A shockingly early CL exit. Today, Liverpool won against Debrecen, a victory that became moot because Fiorentina beat Lyon, 1-0.
They now enter the Europa Cup.
Except this is Liverpool. Four years ago, they were on top of the world. Rafa was invincible.
It has all gone horribly wrong. The rest are also rans. Rafa's scattershot approach to player selection has left Liverpool on thin ice. The team can only depend on a few reliable players and in the absence of the two biggest names the club has struggled. Meanwhile we are treated to about 10 minutes or even less per game from Xabi Alonso's anointed successor, Alberto Aquilani. Not exactly what one would call a winning formula.
Steven Gerrard has already turned his attention to the stepsister of European competitions, the Europa Cup. This sets up an interesting conundrum.
Should Liverpool abandon any pretense of winning any cup and focus on making a concerted push towards retaining a top four finish so that they can challenge for next season's CL? Or fight for a cup which many clubs overlook and do not send their best players to.
Liverpool's tenuous financial situation will be a factor. The club is far more dependent on CL money than the other big clubs to offset their disadvantage in domestic earnings. There will be a serious drop in cash flow now they have failed to advance to the knock out stage but it does not compare to the loss that they face if they do not make it to the CL at all.