Jurgen Klopp’s FA Cup antics prove he is far from the “normal one” he proudly claims to be
Firstly, a word of advice for Mr. Klopp — if you don’t want fixture congestion, play a team that can beat the side who are 16th in League One.
After Shrewsbury’s comeback against the European Champions to secure a replay at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp decided that he won’t be managing in it, or playing any of the senior players, as they want to “respect the winter break” and complaining about the workload that his players have had to face.
That point might have some leverage if Shrewsbury hadn’t played one more fixture than Liverpool this season, with the Shrews playing 38 in all competitions, compared to Liverpool’s 37.
So yeah, good one.
The great minds of the Liverpool fan base had a wonderful idea, however, “Hey, we should just, Get rid of FA Cup replays!!!”
Here’s why that idea is terrible. It all starts with a rare phenomenon called “Clubs outside the Premier League” and how they don’t, like Liverpool, get over £150,000,000 in TV money. Let me elaborate.
Remember in 2017 when Lincoln City got their fairy tale run to the FA Cup Quarter finals, beating Premier League Burnley when they themselves were a Non-League side? They earned over £1m from prize money and TV broadcasts. if you were a Premier League side, that might be able to buy you 1.28% of a Harry Maguire, but it has entirely transformed Lincoln as a club — they overhauled their academy and improved the first team, winning them promotion to League One, and the League Two title, at the second attempt.
Of course, money isn’t everything. Fan experience though?
23rd September 2015. Anfield, Liverpool.
Liverpool host the puny Carlisle United in a League Cup tie (Not the FA Cup, but also a victim of some of the Liverpool fan’s detailed plans to save Mo Salah’s fitness) Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get tickets for this, but considering it is one of the biggest occasions in the then 111 year history of our football club, it was understandable that tickets sold fast.
Danny Ings gave Liverpool the lead in the 23rd minute, but 13 minutes later, Derek Asamoah wrote his name into Carlisle United Folklore. “CARLISLE UNITED HAVE SCORED INFRONT OF THE KOP”. Although most Liverpool fans would have forgotten that moment by the time the week was out, that, there, is a moment the 6,000 travelling away fans, and so many more watching and listening at home, would never forget. The game went to penalties, but academy graduate Mark Gillespie saving penalties from Adam Lallana and Coutinho weren’t enough to stop Carlisle losing 3–2 on penalties.
Although we ultimately lost, and I wasn’t even in attendance, I had never been more proud to call myself a supporter of Carlisle United Football Club. Not in any stretch of the imagination should we ever make any decisions that jeopardise nights like that from happening again. I was 13 when we played Liverpool that night. And I want more people like 13 year old Daniel to experience the true magic of the cup. To have their team scare the big boys shitless.
Keep the FA Cup Replays. Keep the League Cup. If you don’t like the congestion, maybe ask UEFA about knocking down the amount of Champions League fixtures.
Oh wait, that would stop you getting money, my bad.