Bother in Blackburn: Carling Cup Rnd 2

Bother in Blackburn: Carling Cup Rnd 2

This week’s League Cup fixtures have promoted a discussion about the role and function that the tournament has within the season. It would appear, at this least at this stage of the season that the tournament has few friends and many detractors.

This has been the case for some years but has reached the point where QPR manager and Wednesday lover Neil Warnock was openly pleased about going out.

There is a big difference between a manager not taking a game seriously and wanting to lose; the competition’s problems have just hit a new level. Whilst the logic of Warnock’s statement is clear; the tournament has little reward and the burden of the extra fixtures impairs progress in the league, which is now so vital for fiscal stability. What it highlights is the disconnection between the people who run football (at board or coaching level) and the fans whose time and money is what (or should) drive the game forward. Although the numbers might vary, fans care when their team plays, they ALWAYS want their team to win and will ALWAYS (albeit to varying degrees) be hurt by defeat.

It would be a great pleasure to talk about how Wednesday were bucking this trend, how we wanted to get a team playing with a winning mentality and where winning football matches is what matters. Sadly we are no exception. In both rounds Gary Megson has treated not just the tournament but the fans with total contempt. He got away with it against Blackpool because they cared less then we did, sadly we came up against a young and hungry Blackburn team that wanted to win.

The sad fact is that Wednesday were done for pace, technique, skill, defending and finishing. And that was only the first eight minutes. It might not have been the strongest Blackburn team but it had youth and hunger.

Obviously this will always be a factor when playing a top tier club, but it was the manner of those first eight minutes that summed up the two approaches and not just the gulf in class.

It was good to see the players fight and the travelling Wednesdayites were in good voice as ever. But there are too many times when the club does not deserve these fans that get treated so badly.

There was an opportunity here to steak a claim, get some attention and create a team that feels unbeatable. There is no doubt that we could have won last night. We could have given it a proper go and stood proud. There is NOTHING to be proud about those first eight minutes and those involved should feel shame.

Megson has scrapped the reserve team and his approach to the League Cup has been to use it has a form of reserve team football. He clearly does not care about the result and his selections and substitutions are utterly bizarre to the extent where defensive players are going forward and our best attackers are defending at the back. Like theBlackpoolgame there was Leon Palmer stricken at right back and again there was Giles Coke in a holding role, with James O’Connor running in a hole rather than playing in the hole.

This makes no sense. Two thousand Wednesday fans travelled to watch this team get run over. It is a very unfunny joke.

The fact is that these fixtures are achieving nothing but luring fans to spend their time and money watching glorified reserve games, where managers want to lose. It is an insult to the fans that make the effort.

Where is the reward for winning these matches?

Last seasonBirmingham won this cup and ultimately were punished with relegation. Where is the reward for success? This is backwards.

There are two clear approaches to take. Either scrap the tournament and create something new, or make winning these fixtures more rewarding.

The status quo is not sustainable.

Owls Alive
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive or @jpowls

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