Why we need to jib the domestic cups for the next 5 seasons.

dockers_strike

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#1
Let me first start by saying when I say 'jib' the domestic cups, I don't mean 'throwing' the games or deliberately setting out to lose them. What I mean is, we do not play our 'elite' players in these competitions. Why we desparately threw on Bobby and Mo on Tuesday night never mind starting with Sadio utterly baffles me.

In these competitions, we should play those in the first team squad who have not featured regularly for the first team for whatever reason and, a smattering of the better U23 players. I never want Liverpool to lose even if that loss would directly result in the relegation of Everton, Manchester United etc (although I would have to think very hard about it for a few seconds!).

The recent League Cup game against Chelsea brought out mixed feelings in fans who think we should go all out to win every trophy and those who think that in today's game, it is unreasonable to do that (even if Virgil was shouting it from the Main Stand before the game!). Both sides have the right to think what they do and, it is difficult to argue against wanting to win a trophy. After all, Liverpool FC exists to win trophies, doesn't it?

It is a fine mantra to follow and everyone loves a winner but, like all things in life and sport, it has to be looked at in perspective. Some fans say it's a disgrace we have not won a trophy, any trophy, since 2012. I agree but the argument smacks a little too much of the 'buy any centre back' when the van Dijk transfer broke down to me.

The last trophy we won was the League Cup. That was against a Championship side where 120 minutes of football could not separate the two sides and we won on penalties. Then, celebrated like we had just won the title.

I remember saying to my lad we should not have been celebrating like we did with the players going crazy at such a result. OK, maybe I was being churlish with those thoughts at the time but they were what I honestly felt. The win seemed hollow. Or, maybe the hurt of seeing other clubs racking up league titles (which we used to do) while we fed on the scraps of the competitions these other teams put out second strings in, because they also knew the value of being league champions, was eating away at me? Maybe '30 years of hurt' never stopped me dreaming after all?

When this season ends, if we win the title, it will bring a drought of 29 years to an end. (I think I would be in bits in the Sir Kenny Dalglish Upper if we do.) If you used to go to Anfield in the 60's, 70's or 80's, stop and think about that for a moment. Did you ever believe you would see LFC go over a quarter of a century without being crowned league champions? I did not and I've been going to Anfield longer than that.

If you were born after 1990, there's a good chance you're now a dad (or mum) with your own ankle biters who you take to games. And you still have never seen your team, Liverpool, be crowned Champions of England.

All through the 70's and 80's, I used to laugh at a succession of hapless Manchester United managers attempting to get the monkey of 1967, the last time they were league champions, off their back and failing miserably. They could point to winning the European Cup in 1968 but not many know or remember, they very nearly got relegated in that same season and eventually, just 6 short years later, they succeeded and were relegated to Division 2.

Never in that time did I think Liverpool would get close to equalling their record and there's never been any danger we would get relegated. I distinctly remember telling the lads I used to go the game with that 'this club wont go 25 years without winning the league!' How utterly wrong I was.

But I don't want to dwell on them. I want to see Liverpool, guided by Jurgen Klopp, being crowned Champions of England 21 times or more. Starting with 19 would be better than great.

I said a little earlier, if we win the title this season, it will end a 29 year drought. But if we don't, what then?

Since we last won the title, I've been fortunate to be at many finals including European Cups and, UEFA Cups. I even managed to get to all three cup finals in 2001. They were great and the memories of them are seared into my mind. But nothing and I mean nothing, gives you the ultimate sense of achievement of seeing your team crowned Champions of England.

The knowledge that your team has bested everyone else over a gruelling 42 or 38 game league season is like nothing else. It's the same reason why 90% of players value being league title winners above winning the Champions League. That also begs the question of the merit of truly being the best team in Europe when you cannot win your own title. 2005 was immense but being Champions of England would have shut up the likes of Rio Ferdinand and the rest.

I said at the beginning of the season, we needed to jib the domestic cups to strengthen our chances of winning the league. People say we've gone too long without a trophy. I say going 29 years without being Champions of England trumps that by a very, very long chalk.

People say, winning a cup creates a winning mentality, makes it easier to kick on and win more. Does it? Since we last won the title in 1990, we have won 1 Champions League, 3 FA Cups and 4 League Cups spread over the intervening years.

How many of those trophy wins created a 'winning mentality' that drove us on to win the title in the following seasons? Answer, none. Zip. Nada. Not one. The 'winning mentality' evaporated or more correctly, never materialised.

Look at Leicester City. Magnificent achievement to be Premier League winners a couple of seasons back but did that make Leicester kick on? Did their title give them a winning mentality? People may say well, yeah, they are Leicester, we are Liverpool so you cannot expect Leicester to become serial winners.

Sorry, but that misses the point. Even if Leicester were not transformed into serial title challengers, surely their title win should have improved the club immeasurably and seen them challenging for, if not winning the League Cup or FA Cup given their new found 'winner's mentality'? In contrast, they seem to me to be the same as they always were before Ranieri's success, happy to just be in the Premier League. In some ways, it's a similar to us with our just win any trophy mantra.

Put simply, we've become used to not challenging seriously for the title. We think it's out of reach so settle for second best. Well, don't be surprised when second best becomes your 'best' with that mentality. I can count on 3 fingers of one hand when we 'seriously' had a tilt at the title in the last 28 years.

People point to Mourinho and Chelsea as an example of how winning the League Cup can kick start a club into winning the title. How many people seriously think if we had won that eventful first clash with him, that Liverpool and not Chelsea, would have gone on to win league titles? I know we wouldn't, we would have bathed in the delight of winning another League Cup.

We need to shake out this myth that winning a League Cup or FA Cup (or even Champions League for that matter,) will fire us up to win the title. It will not. Only great players and manager, desire and full on commitment to winning the league would do that. 29 years is a far bigger issue for a club of Liverpool's stature than 6 years.

We are the only elite club in Europe who has not won their national Championship in nearly a generation. We used to have Internationale with us on that one but even they eventually won Serie A again (and even then, it was Mourinho and a depleted Serie A!)

Winning the title in England is hard. As Jurgen said, in Germany, finish above Bayern, you're champions. In Italy finish above Juve, you're champions. In Spain, finish above Real or Barcelona, you're champions. In England, you need to finish above Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea and then you may be champions.

It is that level of competitiveness in England that means we cannot go all out on 4 fronts and expect to be close to winning the title. It is not the 1970's or 80's where we dominated. But that does not mean we should settle for second tier trophies like the League and FA Cups.

Of course I recognise Jurgen has a different perspective to us fans. He very likely has been given a target of winning something in his tenure here so I understand the constraints and pressure on him. I also recognise the club has not always been in a position to challenge for the title. That was then, this is now. I get the feeling we are on the cusp of being title challengers and that bold steps will deliver in the near future.

We need to put the eggs in one basket for the next 5 seasons and jib the domestic cups. Otherwise 29 years could easily become 40 or more years without being Champions of England.
 

lfc.eddie

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#2
We need to put the eggs in one basket for the next 5 seasons and jib the domestic cups. Otherwise 29 years could easily become 40 or more years without being Champions of England.
Nothing in football is guaranteed, there are no numbers you can crunch that gives you the absolute number that shrinks the probability down to 100% chance of winning the league without giving a damn about other competitions. You need to right manager, players and luck on your side. Yes, luck. That is the final 10% of whatever you do in life that could make or break whatever you want to achieve. So putting everything in one basket do not make it easier to achieve the goal of winning the league.
 

dockers_strike

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#4
Nothing in football is guaranteed, there are no numbers you can crunch that gives you the absolute number that shrinks the probability down to 100% chance of winning the league without giving a damn about other competitions. You need to right manager, players and luck on your side. Yes, luck. That is the final 10% of whatever you do in life that could make or break whatever you want to achieve. So putting everything in one basket do not make it easier to achieve the goal of winning the league.
Never said anything was gauranteed. But expecting the elite players to play in these cups and trying to win the title lessens the chances considerably.

Funny how teams that have been winning the Premier League on a regular basis over the last 30 years also seem to have regularly won the cups......:think:
I couldnt give a toss what other clubs have done over the last 30 except the fact they have won league titles. I just despair of nonesense post that go 'Oh other clubs have done it.' So what? How does that increase Liverpool's chance of winning the title? It doesnt. We've won cups on and off over the last 30 years and it hasnt made us 'kick on' or given us a 'winning mentality' either.

The definition of lunacy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting mistakes to be eradicated. We've been doing the same thing for nearly 30 years and keep having the same old mistake of falling short in the league. Time for a change of approach.
 

Red over the water

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#8
I thought we had the right approach against Chelsea. Eight changes from the league side, but still a strong side, which is as it should be, because we now have a strong squad.

The team we sent out would have beat most others in the competition. It was an unlucky draw to get Chelsea, and even then it easily could have gone either way. The main downside for not progressing is twofold: we need more competitive games so our squad men can see some meaningful action; and yes, we want to win trophies.

The League Cup is definitley the fourth priority. Everyone knows the score. But it doesn’t mean we can send a competitive team out and try to win it, while shuffling the pack to keep some players fresh for higher priorities, as we have the squad for it.
 

Billy Biskix

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#9
This thread would have been more relevant if we hadn't just lost our only game in the League Cup for the second year running. I see the argument put forward every year on here about participation in the cups distracting us from winning the PL and I've never understood the logic of it. Firstly there are plenty of examples of teams winning leagues and domestic cups in the same season. Secondly we've won one domestic trophy in 12 years and appeared in just 2 other finals and yet we haven't won the PL. How can this be? The reason is that there's always been at least one team that's been better than us.

Most managers will prioritise accordingly as the season progresses and JK is no exception. I'd have liked to have seen one or two of the younger lads playing against Chelsea but JK seems to know what he's doing and manages the squad brilliantly. He was furious when we lost. He wants to win every game and thank god for that.
 

The Elusive 19th

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#10
Nothing in football is guaranteed, there are no numbers you can crunch that gives you the absolute number that shrinks the probability down to 100% chance of winning the league without giving a damn about other competitions. You need to right manager, players and luck on your side. Yes, luck. That is the final 10% of whatever you do in life that could make or break whatever you want to achieve. So putting everything in one basket do not make it easier to achieve the goal of winning the league.
42
 

mattyhurst

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#12
To say i was overly interested in a 3rd round league cup tie would have been stretching it, but 8 changes and we should have won it really.

The FA cup really doesn't impact til later in the season when ties get moved around but I don't think 14 days off and then 3 games in quick succession is that good either. I noticed Klopp did a lot of week/mid week games in pre season even before the curtain raiser on the weekend we played Torino in the week, this I reckon was a plan for the CL/PL run.

I want us to win the three remaining competitions we are in now.
 

Caradoc

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#13
The more lottery tickets you buy the more chance you have of winning a prize even if its not first prize.

We need to be winning trophies. If we don’t take the League Cup and FA Cup seriously we’re not significantly increasing our chances of winning one out of the EPL or ECL but we are increasing our chances of yet another trophyless season.
 

SithBaare

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#14
As klopp said , you go into every game with the intent to win and field the strongest possible xi. I'm absolutely fine with the team we put up at anfield. And that was a fine match , only a hazard masterpiece and a Moreno madness dented it somewhat.

It was just our rotten luck that we drew with Chelsea.

At this point , we have got 5 players good enough to play in the front 3. Shaq, sturridge, salah, bobby, mane. Any rotation among the five doesn't necessarily weaken the attack.

Same goes for the midfield.