Liverpool FC : 5 Things Kenny Dalglish Should Have Learnt This Season
Installing Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish as manager of the football club was, in some instances, a no-brainer.
After the turmoil at the end of the Hick and Gillett era, the Roy Hodgson experiment did not work, and so, stability and a time of re-grouping was desperately needed.
Dalglish provided Liverpool Football Club with a much-needed look at itself and to bring it back to its core values.
However, it has not all been smooth sailing, and certainly, Dalglish has had to weather a few tempests along the way.
The most testing of all is his current ordeal, where the Reds just cannot seem to string a set of good results together.
Dalglish himself has been the first to suggest that his aim is always to look after the best interest of Liverpool Football Club.
If the Kop legend is to continue his tenure at the helm of Liverpool, there are a few truths that maybe he needs to stare into the face of.
In no particular order, here are five things that Dalglish should have learnt from this season.
1. Buying British Has Not Worked
If one looks critically at the players that Kenny Dalglish has brought into Liverpool Football Club, it is clear that there was some "buy British policy" at play.
One may argue that Damien Comolli has been responsible for the transfer activities at Anfield, but Dalglish will clearly have had a large say in the players he wants in his squad.
The likes of Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam have not fulfilled their expectations at all.
All four of these players have badly underperformed. It could be said that they are players for the future, but even the signs that they will develop have not been there.
It would have been expected that Carroll would have weighed in with far more goals that he has, Downing with many more assists and goals than he has mustered, Henderson to have grown stronger as the season went on and for Adam to have marshaled the midfield much more effectively.
All of these have not happened, and Dalglish's policy of buying British players has not proven to be successful; not yet at least.
Whether this crop of players ultimately do go on to become valuable members of the squad is yet to be seen.
2. A Striker Was Needed in the January Transfer Window
From a very early stage, it was clear the Liverpool's strike force was nothing like The Guns of Navarone; the squad seriously lacked firepower.
The January transfer window was the ideal time to resolve this problem, yet Kenny Dalglish did not believe that his squad needed strengthening in any area.
This has proven to be Liverpool's downfall. The lack of goals is horrendous and the number of goals scored since the turn of the years is pitiful.
Any top team with aspirations of a top-four finish must score goals. A tight defense is a bonus, but there is no substitute for goals.
Liverpool need was desperate, but they did not make a foray into the market to bring in a quality striker, and that has cost Dalglish dearly.
3. Playing Pretty Football Does Not Always Get Results
Some of the football that Liverpool have played this season has been fabulous to watch, but there has rarely been an end product.
It is all well and good to preach the benefits of passing and moving, if some of that passing and movement is leading to goals being scored.
The possession statistics in some games have been great, but the Reds have proceeded to come up short in the goals column.
Sticking to principles is to be commended, but at some stage if they do not get results, then maybe new principles need to be found.
All fans would rather the Reds played ugly football, but got the points at the end of 90 minutes.
Should Dalglish have abandoned his principles and played quality long balls up to Andy Carroll and taken advantage of a more direct approach to the game?
If it proves to get the points, I do not think any of the fans would be complaining.
4. Liverpool Still Have a Problem on the Wing
If Kenny Dalglish thought that the answer to Liverpool's problem on the wings was Stewart Downing, then he has been proved very much mistaken.
Downing has been such a disappointment that it almost hurts to write about it.
Time and again, the England winger has failed to deliver. His good performances this season can be counted on the fingers of one hand, and that would be being generous.
It is sad to say the Downing has been a failure on the wings for the Reds when so much was expected of him.
It was not even a situation where he was injured at the start of his Liverpool career or that he was unsure of what was required of him.
All in all, when it comes to Liverpool's wing play, it should be back to the drawing board for Dalglish.
5. Youngsters Can Prove to Be the Difference
Last season saw the emergence of some of the promising talent that is being nurtured in the Academy.
Youngsters like Martin Kelly, John Flanagan and Jay Spearing were drafted into the first team with wonderful success.
They were a breath of fresh air. What the first team would do for something similar this season.
Waiting in the wings, the Reds have one of the most talented wingers in recent years.
Raheem Sterling is a star waiting to be given the chance to shine. Young he may be, but were Kelly, Flanagan and Spearing not?
After all, it is Kenny Dalglish that has been preaching the benefits of the youngsters, then why not give them a chance?
Sterling cannot do any worse than Stewart Downing. His manager needs to give him a run, and he would scare the socks off defenders, whereas Downing make them smile.
Dalglish of all people should take a page out of his own managing manual and give the youngster a run.