Liverpool supporters are living in the past if they think Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martínez is too “small-time” to succeed Kenny Dalglish at Anfield.
Legions of Reds fans have expressed their dismay at the news the Spaniard is even being considered for the post.
But what exactly have their club done in recent years to have the luxury of expecting a superstar managerial appointment?
Liverpool’s last Champions League success was back in 2005, and there have been no league titles to boast about since the back-pass was outlawed over 20 years ago.
The appointment of Dalglish was a last desperate bid to bring back the glorious past, but instead it brought only over £70m of poor transfers, eighth place in the Premier League and a Carling Cup.
So maybe it’s time to approach things a different way. Martínez may not have the CV, but he has worked wonders with a Wigan side annually plundered for their best players.
Moreover, not only has he kept the Latics in the Premier League for three successive seasons against all the odds, he has done it playing an attractive, free-flowing brand of football.
Martínez has potential, but needs a stage in order to prove it.
Roy Hodgson’s selection of Liverpool’s £35m striker Andy Carroll for the European championship raised many an eyebrow, but, if anything, he was one of the more straightforward picks.
It’s being reported that Carroll will start England’s friendly against Norway in Oslo, and it confirms that Hodgson believes he will be an integral part of his team.
Carroll’s price tag left the 23-year-old striker with a weight of expectation on his shoulders and his early struggles were not surprising.
He is unlikely to ever live up to that valuation – very few can – but his end of season form proved that he is undoubtedly a bright talent.
An injury-time winner against Blackburn Rovers and another crucial late goal in Liverpool’s 2-1 victory against Everton in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley showed he can make a difference in big games.
He also completely changed the momentum of the FA Cup final when Dalglish finally brought him on, using his power to almost drag a lifeless Liverpool back from defeat.
With Wayne Rooney out of the first two group games, Carroll could be the perfect foil for a fit Danny Welbeck, holding up the ball and providing flick-ons for the pacey Manchester United forward.
The last few months have seen Carroll demonstrate why he was rated so highly at Newcastle, and if he can still score goals with Stewart Downing serving him, he can’t be all bad.
There will still be those who doubt him, but he deserves a chance to prove himself on the highest stage, and it’s one he will relish.
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