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Is Kenny Dalglish's legendary status keeping him in the Liverpool job?

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By Paul O'Meara

Monday 26 March 2012

Following Wigan Athletic’s first ever win at Anfield, there were indications that Liverpool supporters are beginning to divide in opinion over Kenny Dalglish. He has managed 24 points in his last 20 games; the same record as Roy Hodgson in his time at the club. With such damning statistics, is Dalglish’s iconic status helping him remain at the helm?

Following a good finish to last season, the decision to hire Dalglish on a permanent basis both made sense and pleased the fans. After this bittersweet campaign however, he is starting to feel the pressure as his expensive signings continue to underperform. The club’s owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), like some supporters will be pleased with domestic cup success, but they know - at least with regards to affluence and stature - the yardstick of progression is returning to the top tier of European club football. Following five defeats in their last six Premier League matches, the thought from both the players and management that fourth place is still achievable reflects desperation rather than genuine optimism. The fact they currently sit closer to 14th placed West Bromwich Albion than they do to fourth-placed Tottenham tells its own story. This should help banish talk of an immediate Champions League return.

Season-long discussions at the club have centred on progression and transition, and to a degree this is acceptable. While this season’s cup runs should also not be overlooked, the Merseysiders still have fewer league points than at the same stage last season - 42 points from 30 games compared with 45 last campaign. It seems that some fans who once trusted Dalglish implicitly are now starting to wane in their support for him. There is repetition creeping into the Scot’s prickly post-match interviews with ‘bad luck’, ‘tiredness’ and ‘refereeing decisions’ often being cited - even after the clear and defining lack of both desire and craft in the Wigan defeat.

Moreover, Dalglish’s defence of his new signings is often baffling and must surely have a shelf-life. Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson have been underwhelming but they all arrived from top-flight clubs, therefore acclimatising to the pace of the Premier League is not a valid excuse. How long is required for players to settle? Multiple players have signed at other clubs with more instant success, while Dalglish’s failure to fully incorporate Carroll is an underlying hindrance.

The danger when hiring Dalglish was always the high-esteem in which he is held at Anfield, and if the project was to fail, there was the prospect of damaging a love-affair developed over decades. This is not an argument to sack the 61-year-old, as the club is certainly re-building, but as much as cup triumphs would help counter-balance finishing outside the top-four, a finish that demonstrates further regression is more concerning. Essentially, patience is not widespread amongst football club owners and Dalglish must hope FSG bucks that trend, or even his legendary status may not save him.

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By chrissy on 27 March 2012 at 19:18

im ashamed to be a pool fan.the way fans are behaving is disgusting. kenny is best for this job

By Billy on 26 March 2012 at 11:05

Anybody calling for mourinho is not a true LFC fan IMO. I not saying that he not done well wherever he's gone, but he not a LFC manager. For starters he's a cheque book manager, Chelsea where nothing under the tinker man even after spending, but mourinho spent £100M's more to get a team to win anything. Then for me his biggest issue, he's a "me, me, me" I want to be in the spotlight person. Kenny would bother giving a weekly press conference if the league didn't demand it. Some people talk about luck not being with LFC, I belive more in cause and effect, if LFC had not hit the woodwork some many times, missed pens and had won a few more of the draws at the start of the season. we'd be playing much better and scoring far more now. we'd be playing with more confidenc and teams wouldn't be coming to Anfield thinking they could get a result. Recently, LFC have really missed Agger and Lucas, Pepe confidence is also shot if you ask me at the moment. As for getting rid of Kenny, Hodgson was the acception, but LFC give their managers and usually players time to get it right.

By Costasy on 26 March 2012 at 10:29

PETITION REFERS TO: JOHN W. HENRY, THOMAS WERNER, DAMIEL COMOLLI, IAN AYRE http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/jose-mourinho-should-replace-kenny-dalglish-as/ After the Wednesday’s and Saturday's defeats the team emits an SOS signal to John W. Henry, Thomas Werner, Ian Ayre, and Damien Comolli. The fourth of them can no longer be watching impassively the struggling humiliation of one of the most historic teams and do nothing! We all pay tribute to Kenny Dalglish and we classify him in our memories and hearts as a real legend but that doesn’t necessarily mean we should keep him as LFC’s manager from the moment we observe that under him we do not see the light of hope for recovery at the end of the tunnel. This is a responsibility and meditation time for all of us. The emotional factor should be waived and with the only protractor which should be the best interest of our beloved team we ask the four to ask kindly Kenny Dalglish for the sake of the team to step down as LFC’s manager! Another dark day of absolute humiliation and embarrassement by Kenny Dalglish and his squad, the squad he has personally chosen and set up for the current season. Kenny Dalglish and his squad tarnish the heritage that Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley left for this historic club. Kenny Dalglish and his squad are committing the biggest crime in this club's history by molesting on this heritage. Everybody is feeling fed up by listening and reading all the time different irrational statements by the side of Kenny Dalglish as he can persuade first and above all himself that under him the team is progressing! Everytime he leads this team to another humiliating and embarrassing defeat he needs to realize that he places a gravestone to LFC fans' dreams and expectations in all over the world to see their beloved team returning back to where it really deserves to be! I personally can't explain it otherwise; Kenny Dalglish is on a denial stage! He doesn't realize that by not seeing the raw reality, that he is not a capable manager for the modernized football and the manager who can turn the fortunes of this club around and as long as he behaves in a selfish manner he causes a serious damage! Back in 1991 he stepped down as LFC manager in a period which that was unnecessary and now that it is imperative to do so, why doesn't him? ISN'T THAT A REAL PROOF OF A SELFISH, EGOISTIC, AND ARROGANT BEHAVIOR?

By adam on 26 March 2012 at 10:17

Absolutely, if this was Hodgson in charge his head would be called for....... I personally would bring back Rafa, he is tactically astute and could get any group of numties performing.





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