I think I may be old fashioned but I love the cup competitions, all of them. I get frustrated when i hear our supporters say that they don't want us to progress or don't want us to qualify for the Europa Cup because the extra games could possibly effect us, i just don't get it, surely the aim of the club, for all of us, is to be successful, to win trophies, nothing else matters other than putting trophies in the cabinet so why do we not want to progress in competitions or qualify for others. Like everybody else I would prefer us to qualify for the Champions League but if we fail I would rather be in the Europa Cup than nothing at all. This season I was gutted when we failed to qualify for the later stage of the Champions League and i'm certainly jealous that we wont be playing in the big fixtures and earning the big money later in the season, but i am looking forward to playing Besiktas and hopefully progressing further in the competition why shouldn't we try to win it and the other domestic cups for that matter, i'm proud of our history and everything we have won and want more.
There are lots of reasons other than just the glory that we should want to progress in every competition. Firstly the money, i know the big money is in the Champions League but there is revenue to be gained in every competition gate receipts, television money and prize money, sponsorship, more coverage means more endorsements and we need all the money we can get to invest in players everybody does so why not try to earn some perhaps it is just a drop in the ocean but every little helps and I don't thin we can turn it down.
Any extra fixtures during the season gives the manager the option to introduce some young players to the first team squad or team. If players are to move through from the youth teams they need to be given a chance at some point, recently we have seen Stirling, Ibe, Flannagan, Rossiter, Williams, Sinclair all be given a chance to develop both themselves and raise their profiles and value if it wasn't for the cup competitions i'm certain they wouldn't be as far along in their development as they are now and would almost certainly have to be out loans to get any experience at all.
We have a first eleven at the club or perhaps fourteen or fifteen players that are regularly used by the manager there are plenty of others who need minutes on the pitch. We all want and can see the benefits of a strong squad but its no good if the players in this squad never get on the pitch or have no experience of playing for Liverpool they need to be ready when they are needed, this season players like Can, Markovic, Moreno and Manquillo all new to Liverpool needed to be given time on the pitch and we are now getting the benefits of seeing these very young players settle in and starting to produce. We also have older more experienced players such as Lambert, Balotelli, Enrique and Allen who all need minutes we can't just continuously leave them out doing nothing but training then expect them to produce when suddenly thrust into the team. The cups are important to give people chances and experience.
Most important of all though is the glory, we have a huge history and the cups are a big part of that and to keep our status in the game we need to pick up trophies we need to have Wembley appearances, we need the big games that bring out the passion in the support, we need the cups and we are Liverpool we should be trying to win and compete in every game, in every competition and this year in particular Gerrard leading the team out at Wembley in his last game for the club and then holding up the FA Cup as his last action as our captain would be a fantastic moment in our history.