Birmingham City won the Carling Cup last season, and are now in European competition this season.
But in all honesty Birmingham were just hopeless last season, and kept their best performances for the Carling Cup competition, and they did very well to reach the final and did well to beat Arsenal 1-0 at Wembley.
But that terrible Arsenal defense did present the Midlands club with a golden opportunity to score in the 89th minute, and former Newcastle striker Oba Martins took the chance from one yard out – and Birmingham won 1-0.
I mention this because the top teams play their second elevens in this competition, and it’s what Newcastle have done these last two seasons.
But teams like West Ham and Birmingham didn’t and they played strong sides in the competition, and Birmingham reached the final and West Ham reached the semi-finals, yet both teams were relegated.
So if those two poor side can do well in this Cup competition, then there’s no reason why Newcastle cannot have a good run this season.
It seems that Haris Vuckic, Alan Smith, Sylvain Marveaux, Dan Gosling and Steve Harper could all start this game tomorrow, and we are told that Alan Pardew is taking this cup tie seriously, which is good to hear.
This is what Alan said about the Carling Cup in yesterday’s press conference:
“I guess what happened to Birmingham last year is not going to fill us all with great enthusiasm.” “I think if you feel you are strong enough to attack the Cup and the Premier League with the squad you have of course it is a target.”
“You only need to look at our bench on Saturday and the players who did not make the bench – like Alan Smith – to know we are much stronger squad-wise to attack this competition and the FA Cup.”
“Certainly when we got knocked out of the FA Cup by Stevenage, we will be looking to have a stronger squad. We are certainly buoyed by that.”
It’s a great opportunity for some of the Newcastle players getting a chance tomorrow night, to show what they can do for the team, and surely the side that Pardew fields should be good enough to get to the third round?
We hope so!