Never has the prospect of a round of Carling left me feeling so disinterested.
Usually, the prospect of a frothy bevy is enough to raise a smile. In fact, it raised an erection when my mate got them in at the Oval on Sunday afternoon. Boy it tasted good.
But as Mick’s men prepare to quench our thirsts in the Carling Cup tonight, I really can’t be bothered.
Once upon a time, I was reared on our double Wembley successes in 1974 and 1980, when Dad would replay the highlights on the old VHS, starring Richards, Hibbett and co, with Skipper Mike Bailey and Emlyn Hughes pictured in iconic poses. I even bought him a commemorate badge, from a guy outside the Molineux a few years back, probably when it was better to reminisce than to look forward to the game.
So what an indictment, that I won’t be dragging my sorry backside down the Molineux tonight, to savour our appearance in a competition that gave my Dad his finest hours.
But I am not alone surely? The limp surrender in this competition, for so many years, has dampened my enthusiasm somewhat. I remember Bournemouth doing us, and I’m sure tonight’s opponents Swindon have also caused grief in McGhee’s tenure? Basically, whenever we’ve drawn a pretty decent home tie against fodder, we tend to bomb out.
Then there’s the fact that this competition has little, if any of the kudos that it used to have, before Rumbelows, Coca-Cola, Littlewoods and co got their names on it.
Sadly, the Carling Cup has all the fizz of the dregs in a drip tray, and is one of a few genuinely sad casualties of our ‘Beautiful Game.’
As we all know so well, if you’re not in the Premier League, then you really don’t matter. So forgive me as my attentions keep turning back to our game against Hull on Saturday.
It shouldn’t be this way. I shouldn’t want to trade in a defeat tonight for a win at the weekend. But I do. Craig Bellamy shouldn’t be able to kiss his Premier League badge, as some sort of compensation for the fact they’ve been knocked out of the FA Cup (when we beat Newcastle in 2003). But he did.
Surely football should be about winning, not singing. Not singing when you’ve finished 4th bottom in the Premier League? But Phil Brown knows the words alright. He knows that the words ‘Carling Cup’ mean nothing on a KC songsheet.
In the League of Greed, winning some silverware doesn’t pay. Not in the long run. Barclays have already chewed up and spat out that notion, like a dodgy credit card in their cash machine.
Nope, it is with regret that I say we use this competition, like Sky Sports use our fixture list this season…With contempt. We come, we see, we probably don’t conquer, and we all go home to concentrate on the real cup final this weekend.