Six years without a major honour may not be a disaster for some clubs, but for Liverpool and the fans it has been a frustrating, at times, very painful drought.
The barren run and poor luck endured since the penalty shoot out victory over Cardiff City in February 2012 has seemed a lot longer than six years. In that time the club has lost four finals and blown the 13/14 title.
While the number of finals reached in that time, especially under Jurgen Klopp, is encouraging, the brutal fact remains, nothing has been won.
We need only look across Stanley Park or at St James’s Park to see that a few years can easily become a matter of decades. Spurs too have suffered, and are without trophy success in ten years.
The impact this has on the clubs and the supporters is varied, but never positive. Worse still, a rot can set in and erode the core mentality of the club. This has to be avoided at Liverpool at almost any cost.
Other measures of success
Almost is the key there. Liverpool must not panic if silverware is not brought back this season. Jurgen Klopp is the best thing to happen to Liverpool since the dark days of 2010 when a courtroom saved us from the plight of Gillet, Hicks and administration.
One of the biggest obstacles Klopp has helped to overcome since his appointment, was the pathetic attitude of the players which had crept in under the previous three managers. Conceding the first goal in any game back then was a death sentence for three points. The squad seemed bereft of fight or spirit and heads would easily drop, never to be lifted.
Players seemed more bothered by their Instagram account than winning, and some truly dire results were returned in the pre-Klopp era.
The German has eradicated that dire attitude. In order to survive in his high press, ultra demanding approach you have to possess the right attitude and be the right type of player. Slowly, but surely this has been bled in to the Liverpool team since October 2015.
The improvement on the pitch has been remarkable, as has the transformation of men like Henderson and Firmino to name but two.
It is obvious that these measures of success cannot be ignored. If a trophy is not brought back to Anfield, the onus should remain to keep Klopp exactly where he is and ignore the grumbling from the day trippers.
Any cup will do…
Klopp has said that he will take any trophy win to end the drought at Liverpool. He is right as usual, and that is why the fringe players will be of vital importance this season.
Last season’s cup exits to Leicester and West Brom were all the more disappointing because some of the fringe players brought in simply didn’t show up. They were given a renewed chance at a time when the squad wasn’t strong, and failed to impress. The West Brom game was particularly painful with Mingolet and Moreno once again up to their old tricks, despite having recently lost their places.
If trophy success is to return, it is vital that our second string can come in and grab the chance presented to them. They must also be of a suitable standard, which is why players like Shaqiri, Wijnaldum, Milner and Sturridge could all be vital components for this campaign.
It is also worth noting that a domestic cup win is unlikely to take away the sting if we were to miss out on top four and Champions League football.
The League Cup didn’t save Dalglish in 2012 and it would unleash a tirade of abuse toward the manager if we were to contrive to finish 5th or lower. The priority must remain the Champions League for now. Alisson, Van Dijk, Salah, and the rest, would they have come if we were still sat 6th in the league but won a League Cup?
The wild ride to Kiev last season was wonderful and will live long in the club’s history. Champions League / European Cup football is in the club’s DNA. Yes we failed to land a trophy last year, but the joy that the run through the knockouts of the Champions League has left a lasting legacy at the club. A trophy win would still be lovely though!