I'm not messing about with this gripe, let's dive right in. A professional football team - the champions of Europe nonetheless - are about to play their second game in two days because of scheduling conflicts brought about by a stubborn footballing authority. In 2019. How did we get to this stage?
Put aside the fact that Jurgen Klopp has actively been looking for ways to get thrown out of the competition at every hurdle and that the EFL have let him have his wish, another side might not be so willing to dump the cup. They got lucky that the so-called 'trophy dodger' won a trophy last summer.
The issues that people have harboured against the League Cup (the Carabao Cup, the Cowabunga Cup, the Caramel Cup, and so on and so forth) have been fairly longstanding. After French clubs decided that their own version was a bit pointless, England are now one of only two UEFA nations in the top 15 of the coefficient table to still have one, with Portugal in sixth being the only other.
Admittedly, a problem such as Liverpool's has never arisen before in reality, usually confined to the glitching and non-textured walls of EA Sports' FIFA career mode, but the potential has always been there. For some reason, the FA and EFL just love to tease fans with nonsense like this, particularly in the League Cup - remember the ABBA penalty system which was designed to eliminate shootout advantages but instead just gave journalists a chance to use awful puns? Mamma mia...
The two-legged semi-finals just after the Christmas period, yikes. The testing festive schedule has finally buckled under the pressure that it had carried for years. If they were a single-tie affair, then the Reds would have had time to play this quarter-final in January, then any other side who were playing a round behind wouldn't have to play in such lunacy. If Manchester City's match against Oxford tonight were to be postponed for whatever reason, when would it be played?
Watching the whole process of the EFL just force Liverpool into playing two games in two days strikes me with the same incredulity as esteemed film critic Roger Ebert had when watching the 2008 hit comedy Step Brothers starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly (if you haven't seen it, watch it).