CM – Jürgen Klopp is now competing for the FA Cup as Liverpool stalled in the title race

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The Anfield manager turns his attention to domestic trophies to keep the winning habit

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National trophies usually do not play a role for the big clubs. And then they do it. They started to be important to Liverpool.

The Premier League was Jurgen Klopp’s main target this season, but the opportunity to win the title got much further away in two disappointing weeks of the holidays.

In the duel with Manchester City, the error rate is tiny. With two points from three games, Liverpool are 11 points behind the champions.

Nobody gives up on Anfield, but pragmatism outweighs optimism when double-digit gaps appear at the top of the table.

Klopp had Little time for the FA and Carabao Cups in his seven years on Merseyside. They stand in the way of bigger ambitions. The Champions League is now priority, but the knockout rounds are something of a shitty business. The best sides of Europe are in wait.

When the round of 16 against Inter Milan is played in mid-February, the Africa Cup will be over and Liverpool should be almost full, but the competition is unpredictable.

At the moment it is the Carabao Cup is the best chance to expand the Anfield trophy cabinet. The rather artificial excitement surrounding the postponement of the semi-final first leg against Arsenal on Thursday – the desire to exploit Covid and turn it into weapons seems to have permeated every part of British life – obscured the reality that delaying the game didn’t appeal to anyone / p> With our soccer correspondent Daniel McDonnell and a team of expert writers, get the facts about the Irish soccer scene with our free weekly newsletter.

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Wembley is within your grasp. Klopp is aware that trophies – even less prestigious and lucrative ones – have an impact on the team’s mentality. Success becomes a habit. The Champions League victory in 2019 ushered in a title winning season. A trophy adds momentum and the opposite is true. Potless campaigns will soon become routine – just ask Manchester United.

The nice thing about the Carabao Cup is that it can be deposited until the end of February. Manchester City certainly enjoyed adding it to their silverware collection for the past decade leading up to winter. A victorious visit to Wembley Stadium would also be welcome for Liverpool: It’s been ten years since Kenny Dalglish’s team brought the Carling Cup back to Anfield. The FA Cup is an even more distant memory. Sixteen years have passed since Steven Gerrard broke the hearts of West Ham United at the Millennium Stadium.

The oldest knockout tournament in the world is still a minor matter for the time being. The FA Cup third-round game against Shrewsbury Town on New Meadow is likely to take place today, although Klopp’s first team players have been slow to recover from the virus. The EFL decided that 14 first-team squad members – including U21 players who made a senior appearance – need to be available. The FA, an organization keen to see the games played to protect their TV deal, is happy to see young players on the pitch if necessary.

Liverpool could have done without Shrewsbury. It’s not often that there is a rivalry between a top team and a League One team, but the Shropshire club have an ax to grind with Klopp. Two years ago, the teams met in the same competition in the fourth round. The problem came after the 2-2 draw in Shrewsbury. The repetition was scheduled during the Premier League’s first winter break. Klopp and his team shot in the sun, Neil Critchley oversaw Liverpool’s youngest starting XI, which won the replay 1-0 and the Kop moved on. But resentments lingered in the town’s boardroom.

In the club graduation records released last year, chairman Roland Wycherley said Liverpool’s approach cost Shrewsbury at least £ 500,000 in the absence of live televised broadcast and the Ticket prices for Anfield have been reduced. The discontent has intensified because the draw on Sunday was also overlooked by the broadcasters, who were expecting another weakened team from Klopp.

If Liverpool progresses, the FA Cup will become more important in the eyes of the coach as the rounds progress to win. At the moment, however, the main task in January is to get a place in the flagship game of the EFL at Wembley.

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