Jurgen Klopp has perfectly answered Jamie Carragher’s biggest criticism of Liverpool with his latest success. The Reds beat Chelsea to the FA Cup on penalties in an almost carbon copy of the Carabao Cup final.
Liverpool are still celebrating this week after winning the FA Cup and there might not be anyone happier right now than club legend Carragher. The former defender was critical of Klopp by insisting the German did not take the domestic cup competitions seriously enough.
Speaking last year, the Sky Sports pundit told Klopp that he needed to start hoovering up trophies to really emphasise how good Liverpool are right now. He even told his old club to behave “more like Chelsea”.
“His team have not won enough,” Carragher wrote in his Telegraph column. “Out of context, that sounds extremely unfair. A better way of putting it is that they have not won as much as their performances have deserved.
“To put it simply, Liverpool need to become more like Chelsea. What they have done so well during the Roman Abramovich era is to become serial trophy collectors: five FA Cups, three League Cups, two Europa League titles. That’s in addition to being Champions League winners twice.
“That is an area where Liverpool can and must improve. Since winning the FA Cup in 2006, Liverpool have won only one domestic cup competition: the 2012 League Cup. That’s a poor return for a club of such stature.”
And not only have Liverpool heeded that advice, they even beat Chelsea twice this season to clinch both the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup – the two finals ending 0-0 and going to penalties despite a barrage of chances on both sides of the pitch.
The Reds have their sights on the quadruple – though beating Manchester City to the Premier League might be a bridge too far – the Champions League remains absolutely attainable. They take on Real Madrid in the final in a clash of sheer European royalty.
It means that whatever happens, this has been a hugely successful season for Liverpool – who will go into next season in the unfamiliar territory of defending their domestic cup crowns. The last time the Reds won the FA Cup was back in 2006 – an astonishing 16 years ago – back when Trent Alexander-Arnold was seven.
The Premier League and Champions League remain the top goals at Anfield but when they might not be available, ending the season with any sort of silverware is always a huge boost. And the fact that Liverpool remain in the hunt for the quadruple proves that it is not a case of either-or, they can go try and win it all.