Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Can Liverpool's Carling Cup success be the start of a winning era at Anfield?

On Sunday, Liverpool won their first win in six years with a win over Championship outfit Cardiff City. It was also their first trophy won at the new Wembley and the first since the return of Kenny Dalglish to Liverpool. Whilst Liverpool's performance was nervy and unconvincing and, in the end, required the lottery of a penalty shootout to decide the outcome of the final, one trophy can easily be the catalyst for more future success.

On the other hand, as Arsenal discovered last year, a cup final loss can also lead to a dramatic fall, as they were quickly knocked out of all other competitions following their loss to Birmingham City.

Regardless of how big the winning margin was, the most important thing was for Liverpool to start winning again and to give some of their new players that winning feeling. It also seems that neither Dalglish nor his players have any intention of stopping there. Liverpool are a big enough and ambitious enough club to be able to challenge for and win more trophies.

However, the Carling Cup isn't exactly as prestigious as a Premier League or Champions League success and is the lowest priority for most Premier League teams. Furthermore, despite significant recent investment in the playing squad, I don't believe that this Liverpool team is at all comparable to the side that used to dominate English football.

Could Liverpool go out and spend more money on players to improve further? Yes, but so could the other big teams around them in the Premier League, particularly Man City.

The most important thing for Liverpool is to get back into the Champions League. Considering the financial benefits of European football and the history of Liverpool, that is probably of far more importance. Even then an era of Liverpool dominance seems unlikely, but with Dalglish at the helm, Liverpool fans will believe more than ever.

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