Liverpool FC Sacks Kenny Dalglish; Paul Lambert or Brendan Rodgers Set to Replace Him?

The plot line for the joint Liverpool and FOX Soccer documentary about the behind-the-scenes story at Liverpool FC got decidedly more exciting today after it was announced that Kenny Dalglish has been sacked as Liverpool manager. Roberto Martinez is the favorite to replace him according to the bookies, and bets on Martinez and Rafa Benitez have been suspended.

However, earlier today, BBC’s Ian McGarry (who is a guest host on the BBC Radio Five Live Monday Night Club show) said that a current Premier League manager has been approached for discussions regarding taking over the Liverpool FC job. Despite widespread speculation among bookies that Roberto Martinez is the leading candidate, McGarry added that the Premier League manager approached for the job is not Martinez. Presuming that McGarry’s tip is valid, that leaves potential candidates as Paul Lambert, Alan Pardew, Brendan Rodgers, David Moyes and Martin O’Neill as potential candidates. But the chances of Moyes joining Liverpool from Everton would be almost impossible, while O’Neill seems happy at Sunderland. Therefore, this could open up the possibility to give either Paul Lambert or Brendan Rodgers — two managers who both finished just five points behind Liverpool with far fewer resources — an opportunity to step up into the Anfield job.

The decision for Dalglish to leave Liverpool is a wise one. The manager did well last season when he took over from Roy Hodgson, but as manager, the performances of his Liverpool squad during the 2011-12 season were — at times — woeful. It seemed that Dalglish was short of tactical ideas, kept on making excuses and wasn’t able to get the most of a poor Liverpool squad for most of the season. Their 2012 Carling Cup victory came after winning in penalties against Cardiff City, a side that West Ham United streamrolled over in the Championship Playoff semi-finals.

While Roberto Martinez is being talked about as the favorite for the Liverpool manager position, many Liverpool supporters are dismissing Martinez’s record and are calling for bigger names. The reality is, however, that Liverpool is no longer a top four club as evidenced by the eighth place finish in the season, where “lesser” clubs such as Newcastle United and cross-city rivals Everton finished above them. Many Liverpool fans have a false sense of reality where they believe they are, and that someone of the ilk of a Jose Mourinho or Didier Deschamps should be approached to take over the job. Or former hero Rafa Benitez, who is still idolized by many Liverpool supporters despite his complete fall from grace during the latter years of his Liverpool reign.

The reality is that a Paul Lambert, Roberto Martinez or Brendan Rodgers is someone better suited for the Liverpool job. These are not big names, but are instead gifted managers who know how to manage a team and how to get the most out of them. Tactically, they’re sound. And giving any of them the opportunity to replace Dalglish would be an honor to manage such a famous football club. Given the resources to build the squad, I’m sure any of those three could do a much better job of managing Liverpool than Kenny Dalglish did.

Don’t get me wrong. Kenny Dalglish is still a deserved legend at Liverpool Football Club. He turned around their 2010-11 season after Hodgson was sacked, and he regained a lot of the faith and trust in Liverpool FC. But it’s time for the club to move on. Dalglish did the best that he could, but he was out of his depth. Now is the time to hand over the manager’s job to someone who can rebuild this Liverpool squad into a team that opponents fear.

Here is Liverpool’s statement in full:

“After a careful and deliberative review of the season, the Club came to the decision that a change was appropriate. It is not a decision that was reached lightly or hastily.

The search for a new Manager will begin immediately.

Principal owner John Henry was fulsome in his praise for the outgoing Manager.

“Kenny will always be more than a championship winning manager, more than a championship winning star player. He is in many ways the heart and soul of the club. He personifies everything that is good about Liverpool Football Club. He has always put the Club and its supporters first. Kenny will always be a part of the family at Anfield.

“Our job now is to identify and recruit the right person to take this Club forward and build on the strong foundations put in place during the last 18 months.”

Liverpool Chairman Tom Werner said it was a tough decision, but ultimately one that needed to be made.

“Kenny came into the Club as Manager at our request at a time when Liverpool Football Club really needed him. He didn’t ask to be Manager; he was asked to assume the role. He did so because he knew the Club needed him. He did more than anyone else to stabilize Liverpool over the past year-and-a-half and to get us once again looking forward. We owe him a great debt of gratitude.

“However, results in the Premier League have been disappointing and we believe to build on the progress that has already been made, we need to make a change.

“We are committed to delivering success for our supporters and our ambition remains resolute to return this great Club to the elite of England and Europe, where it belongs.”

Kenny Dalglish’s departure brings to an end his second spell at the Club where, as a player, he won numerous honours, including six English league titles and three European Cup trophies. As Manager he won three league titles, two FA Cups and of course this season, the Carling Cup.

Dalglish said he is proud to have served such a great Club.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to have had the chance to come back to Liverpool Football Club as Manager. I greatly appreciate the work that Steve, Kevin, the players and all of the staff put in during my time and feel proud that we delivered the Club’s first trophy in six years winning the Carling Cup and came close to a second trophy in the FA Cup Final. Of course I am disappointed with results in the league, but I would not have swapped the Carling Cup win for anything as I know how much it meant to our fans and the Club to be back winning trophies.

“Whilst I am obviously disappointed to be leaving the football club, I can say that the matter has been handled by the owners and all concerned in an honourable, respectful and dignified way and reflects on the quality of the people involved and their continued desire to move the football club forward in the same way as when they arrived here.

“I would like to thank all of the staff at the Club for their effort and loyalty. I said when first approached about coming back as Manager that I would always be of help if I can at any time and that offer remains the same.

“Finally, I want to put on record my heartfelt gratitude to Liverpool’s fans, who have always given me and the Club their unwavering support. Without them neither the Club nor I would have achieved anything.”

UPDATE: As of Friday, May 18, Swansea City manager has been approached by Liverpool to be interviewed for the Liverpool job, but has turned down the interview request.

51 thoughts on “Liverpool FC Sacks Kenny Dalglish; Paul Lambert or Brendan Rodgers Set to Replace Him?”

    1. So you think good riddance to one of the most iconc figures in LFC history?

      All FSG have done is weaken a football club… Why Read on.

      A new manager will come in with a plan to get LFC to the top again, he’ll ship players out and bring new players in (these player won’t perform) and the new manager will be sacked after 1 season and so round in circles we go.

      FSG may be responsible owners but thay don’t have a clue when it comes to running a Premier league club… Ask yourself this….. Why have Man U been so successful? Answer same manager for 25 years = stability, confidence and the will to win when their backs are against the wall.

  1. Grew up watching Liverpool in the 80s. Sadly, I lost tons of respect towards Dalglish with how he handled Suarez-Evra incident. An awesome footballer and manager, but he’s been out of the job for too long.

    1. I agree mate. But remember what happened after Swansea played at Anfield, when the Liverpool faithful gave the Swans a standing ovation after that nil-nil draw? I’d love Rodgers to stay, but with the Villa and Liverpool jobs open, he’s bound to be in consideration for one of those.

      The Gaffer

  2. Really “weak” for Henry and Werner to fire Dalglish “via press release” less than 48 hours after meeting face to face in Boston.

    If the decision was already made prior to the meeting, then have the press release ready on Monday right after the meeting.

    1. They may have sacked Dalglish yesterday in person, but waited until today to make the announcement. But word leaked before that happened.

      The Gaffer

    2. There’s not a chance they sacked him via a press release. He was told he needed to wait 48 hours for a decision on his future after he reportedly told them ‘back me or sack me’ when he was in the US. Today those 48 hours were up and they obviously decided to sack him. As you can see from the clips today of Kenny driving away in his car, he found out his fate while at Melwood as is normal procedure. He will have known since this morning to give him enough time to digest everything and come up with a press release, which he has since published in conjunction with the club.

      I just hope the owners know what they’re doing here because not only do we now need a new manager we also need a Director of Football and various other positions need filling ASAP.

      1. I think this account is 100% correct. Kenny flew to Boston uninvited because he didn’t like the speculation and kind of forced the owners to evaluate things more quickly than planned. As a life-long Red Sox fan seeing how they run things, I am sure they gave Kenny every opportunity to move into an ambassadorial role. I will speculate that Kenny felt most effective as the team manager and that FSG told him that job was a short term proposition at best…hence the back me or sack me position. FSG decided to pull of the band-aid now. I love how Dalglish seemingly brought the team together publicly and privately and I hope he is back at Melwood sooner than later albeit in a different role. I would be surprised if any of the new names on the list actually make manager. I’m hoping they have a person who is capable of bringing their own operation ala AVB, Mourinho, Guardiola etc…as opposed to simply filling a seat wiht the trendy manager of the summer.

  3. I don’t want to see Martinez or Rodgers get the job because I think they could return Liverpool to prominence and, as an Everton fan, I don’t want that. Plus I like Martinez and don’t want to see him fired in 2 or 3 months like they did with Hodgson. There’s a lot of good players on Liverpool and some crap. A few seem to have bad attitudes as well. Will they play for a manager if he doesn’t have a proven high level track record?

  4. Being a legend does not mean you guarantee results. While Dalglish will always have a place in the hearts of Liverpool supporters, it is safe to say this was a poor year on all levels, and combined with his age, he was likely not the long term fix no matter what. While it is unfortunate it ended like this, the truth is there is no good ending to letting a club legend go, and its just better to find a capable replacement. If LFC improves next year then this will be forgotten by supporters and the ownership will have cemented their legacy. These owners want results, its a business and while they do understand the lure of the emotion of the squad, as they do with the Red Sox, they also want the club to succeed for financial and business reasons. Ultimately that is what this is about. King Kenny’s declarations that the team was better than the record, and did not need changes sounded like the declarations of a man who knew his time had come.

    YNWA King Kenny
    Good luck to the next man

  5. First, it’s always sad when a manager is sacked. Daglsih did bring back some wonderful football by Liverpool even if the results were not there. However, he really didn’t buy players very wisely opting for home-grown players with midtable mentality and quality when for the same money he could have brought in much better players from abroad. His tactics were left wanting and he never settled on a solid team opting to change almost every game. At the end of the day it’s all about results. The league table doesn’t lie.

    One has to admire FSG for making this move knowing full well how Daglish is worshipped by many Liverpool fans. It shows that they made a decision based on results rather than on sentimentality. No one is bigger than the club, not even Daglish, and this decision sends the right message.

    Let’s hope FSG now choose a manager who can move the club forward and return it to the top-tier of English football.

  6. I want Paul Lambert to stay at Norwich but with Villa and now Liverpool open that’s looking like less and less of an option.

    1. I’d love Lambert to stay with Norwich for 2-3 more seasons, continue building his reputation and the team. Then if he manages to do so, he should move on. I actually think that Rogers or Lambert could be a good candidate to replace Fergie when he retires.

      1. Why would you want Rafa? Don’t you think all this Liverpool harking back to the glory days and re-instating previous staff has now run its course? We’re never going to get anywhere as a club and we’re certainly never going to recapture glory by constantly moving backwards. There’s a long road for us to walk down at the moment and as far as I can see we’ve already spent the past season running backwards! We need to move forward and we need to do it fast! Stop thinking just because Rafa brought us Champions League success in 2005 that he’s the man for the job. Football is a money game these days, it’s not a fairytale so we need to be realistic. If they bring Rafa back I’ll be gutted!

        1. Given that Taylor’s post (with laughing emoticon) is in reply to dust’s humorous demand to take Roy back, I think we’re looking at some sarcasm here, Paul. Maybe he should have used a 😉

          1. Fair do’s! But generally speaking he’s being named again & again by people all over the place. I just can’t see what good it would do us as a club to move backwards again. I feel like we’ve got a massive black cloud over us and it’s only getting bigger. The emotional roller coaster of being a football fan is in full swing today 😉

          2. @ Paul—Agree with you 100%. I can not believe people are serious when they bring up Benitez. Why on earth would you go down that road a 2nd time?? Worse yet, I saw someone use McLeish’s name. I’m hoping that, too, was in jest. Can you imagine?!

          3. I’ve heard McLeish and Owen Coyle a few times today. Names like that being thrown into the mix are always good for keeping a smile on our faces in dark times like this I suppose lol

        2. A Liverpool fan with a little common sense, how rare. Surley they can’t bring back Rafa all he seemed to do was complain about not having money to spend. It’ has to be someone who can work on a limited budget but can get the best out of the current squad.

          Unless the owners are prepared to spend big again this summer they better take their time and get this decision right as this next manager could possibly put them in a postion they never recover from. They should do whatever it takes to get Martin O’Neil from Sunderland but with him growing up a Sunderland fan it could be a tough sell to get him to leave.

          1. MUFC77, how do you know I’m a Liverpool fan ? I’m not LOL.
            Guy actually captured my sarcasm and I actually agree with what you say. It’s just a lot of LFC fans forget that Rafa kept on moaning about money, not only at LFC but also at Inter.

        3. Why are people bringing up Rafa? It’s not just the CL trophy and the FA Cup trophy. He also assembled a team that came very close to winning the league. He is a fantastic evaluator of talent and tactician and he is loved by a large swath of supporters.

          Is he the right guy for the job? I don’t know. But I’d be wary of the flavor of the month candidates.

          Two and a half years ago with Brum climbing the table, McLeish was being touted as a successor to Fergie. How do people feel about him now?

        4. Paul, Guy caught my sarcasm. A lot of LFC fans want Rafa back, but I don’t think that he’s the answer. He kept on moaning and moaning for more money while he had been given tons of money. Yes, Torres and Reina and Kuyt were good signings, as well as Mascherano, but what about the others ?

  7. Wasn’t Jurgen Klinsman’s name mentioned at some point a couple seasons ago, maybe with the American connection he might be a solution. He’s also a bug enough name that could attract up and cingular players to the club.

    1. Klinsman is with the US Men’s National Team and I can’t see him leaving this quickly. I think he likes living in the US as well. He didn’t show much interest in club managing before he got his present job.

    2. *up and coming players.

      What’s frank rijkaard doing these days? Big name who’s managed at the highest level, the current Players will respect him and he might be able to bring in some good young Dutch talent with his name alone.

  8. The right man for this job is at Everton. However, there is zero chance of this happening.

    I think Kenny Dalglish would privately admit that he had a poor season. The club made poor buys on players who were not good enough to stay in a European place. Some of his statements this year bordered on the absurd.

    He will always be a symbol of greatness for the club and there is no doubt he will again be involved with the club in some other capacity which is not connected with day to day football matters.

    How Liverpool can appoint Roberto Martinez and claim a man who needed two miracles to avoid relegation is the right man for LFC is beyond me.

    As a neutral in this matter, I think sounding out Didier Deschamps is worth a shout.

    1. As much as I like Martinez, I have to agree with you. Not pushing either one, but Rodgers or Lambert would make more sense to me, along with O’Neil.

  9. Clearly Kenny was right about his purchases they were not the chocolate kettles we all thought they were.

    The new England manager Roy has confirmed how great a season they had as individuals, and, how greatly they impacted the very successful Liverpool season. he named Carroll and Downing to the squad, I’m very surprised the scintillating Henderson has only been put on reserve, just incase!

    1. Oh come on now Downing is in the team so he can provide assist for Carroll, just like he did all season long

      1. Downing has as many PL goals and assists as Bebe this season. Quality signing right there.

        ps: Bebe was loaned out to Besiktas this season

  10. My two cents worth:

    Kenny came in when Liverpool were in real trouble, with the most angst at the club during Hodgson’s reign that I have ever seen in my time. There was only one man who could’ve settled the ship, and that was Kenny. Many felt he would get one season to smooth things out. And he did that. The man is a legend.

    However, I completely agree with FSG’s decision. To say this season has been poor is a vast understatement, Liverpool’s worst league record since ’56 – almost 40 points off the leaders (that’s a whole half a season). It has been TERRIBLE, nobody can deny that. Liverpool should be a club that intimidates other clubs, but this season saw Liverpool become absolute walkovers on the pitch. Almost every club knew they could get a result against Liverpool, even at Anfield. That’s not how it’s supposed to be if you’re a top club.

    Liverpool spent over 100m in the transfer market too, yet went backwards. They will not even be able to sell these players for much now either. They were not smart in the transfer market – overpaying heavily for players who are average. The players were Kenny’s choices and the price was negotiated by Commoli.

    Lastly, Liverpool suffered in their relationship with the media. This season could not have been any worse in off- the- field relations with the media, and Kenny was a big part of that. His interviews were quite bad not only with regards to the Suarez affair but some of his post-match interviews bordered on delusional behavior. Liverpool FC have become the most hated club in England, and neutrals in the millions suddenly turned against them. Kenny did not handle the media well at all, and I think people underestimate just how valuable that is for a club.

    I think for the club to move on, this is most definitely the right decision. FSG have sent out a strong statement clearly showing that failure will not be tolerated. That is what every fan should want. It sure should give the players left a big wake up call and a kick up the backside. Kenny is a legend and I hope he moves to the Director of Football role, but I have no doubts that for the club to move forward change was needed.

    1. So very this, I kept saying the same thing to my wife that Dalglish was Nigel Powers hating on the Dutch, wondering why one of the most versitile and hard working players he has is sitting on the bench over and over in place of rubbish like Downing and Hendo. I really hope Kuyt stays, other than Gerrard he’s been my favorite Red player for years…you simply can’t teach a work ethic and hussle like he has, players with it are rare as hen’s teeth it seems.

      1. Kuyt is the type of player every team should have. I’m saying this as an Everton fan. The guy gives his all out there and actually has the quality to back it up. I couldn’t believe Kenny was sitting him on the best so much, especially in big games.

        I think if Kuyt leaves, Liverpool will struggle without his fire and tenacity.

  11. Good grief. We demand that players are loyal to clubs, but we don’t demand that owners are loyal to managers? What did he get, 16-17 months? A Liverpool legend who made one bad purchase, go ahead and hit the road….What have you done for me lately I guess.

    I would have given him another season but thats just me.

  12. It breaks my heart to see King Kenny go, as I was excited to have him take over last year, but it rapidly became clear he really had no clue. Our new owners gave him huge resources, and he way overspent for very mediocre players…meanwhile you see effective players like Cisse picked up for pocket change by Newcastle? How much decent talent could we have picked up for the $100M we spent? On top of his poor assessment of talent, his squad selection was consistantly poor. He repeatedly sat Kuyt, who is the hardest working and most versitile player he has besides Gerrard, in place of rubbish like Henderson and Downing? And he kept putting Suarez up as a lone striker in a 4-5-1 formation, despite proof over and over that he can’t do it up there alone.

    And please, not Rafa. If we play more utilitarian football I am just going to shoot myself and be done with it. We need a modern manager, who can get us to use pace and creative through balls for Suarez to run onto to put pressure on other teams. Liverpool could never bring the ball up with pace, and always allowed the defense to get set before we got it in the final third…then we’d just pass it around ineffectively bereft of ideas while the opposing defense kept shape and waited for the inevitable turnover. We need a manager who also can assess talent. Put Downing and Henderson on loan, get a couple good wingers, get a steady replacement for Carragher who is aging in dog years and is way too slow to handle most decent strikers, guys like Van Persie eat him up like catfish.

  13. FSG have more than the Liverpool FC mess to sort out. The Red Sox collapsed at the end of last season and didn’t make the playoffs so they fired their general manager and manager. With their new appointees at the helm this season they are doing even worse as they lie in last place in their division. Do they have too much on their plate to sort out? How much do they know about soccer to make the right decisions? Who is advising them given they know next to nothing about soccer? All interesting questions.

  14. O’Neil is the only name worth considering out of the bunch in my opinion.

    Clark stepping up isn’t out of the question, and Carragher (not Gerrard) is the most likely player to take on a some coaching role next.

  15. It’s not so much the man as the system that the FSG has in mind. Their pattern is to develop a plan for the organization to develop with. That is a plan that has them finish high in the league every year. The Champions League money is all important. So the man who gets the job will be the man who agrees to the plan.

    Fans may want to note that John Henry takes advice on LFC from Billy Beane of Money Ball fame. Fans who have not seen the movie may want too. John Henry is a character in the movie.

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