Losing in the Champions League is not something that Liverpool fans are used to in recent years. I’m here to tell you that it’s the best thing that could happen to the club this year.
As a fan of AC Milan, but a close follower of the Premier League, I see eerie similarities between Liverpool’s squad and the Milan team of 07/08. With the squad aging and stretched thin, the Rossoneri tried to compete on two fronts, the Champions League and Serie A.
The previous year’s success in the Champions League had convinced the club’s management that their team was a winner, and as a result, they did little to reinforce. Despite a decent run in the Champions League, the team finished 5th in the Serie A, and out of UEFA’s biggest club competition for the following year.
Liverpool’s depth has been tested in other ways this year, but the result is the same. Injuries to Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres have left the squad without their most potent offensive players for long stretches and Alberto Aquilani has failed to fill Xavi Alonso’s boots due to injury as well.
With the Reds currently in 7th place on the Premier League table and 5 points out of a Champions League spot, it’s time to focus on their league form.
When AC Milan missed last season’s Champions League, it hurt their credibility as a major club, made it harder to attract top players and obviously had a financial impact. Liverpool can’t afford to undergo the same, so the the early exit from the group stage may be a blessing in disguise.
I know it hurts to see your team fail, but it’s better to deal with the disappointment now than to suffer all of next season.