Mansfield Town start their EFL Trophy (Checkatrade Trophy) campaign against Doncaster Rovers tonight
I’ve heard plenty of fans suggest that if this competition is a success then we’ll see Premier League U23 sides in the Football League in the future. I don’t think that’s true.
I heard the new chairman of the Football League interviewed recently. He was asked what would happen if two U23 teams reached the final at Wembley.
He basically said it would knock the idea of the experiment on the head as no-one would have wanted that.
And he said that the bigger Premier League teams not being involved was “disappointing”.
Listening between the lines, I took it that the experiment is effectively over before it’s started. I don’t believe at all that many of the top Premier League clubs want to have their U23’s play in the Football League, as evidenced by the bigger clubs pulling out of this competition.
And Richard Scudamore, the Premier League CEO, has repeatedly said recently that the Premier League does not want its teams having U23 teams playing in the Football League itself.
The whole idea of the EFL Trophy this season is flawed in my opinion though. The Premier League and Championship U23 teams should never have been introduced and the prospect of playing extra games with the round-robin stage at the start of the tournament, is ludicrous when the Football League rather schizophrenically recently suggested that the size of the leagues needs to be reduced to four divisions of 20 clubs because the clubs are plying too many games.
On a practical note, I think each team can make five changes from their previous league game, or take a £5,000 fine.
I had originally thought that Danny Rose’s third game of his suspension will be in the EFL Trophy against Doncaster. It turns out he is eligible for the EFL Trophy game but suspended for the league against Cambridge. A bit of a shame actually, but that’s the situation.
According to Adam Murray it’s because the EFL Trophy games are considered a block of three.
Or something like that anyway! Presumably Danny Rose will get a game on Tuesday then. Adam Murray will surely make as many changes as he’s allowed giving precious game time to the likes of Taft, McGuire, Baxendale, Hoban, and Danny Rose.