Silverware. Shiny things are an obsession for Liverpool fans, and for good reason. With 41 major honors to our credit, Liverpool football club can show off their trophy cabinet with the best of them.
And with just one trophy in the last decade—the 2012 League Cup—it’s understandable that the fan base would be aching for any new additions to the collection, even another League Cup. The Reds have won the competition more than any other side, and have had deep runs—either to the semi-final or final—in each of the last three years.
Sure, this competition might hold a special place in our hearts, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s neither prestigious nor important. It’s certainly not important outside of England. It’s barely relevant inside of England, coming in a distant second among domestic cups. The financial reward for winning it, a paltry £100,000, is roughly the same as winning a 4th round match in the FA Cup.
The last time Liverpool were bounced this early in the competition was in 2013, losing 1-0 to Manchester United. We all remember how the rest of 2013/14 turned out. Would we still have gone on the most exciting title run in a generation if we managed to see off our old nemesis? Perhaps not. It’s impossible to say one way or another, but personally I’ll take failed shot at the league title over a possible League Cup.
A League Cup run to the final would have added 5 games to an already congested schedule. The two-legged semi-final in January has been particularly taxing for Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp. After a busy holiday schedule, and with the FA Cup kicking off for Premier League sides, Klopp’s men have struggled in January. Two less fixtures? Yes, I’ll take that. Please and thank you.
I’m not blind to the benefits of the competition. Like you, I want to see Liverpool win stuff. Like you, I want to see Liverpool win every game. Like you, I want to see the yutes have a run out and get a chance to prove themselves.
However, at minimum Liverpool will play 48 competitive matches this year. In 13/14, they only played 43. If the League Cup must be sacrificed in order to perform well in the league and Champions League? I’m perfectly fine with that outcome.
This is all to say that no one will care about this result if we can use the extra time and energy it affords us to do well in the other, more important, competitions. So, please Liverpool, do well in the other competitions.