I’m quite irked by this competition on all sorts of levels, I know that the late great Brian Clough used to have a philosophy of trying to win any competition you get a chance to, but personally I think this one is worth passing by in favour of ensuring our key players are fit for the all-important league campaign. But there are specific reasons, other than the Mickey-Mouseness of the competition, that it irritates me.
Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t think we’re too big to be considered for such a tournament, and I don’t deny a day out in Cardiff for the final could be a good laugh, and certainly the kind of day that many of our younger supporters won’t have had the good fortune to have enjoyed with Forest, however:
- Loads of teams have been granted a bye for the first round (meaning they don’t have to play, they just go straight into the second round). Forest aren’t amongst these. It makes the whole competition seem ridiculously poorly planned in my opinion.
- Forest (and indeed, Notts) have been placed in the SOUTH EAST group (the teams are grouped into four regions) – that puts us alongside teams like Gillingham. Which is frankly insulting. It would be preferable to have a midlands break, but southern? How rude!
- There is a ruling relating to resting players, it seems a little wooly, but it is along the lines that the majority of your starting eleven have to have featured in the majority of your league fixtures. That seems ludicrous to me, I feel Forest should be actively using competitions like this to give fringe players competitive experience, and not risking key first team players to boot. Stupid! Lots of pretend injuries and illnesses are in order, please, Colin!
You might have noticed I’m not too enamoured with his at all – that said, if we draw Notts County it could be amusing, we’ve not played them competitively for 12 years when we lost at Lego Lane, Notts fans still celebrate this monumental event (we were promoted that season!), so it’d be either amusing to give them a less savoury immediate memory, or at least give them something more up to date to feel cheerful about.
Certainly we shouldn’t be taking it too seriously – Swansea went on to win it last season, arguably at the expense of their league form which took a serious tumble at the end of the season.