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What Liverpool Should Do With King Kenny

Kenny Dalglish, drawn by Ethan Armstrong

Liverpool fans are rightfully delighted with what Kenny Dalglish has done for the club since he replaced Roy Hodgson.

An unbeaten run has seen them climb the league and perhaps just as important, Dalglish has imbued everyone with a sense of positivity and tradition. The whole place seems happier and Kenny is clearly loving every minute of it.

This had led many to call for the club to give him a long contract.

That would be understandable but also a bit mad.

There’s no need.

This is not a normal situation. Dalglish will not be poached by another club. He only wants to stay at Liverpool and for as long as possible. His loyalty does not need to be bought nor rewarded.

He’s already a wealthy man who cares more about the club than earning lots more money. So financial remuneration is not an imperative.

From the clubs point of view, keeping him on a rolling one year contract makes much more sense. It means when the time comes to sack him – and though fans may find it hard to believe now, it will happen at some point – they won’t have a long contract to pay off.

Contracts mean nothing to either party except financial commitment. They are not a sign of loyalty on either party’s behalf. They are signed one week and disposed of another. Dalglish will not perform better with one than without one. His reward is being manager of the club he loves.

As for those who say ‘give him a contract for life’ they are deluded and will, no doubt, be the first to call for his sacking when at some future point in time, results go awry. Some Liverpool fans are currently in a blind-love mood and that is understandable but the owners cannot indulge in such romanticism.

Liverpool are not yet that great a side. Just now it seems great that they’re up to sixth after the early season calamities but next season expectations will be higher and if results do not match those expectations, the love-in for King Kenny will lose some volume and garner some criticism. If at the same time Mourinho became available, Liverpool might just be the sort of project he’d love and suddenly, things are more complicated. Being able to shed Dalglish quicklly and cheaply should the need arrive would be good for the club.

The club should announce Dalglish as the manager for next season, no harm in that at this stage but a rolling one year contract makes sense for everyone and after years of turmoil, Liverpool badly need some good, hard common sense to prevail.

Editor’s Note: Johnny’s new book: “We Ate All The Pies: How Football Swallowed Britain Whole” is available via Amazon US or Amazon UK.

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  1. ayush

    February 24, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    not working in my facebook for some reason…probably because i use linux : (

  2. Thomas

    February 24, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    I see no problem with the current arrangement, for the exact reasons you pointed out. But a more long term deal would put down a bit of stability for the club.

    That being said, I think, barring any sort of major collapse he will be here next season.

    I think he and Liverpool have done well to put the team back on track to push for the top 4. Sure they might miss out thist year. But they might actually carry a bit of momentum into next season, where the whole thing becomes a lot more attainable.

    Liverpool wont be bringing many big names to the club until they have the lure of Champions League Football back.

  3. matt

    February 24, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Benitez had a huge part to play in 05, there is no doubt mourinho is one of the best managers in the world right now, as a liverpool fan myself, i think the author has it spot on minus mourinho, however people make mistakes and it is no big deal. Do us all a favor and get some fresh air.

  4. ja

    February 24, 2011 at 8:03 am

    “the mourhino show” thats probably because hes one of the best managers in the world.

    • gaz

      February 24, 2011 at 8:45 am

      he has proved this coz every team he has managed was already a top team and had endless amounts of cash to spend (big deal) why would we want a manager who’s ego is bigger than every club he has been? Before u pipe on about how he won the champions league with a not so massive porto need i remind you this can be done without being world beaters now and again… remember 2005? we was hardly a team of world beaters was we? when all is said and done we worked hard and got lucky… raffa had a small part to play but then surely must gerrard houllier. If you think mourhino could do any better or attract any better players than Kenny (who is respected throughout the football world far more than that clown) then you are just as foolish as the writer of this stupid article!

  5. Sir Alex

    February 24, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Sack him Pleeeeease!!!

  6. Ray

    February 24, 2011 at 7:32 am

    I think John talks sense in every paragpraph. Does Messi have sleeples nights because Pep is not signing a 5 year deal?

    One year rolling contracts is what Pep at Barc always signs. His reason that he only wants a 1 years contract is so that he always pushes to get a new one i.e. bad season and no renewal.

    We do need stability, but long term contracts that can be ripped up (Torres, Benetiz etc) don’t add to that stability all the time. Rafa is a perfect example – people wanted him out, but how could they get him out without a bumper pay out? Did that scenario offer stability or constant speculation and unrest?

    I actually think the club has stability in the making and everything that is being done is the way Liverpool of old used to do it.

    • ravi

      February 24, 2011 at 11:24 am

      Ray, Barca dont sign their players to 1 year contracts. Pep signs 1 year contracts because he did not trust Laporta and he does not trust Sandro now! He signs the 1 year deal so at the end of the year he is in a position of power and if he wants to walk he is free to walk.

    • Maybee

      February 24, 2011 at 12:34 pm

      Messi/Xavi/Inestia/Pique/Puyol/etc didn’t came through the Barca academy. They didn’t sign to Barca because of Pep. Liverpool needs to ATTRACT top-level players, and when a player is looking to sign for a club to sign for, of course stability is one thing they are looking for. They want to know who will be the manager.

      • Maybee

        February 24, 2011 at 12:35 pm

        UGH….sorry…they DID come through the academy!

    • Ray

      February 24, 2011 at 4:31 pm

      I wasn’t talking about players, I was talking about the manager. Pep is a manger, not a player.

      And what you say about Pep and his pay masters could be the same for Kenny. What better way to keep the fans on his side and that position of power?

  7. Martin

    February 24, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Total and utter rubbish – what about the back room staff? – what about SC? – is he going to settle for a 1 year rolling contract too or are they going to sign him up on a long term deal and leave Kenny on the short one – think about what you write mate before you publish it !!!!!!!!!!!

  8. gaz

    February 24, 2011 at 7:15 am

    JOHN NICHOLSON you talk and write utter rubbish! a one year rolling contract leaves players futures hanging in the balance as we would be left with a “will they wont they” situation… Long term stability is what our club needs and the new owners working with the commitment of Dalglish (and Clarke) and even Comolli who seems to be doing a pro job then the future will be a success!
    Mourinho is a clown, where ever he goes its always about him “the Mourinho show” so stop writing rubbish coz it means i have to waste my life reading it and commenting how stupid you really are!

    • george

      February 24, 2011 at 8:24 am

      j nicholson your spot on , the authors chatting sh*t hes probably one of fergies mates,we dont sack managers who is loyal and always put our club before everything else in his life. come the time when dalglish knows what best for lfc,the king will always do the honorable thing,because the mans got class.

    • george

      February 24, 2011 at 8:27 am

      sorry Gaz, i replied thinking you was that twerp john nichols

  9. L22Red

    February 24, 2011 at 6:59 am

    There is a benefit in confirming Dalglish’s appointment, it shows current (and prospective) players that the club’s owners are committed.

    Despite Roy Hodgson claiming to be a well respected manager, he was never going to attract BIG Name players to the club, this cannot however be said about Dalglish.

    Personally I’d like to see Dalglish offered a 3 year contract, fact of the matter is if things took a turn for the worst, and he was unable to take the club forwards, Kenny is more likely to resign than sit waiting for a pay-off.

    The positives in giving him a contract far outweigh the negatives.

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