Nineteen years on and Kenny Dalglish’s curious record of never having won an away European game as Liverpool manager continues.
Despite the prolonging of an unwanted record, Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Sparta Prague means they start the second-leg as favourites to progress to the final-16 of the Europa League.
The result reflected Dalglish’s cautious approach; an approach he argued was dictated by circumstances rather than tactical ideology. “It was a difficult game for us. We’d rather have been more offensive than we were but circumstances dictated the way we played because of the players we had available,” he told The Guardian. Given the tedious nature of the 90 minutes in Prague, brows were mopped when Dalglish assured: “Next week we anticipate it being a different game.”
Dalglish urges Cole patience.
Joe Cole’s cameo in Prague was the first time the midfielder has played under Kenny Dalglish. A combination of knee and hamstring injuries have hitherto prevented him from appearing in a Kenny Dalglish-picked starting-XI and for this reason the Kop icon has urged patience as one of England’s few genuine creative talents is coaxed back to fitness.
“We have got to be patient with Joe. That was his first run-out since I came here,” Dalglish told the Daily Telegraph. Given time, Dalglish is confident Cole can turn into the player expected to illuminate Anfield when he arrived in the summer. “We want to give him a bit of time and make sure he gets there. Form is temporary but class is permanent and that is where we stand with Joe,” he said.
Aquilani return unlikely.
Just as Alberto Aquilani is returning to the form which persuaded Rafa Benitez to part with £20 million to bring the Italian international to Anfield, he has dashed Liverpool fans’ hopes of seeing him at his best.
Quoted by Skysports.com, Aquilani is happy with life at Juventus and delighted to be playing regular first-team football which he never got on Merseyside.
“I came here to find continuity after years in which I didn’t play a lot,” Aqulani said, indicating his wish to remain in Turin beyond the expiration of his loan deal. “The sum to sign me is permanently high, but I’m fine (at Juventus).”