Liverpool and Kenny Dalglish will be forever entwined in each others histories, but how has the Kop legend fared in his second stint as a manager?
Liverpool fans are divided over the Scotsman's results and they are right to be confused.
This season was always going to be a transitional one for the club, but having spent major money in the summer, Liverpool fans were expecting Champions League qualification as a minimum requirement.
It's looking increasingly unlikely that Liverpool will be able to bridge the 10-point gap that separates them from fourth-placed Arsenal, so in that respect Dalglish has failed. As it stands, that point margin is not even close to being acceptable to Kopites. The 28 points that separates them from Manchester United is even more of an issue.
Dalglish has delivered a Carling Cup trophy and negotiated the club into the semifinal of the FA Cup, so has the season thus far been successful?
If Dalglish were to win the FA Cup would Liverpool fans be happy with the seasons results? Would the Liverpool owners be happy?
That obviously remains to be seen, but it does make me draw comparisons to the situation of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.
If Liverpool don't win the FA Cup, would you consider the season a success?
After seven years without a trophy, Arsenal fans have questioned whether Arsene Wenger is still the right man for the job at the Emirates stadium, but Wenger—so far—looks like delivering Champions League football.
So which team has had the better season? The Champions League yields more money than winning the FA and Carling Cups combined, so financially Arsenal—assuming they finish fourth—will have done better than Liverpool. However, we all know there is no trophy for a fourth place finish.
Arsenal fans are complaining and so are Liverpool fans. Which of them—if any—are right to be upset with their season? Perhaps both are.
Liverpool will likely stick with Kenny Dalglish for at least another season if he wins or even just makes the final of the FA Cup, but if Liverpool had lost against Stoke on Sunday I feel it could have been a different story come the summertime.
Newspaper stories of kit deals being as important as trophies are not the things that the Kop faithful want to read about on a Monday morning.
Dalglish needs to improve Liverpool in the Premiership or he could face the wrath of an embarrassed supporters group that hasn't seen any league progression for three seasons now.
Liverpool fans aren't stupid, and they expect better. Legend or not, Liverpool's future needs to be put before their idolisation of the King.
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