Liverpool FC: Under Increased Pressure to Win a Domestic Cup?

Antony Herbert@LeeUwishWritingAnalyst IIIAugust 11, 2011

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06:  Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish shows his emotions during the pre season friendly match between Liverpool and Valencia at Anfield on August 6, 2011 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

With an influx of players brought to Anfield for the new campaign, many of the club's supporters are reveling in the idea of a title challenge. I can see this potential considering the team's dramatic subversion of the disastrous opening half of last season’s campaign.

Yet various more level-headed and arguably more neutral perspectives suggest that Liverpool are in a transition phase that will allow them this season to fight for a top four finish at best.

But without the distraction of European football, born out of their inability to finish their final two games in May on a high, numerous pundits have encouraged bettors to pit their money on a domestic cup triumph for Liverpool.

Mainly this translates into a proposed opportunity for Liverpool to claim the FA Cup.  With the likes of Manchester United and City expected to battle Chelsea for the title, and Arsenal and Spurs with European chances the door is seemingly open for Liverpool to sneak a domestic triumph.

Is this an unnecessary pressure on a Liverpool side attempting to rebuild their now distant reputation as world beaters? Are too many putting a resurgent team under Kenny Dalglish under the expectation of claiming silverware in the manager's first full season back in charge?

With past history and reputation preceding the side you can envisage this as a definite possibility. They only stand as fourth favourites to win both the FA Cup and Carling Cup. Yet comparing these odds to those of them winning the league and it seems to produce marginally improved predictions.

As a result you can’t help but wonder whether the opportunity of a domestic cup victory is a focus deliberately diverting our attention away from the league campaign.

With their overall end of season form the Kop side should be capable of finishing ahead of Spurs and Arsenal. This ideal however is not a certainty when remembering the inconsistency that remained a hindrance to the team's chances. Reckless defeats against West Brom and Blackpool reminded all that Liverpool are not invincible and are still vulnerable.

The first few games of the season will detail much into the potential outcomes of Dalglish’s continued efforts. Maybe by the new year there may be a feeling of silverware, be it league or domestic.

More than anything you can’t help but feel that the designs and therefore aims should focus more on stringing together a consistent and respected run of form and display of talent.

Gerrard now has a vast backing to make the team more than a one-man squad. Suarez can dominate the penalty area, Carroll has his head and the midfield looks stronger than in recent years.

Trophies would be an added bonus and deep runs into both domestic cups would certainly be praised.

However as a Liverpool supporter myself I would prefer to see Liverpool show their ability to defeat the teams they are expected to defeat. This would be a welcome opposite to the frustrating losses against easier teams which conflicted with the heroic wins over United, Chelsea and Manchester City towards the back end of the last campaign.