Reports coming out of Italy have lined Dirk Kuyt up with a move to Roma, and if he goes it will be one massive own-goal for Kenny Dalglish and Liverpool.
Kuyt has been and still is one of the Merseyside club’s best performers, a tireless team player who could score more goals than Andy Carroll yet has had to make do with a place on the wing or, more often than not, the bench.
The Dutchman helped Liverpool secure their first trophy in six years – his first at the club – with an injury time goal and a penalty in the shootout of the Carling Cup final against Cardiff City, yet he still hasn’t been shown the respect he deserves.
The whole scenario has echoes of former Liverpool boss Rafael Benítez’ bungled handling of Xabi Alonso, when he shopped the Spaniard around Italy before Euro 2008 in the hope of signing Gareth Barry as a replacement.
But the midfielder proceeded to help his country win the tournament and become one of the best players in the world after a blinding season at Anfield, only to leave his manager in the lurch and depart for Real Madrid having felt disrespected.
Kuyt has popped up time and again with important goals and still has plenty to give, and Dalglish would be unwise to marginalise him like Benítez did Alonso.
Sadly, the Scot seems to have a fetish for mistreating good squad players – he pushed Raul Meireles out of the club and is doing his best to force Maxi Rodríguez toward the exit door.
Sunderland’s approach to the early match on Saturday demonstrates everything that is wrong with English football – they deployed shameful tactics.
It’s no surprise that the Stadium of Light was about a quarter full with ten minutes to go, such was the negativity used by Martin O’Neill.
The Black Cats’ sole purpose was to get all their men behind the ball at every opportunity to blunt the Tottenham threat – at no stage did they show any kind of intent to win the match.
And for any side to do that at home is unacceptable let alone a side with such an impressive home record.
It’s little wonder that the quality in the Premier League doesn’t quite cut it on the major European stage at the moment or that England are made fools of in international football when that kind of negative attitude is prevalent.
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