Give Kenny just a little more time

Kenny Dalglish has been back at the managerial helm of Liverpool FC barely a season and a half, yet already there are certain sections of the media – and some dogmatic fans – suggesting it’s time for his reign to come to an end.

kenny dalglish

The Carling Cup win and FA Cup run, while all well and good, are just window dressing. The League is what matters. And in all honesty, it really hasn’t been good enough. But I’m sure Kenny knows that, he doesn’t need a chorus of boos from the fans to tell him.

But are we just being a little too over expectant? Think back to the mid-80’s. 1986 to be exact. A certain Alex Ferguson, long before he was knighted by the Realm, took over at a Manchester United team suffering from low self esteem, with a number of dodgy players, having not won a trophy in years. It had been 20 years since their last title win.

United gave him three, nearly four years to put his stamp on the team, to try and get a decent set of players together, to get them gelled and playing as a team, and do the business in the League (which they were struggling to do, much like our current situation). One essential cup win and things all changed, and United, Fergie and their fans, never looked back.

Why am I talking about our greatest rivals? Merely because Fergie’s early days are the best yard stick I can use to compare with Kenny’s return.

Kenny Dalglish is a multi time champion both as player and manager, here and elsewhere. That kind of knowledge and experience, plus everything he learned from the great Bob Paisley, who had the Kings ear in his early days as player-manager, does not just disappear because he hasn’t been in front line management for a few years.

Kenny knows what he is doing. Ok, there’s a few players he has brought in that don’t appear to be pulling their weight. He wouldn’t have known how they would act when he initially signed them, but he knows now and I fully expect certain changes come the opening of the summer transfer window.

My point here is this: a year and a half in the job is not enough time. Anyone calling for Kenny’s head are entitled to their own opinions of course, but to my thinking, they are wrong.

Constructive criticism is always warranted. But I still believe in Dalglish, and I still believe he is the right man to restore glory to our club. The fact we’ve won the Carling Cup and made it to the semi final of the FA Cup are proof we are progressing, not regressing as we were prior to his appointment.

Admittedly I called the Cups window dressing earlier in this article and in a sense, they are. Like Shanks once said, the league is the bread and butter. Getting back to the Champions League is our aim. But winning domestic trophies can be the first step on that ladder.

A year and a half back in the hot seat to me is not enough. We’re not Chelsea. We need to give Dalglish more time.

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  • Liver Bird65

    really? why? trying to beat Wigan with 4-5-1…really? Was he that afraid of being able to beat them at Anfield? Why not Kuyt-Suarez up front? and Henderson over Maxi? really? KK may been good at some point in the past, but the game is much different now and his selections are rubbish….just like the rubbish he bought in the summer…

  • Toucan

    I agree, LFC’s best move is to keep Kenny in the job for at least another season – just one more to see how it goes. That said, the performance of the team this season has been well below expectation, especially when you consider the vast money spent in the off-season. Kenny has to take responsibility for that; after all, he is the manager. As a long time fan (over 40 years) I’ve been very disappointed in Kenny’s performance. I think his recruiting has been poor and his on-field tactics have been underwhelming. The team hasn’t improved that much from the previous season and in terms of the stat that counts (table finish), we seem to have regressed. The style of play may be slightly better but the lack of penetration is still evident. Kenny’s fixation with Brit players seems a throwback to the 70s/80s. Other teams, both in the EPL and leagues abroad, have benefited enormously from the recruitment of players from Africa and Asia but how come LFC cannot do the same? Why are we obsessed with over-priced and under-performing Brit players (and its not just to do with the quota rules).

  • RedTed

    Finally a sensible, decent point of view! Nice one Simon!

    To ALL those haters – just go and “support” so0meone else, LFC doesn’t need you.


  • Sureshotemo

    At last, some sense. KK should get as long as he needs. Just ditch the “young English” transfer crap and he will do fine.

  • Doggie

    Some folks are almost as fickle as Spurs fans – a couple of defeats and they are calling for the manager to be sacked.

    It was only a month ago we won the Carling Cup, and he was certainly King Kenny then to everyone.

    • LFCtas

       a couple of defeats?, try 5 outta 6 and we didnt exactly win the carling cup in style did we?

  • Dubplates

    I’m sorry to everyone who believes Kenny is the answer. It’s better to cut our losses and bring in a manager who can do the job. I.E. Rafa. We can go on and on that the signings are were up to snuff but really which team in the Champions League right now would want Carroll, Henderson, Adam, Downing. NO ONE. They are too many players in Germany, France, Spain for far less money. Look at Newcastle. They bought Ba, Cisse, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Tiote. They have a nucleus much like we had with Alonso, Masch, Gerrard, Torres albeit not of the same quality but its there. Whoever thought these summer signings were ok and could be a nucleus are seriously mistaken. Jordan Henderson is the only redeemable one to me, barely, just because of his age. He does in get into good positions and will run all day but doesn’t have the touch or skill to create chances for himself.

  • Scottie

    Great piece. Lets not knee Jerk lads. I know all of us want winning change and titles yesterday, but we need to let KK prove himself. Rarely does something wonderful come about immediately; it almost always takes time. Lets back the squad and management till the end of the season, regardless of what happens. Sure, lets tell them what we think, but lets not call for heads to roll pre-maturely. I think the way Simon said it is great: “We’re not Chelsea.” Nor are we anyone else. We are Liverpool and we’ve always done everything with class. Lets keep it that way and despite dissapointment, lets help our lads finish strong.

    Remember, “You Never Walk Alone” isn’t conditional. It is an ETHOS, not a conditional agreement.

  • Masaryk Peter

    Elsewhere he would be sacked already….already in tutumn it was clear that we are not good enough. 100 million throwed by window. Who now come to middletable team ?

  • Masaryk Peter

    Elsewhere he would be sacked already….already in tutumn it was clear that we are not good enough. 100 million throwed by window. Who now come to middletable team ?

  • Deeppowinak

    Shankly went years without winning. Manager musical chairs does not help long term progress.

  • Whitelam

    this squad is not that bad couple of ageing players to move on add three or four new class players to it we will be on our way no need to get rid we arent playing bad just address the scoring prob and of we go leave kk alone the man loves the club as much as me.

  • Ashfah Ngog

    Chi Bai lu, Time and Tide Waits For No Man ! Oh my puki mak, this is an english proverb !

  • Rick_Rock

    Liverpool have stagnated as a club in the past few years.

    On the positive side – the club finally have stable ownership and the owners have made the right sort of noises regarding their plans for the club; new kit and shirt sponsors have enhanced our ability to compete financially in  the transfer market; and the club have won their first trophy in almost six years this season.

    Less positive is my view of the everlasting stadium issue. Though the FSG have seemingly made the right sort of noises on the topic, I’ve come to believe that they are not very serious about it or at the very least lack a sense of real urgency. What else am I to believe when it has been almost 18 months since FSG took over and they are yet to even decide whether a new stadium is even required? What other conclusion can I derive from the game of brinkmanship the club and it’s ownership indulged in with the Liverpool City Council regarding the Stanley Park land? 
    My opinion may be controversial and unpopular but I am yet to be convinced that FSG have fully committed themselves to the long-run at Liverpool. FSG are in this for the profit and they know little about football – both things they’ve admitted. Deriving profits while challenging at the top end of the PL and CL is not an easy task as our financial reports down the years have shown. I believe that last year was an a trial-run of sorts conducted by the FSG. Despite the significant transfer outlay our position in the league has not improved and frankly looks at risk of being worse than what it was last year. I fear that the results of this season may lead FSG to conclude that the club requires sustained long-term investment into it’s playing squad to turn it’s fortunes around. The cold-hearted, pragmatic decision would then be to sell the club when such a sale would still get them profits than undertake a risky long-term investment than has little guarantee of success. FSG having no cultural or romantic attachment to Liverpool F.C. would imo not hesitate to take that decision. And this I truly believe is the real reason behind the lack of any visible progress on the stadium front. Why spend their money on a new stadium if they have no intent to stick around till the fruits of their investment are available for harvest? 
    I may yet be proven wrong, and I pray that it be so, but that depends largely on how well Dalglish and Comolli are able to convince the suits at FSG, not just JW Henry, that the club is on the right track and that we will be competing at the elite level next season. Hopefully they will succeed in this endeavor.

    Frankly negative issues include things that have happened/ are happening on and off the pitch. Nobody can deny that the racism saga and the way it was handled has been an unmitigated disaster. It has cast very poor light on our club and irrespective of whether Luis Suarez was guilty or not, has truly damaged our standing in the football world. The actual first team squad is an  embarrassment to the Liverpool F.C. shirt. Andy Carroll and Charlie Adam are not worthy of wearing the Liverpool shirt. Henderson and Downing have shown some flashes of quality
    but Adam and Carroll have been absolutely disastrous for our club.
    Suarez – highly lauded by us fans as he is- is a failure at what he was
    brought in to do i.e. score goals. Spearing is nothing more than a squad
    player. Enrique has been poor these past few weeks – yet Kenny Dalglish
    refuses to rest him.

    Dalglish may try to justify his purchases all he wants but it has nonetheless made our club a laughing-stock. It has damaged our clubs prospects of landing good players in the future too- as the pathetic non-performance of these players has ensured yet another year without CL football for us. Besides which world-class player would wish to play alongside numpties like these? One could even suggest that our club is becoming progressively less attractive to world-class players. We don’t offer CL football, the team is full of pedestrian quality players, and frankly our football at times this season has been abject. The romance of Liverpool F.C. can act as a draw for only so long in this day and age.

    Coming to a person about whom speaking negative is anathema to most fans
    – Kenny Dalglish. I’m a young Asian fan of Liverpool F.C. My memories of Liverpool F.C. begin in the PL era. I know of the glorious histroy of our club and the part Kenny Dalglish had in that history. But to me that is exactly what it is – history. I view our club with pragmatic eyes; without lenses shrouded by adoration for Kenny Dalglish. Please excuse me for saying this but this reign of Kenny Dalglish as manager has been one unmitigated disaster after another. The poor signings, his abjectly poor handling of the Suarez- Evra saga, his poor and churlish attitude during interviews, his unwarranted attacks against any who dare question his claims of progress or his signings; do I need go on? It is fine to defends one’s track record or one’s players but to ask those who question his version of things to take an intelligence check?…. I will confess that Kenny Dalglish would have been much better for me as a memory of a great player, manager and man than this caricature of everything that fans of other clubs accuse anybody associated with Liverpool of being – deluded, churlish and detached from any sense of perspective . He and his handling of our club in this past 14 months have definitely been detrimental to the image of our club and has left many supporters like me squirming in our seats in face of uncomfortable taunts from others- taunts for which we have no reply as the target things about our club that we have no defense for. 

    In the broad view of things the positives of the last year and a half have been matched or even over-shadowed by the negatives. Our club has not grown – it has stagnated. There is no progress – no definitive news regarding a new stadium, no great team that could stake a claim to be amongst the best in the world, no CL football…. The only positives have been in terms of finance….

    Kenny Dalglish can argue all he want’s that the club has progressed but the truth is that we’ve not improved one iota. We’re standing at the same spot that Benitez left us in. Hodgson could not do anything – he was poor but his tenure was an inevitable failure given that he had to deal with miserable no-good idiots as owners and having close to zero money to improve the team and the fans turned on him big-time when the initial few results were not good. The role of Dalglish in the fall of Hodgson and the shambles we degenerated into is a highly controversial one and it is not something I care to discuss. Suffice to  say that everyone will have his or her opinions and so do I. Dalglish’s tenure too has not seen us improve. There was that bump-up in form when he was appointed caretaker manager but since then it has all been poor. Our football has been poor, we do not impose our style on games that we play, we lose to mid-table and relegation form teams with alarming regularity- we only seem to play well against high-profile opposition and that is something that make me question the managerial acumen of Kenny Dalglish once again – what good is he as a manager if cannot motivate his players to play well in all their games?

    No. Dalglish may seek to make us believe that this season has seen
    our team progress; that we should forget our abjectly poor form in the
    league and call our Carling Cup victory and FA Cup semi as progress…
    The truth though is that our club has become stagnant. A stagnant pool
    of water leads to decay and disease and I sure hope that the owners will
    do what is needed to revive our club before the rot truly sets in. A
    new and experienced manager (not Rafa Benitez) and a decent tranfer
    kitty for him would be a good start…..

    • Me

      U are a fool, with a very short memory. LFC was in free fall from 08/09 when they finished 2nd to the end of Roy.
      U can’t save a club ovr night, no matter how much money u think u can throw at it.
      Dalglish is REBUILDING the club, not tinkering with it.
      Grow up young guy, this is not fifa2012.

      • Rick_Rock

         “LFC was in free fall from 08/09 when they finished 2nd to the end of Roy.”

        Hysterical much?!?!? Free fall? I agree that there was a general and palpable decline in the fortunes of the club since that 08/09 season but to call it a free-fall is just revisionist hyperbole.

        “U can’t save a club ovr night, no matter how much money u think u can throw at it.”

        Again I agree partly with you. Throwing money at a problem will not solve it fully but it definitely can get you started on the way to recovery. On the other hand there is also a thing called throwing good money down the drain – which unfortunately is what has happened over the past 14 months.

        “Dalglish is REBUILDING the club, not tinkering with it.”

        Are you seriously suggesting that our transfer buys over the past 2-3 windows form the nucleus of our next PL/CL title contenders? Do you really believe that Adam, Carroll, Downing or Henderson are the type of players to spend £100 million on when you are trying to rebuild your team? If this past year and half have been about rebuilding then Dalglish is building the foundations of the team with sand.

        Do you believe that this current squad of our is enough to challenge for the title- both domestic league and in Europe?

        If yes, then that is OK. You are taking the optimistic view while I prefer to the pessimistic realist. Nothing I’ve seen this season gives me any hope.

        If on the other hand your answer is No, then who exactly do you think we could sign to strengthen our team? Which top-class player would decide to sign for Liverpool who offer no CL football and a set of Championship level players as team-mates? Even more so when Chelsea, the Manchester clubs, Tottenham and even Arsenal are all in the market for quality players this summer? How then is that good rebuilding on the part of Dalglish? He squandered a very good chance to strengthen last summer when he had the best part of £100 million to sign players. Now one year later he has nothing to show as progress except a tin-pot cup won by defeating a Championship side on penalties. Once again we will have to rely on the romance associated with Liverpool and our good name in the footballing world (which has been tarnished by the Suarez- Evra saga) to attract good players to our team…. Is this really what you call rebuilding? If yes then we definitely have totally contrasting meanings for the words “progress” and “rebuilding”.

        • Me

          yes free fall. progressive decline down the table, where roy’s side would have finished bottom half.
          Dalglish et al, stopped to slide.
          no I don’t think the current side can compete on 4 fronts, based on current form they are struggling on 3 fronts.
          wholesale panic won’t solve things, and there are still changes to be made, but trying to find fault in players in their first season is short sighted to the extreme.
          Who we sign next is about depth in CB, DM, CF – however it would be nice to have a consistent run of match fit players also.
          How many games have Lucas, Gerrard, Agger, Suerez, and Johnson played together this year? Any side is going to struggle with that many top players out.
          You need to appreciate how sick LFC has been since Yank 1.0 turned it into a debt-factory.
          REBUILDING is exactly the word for it, progress is a luxury for next year.
          Finally have u ever actually built a team or won anything?
          Again really sounding like Fifa2012 management strategy.

          • Rick_Rock

            Mate – you seem to contradict yourself in your statement. You opine that the team is not capable of competing on 3 fronts, let alone 4, yet you say that our next signings should be about building depth? How does that work? What we need is not squad players to provide depth in CB, DM and CF but top-class players who come straight into the first-team.

            What exactly have we rebuilt in this season? We sold a CM (Meireles) and brought in a player (Adam) who is his equal at best. We brought in Henderson who used to play in central midfield for Sunderland and then stuck him in the wings. We brought in a highly rated young CB from Uruguay and yet refuse to give him playing time; instead we chose to play a tiring and deteriorating Carra 3 games on a trot. We brought in a CF on a British record fee yet we refuse to start him alongside Suarez. And when finally Carroll was showing a semblance of form, we promptly drop him to the bench. Even Suarez- our one world-class player besides Gerrard- does not do what he is meant to do i.e. score goals. Downing also failed to live up to his billing.

            Over the last season we have often seemed as though we lack any sort of a coherent gameplan. Even if we stretch our viewpoint beyond that of this single season I’m at a loss to understand the goals towards which our squad is being shaped. What will our best team look like next season? We have too many players who play CM currently. Why haven’t we brought in any wingers other than Downing? Why is Maxi never given playing time and if the manager did not rate him why was he not sold and replacements sought? Why pay £16 million + for Hendo and sell Aquilani at an equivalent loss when Hendo does not seem to offer anything new? No mate – I refuse to call it REBUILDING. We may have changed the facade but the structure remains the same. ( Adam-Meireles, Henderson-Aquilani, Downing-Cole, Carroll-Ngog). The names have changed- yet the team has not improved in quality.That puts this past season more along the lines of a word that you used earlier – TINKERING as opposed to rebuilding.

            1. About injuries – they are an unfortunate reality of life and we like every other team should have contingency plans in place. Lucas, Gerrard, Agger, Suerez, and Johnson have each missed parts of the season but that should not excuse this abject shower that we have become. There cannot or at least should not exist such a chasm in quality between our first-choice players and their replacements. That such a gap exists is an indictment against the current managerial tem. The bloody Mancs had massive injury problems this season but they’ve done just fine. Why not us?

            2. You keep talking about FIFA 12 style management. Sorry to inform you but I do not play computer games as such. You are free to treat my words as bullshit as I’ve never been a football manager. That is your prerogative.

            3. It is also quite obvious that you and I have diametrically opposed views of what has gone on this season. I would love to hear the reasoning behind what we have rebuilt this season – in what way are we stronger or in what way have we set the foundation for future progress? Also I would like to hear your opinion on what players we might look to sign in the summer window. You said we need depth – then what exactly would your first eleven be?

            4. Please do not take my views as slating Liverpool F.C. I would be most happy if I and my words are proven wrong.

          • Me

            firstly, i didn;t say they weren’t capable, i said they were struggling to compete on 3 fronts given injuries.
            secondly, you can’t rebuild over a season, the project has to be long-term.
            the use of the word “indictment” is probably the most telling in terms of your feelings.
            in terms of rebuilding, we are playing LFC style football again, which does wonders for our prospects of both developing youth and signing talent.
            in terms of results, any silverware is massive progress, no matter how disrespectful people are about “tin cups” etc.
            according to the stats, in the league particularly, the biggest problem we are having is converting chances and draws, and we have been creating a mountain of chances.
            unfortunately form is something that you cannot guarantee or predict, and the disruptions we’ve had this season in terms of injuries has not helped at all.
            thebiggest loss has been lucas, and unlike the mancs we were not able to bring in scholes to kick start a great run,
            biggest disconnect between us, is the apparent obsession u have with winning the league – something that was never going to happen this year – as THE sign of progress.
            last sign of progress, we are back in Europe, and this will ensure we have a chance for better prospects than we had in the last proper transfer window.

          • Me

            also i take back ‘U are a fool” comment, as ur passion 4 LFC is obvious.
            however, u should consider replacing ur “pessimistic realism” with a touch of pragmatism.
            experience of coaching . management is not a prerequisite for comment, but an appreciation . empathy for it should be.

          • Rick_Rock

             The sign of progress I wished to see this season was not us winning the league but  us being in a position of mounting a serious challenge for a CL spot. Sadly that has not materialized and hence this season is yet another that goes down as a disappointment.

            Yes, you are correct when you say that my use of the word “indictment” is a reflection of my feelings. This season has been a disappointment not just in terms of our league position but also in other respects.

            This season was a glorious opportunity for us to step-up to the plate and grab a CL spot with Chelsea and Arsenal stumbling. Yet we were unable to do so. What most people fail to recall is that we were up there at the start of the year. This calendar year though has been disastrous. What I hold against the management team, even more than their useless signings, is the seeming inability to turn things around. We often seem to lack any sort of Plan B, no idea of what to do when things are not working or when the opposition are just plain packing the box.

            This inability/ deficit in our plans is evident even in context of the whole season Every donkey knows that we’re having trouble scoring goals, that Suarez is not clinical in front of goal. Yet we did not make any effort to either give Carroll a decently long run alongside Suarez or look to sign another striker in January Everyone has been saying all season long that we need a defensive midfielder what with Lucas being injured. Yet we did not look into the market in January but continue to play Spearing or Adam in that position. Spearing is a hard-worker, not yet on the level required to be a starter for Liverpool but a good squad player nonetheless. The less one speaks of Adam as a DM the better.

            I’m happy that we won the Carling Cup but it’s a mere band-aid over a stab wound in terms of my expectations ofLiverpool F.C. I truly hope that you are right in saying that we are on the right path. It’s just that I fear we’ve missed a trick in leaving things for the summer window. Nobody can deny that we need some quality new players – at the very least a world-class striker (We’ve got Suarez, Carroll -who hopefully will come good and Bellamy – whose knees prevent him from being a regular starter; Kuyt is finished- he has been a valiant servant to the club but sadly he’s just not sutting it anymore). I find myself hard-pressed though to think of one who we have a realistic chance of signing with all 5 teams in the current top 5 in the league are looking to sign strikers. Similar is the case with defensive-mids or centre-backs. All I can do as a fan is sit and pray with all my heart that we manage to land most if not all of our summer targets. My bloody head though call it a very long shot…..

          • Me

            And then slip back into sensationalistic bollocks.
            You SHOULD change ur expectations from fourth place, to being champions.
            You’ll see each campaign much differently, and start to understand why clubs and players refer to projects
            Adam is not a DM, he is an CM.
            the idea that u are looking 4 a plan b is telling.
            There are 6 plans in a 4 front campaign, so u need to look a little deeper – start by consider formations and setups 4 home and away, and different competitions.
            Its a fine point around strikers, however i’m convinced our finishing issues are positioning and execution of the final pass.
            That will come in time, and can be helped with some good signings.
            Really unfortunate that we’ve only seen glimpses of great timing in the attacking third, but when it clicks we look like Barcelona, or LFC circa barnes, beardsley, aldridge / rush.

          • Rick_Rock

             You misunderstand me. We were in a bad place in the early part of last season. We were improving though in the latter part of the season ( the collapse of form right at the end leads me to think of it as nothing more than “new-manager effect”). What I expected from us the team this season was to continue to improve and get back into the mix of things around the top end of the table. Of course I would have been bloody ecstatic if we had shown league winning form but for me the absolute minimum standards to call it a satisfactory season would have been a CL spot or at least a great fight to land one. Instead the season has been a damp squib.

            Adam has often been tasked to play as the midfield anchor this season – or at least it has seemed to be that way to me on TV – an he has generally been poor at it.

            Anyway lets end this here. You’ve your view where the world is seemingly a happy place and Liverpool is on the right path to progress and glory. I’ve mine where the world is grey and dreary and Liverpool is standing still and watching the world pass it by. Let time be the judge on which of us has it correctly. I pray that it is you….

          • Me

            No worries. been a pleasure boxing with u.
            i hope u find some peace and ur prays a fruitful.
            be safe.

          • Rick_Rock

            ” yes free fall. progressive decline down the table, where roy’s side would have finished bottom half.
            Dalglish et al, stopped to slide.”

            Sadly we may yet finish in the bottom half at the rate we’re going this season. IMO aside form that period of improved performance when he was just appointed as manager (caretaker), Dalglish has done just about as well/ poorly as Hodgson.

  • wayne

    kennys gotta go.get brendan rodgers in b4 spurs get him;best young manager around

  • Davesoccer66

    Roy Evans, Gerard Houlier and Rafa Benitez were all given a fair crack at the whip. Kenny Daglish should be given a fair crack also.  The fact that Bill Shankly and Alex Ferguson both took years to build their dynastys,should send a message to all fans (who understand the game}that successful teams are not built overnight.

  • Cdub c dub

    ha ha ha ha ,” man city bought a shitload of players and look at them now” ! yeah, spent hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds and watch them pick the p l trophy up and throw it at their most feirce rivals, ha ha ha , and what am i supposed to learn from that then please ? kenny is hardly starting out yet, get a grip get behind him remember rafa touting himself all over chelsea a couple of weeks ago give kenny the money ,( half of commolis salary would be a good start ) then watch the king sort this mess out in the close season no bother .


    Si, i believe in wotever U believed in, me mate! i wd like to walk side by side with U on our way to Anfield n only chat about our glorious King Kenny’s Rules, making us the best ever club!.. perhaps,yah one very fine day Si,YNWA!!!