View from the Kop

Should Liverpool Fans Expect More?

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The League Cup has had its detractors in the past. Me being one of them actually. Extra midweek games when not in European action were something I used to see as a nuisance and a possible distraction to bigger and better things.

The harsh reality is that after six years, Liverpool are not in any position where we can afford to be picky. A trophy is a trophy, and this is no Intertoto Cup. This is the first domestic silverware of the season. But more importantly this is a fantastic opportunity for us to use this cup success as a springboard for the rest of the season.

Our history points to the Carling Cup as something we use to instil confidence, instil belief and instil success into our seasons. I’ll use recent history as the best example.

In 2001, a very laboured penalty shoot-out victory over Birmingham City (I can still hear Trevor Francis crying about Henchoz’s tackle on Johnson) was to kick us on to a second domestic cup final as well as the UEFA Cup and the then all important third place in the league and the subsequent Champions League place that came with it.

In 2005, we appeared in the Carling Cup final, but lost 3-2 to Chelsea after extra-time. Now, whilst we didn’t get the job done that day (but we were going to until Gerrard’s unfortunate intervention), it was a cup final. You have to have been doing something right to get there in the first place. We later went on to go to Istanbul and write arguably the most glorious page in our history book. I genuinely believe our day in the final was a contributing factor to helping us get there. The pain of losing a final isn’t something you want repeated should you get to one again.

Naturally, we’re going to have our knockers. “Mickey Mouse Cup” will be one you’ll hear a lot in the coming days I imagine. But look at it like this to offer yourself, as well as some of these people a touch of perspective. We are already in Europe and we have already won a trophy more our rivals. Whilst what other teams get up to doesn’t bother me, we have ended our much vaunted trophy drought. Arsenal aren’t going to do that this season. Wenger’s comments a few weeks ago are going to squarely bite him on his bespectacled behind.
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Arsenal would kill to win the Carling Cup. They went hell for leather for it last season and their (admittedly unfortunate) defeat to Birmingham City really derailed their season. Twelve months on, the Gunners still have a mental fragility that can be exploited. I believe their loss in that game, and their lack of trophies as a result, is a massive reason behind this.

We however can call ourselves “winners.” There are bigger and there are more prestigious trophies that we can win. The FA Cup being the prime example. We have a fantastic chance to go out there and get the job done against Stoke and get to another semi-final. We now have the knowhow and the experience to get the job done at the famous old (new?!) ground, and there are only a handful of teams in this country that can say that. In the event of a semi-final, that will stand us in good stead because we know won’t be overawed by the occasion. We won’t freeze under the massive arch and we won’t be haunted by memories of failures past.

This, of course not mentioning that European football is now secured. I might get stick for it, but I believe the Europa League is an inconvenience. Two games in three days, with one of those games away in Europe somewhere, isn’t a good fit for a successful league campaign in my book. But if we don’t get 4th (and even if we beat Arsenal on Saturday we’re going to have to go at a serious clip to obtain that) we are guaranteed a table, even if it’s not necessarily at the best restaurant in town. We could use that competition to blood the likes of Sterling, Wisdom and Suso if we so wanted to in order to give them a chance to rise above the stagnant and frankly poor standard of reserve league football. We have secured that opportunity now. With Newcastle sniffing around and our league form inconsistent, that’s some pressure off us in case we finish outside European qualification places in league terms.

Either way, let them knock and let them moan about penalty shootouts. At the end of the day, we’ve got the job done again. We deserved to win, even if we let them off the hook with 3 minutes of extra time to go, much to the expense of my blood pressure. Enjoy our success. It’s taken six years since that FA Cup win. I am going to enjoy it, I am going to smile about it and I am hopeful the club will seize on it as a chance to go out and play with belief for the rest of the season.

By the way, if you saw that bright light as you were leaving London last night, that wasn’t a plane landing at Heathrow. It was Charlie Adam’s penalty entering its orbit.

Still, things could be worse couldn’t they? You could be an Arsenal fan.

In the unlikely event you want to hear more from Dan, you can follow him on twitter (@TLW1Dan) and you can also catch him as a regular writer in The Liverpool Way fanzine and on TLW forums. Please be aware that any content from Dan may contain sarcasm.

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I'm a fully trained journalist who shunned a career in the profession due to my disillusionment with the tabloid press, instead hoping to become a professional author. I've written for The Liverpool Way for 7 years and am a regular on the forum using the name Agt Provocateur.

A passionate member of supporter group Kop Faithful, I've been a season ticket holder of 8 years and a regular match goer since 1995.

When not criticising diminishing refereeing standards in football, I can be found at Langtree Park, the home of St Helens Rugby League Club being highly critical of non existent standards of refereeing in Rugby League. I'm is also a massive Lancashire and England cricket fan.


  • NJRedsFan says:

    Of course we should expect more, we wouldn’t be true fans if we didn’t!!!

    A quick note about the significance of Cups and, competitions. Funny how, when LFC were competing in Europa League, all the London and Manc fans laughed at us having to compete in a Mickey Mouse Cup series. Now that they are in that competition it is, all of a sudden, a worthwhile, if not noble competition. Any club, even our bitter rivals, would be proud to lift a new piece of silverware to place in their trophy cabinet. Don’t let any of them tell you any different.

  • Joeme says:

    I actualy didn’t know much about Raheem until some months ago when i was lucky enough to come across a reserve match. That day i asked myself a question: Why did Dalglish buy Henderson when we have Raheem.. The guy lookd more like a good player. Anyway that aside my answer is ‘YES we should expect more’ but d question is ‘WILL we have more?’ with Carol,Henderson& d likes. Let’s jst wait & see.

  • Vinnie says:

    My exact thoughts! I’m a happy pool fan albeit the hiccups in the league as well as in the final but hey, everyone in the club is singing the same sheets and it’s the character shown by bouncing back from this hiccups that makes me happy

    Joeme, you admitted that you didn’t know raheem until months ago; Kenny deals with these youngsters on a daily basis, he should know them better than any of us fans. The king is human after all and may not get everything right every time but he has instill the right mentality in the club. To me, that’s what defines the club and results will fall into place in time

    • Joeme says:

      I so much appreciate u accepting the fact that Kenny is human&so could make mistakes. Maybe that answers my question.

  • Jimmy Areabi says:

    I think Dan highlights the ‘here & now’ situation at our club very well. Others may try and belittle this Cup but at the end of the day, it is silverware & a competition we have a proud history in. It has brought the feel-good factor back at a time when the club has seen much negative press, plus, as Dan mentions, we’re back in Europe.

  • J75J says:

    A Mickey Mouse Cup that Man U(THREE TIMES),Chelsea(TWICE) and Spurs have all won since 2005.
    Pretty certain I read that Fergie targeted the League Cup when Chelsea were winning the league under Jose to give the United team that winning feeling again.

    • Jimmy Areabi says:

      Indeed. A trophy is a trophy and unless, you’re say, Barcelona, a team can only win a possible 3-4 of them per season. We’ve won one, now hopefully we can kick on.

  • Daniel Thomas says:

    I personally think Henderson is going to be a central midfielder and we are just playing him on the right to get him experienced in playing for Liverpool.

  • CStars says:

    Maybe the League Cup final can spur Liverpool to greater success but in 2005 we reached the Champions League final despite losing in the League Cup final. Hopefully the experience of such an occasion will be useful for players such as Henderson and Carroll.


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