West Ham Goalkeeper Fabianski Warns Liverpool: “Don’t Underestimate Us” in Carabao Cup Tie. Carabao Cup Quarter-Final 2023 Liverpool Vs West Ham – Fabianski Said Something.
For West Ham United’s Lukasz Fabianski, the Carabao Cup is a competition that reminds the goalkeeper just how far he’s come in his career.
After signing for Arsenal in the summer of 2007 from Legia Warsaw, the 38-year-old made his bow for the Gunners in the League Cup in September that year. Fabianski managed a clean sheet in a 2-0 win over Newcastle United which helped the North Londoners to progress.
The gloveman found himself reminiscing about his debut in English football with his Hammers teammates en-route to the LNER Stadium to take on Lincoln City in Round Three of this season’s competition.
“I remember that it was ages ago!” he laughs. “We played Newcastle and we had a league game a few days before that and it was funny because it wasn’t like I was expecting to play but I didn’t know what was going to happen.
“After the Premier League game, the manager Arsene Wenger came up to me and said, ‘get ready for Tuesday.’ I had three days to prepare myself in my head and I was very excited about it.
“We played against a really strong Newcastle side but having said that, when we played the first Carabao Cup game this season, I remember on the way to the game against Lincoln, for some reason we started chatting about our first-ever games.
“I looked up the line-up for Newcastle’s team that they had at that time and Michael Owen was still playing and players like Mark Viduka and Shay Given. Everyone looked at me and went, ‘you’re really old!’”
And the stopper, who played a handful of times for Arsenal in the League Cup across a seven-year stint, has fond memories of this particular competition, which gave him his opportunity to make an impression as a 22-year-old.
“For me, it was an introduction to English football when I was younger,” he explains. “It was a great experience playing at home and it was my first-ever game in different country experiencing a different culture when it came to football. I was very pleased with the performance because we got the win and I kept a clean sheet.
“Especially in my Arsenal days, it was very important because I wasn’t playing as much as I would’ve wanted but I knew that the League Cup games were always there as an opportunity for me to showcase my abilities, so I always really looked forward to those games.”
This term marks 10 years since Fabianski last got his hands on a domestic trophy, when he lifted the FA Cup with Arsenal in 2013/14. As for West Ham, it’s been over four decades since the top-flight Club last claimed a domestic honour.
Last season, they ended their silverware drought after seeing off Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League Final on a memorable night in Prague, but Fabianski is hoping for more success this season.
He continues: “As a Club, we try to compete a bit more now and we have our experience from the past few years – especially in European competitions – which shows that we are able to compete against really strong teams and that gives us confidence.
“In the recent history when it comes to Clubs that have been able to lift the trophy, most of them are top six teams. For any other team that’s able to challenge for it, it’s something special. It would be a great story.
“It’s going to be hard because we’re playing against a really strong side but it’s a great challenge. When you get to the later stages of any competition, it gives you a massive boost because to get there, you have to have played some really strong teams and we’ve done it already this year against Arsenal at home who are a big team.”
On Wednesday evening, David Moyes’ side travel to Anfield to lock horns with Liverpool in the Quarter-Final of the Carabao Cup.
The Hammers have already overcome Premier League rivals Arsenal in Round Four of the competition – after beating Lincoln in Round Three – and the keeper, who played the full 90 minutes against his ex-employers, is eyeing a repeat performance, with a place in the Semi-Final at stake.
“With any trophy, they waited for so long and last year, we were able to deliver the Europa Conference and a domestic trophy would be as important as Europe,” he adds.
“We’re at a really good stage now when it comes to the competition because there are only eight teams left. If you think about it, you’re quite close to being able to play in such a big game. It’s a great challenge and a great opportunity for us.
“It would be very special if we could actually get there. It’s a one-off cup game, so if you’re mentally ready for it, anything can happen.”