The first competitive fixture that Bolton Wanderers fans will be able to plan for will be known on Friday morning, when the first round of the League Cup or Carabao Cup to give the competition it’s current name, is made.
Since Carabao came on board as title sponsor last season, I’ve still not drunk a drop of Carabao. Has anyone? Is it just a pound shop Red Bull? There has been some sort of urge to push the competition’s brand and stature abroad, but the EFL and all else concerned might want to know their place on this and realise that for pretty much every one of the 92 clubs, it’s at best the third most important competition behind the league and the FA Cup. Many countries have just the one cup competition. The same goes for international viewers and fans, and I’m not sold how staging draws in far-flung locations is going to make people in Singapore, Serbia or Santiago tune in. Maybe Shaun Harvey just wants a holiday somewhere. It’s the League Cup. Of course, it’s important, but the EFL should have bigger priorities, first and foremost their leagues and member clubs.
This year, the first round draw is being staged in Vietnam. Why Vietnam I don’t know. Hopefully, the second round draw will be made by James Corden, Ricky Gervais and Michael McIntyre on the Korean Demilitarized Zone. If it’s going to be daft, do it properly daft.
Further to that, there’s no live stream of the draw, which in 2018 is poor. Some would also say suspect, but there are better things to rig than the first round of the League Cup.
In any case, we’re ball five for the Northern Section. We can draw any other northern side, which includes Shrewsbury, Walsall, Mansfield, either Nottingham side, or Mansfield, after seeding was abolished.