Originally this was going to be a preview for this week’s Capital One Cup ties but after last weekend I feel it’s necessary to discuss the surprising – even by Championship standards – events at St Andrews and Elland Road.
Birmingham City – who in case you needed reminding, lost 8-0 at home to Bournemouth at the weekend – should have sacked Lee Clark a year ago at the earliest. I appreciate that the situation with their former owner meant that there were some issues with who had responsibility for executive decisions at boardroom level but nonetheless this club is in a mess and I think they’re a very credible candidate for relegation. Last Saturday was the first time the Blues had conceded five goals or more at home in the league since September 2012 (Barnsley) and the first time they’d conceded six or more at home in the league since April 1993 (Swindon). Gary Rowett of Burton Albion is next man up: good luck with that.
As for Leeds, the sooner the clown in charge of the current regime at Elland Road leaves, the better. Both the appointment and sacking of some random Eastern European no-one had ever heard of as manager was beyond a joke. Unless they’re in the top or bottom six or get past the fifth round of the FA Cup, I’m not wasting my time writing about them again this season.
Blackpool sacked Jose Riga yesterday but I don’t think that was much of a surprise was it?
For the record, I feel sorry for all three sets of fans, all of whom deserve better.
So on to the Capital One Cup, where there’ll be one guaranteed place in the next round. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the clubs playing Premier League opposition takes their game to extra time, but as you’ll see below there are compelling reasons to think that Bournemouth and Brighton might not get any further.
Bournemouth v WBA
Last meeting: FA Cup 3rd Round, January 1999, Cherries won 1-0 but have lost both previous meetings in this competition, last game was a 4-1 defeat at Dean Court in August 2011. Bournemouth have never gone beyond this stage of the League Cup.
Fulham v Derby
The Cottagers have won both previous meetings in the competition; half of the last games between them in the league in West London have ended in draws. It’s been ten years since Fulham reached the fifth round; Derby reached the semis six seasons ago.
Spurs v Brighton
Haven’t met in any competition for over 30 years and Brighton’s only win at Spurs come in October 1981. The Seagulls haven’t reached the fifth round since 1978-79.
All being well, I’ll be back at the weekend. Unless anyone else gets the chop and/or there’s a major upset this evening…