Sunday's Carling Cup final against Cardiff City at Wembley is a huge game for Liverpool given they have suffered so much disappointment over the past six years, but it could also be critical in determining the future of Kenny Dalglish.
I think Dalglish may have to win a trophy to convince the Liverpool hierarchy that he remains the right man to take the club forward after a difficult season for all concerned. There is a reason the American owners have so much money: success is important to them. Names and reputations won't mean anything, it is silverware that they crave.
Even if Liverpool do win the League Cup, it would only gloss over what has been a very average season for a club of their stature. Perhaps if they can get to the FA Cup final as well that will make a big difference, but you can't disguise the fact this has been a very poor campaign.
For Liverpool, a trophy is a trophy and they just need to win something if Dalglish is to be let off the hook. I think any other manager would have been sacked by now given everything that has gone on this season, in terms of how the Luis Suarez situation was handled and the club's disappointing form on the pitch. Dalglish has survived because of who he is and what he represents to that club.
He let his heart rule his head with Suarez and I think a manager less emotionally invested in Liverpool may have handled the whole controversy differently. Racism rows aside, you look at what Liverpool have achieved on the pitch and you have to wonder just how much better Kenny has done than Roy Hodgson.
Has he matched the high standards demanded by Liverpool? Given their mixed form and the poor signings that he has made, I think another manager would have been under considerably more pressure than Dalglish is at present.
Kenny is a throwback in many respects, and certainly the prestige he still places in the League Cup is unusual among Premier League managers. He sees the cup as a valid target, but what makes it all the more valid is the difficult situation he finds himself in at Liverpool.
The handling of the Suarez situation - that was also Kenny as a throwback, living in the dark ages. Furthermore, from a squad perspective I think what he is looking for in a player has a very old-fashioned tint to it: the football Liverpool play is still from the 1980s and the signings they have brought in are not of the required standard for the modern game.
Liverpool need to be playing regular Champions League football to attract the kind of players they want, but perhaps a different kind of manager is also required. Dalglish will not be well known by the new players emerging across the world. If he had a CV like Sir Alex Ferguson there wouldn't be a problem, and while the success he enjoyed during his previous spell does help, he doesn't quite have the profile that he used to.
Dalglish has appeared 21 times at Wembley as a player or manager - an incredible statistic - but that is largely irrelevant in the here and now.
It has been six years since Liverpool last won a trophy - the 2006 FA Cup - and in that time they have suffered real pain: the Hicks and Gillett debacle; the end of Rafa Benitez's reign; Hodgson's time in charge.
Winning the League Cup would certainly give them a big boost in this respect, but it may also make them place too much faith in Dalglish when actually I think they need a new manager to go further as a club. Under Dalglish I think they are going to struggle to establish themselves as genuine title challengers in the coming years, even if they do take home the trophy on Sunday.