Kenny Dalglish is perfectly suited to Liverpool role
The 59-year-old Scot is the right man to guide Merseyside club out of trouble, writes Michael Owen
Six months after it began, Roy Hodgson’s time as the manager of Liverpool has come to an end following a dire spell of results going into the new year.
In a statement issued by the club announcing the departure, Hodgson said: “I am very sad not to have been able to put my stamp on the squad, to be given the time to bring new players into the club in this transfer window,”
Liverpool supporters will have been thankful Hodgson was not granted his request. The majority of the Anfield faithful had quickly grown tired of his regressive tactics and defeatist attitude, whilst his small dip into the transfer market was far from successful, with only Raul Meireles showing signs of being a success on Merseyside.
Many on the Kop believed Hodgson to be attempting to lower ambitions at the club, after all his predecessor Rafael Benitez had been fired primarily because the club failed to qualify for the Champions League – come January Hodgson was talking about the importance of getting into the top half of the table – a clear lowering of expectations over such a short period.
Hodgson is not a bad manager, far from it. But he is not a manager equipped to deal with the pressure and expectation that comes with being in charge of Liverpool. His shaky relationship with Liverpool’s supporters was a sign of how far out of touch he was with the demands placed upon the Liverpool boss by the club’s fans.
The future, or at least the short-term future, for Liverpool is former boss and club legend Kenny Dalglish, who guided the club to three league titles during his time in the dugout at Anfield.
The appointment comes at a crucial time for Liverpool, with a clash with Manchester United in the FA Cup being Dalglish’s first game, closely followed by a trip to Blackpool and a Merseyside derby against Everton at Anfield.
The players will likely receive a crucial boost from the appointment of Dalglish ahead of such an important run of fixtures. With his status at the club comes instant respect from everyone surrounding it, something which will be vital for the Scot going into a difficult run of games.
His critics have suggested he has been out of the game too long, noting that his last permanent managerial position, at Newcastle United, was over a decade ago. But Dalglish has been involved at Anfield for over a year as academy ambassador, attending every home game and multiple trips on the road. He knows, more than anyone, the ins and outs of Liverpool Football Club and thus is perfectly suited to the role.
In the short term Dalglish is the best appointment for Liverpool. It was widely recognised the club could not continue on under Hodgson, especially since his relationship broke down with the fans following the Reds’ loss to Wolves, which left him in the unenviable position of having Anfield’s vocal support turned against him, with one poll suggesting 95 per cent wanted the former Fulham boss fired.
The issue for Liverpool comes at the end of the season. Fenway Sports Group, the owners of the club, are set to search for a long-term replacement to be appointed in the summer, someone who has the same vision as them for the club going forward.
But should Dalglish be a success in his spell as manager then FSG are left with a big decision to make – bring in their own man or stick with the man the Kop proudly call their King.