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.
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.
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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.
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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.