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26th Oct 2017

The round by round balls-ups of the Carabao Cup draws

Darragh Murphy

They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

And if it was the intention of the higher-ups in Carabao to make their cup draws as shambolic as possible this season in order to glean exclusively negative media coverage, then they are absolutely nailing it.

*Almost* every round has seen one balls-up or another when it came down to the basic process of picking a ball out of a bowl and reading the corresponding team’s name aloud.

Round 1 – Two Charltons

Start as you mean to go on, they say. And if the Carabao Cup wanted to continue making its organisers look like utter buffoons, then they began in perfect style.

On June 16, as the first round draw got underway and baffled supporters Googled what the hell Carabao was, Charlton Athletic were handed a tricky tie away at Exeter City.

Compounding the difficulty of that particular game was the fact that they were also drawn to meet Cheltenham Town in the same round of fixtures.

Two Charltons, that’s strike one, Dr. Carabao.

Round 2 – Salako’s shocker

Definitely our favourite fuck-up of the Carabao Cup thus far came when John Salako had an absolute nightmare on live television.

“Bowl 1, in front of John, contains the seeded teams,”Sky Sports host, Julian Warren, kindly explained. “Bowl 2, here, contains an equal amount of red balls and white balls… A red ball denotes a home tie and a white ball denotes an away tie. And Bowl 3, in front of Alex, contains the unseeded teams.”

Straightforward, right? Wrong!

Salako simply couldn’t grasp the concept as he repeatedly mixed up which colour was supposed to apply to the location of the fixtures and became even more muddled up as the draw went on.

Poor John.

Round 3 – China???

For some mental reason, the decision was made to work the third round draw around the Chinese market.

Rather than broadcast the draw for the UK audience who, you know, actually care about the competition to some degree, the draw was made at 4.15am our time.

It took place in China at 11.30am local time in an attempt to convince an Asian audience to tune in to watch a cup competition that most in Britain barely bother with.

Round 4 – Actually pretty solid draw, well done to all involved

Round 5- We’re waiting…

After coming crawling back to British football fans, the decision was made to rope in the dream team of Phil Tufnell and Matt Dawson to draw the teams for the quarter-finals. Sorry John Salako, you had your chance and you blew it.chin

On Thursday, there could surely be nothing but smooth sailing as the organisers must have learned from their several errors so far this season.

Fans of Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, West Ham, Leicester, Bournemouth and Bristol City eagerly awaited news of their opponents in the last eight and excitedly opened their Twitter applications to watch the live stream which was scheduled for 4pm UK time.

4pm came and went. Then, at 4.20pm, the official Twitter account of the Carabao Cup announced that there had been a delay to proceedings due to a glitch at Twitter headquarters.

As the new 5pm timeframe quickly approached, panic ensued as they realised that they wouldn’t be ready for then either.

14 minutes after their new targeted time, this doozy arrived.

And then, at 5.45… 105 minutes behind schedule, when it became clear that the live-stream aspect simply wasn’t going to work, those in charge made the call to pre-record it and deliver the draw.

Round 6 – Going to be amazing

We simply can’t wait for the Christmas treat which will be the semi-final draw. It’s going to be shambolic and beautiful.

P.S. Carabao is an energy drink or something.

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Carabao Cup