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With Liverpool 22 points clear, should they start taking the FA Cup more seriously?

Aaron Gales
ANALYST
Feature
Modified 08 Feb 2020, 01:27 IST

Jurgen Klopp missed Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp missed Liverpool's FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury

Much was made in the football world of Jurgen Klopp's decision to not only rest his entire first team squad, but also miss the FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury himself, and leave Neil Critchley in charge.

Liverpool's assault on a first Premier League title has quite rightly taken precedence over any other priorities. It is the trophy the fans, players, manager and owners crave above all others, and the relentless nature of their football meant that Klopp was undoubtedly correct to ensure that his first team squad enjoyed a well-earned break in a season that has already seen them claim two trophies.

Klopp as the architect of this success was also right to give himself a rest. Critchley knows those young players better than anyone, and it was the correct decision to leave him in charge and give the manager a chance to recharge his batteries ahead of the business end of the season.

Liverpool's young guns, led by Curtis Jones, justified the faith shown in them by claiming a 1-0 win at Anfield to set up a 5th round tie with Chelsea.


Curtis Jones is one of the Liverpool youngsters to have impressed in the FA Cup this season
Curtis Jones is one of the Liverpool youngsters to have impressed in the FA Cup this season

It is at this point though that I believe that Klopp and his team should start taking the competition seriously.

They are 22 points clear in the league. The Premier League title is going to Anfield for the first time. As much as Klopp and his players might say they are taking it one game at a time, it would take a collapse of epic proportions for Manchester City to claim a third straight title.

The cushion they have at the top of the table gives them the platform to go and attack the other competitions.

Klopp will want to defend the club's Champions League crown, but the FA Cup should also now be a big priority. His team have given themselves an opportunity to have one of the all-time great seasons, and adding the FA Cup to their Premier League crown would ensure their place as one of the greatest English teams of all time.

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They could also potentially match the achievement of Manchester United and complete the treble. It will be hard but not impossible.

Liverpool have the chance to emulate the treble-winning Manchester United team
Liverpool have the chance to emulate the treble-winning Manchester United team

Liverpool haven't won the competition since Steven Gerrard inspired them to victory against West Ham in 2006. They are long overdue for another shot at it.

Klopp should want to get his hands on one of the most famous trophies in the history of world football.

The carrot of matching Arsene Wenger's Invincibles will be tempting, but Klopp should target silverware over unbeaten streaks. After all, it is trophies that matter to Liverpool more than anything else.

Published 08 Feb 2020, 01:27 IST
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