Newcastle United will not participate in the EFL Cup


Shocking news today as Newcastle United have declined the invitation to take part in the EFL Cup, Rafa Benitez citing a busy Championship schedule as a reason.

I’m not going to lie. I am shocked. The EFL Cup (previously known as the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy) would have been Newcastle United’s chance to play against some Premier League sides depending on how far the club went through the stages. I thought Benitez would cherish that opportunity.

As it turns out, Rafa Benitez has other plans, and that is to focus solely on promotion. The Championship season is a grueling one, with 45 games taking place. The club was initially told that they wouldn’t be invited to take part in the tournament, and hence, started making other plans accordingly.

More from Newcastle Toons

Newcastle has begun plans to loan out U-23 players to give them first-team opportunities, and the club doesn’t believe that competing in a tournament that would add more games to an already hectic schedule is a smart idea.

There have also been changes to the loan system in England that will be taking place this season.

“Changes to the loan system, which come into effect this season, mean all loans must now be completed on a window-to-window basis, with emergency and youth loans no longer permissible.”

With 45 games in the Championship and FA Cup matches added on, the club does not feel that competing in another tournament is beneficial to fitness. Players would be more prone to injuries, and exhaustion would soon take over.

Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United are making the right decision here. It’s just one that I didn’t see coming. Newcastle can still take advantage of FA Cup matches to play against Premier League opponents, and those will be very important matches to watch. But it is good see that the priority here is being taken seriously.