Only three days after our first defeat of the new season, we head to championship side Crystal Palace for the Carling Cup second round. This years competition will yet again give the younger, and outer edge players to play and show Martinez what they are capable of.
It is likely that most first team players will be rested, giving the chance for Shaun Maloney, Alber Crusat and Patrick Van Anholt to make their full club debuts. One definite first teamer who will not make the squad is Emmerson Boyce who pulled up with a thigh injury in the Man City game, he is likely to play against Everton this weekend.
As for the home team, after last year only just managing to survive in the championship, they have regrouped and pulled together a very strong team. They currently sit 8th with ten points, and will not be an easy team to play on their home turf.
However like ourselves, the league is more important to Dougie Freeman, so I would expect some of their starting eleven to be rested.
So what is it worth?
Well the Carling cup is what many people call the Mikey Mouse Cup, it doesn’t really mean much, and it normally dominate by the big club reserve sides.
However the cup does have value to most clubs outside the top six in England. Winning the cup gives you qualification to the Europa League, which will one provide a chance to play against clubs from all around Europe and two bring in valuable revenue money.
Now many people don’t know, but in Latics first season, we could have accepted a place into the Europa League. Paul Jewel and co believed that it would be one step to far for the club at that time.
In the present situation, the chance to be able to get anything in Europe, is opening a door that for Latics has been closed, in the league. Therefore we should really treat it as something to give us a chance to boost the club’s profile as well as financial state.
Look at Stoke City, they have slowly built up a squad. After winning the FA Cup and gaining access to the Europa League, they have managed to sign players that many would have thought in the past they could not, i.e. Jonathon Woodgate, Peter Crouch and Wilson Palacios.
This has to be looked at by the management and the players as step one towards Europe.