Tonight Aston Villa bowed out of the Carabao, or ‘Mickey Mouse’ cup with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Middlesbrough, who Villa mustered an exciting 0-0 draw against exactly a week ago today.
But, is it the end of the world?
No, is the answer to that. We manged to get a number of players that were crying out for game time exactly that, as well as offering young players such as Callum O’Hare and Jake Doyle-Hayes a well deserved opportunity to play against better opposition than they would in the youth games.
Goalkeeper Jed Steer got the opportunity to impress, as did Elphick, Samba, Hutton and De Laet. Corey Blackett-Taylor and Jordan Lyden also came on as subs.
Yeah, the result wasn’t ideal, but Bruce will have seen things that will allow him to cement his ideal XI from this point. Until January, there will be no reason for Bruce to chop and change the squad unless there is severe injury or a huge drop in form.
As well as this, he won’t have players encroaching for a starting spot because of their great form in the cup.
This is the ideal situation for Aston Villa at the moment.
Whilst the League Cup garners fond memories for many a fan, this is not the time that we need to be sentimental.
Whilst other clubs in the league who are competing against us for promotion from the Championship AND battling away in the cup, we can use the valuable time to prepare for what is ahead, as well as allowing important players time to rest and be on top form for the next game.
We can only hope that the cup exit can be beneficial. Let’s hope we’re not eating our words come January.