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Will Kenny Dalglish Be Liverpool’s Saviour?

Kenny Dalglish, drawn by Ethan Armstrong

A heavy weight has been lifted off the shoulders of Liverpool supporters around the world today with the news that manager Roy Hodgson has been sacked. With caretaker manager Kenny Dalglish appointed, the Reds now go in to their FA Cup Third Round match against arch-rivals Manchester United with a renewed sense of belief and a sliver of a hope that Dalglish, one of the greatest players in the history of Liverpool, can rally the team to defeat United at Old Trafford.

Without a doubt, the appointment of Dalglish has made the atmosphere on Merseyside instantly rosier.

But should it? Does a manager make that much of a difference? Liverpool has the same set of players who have been putting in woeful performances. Tactics can change and confidence can be boosted, but will Dalglish’s appointment make that much of a difference? Can one man reverse Liverpool’s season and provide them the miracle cure they need? Is Dalglish Liverpool’s savior, or a mere stop-gap soluton before Fenway Sports Group appoint someone this summer?

While many Liverpool supporters are gushing that Dalglish has been appointed caretaker manager, the reality is that the Scot hasn’t managed in the Premier League since 1998 when he was sacked as manager of Newcastle United by former chairman Freddie Shepherd. The danger is that some Liverpool supporters believe that Dalglish is going to be Liverpool’s savior to pull them from the depths of defeat and return them to former glories, or at least to attain a respectable finish to this Premier League season. Some are talking about Dalglish being appointed the long-term manager this summer even though King Kenny hasn’t managed a game as caretaker quite yet.

Dalglish is being thrown in the deep-end at the worst possible time. His first match in charge of the Reds is against their closest rivals. He’s being thrown right in to the January transfer window. And while Liverpool supporters will give Dalglish plenty more time than Hodgson, it’s important that Liverpool supporters give Dalglish the time and patience to adapt so he can turn Liverpool’s season into a respectable one. For some Reds supporters to expect him to transform this side is unrealistic. Dalglish needs to be given the time and confidence to try to get the best out of the Liverpool side and to keep stringing them along until this summer when a permanent decision can be made. If Dalglish does better than expected, then he could be considered for a full-time position. But more likely Dalglish will transition the manager’s position to someone who can take the ropes on a permanent basis, who is best suited to adopt FSG’s Moneyball strategies as it relates to transfer signings and football strategy.

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  1. george

    February 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Being a liverpool fan all my life it was painfull to see my team play under woy . Kenny is the man made for the job . He will not settle for a draw if a win is possible .

  2. Sam

    January 19, 2011 at 8:23 am

    I agree with Tom, my ‘pool got excited like little kids when hodgson came. now they think that dalglish can change everything. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw Torres and gerrard leave at the end of the season. then we can start taking bets on relegation

  3. Paul

    January 17, 2011 at 8:01 am

    To ALL Liverpool fans had Liverpool won the league the season they finished 2nd only 4 points behind Manchester utd would Rafa Benitez still be the manager today

  4. Howard

    January 10, 2011 at 6:34 am

    Liverpool has about half a dozen players who are either not up to the Premier League or consistently underperforming. Their team is a rag bag assortment of individuals not a team. It’s a shame everyone has come down on Hodgson he was stuck with the cards he was dealt. Torres has “I want to go home” written all over his face. Even that idiot Nick Webster from FSC jumped on the band wagon and made a stupid comment about Hodgson’s poor team selection. Webster can’t even manage his sock draw let alone make such comments on TV.

    Dalgleish had better hope the new owners will open the purse strings, otherwise it’s going to be more of the same.

  5. Gaz Hunt

    January 9, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    I was, and continue to be, a Hodgson supporter (or apologist depending on where you stand) but I agree something had to happen. While I won’t ever admit that one man was responsible for our play this season, you can’t go about sacking the entire squad. Something had to change and as much as it is the backwards thinking of most major sports clubs, I guess this is the only option. I’m glad King Kenny is in charge and have seen him as the only viable replacement for ages now.

    Having said that, what if the results continue to poor? It is going to boggle my mind a bit when my fellow supporters accept excuses for King Kenny when they were unable to for Hodgson – especially considering we had to pay Hodgson (allegedly) 7.5 million quid to release him.

    I don’t think the results will continue, though. I’m hopeful King Kenny will be able to install enough passion and heart in the side to grind out what we need. More importantly, I hope that with the supporters fully behind the manager, they will start to look at the players and demand more.

  6. priyavrat

    January 9, 2011 at 6:38 am

    gaffer tell me will ronney play today?

  7. MarkB

    January 8, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Hopefully he’ll light a fire under Torres’ ass. His petulance is starting to get old. He’s in danger of becoming C.Ronaldo only without the moments of brilliance to make up for it.

  8. dominjon

    January 8, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    A few points. Calling all people from one area of the world “scum” says a lot more about you than you will ever have the selfawareness to understand.
    Dalglish has been out of the game as a manager, but unlike say Keagan, he doesn’t stop watching and studying because he isn’t in a job. He has been at the training ground and in particular has worked with the youngsters. He is also a lot more hard-nosed than people suspect. Players not being good enough is one thing, but players not trying will find themselves out of the team replaced by youngsters who will play for the badge.
    As I have said, I think he will prove to be a good short term answer, will raise the fans and the players and I think we may actually see Liverpool playing some decent football before the season is out. However, if he sets his mind on staying on it forces the owners to either lose the fans by forcing him out or abandon their whole long-term plan.
    But for now, I am actually excited about the Utd game. It is a sign of what Hodgson had created that of all games I wasn’t excited by that one. Even if we get spanked 4-0 by their reserves it will be an occasion now. Interesting to see Gerrard play, he will either get sent off or score a hat-trick…

  9. scPhillyfan

    January 8, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    As a Toffee fan I don’t want any turn-around tp take place at Anfield until after the Derby match. Not a Liverpool hater like some other Everton supporters – though I don’t lose sleep over their troubles.

    I do think Dalglish if he stays could do something with LFC. But likely not rebounding this year to qualify for Europe (unless they take the Europa Cup). Though I want Dalglish to have LFC as a lower mid-table team who loses the Merseyside Derby each time.

  10. jbm

    January 8, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I think this story’s comments are in need of a nice moderation. Gaffer, you there?

  11. Smokey Bacon

    January 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Dalglish inherited the best team in Europe last time he was manager. This time he inherits the worst team in Merseyside. So he has no chance.

    Have to feel sorry for Hodgson, a decent man and a good manager. Lumbered with the useless-one’s many crap signings, he was never going to turn them around. West Ham will probably get him in when they finally tire of Avram.

  12. somervillain

    January 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Reminds me of the Washington Redskins bringing back Joe Gibbs after a decade out of the game. The game had passed him by in that time, much as I suspect Dalglish will find himself out of his depth in today’s game with today’s footballers.

  13. dominjon

    January 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    The squad, to a man, is hugely respectful of Gerrard.
    Gerrard worships Dalglish. Absolutely worships.
    This squad will try much, much harder than they did for Hodgson. Dalglish will play to win every match. The stadium will be sold out, the songs will be sung, players will get huge roars of approval for any sort of display of skill or positive play.
    I wouldn’t expect miracles, but a lot of players should hopefully stop hiding during matches. If Comolli can bring in a couple of decent attacking players I believe we will move up the table to be in the hunt for a Europa spot.
    The danger is if Dalglish doesn’t willingly step down. Some of his mates are already planting seeds in the media, Lawro on the BBC site talks about “maybe him being up for the long term once he gets a taste”. We need to look to the future next season, but for now, a greatest hits final tour down nostalgia lane to the great days is just fine by me.

  14. Steve

    January 8, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    It’s obvious that Tom Hingley is a Manure fan. Disregard anything the Scum says.

    • Tom Hingley

      January 8, 2011 at 1:46 pm

      Huge Wolves fan actually. Travel home and away.

      TBF Liverpool is winning one thing this season – Anfield had comfortably the worst atmosphere I have heard from a set of home fans this season. You could have heard a pin drop, on the small moments when the Wolves fans went quiet. And this is before we scored.

      Anfield atmosphere = MYTH.


  15. Alvin

    January 8, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Tom Hingley wrote: “His record in the transfer market is embarrassing”


    At Liverpool he signed Peter Beardsley, John Aldridge, John Barnes, Alan Hansen, Ronnie Whelan, Steve McMahon, Steve Nicol, Mark Lawrenson, among others and they went unbeaten for 37 matches. They aslo won titles under Daglish. He later signed Steve McManaman and Jamie Redknapp to the youth team.

    At Blackburn he signed Alan Shearer, Chris Sutton, among others and they went on to win the title.

    TH, do your homework mate before writing such crock!

  16. Lyle

    January 8, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    No, he won’t be the saviour… cause Liverpool fans are ignorant scum and all going to hell anyway.

    Dalglish’s appointment is laughable. It’s like Newcastle and Keegan from a couple years ago, hopelessly stupid.

    Fans should never be the reason behind any footballing decision. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    Can’t wait to Liverpool gets relegated.

    • Lee Davies

      January 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm

      I tell you what lyle you are a total whoppa lad, little bell end Internet warriors like you spoutin off do me head in. If you bumped into a avoided in the street you would s*** your knickers.

      • Lyle

        January 8, 2011 at 10:53 pm

        Nah, y’all going down with Dalglish. It’ll be shambles the rest of the way at best. Utter stupidity is the Liverpool fan’s trademark now. Smartest fans in the world my bullocks!!!

  17. AJ

    January 8, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    hey tom, its not worth talking with people like u…..
    if dalglish’s record of transfer market is so embarrassing and if he speaks so uninspiring then why he is called as lfc legend….its because he played well and he was perfect in executing his plans and he gave so much of glory to lfc and managing club is not like any machinery that gets outdated after some time…..
    i dont see any valid reason for supporting roy….
    be a lfc fan just for a minute then u’ll come to know who is the real idiot!!!!
    in-short its u who is idiot!!!!!!!!

  18. Glenn

    January 8, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Santa Claus, my sentiments exactly. The overhaul should begin now.

  19. Santa Claus

    January 8, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    As a Liverpool fan I think we’re living in the past if we think Daglish is the answer. I would have much preferred a younger manager and selling players like Torres and company who have shown no passion for the club this season. Then buying younger players with potential and letting the new manager turn the club around.

    Of course things got so bad under Hodgson that something had to be done and the appointment of Daglish is to appease the fanbase which was clamoring for him. I’m sure the owners are thinking of a makeover in the summer but I would have rather begun the process now.

  20. SoccerLimey

    January 8, 2011 at 11:38 am

    He’ll work again obviously, and somewhere Premier League, maybe even Villa or West Ham, but not England, I hope !!

  21. soonerscotty

    January 8, 2011 at 11:16 am

    I don’t know if Kenny is the answer. He has been out of the game for a long while but, we all know the game’s never been out of him.

    Things cannot possible go worse…even if we drop into relegation under Kenny we were headed there anyway under Uncle Woy. And even if it all goes wrong for Kenny he’ll keep the respect of the fans because at least we’ll know he’s trying. Same thing that can not/could not/would not be said about Hodgson.


    • Lyle

      January 8, 2011 at 1:28 pm

      Actually if you get into the relegation scrap any further… it’ll be precisely because of whatever Dalglish does. I mean, at the moment, Liverpool isn’t in the relegation zone… so Dalglish will have to take Liverpool there if that is where you smelly lot end up.

  22. SoccerLimey

    January 8, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Feel sorry for Roy because it wasn’t all his doing with the pitiful squad they have, that’s just not built for a 38 game Premier League season.

    However, you will see a huge spike in passion and intensity which always comes to the front when a new boss is installed, and with an Anfield icon such as Dalglish there, doubly so. It reminds me of the time when Robson took over at Newcastle.

    Two things I will say. first, I would not be at all surprised if liverpool took the tie or got a draw at Old Trafford tomorrow. As a United fan, I’m nervous now because it’s the FA Cup, Koppites will be fired up and it for sure will be a hell of a barnburner.

    Secondly, sadly for Hodgson, is that his England managing days are done. He showed that he struggles with the media, and with the Liverpool debacle, the media would eat him alive at Soho Square.

    Wait a minute, that puts him top of the FA list, doesn’t it….!!

    • red20

      January 8, 2011 at 11:35 am

      You think so? I’ll bet he’d be welcomed with open arms somewhere else. Most of the media is head over heels with him. They couldn’t wait to demonize Liverpool fans through most of this while sticking up for Roy. I think he could go somewhere more low-key again, and probably be fine.

    • Lyle

      January 8, 2011 at 1:25 pm

      Hodgson didn’t struggle with the media… the media loves
      him for the most part. He simply is too smart and too nice for the
      scum that are the Scouse.

      • Lee Davies

        January 8, 2011 at 5:56 pm

        The scum that are scouse??? Where do you come from you belter

        • Lyle

          January 8, 2011 at 10:55 pm

          The land of the free and home of the brave, i.e. where John Henry runs the LFC from, after he’s finished managing his Boston Red Sox for the day.


  23. Chunky

    January 8, 2011 at 10:25 am

    OK! It is now time to get to grips and begin a revival on the field. Miracles are not expected but more attacking football is needed. I don’t see that Dalglish
    will go beyond , or even want to , the end of the season but a time of compressing team and fan action into a more aggressive approach to games is the requirement of the day. If it doesn’t succeed as rival fans such as Tom above fervently hopes then so be it. That said I suspect rivals will now be a little more wary of up-and-coming games with LFC.

  24. rod

    January 8, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Sorry Tom most Liverpool fans do not believe that, but do hope for some improvement lets face it life under Roy was not working.
    When u speak for all fans next time Tom at least check a poll on whom the fans prefer as manager!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Tom Hingley

      January 8, 2011 at 10:20 am

      • Red20

        January 8, 2011 at 11:33 am

        Wait, you mean Liverpool fans are excited that one of their
        most storied players AND managers is coming back to manage the team
        in a year where a multitude of shit has gone wrong!? How dare they!
        Seriously, how dare they! And you went to a Liverpool site and gave
        us a link? Bravo sir. If you can’t see how this is exciting for
        Liverpool fans then you’re a deluded idiot. Maybe he won’t be some
        panacea, but at least there’s a feel good factor for awhile, which
        is sorely needed at this point.

      • paul

        January 8, 2011 at 11:38 am

        You’re the idiot if you believe a few kids on a single forum represents the Liverpool fan base.

        • SoccerLimey

          January 8, 2011 at 11:46 am

          Let’s be realistic here for one second. Circumstances at Blackburn dictated the firing of Hodgson now and only Dalglish’s availability made that the correct PR move for the club.

          ANY result tomorrow including a hammering will be fine with the “fans” now, whereas with Hodgson, only a win would temporarily pause the inevitable. If tomorrow had been a bog standard League game, Roy would still have his job today.

          Liverpool bought themselves some time with this. Nothing more. Nothing less.

  25. Tom Hingley

    January 8, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Liverpool fans are just like those idiots in Newcastle.

    They think you bring in a legend, and it automatically saves you. Well we all know what happened when Shearer came in don’t we!?

    Dalglish may be a legend, but when he talks he is as uninspiring as they get. His record in the transfer market is embarrassing, and he hasn’t managed since the days when everyone played 4-4-2.

    I reckon Liverpool to go down would be a GREAT value bet.

    • paul

      January 8, 2011 at 11:42 am

      How many clubs did Shearer manage before the Toons got extremely desperate? How many league titles did he win for the Toon Army? How many European Cups, FA cups or tin-pot league cups? How many clubs did Shearer bring up from Div2 to become the league champions?

      You simply cannot compare Liverpool+Dalglish to Newcastle+Shearer at management level. I’ll take your bet, how much money are you prepared to put where your mouth is? Let’s start at 10 grand?

    • AJ

      January 8, 2011 at 1:13 pm

      hey tom, its not worth talking with people like u…..
      if dalglish’s record of transfer market is so embarrassing and if he speaks so uninspiring then why he is called as lfc legend….its because he played well and he was perfect in executing his plans and he gave so much of glory to lfc and managing club is not like any machinery that gets outdated after some time…..
      i dont see any valid reason for supporting roy….
      be a lfc fan just for a minute then u’ll come to know who is the real idiot!!!!
      in-short its u who is idiot!!!!!!!!

      • Joe

        January 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm

        “in-short its u who is idiot!!!!!!!”

        Ironic Statement of the year.

    • Lyle

      January 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      You get it… but Keegan is the better example.

    • dominjon

      January 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm

      Signings record is embarrassing? Really?
      Aldridge, Beardsley, Houghton, John Friggin’ Barnes, Redknapp, Shearer, Sutton, Batty, Flowers, Speed…
      I’m going to say that is far from embarrassment. And then of course Commolli is going to be in charge of signings anyway.
      Dalglish is not a long-term solution, and I really hope FSG have got an agreement in place for him to be invovled in the hunt for a full-time boss, and a director type position for him in the summer. I also hope he doesn’t push for the job full-time because many fans will demand he stays, and we need a long-term young and forward thinking guy at the helm.
      But Dalglish will get these players putting in effort and trying to play attractive football and pass the bal lrather than hoof it. The results will not be any worse than Hodgsons that is for sure. It could be a nice coda on the end of his career.

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