One could be forgiven if the announcement of Arsenal being drawn into the Carabao Cup caused momentary confusion this morning. Preseason is over, after all, and the rebranding of the League Cup isn’t usually at the forefront this early. But grab your favourite Thai Energy Drink and get ready because here comes the fixture glut!
This morning, Arsenal drew the home spot in a match up with League One newboys Doncaster Rovers, who dispatched Hull City in their second round match-up. Doncaster will be looking out for a massive upset, not having defeated Arsenal in any competition since 1902, their only victory over the Gunners in, erm, eight matches.
Suffice to say, these teams don’t really have any history. The last meeting was in 2005 in the League Cup, where Arsenal had to battle back twice from goal deficits to eventually earn a shootout victory. Goals from Gilberto Silva (remember him?) and Quincy Owusu-Abeyie (remember HIM? ... liar) were just enough on the day to squeak Arsenal onto round four.
Given recent results, Arsenal will likely take the same. Despite all the flash and branding, the Carabao Cup will likely remain the backburner competition with Wenger likely to play the other half of the team most of us forget still have the right to pull on the shirt. Particularly with the game going September 19th, two days after Arsenal’s league visit to Stamford Bridge.
Expect a lot of narrative for what will largely be a meaningless match in the long run of Arsenal’s season. Magic of the Cup.
Full draw results can be found here.