Is the league cup important any more? For me, yes, its a trophy and I firmly believe Liverpool should be doing their best to win everything that they enter. If Liverpool are not in it when the final comes around i will be jealous watching two teams contest a big day out at Wembley and I will be jealous watching somebody other than Gerrard lift a trophy, I always am, I want us to win everything. Along the same lines if it's the last option I want us playing in the UEFA cup, yes its second rate tournament, way behind in second to the Champions League but it's better than nothing, I don't agree with the people who don't want us in the tournament, so there is the added benefit, in my eyes, of European qualification.
On top of the glory of the win and the trophy in the cabinet there are other benefits to the competition, should we win or do well the players will gain confidence, winning is a habit and it's one I want us to get used to, not just winning games, but winning trophies, also having a trophy in the bag would give the squad huge confidence going in to the run in at the end of the season.
There is always the money, there is money to be made from the tournament and clubs including Liverpool are always on the look out for extra revenue, not only is there prize money, but there is also the chance that some of our matches will be on television and of course money can be raised the old fashioned way in gate receipts, people will attend, many find it difficult to get hold of tickets these days, including children who often seem to be priced out of the market. So with a sensible pricing structure the club should still be able to ensure a relatively full stadium and a decent sum in the coffers.
The most important opportunity that this competition gives is the chance for some game time for fringe members of the team and for younger players possibly from the academy to get some time playing for the first team, helping them to develop as players. Currently at Liverpool we are struggling for form and have several players who need some time on he pitch, there will be even more as players return from injury a chance to see players such as Markovic will be very valuable to the manager. We also currently have a very strong Under 21's and Under 18's the players in these squads need to see a route in to the first team squad and as part of their development they need too play at the higher levels, Rodgers needs to see them play at the higher level, it's vital that talented youngsters are given the opportunity.
So there are plenty of reasons why the League Cup is important, not least that I want us to be able to win a trophy, that's what it's all about winning trophies and sometimes I think we forget that, so when we take to the field against Middlesbrough lets get behind the team and hope for a long run in the competition.