For years, the League Cup has seen various sponsors. It was once the Milk Cup. It was once the Rumbleows Cup. Largely however, it’s referred to as the ‘Micky Mouse Cup’. Usually, Premiership sides put out weakened teams to ensure an injury free squad for ‘more important’ matches like league games, or in some cases, European fixtures. Well, last night, the nation’s love affair with our third favourite domestic cup took a turn for the better with some great matches, great tales and great goals.
Biggest news of the night was the shock victory at Roots Hall. Southend’s victory over a pretty decently turned out Manchester United showed how brilliant English cup football can be. Freddy Eastwood’s blistering freekick scorched the back of the ManYoo net, and showed that Alex Ferguson, in his twenty years and one day of football, still has a few things to learn. Aside from the biggest upset in years, the other matches showed English football at it’s best.
Charlton and Chesterfield provided a barnstorming game of football which resulted in penalties after a 3-3 thriller. Even though Mr Dowie was clearly pleased with the result, his Charlton side still have more than enough to worry about. Conceding three goals and scraping through on penalties to a lower league side does not bode well. Newcastle, looking farcical in the league (and in defence) also played their part in a super game of football, throwing everything they had into their quest for victory. The Mickey Mouse Cup? It might just save Glenn Roeder his job should they continue to progress. Also, ask the Newcastle fans if they want to win it after having a bare trophy cabinet for nigh on fifty years.
Another great tale of English football is the all conquering Wycombe side who find themselves in the Quarter Finals of the competition. A League Two side (or a Division Four side for us oldies) in the last eight of a cup? Ask them if it means anything if they get drawn against Chelsea.
All in all, a potentially dull Tuesday night of football was livened up by passionate performances, a real desire to win by all participants, and lots of goals. So, the Mickey Mouse Cup? I don’t think so. Long live the League Cup!