It’s the League Cup! This year, it’s called the Carabao Cup, Carabao being, according to the wikis, a Thai energy drink. This is Aed Carabao - the lead singer of a band called Carabao, who apparently go the Ramones route and name themselves after their band. Carabao (Aed Carabao, not the band) started the energy drink brand, and has seen it become, according to those same wikis, the second most popular energy drink in Thailand.
But none of that is germane to Doncaster Rovers! Rovers are currently 19th in the 24 team League One, the Yorkshire side having gained automatic promotion from League Two via a third place finish in 2016/17. They play in the magnificently named Keepmoat Stadium, and the Doncaster Belles, their slightly retrograde-named women’s team (although to be fair, their first stadium was named Belle Vue, and that’s where they took part of the inspiration for their name), is a team on the same level of success as Arsenal’s women’s team, historically speaking, although lately Arsenal have surpassed them.
Rovers are managed by a somewhat familiar name, if not face - Darren Ferguson, son of Sir Alex, is the guy in the tracksuit. Er, suit. Anyway, all I know about Darren Ferguson is that it takes some serious spine to want to do the exact same job as your father, when your father was arguably the best person at doing that job in 50 years. I can’t imagine the pressure, but apparently Darren doesn’t mind, because here he is.
But enough about Doncaster. You’re here to read about Arsenal! And Arsenal, after their well played 0-0 draw at the weekend, are heavily rotating their squad for this, the competition that’s probably fourth on the four-competition pecking order. Wenger said today that the squad will be a mix of starters and youth, and that “it will be a similar team to the one that played against Cologne”.
Danny Welbeck is of course out, but the boss also said that neither Mathieu Debuchy nor Mesut Özil will be involved either. On the bright side, Calum Chambers and Jack Wilshere should see significant minutes, so that’s interesting.
On the whole, this shouldn’t be a huge amount of effort for Arsenal. If they win, yay! Winning is fun! If they lose, ignore all the mopes who will continue the ARSENAL IN CRISIS narrative, because ultimately, in the grand scheme of this season, nobody cares about this competition anyway.
Carabao Cup third round
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
11.45AM PT/2.45PM ET/7.45PM BT
Emirates Stadium, London
US: ESPN3, WatchESPN, Arsenal Player (audio)
Not-US: livesoccer.tv has all your information.