Jose Mourinho, despite winning the League Cup for the fourth time last season, voiced what has become a common question.
"If you ask me could the English football survive or even be better without this competition?" he said after Manchester United's 4-1 defeat of Burton Albion.
"Maybe we would be fresher for European competitions, for example."
Elsewhere, Tuesday's crowd of 23,926 at Wembley for Tottenham's 1-0 win over Barnsley had said much of the cachet of the Carabao Cup.