The Real Football Man

The League Cup has had many guises over it’s near 60-year history but it still it struggles to really get the respect it deserves in the English footballing landscape. You only had to witness the pitiful sight of a Wembley Stadium that was not even a third full in midweek as Tottenham laboured past Barnsley to progress to the fourth round.

Mauricio Pochettino almost said he cannot be bothered with the competition this season and if he cannot be bothered then why would the fans. Add to the fact that Spurs would have played three “home” games at the stadium in the space of a week and you can see why apathy will have set in with the North London fanbase.

It is almost as if managers are doing their very best to crash out of the competition as early as possible and with every victory that follows they begrudgingly shrug their shoulders at the prospect at having to do it all over again in a few weeks time.

But the thing that people forget or perhaps remember all too quickly that if you are in Europe then winning two games sees you at the Quarter-finals stage and all of a sudden it becomes an attractive proposition. It’s almost like the equivalent of bad flirting when you’ll eventually ask that bird for her phone number after months of dallying.

The irony is though that Liverpool will have given it more of a go then all of their other top six rivals but they find themselves dumped out of the cup by Craig Shakespeare’s Leicester. With every game that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain plays for his new club he is looking more like an insipid rather than an inspired purchase.

Just what exactly does the former Arsenal man offer to Liverpool right now, he seems to be a jack of no trades and a master of none as he still looks for a first victory after swapping The Emirates for Anfield. For as long as this reign of terror continues Arsene Wenger will be laughing while he sits on his pile of millions that were received for the somehow England international.

It had been quite the week for the Gunners though, first they were bullied out of their own stadium by FC Cologne fans after it turns out teams on the continent do actually take the Europa League seriously. Stories of how fans in the Club Level part of the stadium were simply aghast to find their seat dirty on arrival is just so Arsenal isn’t it.

Add the fact that one of their fans got ejected from Stamford Bridge in what is usually a feisty London derby. Nothing unusual about that you might think but when it is due to celebrating a goal that was then chalked off, I think that is the apex of the so Arsenal fandom graph.

In women’s Football Mark Sampson finally had enough mud thrown at him to stick long enough to see him sacked by the powers that be. I really do not know who comes out of this with any real credit to their name. I’ll leave it by just saying “that Sampson is a bit of a wild one isn’t he”

To finish, here’s one for you, and it will probably be one for the slightly older fans. Do you remember on Match Of The Day when either John Motson or Barry Davies used to tell you who was refereeing, but not only that, they would tell you where they live and then also their profession.

Obviously, this is of a bygone era as referees are now professional but I think they should put a modern twist on proceedings where commentators can give out the home address of officials should they have a bad performance.
With that a plethora of hate mail would then ensue, I think that would keep the likes of Michael Oliver and Martin Atkinson on their toes. Food for thought for the F.A.

Until next week