Long before the same thing happened in the FA Cup, the League Cup has been used as a chance to give fringe and young players a run out in the first team. That is, of course, until a team gets near to playing at Wembley when suddenly all the regular players want back in along with their chance of winning a medal. Tonight was no different for Aston Villa as nine changes were made to the team that had opened up the Championship campaign on Saturday.
Now it may be that some of Saturday’s players just didn’t fancy it – after all, it was raining for the whole of the game and some of the areas of the pitch had a fair bit of surface water on them. So, mixed in with a few older players looking for game time, Steve Bruce gave starts to Callum O’Hare, Andre Green and Josh Onomah and then brought on Rushian Hepburn-Murphy and Keinan Davies in the second half. When you add in places on the bench for Jake Doyle-Hayes and Mitchell Clark you get the picture of how youthful the squad was.
Five of these players have been more accustomed to the Aston Villa U23 squad rather than the First Team with Josh Onomah having experience with Spurs in the Premier League and Andre Green having game time with Aston Villa in The Championship last season.
Yet none of the players looked out of place tonight with probably Callum O’Hare and Josh Onomah being the two stand out players of the bunch. In fact, Callum O’Hare did not look out of place at all and was arguably the main Villa threat up front (not withstanding Hogan’s goal).
So, what we can really say about tonight is that those younger players played like men, while it was raining. Maybe this season won’t be so bad after all.
You can watch the video of ‘It’s Raining Men’ by clicking HERE