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Author Topic: An interesting Debate  (Read 2703 times)

Offline Ed

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An interesting Debate
« on: October 01, 2013, 10:59:40 PM »
Some interesting comment here on something
we occasionally touch on in our online kickabouts
but is oft overlooked with the pre-occupation on
the league.

Personally, I thought that our exit from the Capital One
cup should have been scrutinised a bit more by the fanbase,
instead it was glossed over as a good performance away to
United?? In fact it was us exiting 1 of the 3 competitions we're in,
which kind of makes it 2 out of 4 by September if Europe is
included - an indicator of our health as a club at present and the
long road ahead...United (currently in crisis) are still in 4.

It's all about managing squads of players in campaigns over the course
of a season, such things don't change overnight I'm afraid.

http://www.thisisanfield.com/2013/10/kenny-dalglish-liverpool-2012-over-achieved/

Offline Juan

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Re: An interesting Debate
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2013, 02:28:13 PM »
I'm not sure scrutinizing this years Carling Cup exit will provide too many answers to anything Ed. For me it was a one off cup game against United at Old Trafford. The result was always going to be close either way. We took the competition seriously by sending out a full strength team. We played well and were unlucky to lose 1 nil.

I agree the Carling Cup needs to be treated with respect. When possible I think it can be used as a good way to give new or younger players first team experience but with big games the priority needs to be on the result.

I think the previous round against Notts County shows just how seriously we took the competition. We fielded an almost full strength team although we fell to piece and needed extra time to win.

In seasons where Champions League qualification has been achieved I think its fair to field further weakened teams but when it comes to playing just domestic football in a season the league cups importance is definitely heightened.

Offline Ed

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Re: An interesting Debate
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2013, 06:30:50 PM »
I'm not sure scrutinizing this years Carling Cup exit will provide too many answers to anything Ed.
Dunno, West Brom went to OT a few days later & got a result.
We didn't seem able to go there and get a result. This notion
that the performance matters in a knockout cup competition
is barmy.

In general our performance in cup competitions has been woeful.

Now obviously, it would be harsh to be too scathing about last
years abysmal return in the cups but as you say going out of
the Capital One when you're not in Europe is a hell of a lot different
than if there's a CL or Europa League campaign to deal with.
The mentality seems to be stuck in the Rafa era when it could be excused/
dismissed as we have bigger fish to fry - we don't!

Which brings us to the attitude of Kenny, success breeds/is built on success.
He went out of his way to take the domestic cups seriously & reached two
finals, winning one, qualifying for Europe - granted to the detriment of our
league campaign.

So are we a small club which focuses solely on the league, jettisoning cups
at the first opportunity?
Or are we a club focussed on winning things?

There's a difference there and it's worth keeping in mind when the question of
the club moving forward/progressing, standing still or moving backward comes up.

Lots of supporters will cling to the nonsense that the league is our bread &
butter and prioritise it at all costs. That's a misinterpretation imo because the league
is the bread and butter for every club in the division. What the guys originally meant
by that was that winning the league was the true measure of the health of the
club because it showed that over the course of a 38 game season (or whatever it was
back then) the club has answered every footballing question thrown at it and come
out on top.

Meantime we seem to think (and the owners obviously, given that they sacked Kenny)
that it's all about top 4 and CL. Well finishing 6th is nothing - a points total meaningless.
The health of the club is reflected in the extent to which the squad peforms over the
course of the season and meets the challenges or footballing questions thrown at it, big
games, pressure games, injuries and fixture congestion - 6th and a points total as progress
in a season with no European football, an early exit from the Capital One cup?

So I think these are questions which the manager needs to be addressing honestly in press
conferences, instead of waffling on about the performance of the team in a knockout competition,
or how many humble guys and gentlemen we have in the squad   :)

Offline Tes

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Re: An interesting Debate
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2013, 03:57:23 PM »
When you look at the league there are 6 teams that finished above us for the last two seasons running. So it's not a one off occurrence. So to get any form of European football, which is absolutely vital in so many ways, we have to finish ahead of a third of those teams which we failed to do so previously.

That's no small ask. It's not insurmountable either. What it does show is how vital the League Cup was to us. We had two cup competitions, two chances, to qualify that route for European football. That's now been halved. That's quite a reduction and a reduction that's down to a woeful piece of defending. The performance isn't the issue. Ultimately, what always counts, is the result and that result shouldn't have happened that way.

The fact that we're still mentioning defensive issues, and leaving a player with that much space, in your six yard box, of all places, from a set piece, of all situations, is school boy stuff. That's worrying.

The other thing about the League Cup, over the FA Cup, (apart from increasing our 1st place tally of wins), is that it would mean qualification for Europe would have been sorted by February, taking the absolute pressure off us for the rest of the season.
As seen in Rafa's penultimate season, Dalglish's caretaker half season and Rodger's first season, we as a team play better and produce results when the pressure's off.
We don't rise to and react positively when the pressure's on, quite the opposite, we seem to wilt.
So a League Cup victory in February, putting European qualification to bed, may actually have also given us a massive boost in terms of CL qualification, by playing without pressure, which in turn could have actually eased us into the top four on the back of the results produced, whilst playing with the freedom brought about by early European qualification.

We as a club simply no longer have a winning mentality to fall back on, so we have to find other ways of getting results. Winning a trophy, then CL qualification as a by product, would help to build that winning mentality once again. Qualification for the CL has become like a trophy win in itself. It is regarded as an achievement of equal or maybe even greater importance (sadly) than a League, FA or even UEFA Cup victory.
So two achievements this season would build a platform for next season.
Don't make the same mistake twice, there's plenty of new ones to choose from.

Those who choose to preach would do well to take note of their own sermons.

Offline Tes

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Re: An interesting Debate
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2013, 04:02:51 PM »
Lots of supporters will cling to the nonsense that the league is our bread &
butter and prioritise it at all costs. That's a misinterpretation imo because the league
is the bread and butter for every club in the division. What the guys originally meant
by that was that winning the league was the true measure of the health of the
club because it showed that over the course of a 38 game season (or whatever it was
back then) the club has answered every footballing question thrown at it and come
out on top.

Talking of the great man who coined the phrase, here's a bit of light relief:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Official-Bill-Shankly-Retro-Liverpool-Jacket-Size-M-/121187415662?pt=UK_Men_s_Coats_Jackets&hash=item1c3755366e

Complete with off white trim.  ;D
Don't make the same mistake twice, there's plenty of new ones to choose from.

Those who choose to preach would do well to take note of their own sermons.

Offline Ed

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Re: An interesting Debate
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2013, 08:42:49 PM »
Talking of the great man who coined the phrase, here's a bit of light relief:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Official-Bill-Shankly-Retro-Liverpool-Jacket-Size-M-/121187415662?pt=UK_Men_s_Coats_Jackets&hash=item1c3755366e

Complete with off white trim.  ;D
Should make the spice boys wear 'em, now that they're
supposedly involved with the youth setuo!  ;D

Offline Juan

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Re: An interesting Debate
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2013, 12:03:00 AM »
Dunno, West Brom went to OT a few days later & got a result.
We didn't seem able to go there and get a result. This notion
that the performance matters in a knockout cup competition
is barmy.

In all fairness though Ed its still Man United at Old Trafford and it wasn't like we were beaten off the park. I agree performance doesnt necessarily matter in cup competitions. In fact performance doesnt necessarily matter in the league if you can manage to win the thing but I do still think our chances were always going to be 60/40 in Uniteds favour that night, 50/50 at best. 1 nil away to the Mancs doesnt serve us up with much to analyse in terms of our own grander picture.

In general our performance in cup competitions has been woeful.

I agree we havent been the best in cups. I think Rodgers admitted as much this season that he had neglected to treat the league cup with respect last season and we were beaten by swansea. Likewise we didnt do much better in the FA cup and we were done by Oldham. In fairness to Rodgers I think its taken him the first season to realise that this club aspires to win everything it enters. Thats why I think he fielded full teams in both cup rounds this season. He certainly didnt disrespect the cup this year and I'm not sure what he couldve done differently.

In terms of the league being the bread and butter and all of that, that may be the case if your winning it regularly enough but like you suggest thats nonsense when your not. I can see why qualifying for the CL is seen as more of an attractive proposition nowadays. It generally means more revenue, better players and those big European nights at Anfield. The domestic Cups are definitely not treated like they used to be by fans in general. But as Kenny alluded to theres nothing better than a day out at Wembley. Its just a pity that the powers that be couldnt offer added incentive to ensure the cups get the respect they deserve.

Offline Juan

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Re: An interesting Debate
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2013, 12:17:13 AM »

The fact that we're still mentioning defensive issues, and leaving a player with that much space, in your six yard box, of all places, from a set piece, of all situations, is school boy stuff. That's worrying.


For me that depends Tes. If the defensive issues continued long into the season Id tend to agree but at the moment Im still hoping we can iron things out. Theres no doubt Enriques mistake cost us at United in the cup and the defence has looked shaky since Sakho entered the fray but gladly we have still managed to pick up points in the league. Its a case of wait and see.

With reagrds to cups, europe and goals for the season I think qualification for the Champions league has to take top priority. With the way United, City and Chelsea have started there may be no better time to capitalise and throw the cat amongst the pigeons for other clubs. Like who knows what that would mean to the likes of City or Chelsea if the financial fair play rules were implemented properly. However I dont think you can just choose when you want your team to perform so we have to go out to play the best we can week in week out. Unfortunately for us the loss to United means thats one less competition we get to compete in but I have no issues in how we approached the league cup this season.

Offline Tes

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Re: An interesting Debate
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2013, 10:56:27 PM »
but I have no issues in how we approached the league cup this season.

I don't think that can be disputed. We didn't play kids and veterans as has happened too often in the past, but the nature of the defeat, on the day, was very disappointing. At the moment Man Utd at Old Trafford is not something to be feared and based on how the game panned out, we should have seen extra time at the very least. Just without Europe all competitions have a heightened importance and in the bigger picture it is absolutely vital we have European football of some sort back at Anfield next season. Being out of the CL for so long is bad, though much more in the medium to long term, but total European absence will very quickly hurt our profile, both on and off the pitch. Clubs are built up or forgotten much quicker now in the media, whether we agree or not, we could soon disappear from the footballing consciousness. It didn't take long for Chelsea and even Man City to be regarded as big clubs or 'important', especially by players, and status is much more fleeting than ever before.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 10:59:26 PM by Tes »
Don't make the same mistake twice, there's plenty of new ones to choose from.

Those who choose to preach would do well to take note of their own sermons.