Selectiveness the Key to Success for Liverpool?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 07: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during the pre-match warm-up during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City at Anfield on October 7, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Rich Linley - CameraSport via Getty Images)

It’s a lot easier to win one fight than three at the same time. You don’t have to be an expert to do the maths here. Liverpool are currently in the midst of a six-year trophy drought. However, the squad is the strongest it has been in years. Should an executive decision be made at the club to focus solely on one competition in order to enhance the chance of silverware?

Selectiveness the Best Option For Liverpool?

A War on Three Fronts

Liverpool were dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Chelsea courtesy of an Eden Hazard wondergoal, but this still means that when the FA Cup starts Liverpool will be playing in three competitions; the Premier League, the Champions League and the FA Cup.

From an analytical point of view, it would make sense to focus all of the effort on one competition to maximise the chances of winning it. However, football doesn’t make sense. If you asked a Liverpool fan whether they would be satisfied by top four and the FA Cup, they would probably say no. The prize that every Kopite longs for is the Premier League trophy. Without a league title since 1990, most Liverpool fans would trade their right arm to finish top of the pack in May. For too many years the team has fallen at the final hurdle. This is why most would accept rotation in the Cup and perhaps even the Champions League in order to boost the club’s chances of a title. The question is whether Jurgen Klopp is willing to take this risk.

Klopp is now in his fourth season with the club and it has been a trophyless reign thus far. For all the excellent play he has brought to the club, he has yet to produce any silverware to show for it. This is why, perhaps, it is feasible that he will choose to focus solely on the league campaign. He needs a trophy and he needs it this season. By resting players in mid-week games, he can get the most out of them when it comes to league fixtures. This may be necessary as there have been comments in the media regarding the apparent fatigue of the team recently. Liverpool aren’t like Manchester City with their unlimited depth. Otherwise, they could compete on all three fronts with no problems. The truth is that Klopp will need to rest players at some point this season. Will he blow off the FA Cup or Champions League in order to do so?

Difficult Decisions

Gary Neville stated that Liverpool should kick the Champions league ‘into touch’ in order to focus on the Premier League. Due to the club’s famous history with the competition, this isn’t an easy task. Klopp risks upsetting the Liverpool faithful with an early exit, especially if the league campaign is derailed. It is the biggest call Klopp has had to make in his Liverpool career. A major sacrifice, which could reap the most valuable of rewards. Should he choose to focus on the league and do what no Liverpool manager since Kenny Dalglish has done (clinch the title) he will be immortalised in Liverpool folklore. It isn’t guaranteed that Liverpool won’t win silverware if they do choose to play at full strength on all three fronts. It makes the task a lot more daunting though. In order to maximise their chances, one competition needs to be prioritised. Only time will tell if Jurgen Klopp agrees.

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