Cups and the importance of building and moving on.

So it’s Wednesday and surely enough time to digest the aftermath of Sunday’s win?

There was the usual mix, but I think the overall conclusion was fair. Liverpool deserved to win but hats off, if that’s not too patronising, to Cardiff for taking it all the way. If Cardiff had taken it, I wonder what everyone would have said, the result was against the run of play or would they have been swept along on a gushing tide of appreciation for the underdog?

Despite having approaching two thirds of possession, we had around thirty plus attempts at goal however we could only “hit the jackpot” with two. What do you do? Keep the players behind for more shooting practice or hope that it resolves itself? It’s frustrating as the defence has been so good so if we were to improve by just 30% in front of goal where would we be?

Anyway that is not to take away from our first bit of silverware since 2006. No doubt many will regard it as the worst of the domestic bunch however, there are few English clubs these days who can point to having won anything more significant. Moreover many of those who arrogantly dismiss the tournament, as if they have better things to do, usually end up with nothing!

The main theme appears to be that although winning the Carling Cup is great and provides us with a nice European safety net (oh! how I’ve missed those Thursday Channel Five nights!) going forward into the last dozen or so games of the season, it must be seen as something of a springboard, or a kick start on to other things, rather than laurels to rest on. Obvious targets to move on to this season are Champions League qualification or, perhaps more realistically, the FA Cup. Said Kenny

“Does actually getting your hands on a trophy inspire you? I hope so, I think anyone who has ever won a trophy, whether it’s at Wembley or wherever, has come away and said, ‘I enjoyed that, I’d love to do it again. If you do something and you enjoy it, you are going to want to do more of it, aren’t you? It’s not to say it is going to happen but you would think it was logical.”

Dalglish is from a breed of reds players who wouldn’t settle for just the League Cup. Get a taste of silver and that final atmosphere and it’s something you want more of. Liverpool, in his time, were the greediest of all teams. Kenny clearly still has the appetite, let’s hope the current squad are just as hungry!

Other thoughts from Sunday. I thought it ironic, if not trashy that The Sun decided, on the day we playing in a major final, to expand their tentacles into the Sunday newspaper market. Not that I should be surprised, consideration to Liverpool and their fans has never been top of their list and I wouldn’t have put it past them to have deliberately engineered it! However it was gratifying to see that others had noticed this and that there were plenty of placards reminding everyone of the history that News International, and this particular grubby rag, seeks to forget. Less intelligent fans often seek to brand Liverpool fans as always the victims however the recent Leveson phone hacking inquiries supports Liverpool fans continued stance against the Sun and suggests that we are dealing with an institution that has no consideration for any form of human emotional, or dignity, let alone the truth, in it’s quest for filthy lucre.

On to tonight and England begin, well want is the next “era” who knows. Tonight is of temporary nature with “Psycho” filling in while the FA contrive to cock up the next appointment. With Harry Redknapp a popular, but not necessarily logical, choice with players and fans, it seems that it’s been served up to them on a plate however, one cannot underestimate the FA and it’s already proven ability to snatch embarrassment and incredibility from the jaws of straightforwardness!

It’s interesting, but perhaps not surprising that with, Arsenal beckoning on Saturday, Glen Johnson, (many peoples second choice pick for the full back berth for England AND Liverpool) and Daniel Agger have already withdrawn from their respective squads. Craig Bellamy understandably stays as he leads Wales tonight in the Gary Speed memorial match. We’ve heard nothing from Steven Gerrard who, above Johnson and Agger, would the most likely to withdraw? Perhaps he can’t as Pearce might name him as captain today? If he doesn’t then one wonders if there is some underlying issue with the respective groups in the squad?

Whatever the case this is irrelevant. The main hope for tonight is not an England victory but for a safe and healthy return for Gerrard and the rest of our players involved elsewhere, on the playing fields of Europe and beyond, so they are ready to face Arsenal on Saturday. It’s been nice but that is the day when we really need to prove that we have washed the Carling Cup out of our hair!

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