When Cardiff City Football Club or more precisely the fans and supporters of the club start making their way down Wembley Way, I’m sure they won’t for a moment stop to think about the importance or relevance of the trophy they will be fighting for, but can the same be said of Liverpool Football Club ?
The most recent occasion that Liverpool competed in a major cup final was in 2006 when they faced West Ham United in The F.A. Cup final of that year, which in a touch of irony was played in Cardiff at The Millennium Stadium; with Liverpool going on to win the trophy on penalties after a 3-3 draw in regulation play.
With many teams, and particularly Managers treating both cup competitions League Cup & F.A. Cup with complete contempt both in selection of teams or just the actual commitment offered toward these trophies over the last few years, they have actually devalued what winning either Cup actually means, it is quite amazing what has happened when you consider that at the start of any season even the best of clubs, the top four, or top six can actually only win three trophies possibly four for the lucky few who compete in Europe.
Then we consider those clubs who will most certainly be spending the season in mid-table obscurity or more often a relegation battle, you know the Everton & Wigan’s of the World, so why do even these also-rans, the runts of the pack also treat such a competition as The League Cup in such a disparaging way, especially when in reality it is most probably the only realistic chance these clubs have at winning some silverware.
The blame cannot only be aimed at clubs, but more likely the culprits are once again Fleet Street and other media forms, demeaning the tournament and actually perpetuating what some senior Managers & clubs have put forward as a belief amongst Football, and then this syndrome is passed on to us football fans, so now even we have been in some way brain washed into thinking we are actually supporting something that has no real relevance within football, and that is the complete shame of where multi-million pound sponsorships and more particularly The Champions League has impacted on our own Cup competitions.
Over the last few weeks, since Liverpool made it through to Wembley, the talk has not been about the fantastic effort in actually making it through to a MAJOR final, but instead lets again try to devalue the trophy by suggesting that it is nothing because we would easily take it down the local pawn brokers and swap for fourth position in The Premier League, can people not see what is going on here, the media and fans getting sucked along with the lack of understanding in being psychologically mind bended by these people.
All that is happened is that football fans have been groomed in such a way that they didn’t even see it happening, didn’t realise the moment they stopped caring about Silver, about Winning, about achieving success. It has become important to finish within a top four position, and more important to stay in The Premiership than actually winning a trophy. There was a time when we would grace Wembley almost every year, and indeed during the eighties The League Cup was regularly being taken in and out of our trophy cabinet at Anfield, with the club winning the trophy for four consecutive years 1981-1984.
There was a time when if we had entered four different competitions, then we would try our very best to win all those competitions, if when I was a boy somebody had said “Well we are going to play the youth team in The F.A. Cup” I would have been incredulous to that idea. Would we have accepted that in the 1970s or 1980s? Is it any wonder we have had to wait so long to once again be within touching distance of our old friend The League Cup?
If we are good enough or lucky enough to secure The Carling Cup this weekend, don’t let anyone try to tell you it is not a trophy worth winning, that it has little value in the scale of things, tell them that Liverpool Football Club has a rich history of WINNING trophies and Cups and we are about to re-balance the norm and go back to a tried and tested Feng Shui within the halls of Anfield.
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