NUFC vs. BURNLEY (home): Carabao League Cup Second Round  

At 7:45pm Wednesday 25 August 2021  

Claret and Blues: Match Preview  

It is August and with the League Cup requiring accommodation in the fixture list for us second-round-entering, non-European-playing clubs, the games seem to come thick and fast.  Wednesday’s League Cup game will likely be the third in a row for NUFC in which the opposition takes to the field in ‘claret & blue’: following West Ham United (h) and Aston Villa (a).

Those two games proved to be two defeats, each by a two-goal margin (could have been more), and, with no clean sheet in any of the four halves, is an appalling state of affairs.  Other articles, match reports and autopsies have made their grisly dissections, so there is little need to revisit the horror of large parts of those games here.

I would though just like to draw attention to my betting tip from last time out: “If you can get over even money, take Ings as anytime scorer on Saturday.”  Anyhoos that’s my one winner out of the way for the season, so do yourself a favour and ignore my tips from now on.

This is a depressing and ‘blue’ start, with many of us turning to the ‘claret’ to dull the mental anguish of thinking about how rotten this team/squad/club is – so, we hope it will be third time lucky this Wednesday and we can grab a win.

The cache of the League Cup, if it ever had any, has never been lower.  Having just turned 50 last week, I am old enough to bore you with a little trip down Memory Lane, to remember the competition being called, rather quaintly ‘The Milk Cup’ – even though most people drink the white, healthy stuff out of a glass; halcyon days of yore indeed.

The competition was then sponsored in the 1980s by the ‘football pools’ / high street department store ‘Littlewoods’ (ask your Dad / Grandad), which was bad enough.

However, worse was to follow as the domestic white goods / electrical retailer ‘Rumbelow’s’ became sponsor.  Yes, it was called the ‘Rumbelow’s Cup’, stop sniggering at the back.

‘Rumbelows Cup’ sounds like a villain from a Charles Dickens novel or perhaps an uncomfortable tropical, gastric condition caused by drinking too much grog at sea in the 1850s – however this was a mere 30 years ago; likely when I was watching too much ‘Call My Bluff’ (ask your intelligent uncle), as we only had 4 channels of television.  Fuck, I’m old.

Rumbelow’s (the company) never made a trading profit, and went out of business fairly quickly, so no surprise they brought back the original three-eared pot on League Cup Final Day, though a silver teas-made (ask your Nana) would have been much more amusing trophy.

I digress, back to the future and our opposition.

Will Sean Dyche be our next manager?  He’s happy with limited resources, at a fallen giant of a club, spends wisely, but is (hopefully) becoming a bit stale at Turf Moor.

Burnley have just got new owners as, in December 2020, American investment company ALK Capital acquired an 84% stake in Burnley for £200 million.  This is the first time the club has been run by anyone other than local businessmen and Burnley supporters.  I think this is a bit of a shame; with modern football, business and money killing another bit of tradition.  It also might mean they give the Dyche-meister the boot if he doesn’t convert enough touch-downs in the end-zone.

If so, I’d welcome SD as the boss at SJP – admittedly anyone would be an improvement on the current incumbent, but Dyche would be great as he sets up well-drilled teams, which rely on organisation, team-work and graft, with a clear pattern of play, are able to grind out results and stay in the division – familiar?  Is Dyche a ginger, also-baldy, Poundshop Rafa who goes to the same goatee barber, and also has a penchant for a light shirt and club tie?  You tell me.

The Ginger Rafa relies much more on playing a 4-4-2 than the real one, which gives solidity, but also goal threat (two things of which NUFC need much more), be it big man / little man, or two huge lumps in the middle.

And speaking of lumps, I have heard rumours that at least one of the TF Cabal has small throw-cushions on his bed with Chris Wood’s face printed upon them, likely stuffed with the New Zealander’s chest hair and pubes, or so it seems as some rate the Wood so highly they can’t stop wittering on about him, his ability and his nose like a misshapen lump of plasticine (ask your Art Teacher).  I am less impressed – he’s ok.

Wood will probably not be playing and/or flaying his elbows into defenders’ faces, as squad rotation kicks in; which good for all concerned, especially NUFC cheekbones.  It is the League Cup so both teams will be padded out with reserves and squad players, so it is nigh on impossible to predict the teams for either side.

We all wanna see some of the Longys, before the inevitable loan out and/or sale on deadline day, so let’s hope they play.

The way I see it is that the NUFC team and formation these days is akin to a drunken monkey slinging his own loose faecal matter at a whiteboard – some sticks, in some places, for some periods of time, but it isn’t pretty to look at, lacks any discernible pattern, watching it makes you wonder why you are there and breathing it in leaves an acidic, bitter taste at the back of your mouth.

If the sides play to type, then it’ll be a single goal either way that swings the result – bet on under 1.5 goals.  Or don’t.  I’m going, so, I think it’ll be 0-0 and pennos, which we will lose.

CFM Crap Fact:  Note to those who remember the 90’s: Ian Woan is Burnley’s Assistant Manager – there you go, no sleep for you tonight, you thought you’d got over it, nee chance: Woany, Cantona & Fenton will be dancing an ever-lasting jig together atop of all our graves one day.  

CASTLE FARM MAG – aged 50 and 11 days.