It’s just possible the Football League Trophy has been re-vamped by Simon Cowell and Noel Edmunds.
They know how to lose viewers. Unnecessary tinkering and pointless gimmicks will usually do the trick.
Posh were thumped by some Norwich kids tonight (August 30), but they’re not yet out of the Checkatrade Trophy. The impressive young Canaries are not yet through either.
Oh no, this is a knockout competition from which it’s hard to get knocked out, not without some prolonged torture, even after a 6-1 pummelling which should embarrass those with designs on a starting place in League One matches.
Posh boss Grant McCann appeared to make his priorities obvious by making seven changes to the line-up that played so well in victory at MK Dons on Saturday.
But, although a match avoidance scheme was expected among supporters, McCann was presumably as surprised as the rest of us that his fringe players appeared to have organised a boycott as well.
‘Arrogant’ he called some of them in the minutes straight after the drubbing. Equalling the club record of heaviest home defeat is not really something to be proud of.
Norwich were 4-0 up at half-time without even playing particularly well. Speed, a willingness to accept enough of the gifts coming their way and a commitment unmatched by opponents was enough to expose some rather slow-moving and slow-witted Posh players. The home players would have struggled to keep pace with sloths never mind Canaries.
Josh Murphy sped past Jerome Binnom-Williams for 1-0 in the sixth minute, Tony Andreu volleyed home a corner two minutes later, James Maddison’s 25-yard strike was deflected over Mark Tyler by Michal Bostwick midway through the half and on the stroke of half-time Andreu claimed his second after smart play by one-time Posh loanee Harry Toffolo.
The new goalkeeper watching from the stands - he is expected to sign on loan for Posh tomorrow - would have been forgiven for immediately hailing a taxi back to whence he came.
Posh enjoyed plenty of possession in the opening half, but created little until Ryan Tafazolli headed Marcus Maddison’s free kick wide on the half hour. Visiting goalkeeper Ben Killip amused himself by making saves from Shaquile Coulthirst and Nicholls appear harder than they were.
Coulthirst and Nabi, two players who really should be banging on the first-team door, were withdrawn at half-time which enabled teenager Deon Moore to make his first-team debut.
Moore is a powerfully-built young man and he was joined on the pitch later by youth team-mate Morgan Penfold who might well have scored with his first touch as a first-team player following a strong run by Binnom-Williams.
Posh did rose themselves after the break and pulled a goal back on 52 minutes when captain for the night Jermaine Anderson dived to head home a Ricardo Santos cross, but hopes of a Checkatrade comeback were dashed four minutes later when Andreu completed his hat-trick from close range.
In truth Norwich were a class apart in the second half, exploiting the lack of pace on the right hand of the Posh defence at regular intervals and it was no surprise when Josh Murphy scored his second goal of the night following a cut-back from that area.
Posh kept going with Binnom-Williams making some strong forward runs. The left-back was even fouled in the area to give Tom Nichols the chance to score a second Posh goal four minutes from time from the penalty spot.
But a weak kick was saved by Killip to rather sum up this particular Posh night.
Over 1,600 fans did make the effort to turn up. One wonders how many will turn up when Posh play their next home game in this much-maligned competition in October.
Posh: Mark Tyler, Michael Bostwick, Jerome Binnom-Williams, Ricardo Santos, Ryan Tafazolli, Callum Chettle, Jermaine Anderson, Adil Nabi (sub Leo Da Silva Lopes, 46 mins), Shaquile Coulthirst (sub Deon Moore, 46 mins), Marcus Maddison (sub Morgan Penfold, 72 mins), Tom Nichols. Unused substitutes: Dion-Curtis Henry, Jack Baldwin, Matthew Stevens, Lewis Freestone.
Norwich City: Ben Killip, Louis Ramsay, Ben Godfrey, Michee Efete, Harry Toffolo, Tony Andreu, Louis Thompson, Ray Grant (sub Todd Cantwell, 77 mins), Josh Murphy, James Maddison, Carlton Morris. Unused substitutes: Aston Oxborough, Benny Ashley-Seal, Joe Crowe, Glenn Middleton, Dialling Jaiyesimi, Ebou Adams.
Goals: Posh - Anderson (52 mins).
Norwich - Murphy (6 mins & 82 mins), Andreu (9 mins, 45 mins & 56 mins), Maddison (23 mins).
Cautions: Posh - Maddison (foul), Da Silva Lopes (foul),
Norwich - Godfrey (foul), Morris (dissent), Grant (foul).
Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northampton).
Attendance: 1,696 (117 Norwich).