Who cares about the Carling Cup?

Posted on September 21st, 2010 | 126 Comments |

Carling Cup anyone? Meh....
Carling Cup anyone? Meh....
I think it is fair to say that the Carling Cup has become a little devalued over the last few years.

It’s the same before every game in this particluar competiton. The team news pages of clubs that are participiating are full of names of reserve players who are set to get a chance and players who are just coming back from in injury or whatever.

The Carling Cup has now become the reserve cup, a poor relation to the FA Cup if you will. In reality it probably always has played second fiddle to the FA Cup although not quite to the extent we are currently witnessing. It just seems that nobody really cares about it anymore, me included.

That is not to say that if we got to the latter stages of the competition that I wouldn’t want Newcastle to go on and win it. Of course I would, seeing my team lift a trophy is what I dream about and is something I have yet to witness in my lifetime. If the Carling Cup changed that then I would be more than happy.

Which makes me wonder why I am being so down on the competition to be honest. I mean on the face of it this is the competition that gives some different teams a chance of winning some sliverware. Perhaps it is the fact that we have been drawn away at Chelsea, who are predictably going to field a weakened team, as we will no doubt. It still won’t make the game much easier though such is the quality that Chelsea have in their squad nowadays.

Maybe I am looking at the bigger picture a bit too much? I mean to me making sure we survive in the Premier League is the number one priority which means I am rather over-protective of our key players and don’t want them to risk getting injured in a competition that isn’t our main aim. Selfish? Boring? Maybe, but I hope you all understand where I am coming from?

At the end of the day the Carling Cup is not what it used to be. Once upon a time even the Manchester United’s and Arsenal’s of the world tried to win it. Now it appears that they will only try if their kids can get them to the final. To me that makes a bit of a mockery of the competition.

In short, if we can get past Chelsea and into the next round then I won’t be complaining, but I also won’t be complaining if we get knocked out.

Avoiding injuries is a must!

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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126 Responses

  1. A lot of teams that claim to have won something in recent years actually mean they have won this.

  2. Its devalued by the shitty sponsors like the milk cup, Coca cola, Worthington and Carling.

    The football league cup as it used to be and should still be called is the trophy we should have taken seriously over the last 20 years as we could have won it on at least 5 or 6 occasions instead of chasing impossible Champions league and UEFA cup dreams under various random managers.

    However this season is not the right one to go all out for it, Get Shola and Ranger up top, Lover and Raylor wide, Guthrie and Vuckic in the middle, A back four of Tavernier, Campbell, Kadar and Ferguson and put Krul between the sticks to bed in and save the rest of the first team for the Scrote match.

  3. To be fair, most teams take it very seriously once they get into the latter stages. They only take it lightly early on in the competition.

    I have to say I would also like win it and see it as a good opportunity to get back into European competition.

  4. toonsy,the only merit of this cup,is it a route into europe.i know we would take that,in normal circumstances,but this season no thanks.
    staying in the prem is the priority,we dont need the agg to be honest,coupled with the fact,would have to put out a full strength team against red roman’s boys.
    even with a full strength team,it would be nigh on impossible to beat them unless they field a team of kids.
    any other time i would say go for it,but not this season for me.

  5. Be nice to win a trophy and this comp is as good a place as any to start.
    Looking forward to the chelsea game but won’t be complaining much if we get beat-just don’t want us to pick up any injuries.

  6. The raccoons was awesome.

    European football would provide us with more money, improve our status and put a shiny trophy in our cabinet. But if we picked up injuries along the way we could end up in a relegation battle. Seen a few teams getting to the later rounds of this cup whilst in a relegation battle.

    Success breeds success. This is what our club needs, the Spurs Trophy!

  7. Seen a few teams getting to the later rounds of this cup whilst in a relegation battle.

    Aye didnt Boro got to both cup finals and were relegated in the same season :lol:

  8. In the last 6 years the League Cup has been won by Manure 3 times, Chelski twice and Sperms once.

    That to me suggests teams do care about it, whether they play “weakened” teams or not is irrelevant because they still make it through to the latter stages year after year.

    A good cup run is always nice but it invariably ends in heartbreak and the league has to be our priority this season anyway, so I will not complain if we field a team of reserves tomorrow night, even though I am making the long trip to Stamford Bridge to watch them.

  9. I think we’re in better shape than we have been for years to take on a cup competition, and in some ways (mainly financial via Europe) this one makes more sense than the FA Cup.

    We’ve plenty of midfielders that need competitive games and won’t get them while Barton, Tiote and Benny are on fire. We’re a bit short on left-backs, but apart from that (and, for now, goalies) we can actually afford to risk some fringe players.

    I say go for it. CC’s team above should give Chelski’s 2nd string a really hard night.

    If, later on, we do start to struggle with injuries, that’s the time to put kids in and let these competitions go. Right now, we need more games for our fringe players – so I hope CH really goes for a win tomorrow.

  10. I think it’s still an important cup for several reasons.

    First of all, there should never be an ethos of acceptable loss at any club. It’s an attitude that can spread from cup to league and that’s something that we cannot have.

    Secondly, the longer we stay in the cup, the more games those all important youngsters that we need to develop get. I know nobody’s going to lose on purpose, but I think it’s worth risking the odd senior player to help get the kids an extended run, particularly now we have a lot of quality in our first team.

    Last of all, we have a very big point to prove this season and a good way of showing that we mean business would be to claim a piece of silverware.

    Okay, it’s not the FA Cup, or even a major trophy, but wouldn’t you just love it if we picked up three pieces of silverware in 12 months (along with CCC and that Spanish Cup we somehow won by playing one game), especially since we’re not competing for honours at the top of the table.

  11. We were awful in the AS game but being a Geordie I am strangely confident that the same team will beat Chelsea’s fringe. :-)

  12. Oh, and Roy Hodgeson looks more like Cyril Sneer than peter Crouch. All he’s missing is the foreskin on the end of his nose.

  13. Awful? Really? We bossed the game for large periods and tried our best to pass it around even though the pitch was unfit for a cow field.

    AS deserved credit too but Lua Lua’s strike against the post and their late consolation meant the 3-2 scoreline flattered them ever so slightly.

  14. I expected a different performance, TC. I would have liked to have seen Lua Lua and Fraser play in this game.

  15. I for one would love to see us win this and a day out in Wembley would be savage! However survival is #1 priority and CH has already stated he will use the compo for the kids & Fringe players, I reckon Chelsea will be doing the same however so lets just hope we can beat them with what we have. With Sol, Shola, Loven, Smith & Raylor in the team thers still plenty of experince in there.

  16. A bit of topic but does anyone know when the Toon are next on the box? Been at sea and just been catching up with all the reports of our new and improved side and would love to watch them!

  17. Atko – reckon its a load o crap, He’s a v good record in Italy an all but think it would be a big risk bringing him to the premiership – If he cant cut it ther’ll be fook all re-sale value on him and i’m sure his wages would be fairly high.

  18. I’m quite confident about our match this Sunday, and I have Blackpool to thank for that. The team will be really up for it as they will be eager to rectify the mistakes made in the last match at SJP. The fact it’s on TV will only add to that. I think we just blow Stoke away with 3 or 4 players in unplayable form.

  19. Think ye could be right Toro – If they dont learn from what happened at Blackpool then its curtains – however I think they definately will and wont start as slugishly, also Tiote & Benny should be making first home starts which will defo boost our chances.

    Wont be easy tho…

  20. TROJAN-put some spaces after each comma mate and itll look much better-lol-u know, like that, like this look, lol, sorry mate-i used to do it aswell, til i seen the light hahaha

  21. Toonsy – whilst I was in complete agreement with you once I saw who we were drawn against, I can’t help but think my sentiments would have been different had we pulled a lower league side out of the hat. I would give my right arm to see NUFC get a piss easy ride through to the final, in much the same way as the Boro did when they won it. However, I think we’ve just had such rotten luck in cup draws over the past few years that I have lost interest in them myself.

  22. why is everyone so god damn confident! we just got beat off blackpool and now where going to stuff stoke! if im honest i think it will be a draw! stoke are not easy… good win at everton but i think we need to calm down

  23. For those of you that have Sky but not the sports package, Sky sports is free this Sunday so you will be able to watch the Stoke match for nowt.

  24. Nick, Stoke play with two centre halves as full backs, Huth and Collins, good in the air but slow, if we get at them down the flanks we will beat them, attack in the air through the middle and we will get nothing.

  25. Nick

    I am confident because of the context. I know Stoke are a tough team. Also, Stoke’s away record is not great.

  26. bigbad bob how do u no this sky is free sunday..was going to add that this week..wont do yet if u are right

  27. well i hope your both right! but were yous not very confident against blackpool! i was in Egypt watching the game in st georges with a mackem next to me! it ruined my holiday.. so my girlfriend got it later the slut :-) nowt bettet then reading paper when toon win

  28. I can see Pulis changing it for our pacey wingers, Rout and Benny boy. I will be nursing a semi if I see CB’s playing at full back for them on Sunday as those two should cream them all day long. I can see them trying to park the bus and nick it from a long throw.

    As for the cup game, yeah agree not fussed either way as long as the youth and reserves are played. It is not worth risking any of the 11 that played against Everton tomorrow IMHO (Krul aside). Could Simpson feature perhaps or is it too early for him still?

  29. Who gives a flying fck about the League cup? Unless we win it of course, then it will be the biggest and best cup on earth!

  30. Not sure batty mate just perhaps play quicker more recognised full backs to counter the pace, obviously having cb’s at full back gives cover and better positional sense but our pace should murder them

  31. Big Bad Bob is right. NUFC needs to keep the ball on the grass and run Stokes wheels off. We need to keep in mind that Everton did not have a striker on the pitch, all defenders and middles. That took some pressure off the Newcastle defense. One thing is certain, Stoke will do their best to keep the H-bomb from detonation.

  32. last time at SJP stoke were 2 – 0 down at half time and came back to take a draw. cost us dear. we need to be careful. final score nufc 4 stoke :-(

  33. I work for the company that sponsors the carling cup and it can be a bit disheartening to hear how little value is placed on the competition. This is money that reduces our profit n therefore hits or stops any bonus. The question is often asked if it is worth continuing to sponsor.

    At the end of the day it is money bein put into football n should be respected in the current climate.

    Sorry, end of rant!!

  34. I’ll be working and will miss the match, first match I will miss this season, watched all the others either live or on the box :(

  35. Asim – Yes it is. I’m sure I had an e-mail about even though I have Sky Sports :lol:

    Just have alook for yourslef mate as I am willing to be there will be a nasty catch in there somewhere ;)

  36. whey the back of me heed and me right arm is on youtube at the Everton game…….fame at last :-)

  37. I don’t think that Carling are low profile at all but the cup is still a cack pot. The league requires too much focus to have two cups on the go.

  38. I don’t think we should sniff at it, considering we havn’t won any ‘real’ silverware, since Harry was a lad. I know it’s not the ‘big 3’ but lets be realist here. It is about all that we could currently hope for in the top flight and thats why I think we should actually try. Why do we always get a hard team away though?

    That said, Chelsea clearly have bigger fish to fry and if Howsyabotty fields the kids and we get beat, Shola and co. can have no complaints in being bench fodder.


    Would be a decent enough team without risking first team starters. Some pace, delivery and finishing ability in the mix. Good chance for Krul to settle in between the posts and Kadar to brush up at LB as our replacement should anything happen to Enrique, he looked good there for the reserves against Chelsea last week before anyone starts with that ‘he’s a CB, play perch there’ tripe, Perch is suspended so tough s###.

  39. I think we all care because we’d all love to see us win a cup and because we’re all on a downer when we lose any game whether it be a league game or a meaningless friendly.We all realise though that survival is the first and main target and that everything after that is a bonus.

  40. Vuckic perhaps off the bench for Donaldson at some point, going from the game against a similar Chelsea team last week though, I know Vuckic scored but Donaldson was far better and I have never even liked Donaldson or understood why has was a youth international until now. Tavernier I deffo don’t rate at RB, thats why I would keep Newton there after last week, although Newton is one of our best reserve CM and is wasted there really. Possibly would play Tavernier in the middle with Campbell instead of Grieve.

  41. Agree with that team DJG apart from putting Kadar at CB and Taverier at LB – Know what ur saying about having Kadar at LB for experience but fek it think i’d prefer the stronger CB partnership if were tryna win the game

  42. I often wonder what would might have happened had Ashley made Hughton manager after Keegan walked. The truth is it might not have worked out as well as it has. Regardless of where we finish this season, I am grateful for the job Hughton has done. He has a lot of class which is what the club has lacked since Bobby was sacked. I am glad we purged the club of the expensive dross

  43. I think its important to try n win every game as winning breeds winning and that includes away against the top sides.

    I cant see us going 442 i think it will be 451

  44. Surely not. If Fairplay gets you into Europe surely the league cup does. I think the FA cup should have a champions league spot. But it will never happen

  45. Wasn’t there a change to the runners up not qualifying for Europe presuming the winner had qualified via other means???? Summick like that

  46. I think you have to accept that thats what this cup is about.A proving ground for fringe players that don’t want to be bench warmers.Also a chance for the supporters to see what they can do.If we did’nt have it we would have to invent it.

  47. The league cup, milk cup, carling cup.
    Channel 4 should sponsor it next, then it could be called, yes, you guessed it…
    The 4cup. :)
    Well i thought it was funny, but that’s just me. ;)
    Oh, the usual response really, play the bairns, & bench boys, try & win n’ stuff, it’s a cup, path into europe & stuff. Er, survival in the league’s more important.
    Blah, blah, blah. Like Stu said, it sucks, unless you happen to win it, then it’s the coolest thing ever.
    I’m sure you can all sense my enthusiasm by now.
    Everyone’s right on this so far, well done lads.
    So stoke next up.

  48. I think we need to try hard because if Chelsea arn’t bothered and put out the kids we should be able to play some senior players and get a sneeky result, plus anything can happen in football. We might get Blackpool at home or somthing in the next game, and wouldn’t that be nice. It is a real chance of us getting to Wembley this season if we really try with our strongest available players against the likes of Blackburn and Fulham. Imagine being able to go to Wembley this season with the toon army, not something I have done unfortunately and one I would love to tick off.

  49. DJG,
    aye mate, true.
    But i think most have a point on this one.

    Though i’m not chowed about wembley as a place, don’t know why, just never really meant anything to me, even as a bairn. SJP, now that’s another matter.
    Maybe cos it’s the fa’s ground & me being a recalcitrant get n’all that.
    All for winning a cup, just don’t really care where.

  50. Citeh ticket………season ticket holder so no membership needed.
    Whats it like that far down the FF league ;-)

  51. Off-topic a little bit. I will comment about this new blog entry in my next post.

    This was what i predicted right after the man utd Match. My 2010 matches predictions. all 19matches. And so far so good.i got 3/4 correct. I made this prediction before in the old blog entry and i will show it up again here.

    Aston Villa (3points) Correct.
    Blackpool(3points) Wrong,didn’t expect. 8O
    Everton(3points) Correct.
    Stoke City(3points)

    October Matches
    Man city(0point)
    West Ham(3points)

    Sunderland(3points) Based on the fact they only rely gyan and bent..Whereas we have lots of more potential goalscorer.

    November Matches
    Arsenal (0point)
    Blackburn(1point)Might be tricky match to face with sam.

    November matches may result us having potential losses alot.

    December Matches.
    Man City(0point)

    In general,Both Nov and Dec would be a real test to our NUFC players,and i hope there will be some GOOD surprises like our past few matches. ;)

  52. We are in danger of getting carried away with our better than expected start. We need to forget about anything but pl survival. Play the kids until we reach the semis and then play first team as long as we are safe.

  53. AOD – I just hope we are safe before the last eight or so games of the season. It’s a rather tough run in we have IMO.

  54. Okay now to comment about this.

    From the way what Carlo Ancelotti said that he will put the youngster in,and i am sure we will see some familiar faces just like the reserve match. Though we lost during that match,just because of krul last ditch tackle…

    Judging from that,Our reserve is already capable of winning that,and not forgetting…we ain’t playing full reserve team,we still have some senior players too…

    So from that,if both Lampard and terry doesn’t play,i am quite confident we can beat them and go next round.

    I think right now,we need not fear any injuries what so whatever,as we have enough to cope by right now. U see? Peter,Shola,Ryan…this 3 ain’t in first team lately…But they still can help us go through a good cup run.

    So why not give it a try..and go as far as possible.Not forgetting Haris And ranger.two currently outstanding youth we have.

  55. Micky Toon

    Having sat through blackpool Im not getting carried away at all but I think things are looking up and we certainly shouldn’t fear the drop as there is far worse. Interesting what Tiote has said.

    “I am happy with my debut, the refs let the tackles fly in this league and that is one of the strong parts of my game. I can take tackles but I am a good tackler as well.”

    “With Kevin Nolan and Barton around, our midfield will cherish any battle,” he added.

    “I am happy with the win; if we play compact like that then Ben Arfa will make all the difference for us.”

    I know it’s slightly premature but I think these two lads could lift the squad from strugglers to mid-table. Especially like what he said about keeping the midfield compact and then getting the ball to our wide men. Most of the battle is won and lost in midfield like we saw at Everton.

  56. Indian Magpie says:
    September 21, 2010 at 1:13 pm
    last time at SJP stoke were 2 – 0 down at half time and came back to take a draw. cost us dear. we need to be careful. final score nufc 4 stoke
    <<<< aye that was down too jokinears brilliant subs .

  57. @toonsy: i know our ultimate aim is just to stay on in this league for this year..but if you look at my prediction above..we would/may/possible to get 30points when year end…Which kinda 80% confirmed we will NOT be relegated.Cause we simply need 3 GAMES in 2011 to get 39points!!!~~Which i don’t think 39points would get us relegated. :) :)

    But like what i mentioned 24points would be the minimum amount points for 2010 matches.

  58. AOD – I’m not so sure. I think it’s early days but the way it is looking it could take a larger amount of points than usual to stay up. The three promoted teams have already broken the record for number of points gained after promotion to the Premier League (21 points), so unless they start dropping off I reckon it could be a larger amount of points his time around.

  59. We need to stay up at all costs.

    If we stay up this year, the way the club is talking we will have a rather healthy transfer budget next season. It will be bigger than probably 80% of the league if things stay as they are. That would see us make an impact in the league imo.

  60. AoD

    The Wigan, West Ham and Sunderland matches are v important. Wigan and West Ham, to keep them rooted down the bottom, and Mackems for pride and return to top dog status, by which time I can see them languishing in bottom half, looking at their run of matches up until then. These three games are very important that we get 9 points IMO. That will settle us and could send us on our way to a few suprise wins like Everton. In Dec we have a hard month and the run in is hard. Saying that though the last two home games against Birmingham and West Brom should save us if struggling. Would be nightmare if we were scrapping it out with baggies for death or glory in final game, but considering the starts of the two teams don’t think that will happen.

  61. DJG says:
    September 21, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Wigan, West Ham and Sunderland matches? You’re looking at 9 points from them? I’d like to think we could get that many points but Blackpool shows that home games aren’t going to be easy to win.

  62. I think DJG has it spot on. We should be looking for 9 points from them three home games. Looking being the operative word.

  63. West ham is away but I think we should still be look to do a job on them. Im not saying we will get 9 points but I would prefer we really tryed in these matches and switch off away at man City or somewhere than do our usual thing of not trying against a tripe team. West Ham have got 1 point from 5 attempts, not exactly a mammoth ask to get something down there.

  64. Same as a lot of people have already said, not fussed at all about CC-obviously if we won it I would have no problem telling all my mates that its the biggest domestic cup :) And obviously I would love to see us lift some silverware (though would it be as impressive as that monster we won off deportivo? :) ) But we certainly shouldn’t start risking first teamers-and I count Arfa and Tiote in that catergory now. Give Smith the nod to see if he fights back, chuck him the captaincy for it as well as I’d prefer it on him that Shola. I’d stick Ameobi/Ranger up front, with Loven on the left. Not sure to do as far as keeping goes though..I imagine if we put Soderberg then we’re as good as done for, if not in this competition then later on, but can we really be risking Krul? ah well, survive this season and we’ll see where we are-or alternatively see how far our youngsters get us in the F.A-because by its later stages we’ll know how we’re doing in the league and whether we can risk going all out for it.

  65. ‘we certainly shouldn’t start risking first teamers-and I count Arfa and Tiote in that catergory now.’

    Nah their our reserves. ;)

  66. ;)

    I just meant that some people were pushing for them to get a bit more game time with our squad/show us what they can do as obviously we can’t get carried away with one performance…but it would be just our luck for one of them to get summit broken.

  67. Off topic and just out of interest….

    Anyone on here like watching the snooker, or are you just footie fans?

  68. gone off it in recent years DJG but lookin forward to seein Ronnie and the Whirlwind playin on Thursday

  69. Batty

    Man for man on paper you’d have had us in the top half of the Prem when we went down :)
    Still, I know what ya mean, I’ve only watched a few full games of the other teams, and all have their weaknesses, Manure and Arsenal included, Chelsea are doing brilliantly so far but I guess they haven’t had a real test yet..

  70. NewkieBrown says:
    September 21, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Man for man on paper you’d have had us in the top half of the Prem when we went down
    <<<<< kna that team was full of wasters :)

  71. I’ve got an interesting argument, who has the better starting XI, ourselves or the mackems. Personally i reckon it is very close but being a Nufc fan i would say we just shade it ;)

    S.Taylor Williamson Coloccini Enrique
    Routledge Barton Tiote Ben Arfa

    Subs; Soderberg, Campbell, Perch, Guthrie, Jonas, Lovenkrands, Ameobi.

    Onouha Turner Mensah Richardson
    Al-Muahamady Henderson Cattlemole Malbranque
    Bent Gyan.

    Subs; Mignolet, Ferdinand, Bramble, Riveros, Zenden, Reid, Welbeck.

    So what you guys reckon?

  72. @batty: :( :( i only predict once. and above is to bring up my old prediction once more.

    I am using just a gauge on the performance of the team.

    Blackpool next few games are tricky as they face the likes of liverpool,blackburn, Man city and Birmingham.

    Whereas,WBA next few games are tricky as they face the likes of Arsenal,Bolton Wanderers,Manchester United, Fulham.

    We shall keep an eye on how they perform then. ;)


  73. Daan4tooN

    The mackems have some sh!t players aswell, but I think with Onohua at RB and Bent up front we would be a top half team nailed on, as much as it pains me to say it.

  74. Newkie,
    chelsea have had the easiest start that i’ve seen a champ winning team ever have.
    What a work that is.
    They haven’t played anyone yet, manc this week is their first test.
    That’s a fair few games start there like.

  75. DJG,
    yeah there such a one man team, they haven’t won a game for a year without Bent scoring and he has never missed a premier league game for them the lucky buggars!

  76. what would we rather see newcastle stay in the prem or an extended cup run?……silly question i no,the big teams are not intrested in the carling cup cause they are more than likely going to finish high enough in the league to get in2 europe but this cup tempts teams likeus who arent expected to make europe giev it a go. im hopin CH will do what he did agains accrington and if we loose never mind.we gotta stay where we belong, in the prem and above scumderland, cant risk our better players getting injured 4 what these days has turned in2 a mickey mouse cup.