not like we’ve had to put much effort in to get this far is it?

And I think we’ll definitely win tonight, simply because we’re on a roll and Stoke er, aren’t. Actually that’s not strictly true, as they beat Wolves in the second round of the cup a couple of weeks back and won away at Preston at the weekend.
Not that I’m bothered. It might be a bit tougher than I imagined on the face of it, but I’m supremely confident that we’ll be in the hat for the quarters.

At least I would be if I knew we were going to play our strongest eleven.
Which we won’t.

Ross Barkley is cup tied, so we won’t be seeing him and he’s about the only change I might have expected from the squad that faced Bristol City in the last round anyway.
Whether it’s to give some of the second string minutes to keep them in trim should they be needed in the league or maybe a last once over by the management team before getting moved on, there’s little reason to change things just yet, in my opinion.

I actually found my password for one of the betting sites a couple of days back and was tempted to have a tenner on this one.
They don’t give much away do they?
7/4 on for the win I’m seeing.
It’s hardly worth the hassle, so I don’t think I’ll bother.

Hmm, a second glance shows I can get 15/2 for a 2-1 win and that’s much more like it.
I’m not really a betting man, but that would definitely spice things up a bit and if I do bother that’s what I’ll go for, because that’s my prediction.
You can guarantee that’s wrong then.

I thought this would be on Sky tonight, but it’s not so I don’t know how that will leave the streaming situation.

Whatever, I’d love us to progress and actually win the thing. It’s the closest we’re realistically getting to silverware this season, after all.


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  1. Avatar
    Bum Bum October 1, 2020 at 9:01 pm .

    The powers that be have reduced the once great League Cup to an irrelevance through greedy, demeaning sponsorship deals, Rumbelows Cup anyone???
    Remember how beautiful the original cup was??????
    Oh well. Onto the tasty Liverpool game!!!!

  2. Avatar
    Holte66 October 1, 2020 at 9:10 pm .

    I didn’t watch the game so a tenner saved! Had a feeling we would blow it tonight. Perhaps we have got a little carried away with results considering Brentford easily beat Fulham too. We do need a clearout and I would put Nakamba, Jota, Lansbury and El Ghazi top of the list. Taylor too if we signed another LB. Let’s not be downbeat on Ramsey who has done really well up till tonight. Also let’s be realistic about Sunday when we are very likely to lose and possibly convincingly. Mid table is where we are aiming for this season. The early results have clouded some supporters outlook on what we can achieve.

  3. Avatar
    VillaAwayInDiv3 October 1, 2020 at 9:17 pm .

    Just a weak bunch against a strong experienced team…..El Ghazi must be the greediest bloke on earth…..shoot shoot shoot…had that run and shot but then straight to goalie…….as most have said…no desire to break sweat……think we made too many changes and were not too bothered about this competition.

  4. Avatar
    Hitchens60 October 1, 2020 at 9:18 pm .

    Not sure why my post ended up as a response to Badger lauding Watkin’s shot. Oh well 🙂

  5. Avatar
    Bill Pearson.. October 2, 2020 at 7:42 am .

    Well Smith stated that it felt like a friendly game, what did I say no wanting no effort the only time I did see a difference was 10 minutes of the end. Most of them that played lastnight will be gone soon and they know it, that’s why it never mattered to them, why play games like that, you might as well played up and coming youth players, sorry to say from now on cup games and competition won’t matter to me because it’s none meaning games. As for Ramsey better prospects have been given away to other clubs, he has a lot to learn because he showed no efforts in his play.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 October 2, 2020 at 5:26 pm .

      Sorry Bill but I disagree with your comments about Ramsey and ‘better’ prospects been given away.

      Ramsey is just 19 and last night he was playing with a load of absolute plonkers – what exactly was he supposed to do? Smith praised his performance and would be keeping him close for the time being – quite rightly so – he needs encouragement.

      The real concern is that most of last nights team would struggle in the Championship, let alone the Prem. I hope to see the back of a few of them before the end of the window (including the domestic extension).

      I still think we need to get two or three better players in as the depth of quality in the squad, although vastly improved. Is still not yet there.

      1. Avatar
        Bill Pearson.. October 2, 2020 at 7:05 pm .

        Hitch, you have the rights to disagree but it didn’t hide the fact he was absent in the game, he was there to create chances and I think he was out of his depth with older players, he has Hitch to show his present and never did. I don’t condemn him he will learn, lastnight not strong enough and Smith used him wrongly. We all could see along with the club players didn’t give a dam, Hitch that’s wrong in the name of football, the aim is to win, it wasn’t their.

        1. Avatar
          Hitchens60 October 3, 2020 at 10:16 am .

          I totally agree with your last point Bill – some of those players signed their exit forms – but I think the point you make goes quite a long way to explaining Ramsey’s struggles.

          With the experience that was on the pitch it shouldn’t have been left to a 19 year old to run the mid field virtually on his own. I really felt for him.

          1. Avatar
            Bill Pearson.. October 3, 2020 at 12:32 pm .

            Same here Hitch, he should not have been thrown into that game without other established players.

  6. Avatar
    Bum Bum October 3, 2020 at 7:12 am .

    Good news spoiler: Sadio Mane can’t play against us as he’s in covid quarantine!
    I hope he gave Salah and Fabinho big sloppy kisses too, then a result would be a shoe in!

    1. Avatar
      Bum Bum October 3, 2020 at 7:47 am .

      Thiago is out too.

  7. Avatar
    Bill Pearson.. October 3, 2020 at 8:05 am .

    Gives us a chance then Bum Bum, hope we get a result from this game as that league is open at the minute and no run away teams. Utv.

  8. Avatar
    nath October 3, 2020 at 8:15 am .

    i was also disappointed with the cup defeat, but i half expected the result. the team we played was so brilliant the round before they played above themselves. football is like that innit tbf that team are lacking match fitness and togetherness to beat a well coached championship team. i mean the team we fielded have played 2 games sofar and stoke players are much further into their match fitness.

    that said we were poor, davis i see has received lots of slating, he needs games, training in our first team will only harness his skills but he needs the rough and tumble of real game does ramsey, i agree with bill that he needs to play also in the championship. he does have have the skills but he needs the cold reality of football week in and out not every blue moon get a game.

    end of the day stoke had more about their play first half, were villa were too slow with passing and too predictable with our play, we also wasted good chances and stoke took theirs. wasnt much in the game thats why i think it boiled down to match fitness or match readiness. we had too many rusty players. also it was a micky mouse cup, that even if we had won nobody would say that was worth it.

    premiership and fa cup are the only domestic trophies we are concerned about. you can also scrub the fa cup that has diminished in our desire lately. we have got a massive game on sunday and that is followed by another 3 tough games. who really cares about our second string losing to stoke

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