Liverpool FC: Should the Reds Focus on the Europa League?

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Liverpool FC: Should the Reds Focus on the Europa League?
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool are a European powerhouse when it comes to football and fans usually agree it is a shame that they do not compete in the UEFA Champions League.

However, Champions League days are long behind Liverpool now, and fans will have to be satisfied with seeing their team play the Europa League on Thursday nights. 

Meanwhile, Liverpool sealed their progression to the Round of 32 in the UEFA Europa League last week.

The Reds beat Udinese in Italy thanks to a sole first-half goal from Jordan Henderson, and Young Boys ensured Liverpool finished at the top of the group as they ran out comfortable winners against Anzhi Makhachkala with the score 3-1.

The Reds have already been eliminated from the Carling Cup and are also heading for another disappointing league season, but having topped their Europa League group, Liverpool will be seeded for the draw that will take place on December 20.

Should the Reds perhaps focus on the Europa League?

 

Yes

Michael Steele/Getty Images
Last time Liverpool won the Europa League (previously named the UEFA Cup) was in 2001.

Aside from the FA Cup, the Europa League is the only trophy Liverpool will be fighting for this season, and the main focus of the club should always be on achieving European glory.

Yes, the Reds will probably have to give up on the Premier League and the FA Cup, but it would all be worth it if they manage to bring the first European trophy to Liverpool since that magical night in Istanbul.

And with Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez and Pepe Reina spearheading the hunt for Europa League, Liverpool have realistic chances to win the lucrative trophy.

A Europa League win would also relieve much of the pressure currently on Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who seems intrigued by the possibility of winning a European trophy in his first campaign with the club—Rodgers decided to take most of his first-team players to Italy last week indicating that the Reds might not want to give up on the Europa League so easily.

Furthermore, Martin Skrtel, Glen Johnson, Jose Enrique, Joe Allen and Luis Suarez all started the decisive match against Udinese.

After the match, Suarez, the club's leading goal scorer, highlighted the team's desire to compete in the Europa League (via Goal.com):

"We want to do one thing and that is to win the Europa League," Suarez told reporters.

A clear sign of Liverpool's determination to succeed in Europa League? 


 
No

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Luis Suarez took a beating in the Europa League match with Udinese.


Liverpool have to stop wasting their players in second-string competitions before it starts seriously affecting their league form.

The Brendan Rodgers men have had problems in the league and playing in yet another relatively meaningless competition will tire the players who are already performing under the standard.

Not to mention the lack of quality backup players on the squad. Raheem Sterling and Suarez have already become indispensable and irreplaceable at Liverpool—an injury to either of them would represent a devastating blow to the club. Needlessly risking them in less significant matches would be a huge mistake.

What is more, the prize money the clubs get for winning the competition is inconsiderable—only €3 million.

 

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Stewart Downing celebrates with his teammates after scoring in the Europa League.

All in all, I personally believe Liverpool should try and go all the way in Europa.

The club and the fans have already forgotten the taste of European success and a Europa League win would make Liverpool the most successful club in the history of the competition.

The enthusiasm it could bring would also probably be enough to attract some of the biggest names in Europe—something Liverpool failed to do in the summer.

What do you think? Should Liverpool focus on the Europa League?

Don't forget to check out:

Should Chelsea focus on the Europa League?

Teams Arsenal Will Want to Avoid in the Champions League Knockout Stage


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