Weekly Wrap: Man United try not to suffer the same fate as Arsenal as Man City and Southampton win at YouTube

With so many football competitions for the country’s biggest clubs, it’s no wonder that the Carabao Cup gets short shrift. It is the least prestigious of the trophies that the top clubs can win, and the fact that its early rounds come at the start of the season, when the Premier League and Champions League are taking priority in the minds of most fans, and when even the managers struggle to take the opening rounds seriously, the challenge is to be innovative.

And that’s what the competition organisers have tried to do since the start of the season, even if the reception from fans has been mixed and hiccups have occurred here and there. Draws have taken place at strange UK times as they’ve taken place in Thailand and China, and this time it was streamed live on Twitter.

It wasn’t a totally incident-free draw, though, as fans were left to wait to see who their team drew in the fifth round after technical issues delayed the stream

The fault seems to have been with the social media platform rather than with the event organisers, the English Football League, and the Carabao Cup’s official account made sure everyone knew where they felt the blame should lie.

If the EFL were having issues streaming video on Twitter this week, Premier League team Manchester City weren’t suffering the same problems with YouTube.

The club recently surpassed the one million subscriber mark on platform where their fans have enjoyed innovative content for years on a platform where City have always been at the cutting edge. Perhaps that’s why the only football clubs who can count more YouTube subscribers than the Premier League leaders are Real Madrid and Barcelona.

That’s why we should also give a nod to Southampton FC, who this week launched the latest in their own social media video sensations. After last summer’s viral participation in the transfer announcement video craze, Saints are at it again with a video series called Secret Southampton: a spoof paranormal investigation into whether the Premier League club’s training ground is actually an alien clone farm…. Just in time for Halloween, and just in time to tie in with the launch of the second season of Stranger Things on Netflix, too.

Elsewhere this week, and on the back of Arsenal’s problems with virtual reality, and the fact that their players have reportedly suffered from motion sickness after using the technology in training sessions, Manchester United are hoping that the same fate won’t befall their players after the Red Devils incorporated the Mi-Hiepa virtual reality suite into their usual training routines.

United and Arsenal are two of the biggest clubs in the world, of course, and whilst you might expect that sort of innovation – or indeed trial and error – from clubs who can afford to spend money on expensive hardware with no guarantees of success, you might not expect it from a club like Burnley, who have themselves taken to VR to help their players prepare for games.

Instead of attempting to physically train with headsets on, however, it seems as though Burnley’s approach is to use the technology to make sure their players are fully aware of the tactical demands of the game ahead by placing themselves into a virtual on-field situation and using that to illustrate what the manager wants from them tactically.

The great thing about emerging technologies, it seems, is that there’s always a new way you can put it to use.

This week also saw the latest Digital Sport London event take place at the London Sporting Club at Morton’s in Mayfair on the topic of sponsorship and the Russian World Cup which will take place next summer.

Next month’s event will be a feature on US sports who are making waves in the UK and growing fast. Tickets are on sale now and speakers include Sarah Swanson, Marketing Manager of NFL UK – who featured on the Digital Sport Insider podcast this week – Brianne Ehrenkranz, Senior Director, Marketing, EMEA of NBA, and the moderator of the panal, Alex Trickett, sports consultant & former Global Sports Chair at Twitter. It promises to be a wonderful evening of insight with world class speakers.

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 831 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and editor of Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan_

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