Jurgen Klopp might not like the FA Cup after another early exit this season. The German saw Liverpool getting knocked out by Wolverhampton Wanderers in the third round, but we did play an experimental side.
Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge leading the line would not have scared too many Premier League defences.
Speaking of our defence, only Dejan Lovren was a first-team defender before he had to leave due to injury.
Our back four consisted of Alberto Moreno, Fabinho and two youngsters, and Wolves didn’t really tear us apart.
All in all, this is another trophy that Klopp won’t be winning this season, but even with an elimination, there is something to look forward to for Liverpool.
The Premier League is our priority
The Reds were handed the toughest draw in the third round out of the big six Premier League sides. Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea were given lower league opposition and it would not come as a surprise that they all won easily.
Klopp didn’t field his strongest side and I believe this decision was right given that the FA Cup is a hindrance at the moment for the team.
The tournament has a rich history and we last won it in 2006, but given our position now, the Premier League and Champions League should be our two targets all the time.
Not making it to the Champions League regularly hurts a team not only due to the loss in earnings but the fact that we cannot play the best teams in Europe. Our UEFA coefficient also takes a hammering and we end up in tough groups every season, this season, in particular, was a nightmare.
The Premier League is the holy grail that every Liverpool fan craves and we have a decent lead despite losing to Manchester City recently.
A four-point gap isn’t enough to celebrate now, but the Reds have been fantastic for most of the Premier League campaign, and we should start as favourites for our clash against Brighton, even if we are coming from two consecutive losses.
Our first-team was more or less rested against Wolves, and the only concern is in the centre-back spot with Fabinho playing in the heart of the defence in the FA Cup.
The loss in the third round of the FA Cup is a downer but the Reds can plan for the Premier League and Champions League games without any distractions.
Liverpool are expected to make it to the semis/final of the tournament every year, and every time we are hit with disappointment, however, there is a chance for our team to stay fresh and keep chugging along.
For example, the fourth round of the tournament is scheduled between 25 to 28 January, Liverpool face Crystal Palace at home on 19 Jan and Leicester City on 30 Jan.
If we had a cup tie in between, there would be more pressure on the players, and of course, we would be slaughtered should we have lost that game too.
Liverpool have at least five days (on average) between games till the end of the season. This would change if we make it into the quarter-finals of the Champions League and beyond, but it is imperative we stay fresh and ready for the final onslaught.
City and Spurs are involved in both domestic cups, and the Carabao Cup semi-final is a two legged affair, which will test their freshness and squad depth.
The likes of Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson and Georginio Wijnaldum have barely been given a rest this season, and the lack of domestic cup games is a huge bonus.
It is up to Klopp and the team to make this count, and hopefully, our lack of domestic cup success is overcome by a bigger triumph this season.