Liverpool have not won neither the FA Cup nor the EFL cup in almost a decade. Given their stature in English football, this is worrying.
The domestic cups are not something that most fans pay a lot of attention to. That is because the prize money is not the most and the competition is not the strongest.
Most of the big teams end up using these competitions to rotate their squads and given chances to promising youngsters. Many Liverpool fans believe that we should focus on the two main competitions, the Premier League and the Champions League, rather than stretch the squad and play the domestic cups with similar enthusiasm.
I did a small survey on Twitter about this to understand the opinions of what Liverpool fans like myself think and believe. I was able to garner 500+ responses, by no way is it enough to understand what most fans think and believe, but it’s a start.
You can make your voice heard here. VOTE HERE!
Do you think Klopp should focus on the domestic cups a little more this season? A good run in the #FACup and #EFLCup will give a chance for the kids to get much needed experience or in your opinion should continue to chase only #UCL and the #EPL? #LFC #Polls
— Zubin Daver (@zubinofficial) May 31, 2021
Many fans also believed that the cup games are to give the younger players a chance or to be played only if the squad has enough depth in order to reduce the burden on the first XI. It would not make sense to risk injuries or fatigue for cup games. Here is what a few Liverpool fans said when they participated in the vote.
Win the prem again and I’m over the moon
— Paul The Madman (@Wavywasteman) May 31, 2021
Major trophies in my opinion. If city can’t manage to win some form of treble, we shouldn’t focus on carabao or facup too much. Play the 2nd string teams. If we fortunately go through a few rounds then we can think about it.
— Sayam Ghosh (@SayamG8) May 31, 2021
Some fans expect Liverpool to fight on all fronts as well, which is encouraging.
Why can’t we focus on all of them?
— Jason Graves (@iceman902) May 31, 2021
Can’t tick either box m8 – WE ARE LIVERPOOL – should be challenging for all comps !!!!
— John Doull (@JohnTheChef7) May 31, 2021
So firstly, I am of the opinion that Jurgen Klopp SHOULD pay more attention to the EFL Cup and the FA Cup. They might not be the biggest trophies to compete in, but they are trophies nonetheless. Winning is a habit and trophies are something that players love!
My point of view is simple, rotate, give the youngsters a chance maybe one or two of them who start or can come off the bench to see a game through if a win is guaranteed. The reason I say this is that any trophy which gets a mention on the wall should be one we contest for with our best possible might.
Let us not forget that all our EPL title rivals participate in it and a win in those, is not much financially, but it is a win over them after all and is a trophy that is counted for and goes down in history.
Now do not get me wrong, we have to push and prioritise the UEFA Champions League and English Premier League. However, if things are going well on both of those fronts, we should risk it a little and push for both cup competitions. If we look at the past, Klopp has been forced to deprioritise the EFL Cup and FA Cup for the Premier League and UEFA Champions League. I am of the opinion, that in and around the game weeks that we have the cup competitions, we can look at a little more rotation to ensure that we fight harder for the domestic cups.
There is a lot of luck that is required to progress in cup competitions, we need favourable draws and favourable fixtures around the domestic up competitions, but given that those are not in our control, we should ensure that we have the best possible XI to play in these games.
This is the history of Liverpool’s cup games over the last five seasons, something that can change. If not go for the win, we should aim to reach the semi-finals at least. And if we look at this closely, we’ve ended up going out to top-four rivals 50% of the time.
FA Cup History
20/21 Fourth Round lost to Manchester United 2:3
19/20 Fifth Round lost to Chelsea FC 0:2
18/19 Third Round lost to Wolverhampton Wanderers 1:2
17/18 Fourth Round lost to West Bromwich Albion 2:3
16/17 Fourth Round lost to Wolverhampton Wanderers 1:2
EFL Cup History
20/21 Fourth Round lost to Arsenal FC 4:5 on pens
19/20 Quarter-Finals lost to Aston Villa 0:5
18/19 Third Round lost to Chelsea FC 1:2
17/18 Third Round lost to Leicester City 0:2
16/17 Semi-Finals lost to Southampton FC 0:2 (over both legs).
Final verdict and general consensus
Most of those who participated in the vote were of the opinion that we should not go ahead with a domestic cup run and rather concentrate on wrapping up the Premier League and the Champions League given that those are more attractive competitions.