IN a week where we have not really learned anything new about our team, another two matches we control but lack the cutting edge to return to Anfield with 3 points, which will do nothing to convince the haters that they are wrong or create doubt in the mind of the optimist, I thought a change in tact would be refreshing (although I’m probably wrong, I usually am!).
So, I have a conundrum for you. I am going to present two cases to help gauge the modern football fan’s view and what their priorities are.
Imagine if you will you a lazy Sunday afternoon in the middle of summer, the warm sun shining, birds singing, flowers blooming and stream flowing. You are walking through a quaint countryside village with your family looking for suitable refreshments when you stumble across a rather curious shop.
Intrigued you enter, (don’t worry it’s not just for local people) and have a good old rummage around, tossing aside broken vases, dusty crockery and those odd little pottery animals and you pick up an odd looking lamp, possibly Arabic design. So dusty that you can’t read the inscription, you give it a rub…..whoooooooosh….. a genie appears (I’m picturing a big blue genie with the voice of Robin Williams, but feel free to go a different way) and he offers you one wish!
Now obviously the wish is for Liverpool to be successful once more (pffft who needs world peace eh!). The genie is happy but installs a condition! Now the span of the wish lasts 5 years and the genie says Liverpool can EITHER finish 17th in the league each year but win the League Cup, FA Cup or Europa League each year (your choice) OR Liverpool finishes 4th each year and makes no final, with a title challenge over by January……
This is an either/or deal – no mixing!
Trophies, trophies trophies, that’s what football is about! Winning things. Who doesn’t want that Wembley day out, or that European final day out. Let’s not forget, we are the most decorated side in England and that is because we win trophies; it’s in our blood, our long and illustrious history is built on a solid foundation of silverware.
Yes finishing 17th 5 consecutive years would hurt, it would hurt bad, but as the years roll by and memories fade what will you remember? How about this, who remembers the 2003/04 season? Anyone? Without looking up can anyone recall how we did in the league? Progressed in the cups? Anything about that year? Well we finished 4th and won nothing. Who remembers the season before? Yeah only a 5th place finish but a 2-0 League Cup win over United! What will last season be remembered for? Victory against Cardiff, not the league finish. How about the two seasons prior to this? The only memories there are sackings and court cases. You do not know what tomorrow will bring, but the guarantee of 5 trophies surely cannot be overlooked?
Let’s get real here, in today’s game what do the trophies mentioned actually mean? The League Cup has always been a bit of a joke and as for the FA Cup? That lost respect a long time ago. Gone are the days of the biggest game on the English calendar, now it’s not even the last game of the season.
As for the Europa League, do me a favour, its second rate, certainly not the competition from the 70’s and 80’s. If the ‘Champions League can be potentially won by a team finishing 5th in their domestic league, what does that mean for the Europa?? Stoke?
Yes the club was built on winning but the game has changed, it’s all about money; who cares if we don’t win a thing for 5 years, by finishing 4th and qualifying for the Champions League will bring much desired revenue as well as present the club as a more attractive option for the footballing elite.
So whereas we don’t win anything for 5 years, by the end of this ‘wish’ we will be in a far stronger position to kick on and challenge with what you would imagine to be a stronger squad brought together by the promise of Champions League.
‘Where do I stand?’ Is a question I imagine you all shouting at once! Well this is very tough, albeit slightly absurd scenario, but in all honesty I imagine my leaning is towards #fourthscenario.
Regardless of trophies, this club should never ever finish 17th, let alone 5 seasons on the bounce. As some may have gathered from my previous pieces I like to look long term rather than the short term gratification. Yes we won the League Cup last year and I will remember that as years go by; where I was, who I was with what happened, but that win hasn’t really helped us, whereas a fourth place finish would have.
So do I think Arsenal have the right idea? Yes I think so, but I don’t think they have properly followed through on that. For the giant clubs Champions League is essential, but that needs to be cashed in on to better yourself which Arsenal have consistently failed to do. We are a special club, there is absolutely no doubting that. What other side could retain the likes of Suarez, Agger and Skrtel with no Champions League, I mean Arsenal can’t keep hold of their best even with Champions League football. However, in order for us to push on we need that proverbial carrot.
I realise the article is far-fetched but the debate remains sound for me, so if you choose to answer, the choice is boiled down to cup glory or Champions League qualification – where do you stand?
Would it make a difference say if the trophy accompanied a 5th place finish? Or is it the Champions League or nothing, the promise of ultimate glory! No coincidence that I chose the 2003-04 season as one that offered no memory, as without this season there would have been no Istanbul!
Come find me on twitter @timdibs
Live4Liverpool is recruiting columnists. For further info contact the site editor at firstname.lastname@example.org