Liverpool: Why Winning Cups Is More Important Than Finishing Fourth
Before you burn me at the stakes as an heretic, I should start by saying I would pay at least a month’s wages to see Liverpool finish fourth and have a chance of being back in the Champions League group stages in September this year. To see us pit our wits against the Barcas and Milans, to splurge money on away tips and to see the banners unfurled would give me the greatest of pleasure. But, when all is said and done, I would take winning the League Cup and FA Cup over fourth place.
The aim of any season after considerable investment and with a club legend should, of course, be to finish as high up the league as possible. And while fourth place is definitely not out of reach with Arsenal and Chelsea stuttering, it is not the be all and end all. Winning trophies is of the highest importance to Liverpool as a club. It will further knit the players together, it will give the owners something to high-five about, it will send the fans delirious and it will, after a period where the club’s images has suffered somewhat, remind people that first and foremost Liverpool are a football team who can win things.
The rollercoaster that the club has been on in the last few years has forced everyone to take stock. This is a new Liverpool, a new era, and after last season’s sixth place finish which resulted in a lack of European Competition, to finish this season in either sixth with more points or fifth and with one or two trophies in the cabinet would be the best way to kickstart this new era.
To win something in Dalglish’s first full season back at the club would be the best thing that can happen
Look at Arsenal. He may never admit it but if you had asked Arsene Wenger whether he would’ve preferred to win the League Cup and finish fifth last season then I’m sure he would have to agree. The seismic affect the loss to Birmingham had on his young team is there for all to see. I’m not saying Nasri would’ve stayed, but the monkey would’ve been off their back and maybe, just maybe, he would’ve been able to go about his transfer business in a less scattergun fashion.
Conversely, I don’t think players are going to start to leave if we don’t win something. But to win something in Dalglish’s first full season back at the club would be the best thing that can happen. It would re-energise Gerrard, give Dirk the trophy he deserves, let Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing know how it feels.
The other point here, is that if we do win today we will be guaranteed Europe next season and will be able to go balls out for fourth place and the FA Cup. A look at the fixture list shows that we have two away games to fear in the league in Sunderland and Newcastle, two more to be wary of in Norwich and Swansea who we owe one and both Arsenal and Chelsea at home. Just imagine it, Liverpool win the League Cup, the pressure is lifted, we begin to take our chances and end the season with two trophies and a place in the Champions League qualifiers in August. YNWA.
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