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Carabao cup exit sees Jurgen Klopp lose a lifeline at Liverpool

Thursday 21st September 2017
Liverpool's poor run continued on Tuesday night when they were knocked out of the Carabao cup by Leicester City. On the plus side Jurgen Klopp can now be more focused on Liverpool's league and Champions League campaign, but in realism, it is a trophy chance gone.

Liverpool fielded a side blended with those who require game time, such as Philippe Coutinho after his back problem, and those who need the chance to impress, Dominic Solanke and Marko Gruijic for example. The team that took to the field was of course not Liverpool's best XI, but failing to play full strength in the hope they can progress may well prove the incorrect decision on the game. Naturally, the League Cup, as it is perhaps more commonly known, is seen as a competition for teams to rest and rotate but on this occasion, Klopp probably should have taken the match a little more serious.

Jurgen Klopp will soon reach his second anniversary at Anfield, and as things stand he has brought a much better feeling to the red half of Merseyside. The football is better and much more attacking and their return to the top four last season will have pleased the fans, but ultimately the main goal is to see silverware enter the trophy cabinet. Liverpool are trophyless since 2012, when they did indeed lift the League cup after beating Cardiff on penalties, something they will now not be able to recreate this season after Tuesday night's exit. Whilst they may have bigger priorities, a trophy is a trophy whichever way you look at it. You only need look at the examples of Arsenal and Manchester United in recent seasons. Arsenal has won three FA cups in four years despite not remotely challenging for the title, whilst Manchester United have claimed the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League triumphs over the past two campaigns.

Silverware pleases the fans, it cannot be argued against when success is questioned. Yes, Liverpool would rather see their side finally win the league title again after such a long time without, but getting back on the silverware trail can be the first step. Success breeds success as the old saying goes! To go and claim a cup competition is to breathe confidence and add a feel-good factor to the squad, just as it did for Manchester City in 2011 with the FA cup victory before winning the league the year after. It gives players the feeling of being winners and can give them the drive to win again, especially when you look at the lack of collective winners medals in the Liverpool dressing which is made up largely by James Milner from his time at the Etihad.

Come the end of the season, Liverpool could well find success elsewhere and the Carabao Cup exit will seem a long time forgotten, but as things look now, the likelihood is that Liverpool have missed out on a potential bit of silverware to bring light from the season. Now, if Liverpool fails to make top four and come away potless, the season will indeed be big failure and leave Klopp under a great deal of pressure.
Ryan Stewart

23 years old, Sport Journalism graduate living in Salford. Work in web content in Media city and always looking to break in to sports writing. Manchester United season ticket holder.

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