Gary Wade crunches the numbers on the Capital One Cup
With the football league season starting a week later due to the Olympics, it felt in May as if the wait would be the longest for many a year even with the national side toying briefly at attempting to become European Champions. Perhaps it was the Olympics themselves that removed the doldrums of the close season and now, only a couple of days after the culmination of what was surely the greatest of all the “greatest shows on Earth” attentions can once again turn to a new campaign. Vast changes both on and off the pitch will make the season an intriguing one and galvanise support behind the team.
The season does however start a little differently because of the delay in the league campaign in that it starts with a cup fixture for the first time since the 1981/2 season when the Gills took part in the precursor to the now Football League Trophy – a “Group Cup” that Gillingham failed to qualify from. Games were played against Wimbledon, Southend and Orient before the league began with a decent 3-1 home victory over eventual champions Burnley on August 29th and the Gills eventually finished the league in 6th place.
Of course the new season this year begins with the League Cup, a more senior tournament with the greatest respect to the Trophy. Traditionally the first round takes place after the first league game has been played but the 1980/1 season was the last time one began with a League Cup tie - a home and away two leg affair against Colchester United who the Gills beat 4-1 on aggregate thanks in part to a goal in each game from Steve Bruce. Four days later the league kicked off away at Exeter with the Gills going down 2-1 to the side that would finish four places above them in 11th position.
Lately the tournament hasn’t been particularly a happy one thanks largely to the seeding criteria that ensures lower league sides feature against higher ones. Since the 1983/4 season the Gills have reached the third round on five occasions with the 1996/7 season going one round better – each of those seasons started against sides in lower divisions to ourselves. More recently the last six seasons have only managed to generate a second round appearance on one occasion with Blackburn ending the campaign in 2009/10 after the Gills had beaten Plymouth Argyle. With such a poor record in the competition it sounds like the ideal time to buck the trend!
Round 1 away results against..
Higher League Opposition
Round 1 total results against..
Higher League Opposition