17 Nov 2009

Europa league? FA Cup? Would winning these constitute a good season for LFC?

The trap-door has been opened at Anfield, and above it perches a team on the brink. Consequently, every game seems to be make or break for Liverpool this season. Every decision is overly scrutinised, and despite us being without a league title since 1989, the media tells us that the league must be won or the manager must go. What right do we really have to win the Premier League? On what evidence should we feel we deserve the league crown?

There seems to be only two options for Liverpool this season, perfection or disaster. That is the way it has always been though, or so you would think going on the last 5 years. To me, Liverpool seem to have been trapped in a game of snakes and ladders. With each slip on a snake being branded a disaster and each climb of a ladder being passed off as lucky, or merely the bare minimum.

Rafa is forever rolling the dice, certain in his own actions but uncertain of how they will be perceived. Each decision he makes will upset someone, the recent debacle over Torres’ injury a case in point - should we really expect someone to play and risk a long term injury that could affect his World Cup chances?

We have seen with Gerrard against Lyon recently how risking someone with an injury can backfire. Should Rafa have played Torres’ the full 90 against teams like Fulham, and risk him picking up an injury? The same people slating him for taking him off would no doubt have been slating him for leaving him on.

I firmly believe that we can still win the league this year, there isn’t much between the top 4 in head to heads. It was common thought that this year would be the tightest race in years, and I still think this will be the case.

Last season Liverpool won 11 straight games towards the end of the season. If we can be within at least 10 points of the league leaders come March and put together a run like that again, I see no reason why the league title cannot be ours.

80 points I’m sure will win the league, Liverpool have 19 from 12 games, from now till May we must pick up 61 from 26. Is it possible? I believe so.

Our last two performances although frustrating, have been encouraging. Dominating our bogey team Birmingham with a depleted squad, on another day we could have won 5-0. Showing quality and strength in France was undone cruelly at the last; these are the fine details that Rafa must try to iron out.

If we can turn the corner against City with a strong display, even a 1-0 victory would be the perfect antidote. Under Rafa we have been solid defensively, until this season at least.

And if there’s one thing Rafa knows how to do it is to keep clean sheets. We should not let a bad patch wipe our memories of golden gloves awards and clean sheet regularity.

The intense speculation and general misfortune on the pitch this season has seen a ridiculous amount of pressure build up, so much so that we are led to believe a bad patch becomes a bad season.

We must remember that our last ‘bad season’ ended up in a Champions League victory. I wonder, hypothetically if Liverpool were to finish in the top 4 and pick up a Europa League trophy and an FA Cup, would we celebrate? Would it be considered a good or even great season?

What do you think?

Chris Severs


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  1. Well with chelsea and arsenal picking up injuries and united looking shakier than ever.... now is the time to strike.. let's hope Aquilani is the business and it looks like ngog is pretty decent... Lucas has improved immensly and Stevie's on the way back... I just hope the players are clever enough not to read the crap in the media from supposed experts and ex players...And of course stop conceding cheap goals!! Rafa is still confident. Time for us all to get behind the team and box off an unbeaten run to christmas...
    Viva Rafa

  2. Any trophy win is an achievement as there arent that many that can be won. Would a top 4 finish and either a Europa leage or FA Cup win be successful for Liverpool? No, cause we are liverpool and there in lies the rub. We expect to be winning the League and the CL. Whilst competing in the FA and League Cups. But to overlook any trophy as a minor achievement grossly undervalues any competition, look who is in the League cup Quarters?!?!  If we get knocked out of the CL then I would see winning the Europa League as a great success, not because of what went on previous but because - again looking at the standards in the League cup - there are some fantastic teams left in the Comp.

    Success is measured on trophies, not £, 2/3/4th place. THe end of May is when any team should take stock of what went on and try and put it right, but as you say we are not yet out of the 2 biggest tournaments we entered at the start if the season. Do I think we will win them? Probably not, but like last season, I wont give up until its mathematically impossible we can not progress.

  3. ANY trophy would be better than no trophy

  4. Whilst I agree we should be aiming for the CL/League, winning the Europa League (hate that name -Uefa Cup is better) is no disgrace.  It would be another European trophy, and there's nothing wrong with that.

  5. Frankly, to me it would depend on how well we play. What I would like to see more than anything is the team progressing as a football playing unit. Last season we gave a few awesome displays. I want to see that again. If we see a team that plays top level football, especially better attacking football than last year, then a cup trophy or two would to me still be a good season. Get Aquilani and Johnson on a roll along with Torres and Gerrard, and I would see it as a tricky period that still saw us improve towards regaining the league crown.

  6. Good article Chris.

    The weight of unwarranted expectation is severe at Anfield especially considering the logical facts.

    We have the 5th most expensive team in the League and the 4th highest wage bill, why is it many Liverpool fans expect us to win the League Title considering those facts?

    Our squad cost is £50m behind that of Spurs in 4th place, with money and success unquestionably bound why are we (based solely on prior success) expected to win the League? It's been a common problem in recent years that more and more Liverpool fans expect us to be winning Titles as some sort of devine birth right, "We are Liverpool and must win the Title!". I'm sorry but I don't buy into this viewpoint, we are Liverpool, we have the 4th highest wage bill and the 5th most expensive squad, logically finishing 4th would be over-achieving. Finishing 1st would be a miracle.

  7. I have money on Liverpool not winning anything this season, but im not sure if the UEFA cup counts in this bet,

  8. Succintly said! How very true!
    Goodness me, couldn't believe this comment when I first saw it. But this is why Life is great ain't it?  The existence of true fans!

  9. basically, Rafa needs a Trophy and he needs it soon - it shouldn't really matter which one it is at this point. Just to be in contention.  Obviously the League is the one everyone wants but it's been a few years and we should just settle for winning something from the way things are looking.
    i.e. if we lose to City at the weekend and someone was to say to you after that game 'Liverpool will win the Uefa Cup and the F.A. cup this season' would you take it over not winning anything?

  10. We will be very happy ^^

  11. I don't think all is necessarily lost......just very difficult to achieve. Whatever competition we find ourselves in we should endeavour to win.....be it FA Cup, Europa League etc. With players coming back from injury I would hope we tighten up the ship at the back and with that I tink we could go on a run. Who knows what's going to happen in the league with sooo many teams capable of beating eachother.

  12. You still think you can win the league from 11 points behind Chelsea? Whats wrong with you? On what evidence and logic do you base the assumption that the gap can and will only decrease rather than increase?

  13. You still think you can win the league from 11 points behind Chelsea? Whats wrong with you? On what evidence and logic do you base the assumption that the gap can and will only decrease rather than increase?

  14. Should we just pack it in now in november marco??
    Get a life. We are liverpool.. we fight to the finish. FACT


  16. 11points in November is nothing when there are so many games left. Given Chelsea are going to lose key players for a few weeks, and they will lose games this season. Its not going to be easy for any team to win it this year. But as I said earlier we probably wont win the league this seaosn, but I wont give up until its mathematically impossible and given the amount of injuries we have suffered to first team players, we can only improve.

  17. we dropped 28 points last season and united dropped 24, so far this season we've dropped 17, and Chelsea have dropped 6.  If we get our act together and stop losing matches but at the same time continue to draw less (we've only drawn 1 this season) it's still possible from the position we're in to win the league.  It's not realistically likely but there's always a chance

  18. I'm not going to lie, I was pissed when Fiorentina beat Lyon.  It was nice to see Liverpool win for the first time in what felt like forever but the result wasn't quite as good as I had hoped.  Now that the Champions League is out, I think Europa League would be a great victory for us.  Last season was our best in years and yet we won nothing.  If this year continues to go as it has, the Europa League or FA cup beat winning nothing.  I try to look at it in a positive way.  The chance of us winning the Champions League wasn't very high, especially with current form.  When looking at the teams in the Europa League, we could beat them all, no questions asked when we have good form.  It will be interesting to see how we can adjust and see if we can pull through on this one.  I'm looking forward to our first match.

  19. Chris, I have been missing your pro-Rafa biased, Paul Tompkins-like articles for almost a MONTH. Have you lost confidence on Rafa having seen the most disterous run in LFC history which he masterminded? Or are you just being afraid of admitting that your blind faith on Rafa is now proven to be totally unwarranted? Or do you have to wait for another meaningful win by LFC (not against Debrecan in ECC) before you have the guts to write again? But as you know much better than I do, you might have to wait for at least another month if that's the case...
    And I must confess that you are absolutely SPOT ON in saying that Rafa is INDEED A VICTIM OF HIS PAST SUCCESS in EVERY SENSE of the word: As seen from his performance over the past month, he has become so arrogant (because of his sucess in year #1) that he (1) refused to make the necessary tactics change to rectify the team's poor performance, (2) refused to put his injured crock (AA) on the pitch despite recovery, (3) refused to admit his own mistakes and used lame and lazy excuses (last minute goals in the ECC, own goals by GJ) to cover his own blunders.