24. Aug, 2021

Can I shock you? I miss the Papa John's trophy....

Tuesday night without a City game is a bit strange at the moment.

The games come thick and fast in the football league so not playing leaves you at a loose end.

However I've surprised myself by feeling a little green eyed towards Lincoln playing Manchester United's youngsters or Scunny getting their pants pulled down by Man City's U21.

Even a fiver accumulator on some league cup games getting more than 2.5 goals doesn't seem to have distracted me, mainly as Leeds can't score vs Crewe despite having infinite fans there against the mighty Crewe Alexandra...

The Papa John's trophy was a surprisingly enjoyable diversion last year and one in which we could actually get playing time for younger or fringe players. I believe it was where Jacob Greaves got his first start and it also provided the likes of Regan Slater and Lewie Coyle a stage to promote their qualities during periods when they weren't in the first eleven.

In the middle of a second depressing lockdown we could pay the marvellous folks at i-follow a tenner and hey presto, you're watching us in that glorious blue and white kit against Harrogate Town, or confirming to the people of Grimsby and their poisonous gnome of a manager that they are indeed heading out of the football league again. We were either playing teams who took the competition seriously like Fleetwood or ones that really wanted to beat us like Lincoln or the aforementioned fishermen.

Even some of our more mediocre performers last year had some real highlights, both James Scott and Martin Samuelson bagged absolute crackers only minutes apart and then there was also "that" goal. City 2-0 down and heading out to Fleetwood we somehow clawed our way back into the game and then Lewie Coyle hit the thunderbastard (C) of the season to finish the job.

The beauty of all "tin pot" cups was it didn't really matter if we lost and when we eventually exited to Lincoln on penalties there was no particular consequence. If anything the game against Lincoln in particular gave us the measure of them that would help us deliver promotion there a couple of months later. We also didn't have to have a cringe worthy day at the empty Wembley like Sunderland, who never seemed to recover from this dubious honour.

The gap this year between U23 or fringe games seems unfathomably bigger in the Championship and our short dalience in the League Cup means that we haven't really got the platform to blood young players as much, it's a shame we couldn't have sneaked past Wigan to just get one more game for the Olly Green's and Will Jarvis's who could have really done with it. U23 games are all well and good but they rarely replicate the competitive edge that we got last year from our Pizza fun cup.

The PJT was the unsung hero of last season and I'm sticking with that conclusion. I just hope we don't qualify for it next season despite my happy memories. Ho hum.

Update...Leeds have now scored three goals in front of half a million people at tatty Ellend Road, but my bet went down because Fulham Birmingham only provided two goals. It's a lose lose situation, I still don't have any pizza.

Thanks for reading.