Liverpool: Fans Must Shoulder Responsibility for Dalglish's Failed Second Coming
The date is July 1, 2010. Liverpool Football Club managing director Christian Purslow and club ambassador Kenny Dalglish believe they have found the man to lead Liverpool in the post-Rafael Benitez era.
After spectacularly leading Fulham to the 2010 Europa League final, Roy Hodgson is met with a wave of apathy and disappointment as Liverpool's famously loyal fans greet his arrival with underwhelming enthusiasm.
A League Cup defeat to lowly Northampton Town coupled with Premier League form that, at one point, led Hodgson to admit they could be facing a relegation battle, meant that Hodgson never really won the Kop faithful over. Further defeats to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers ultimately led to his demise.
Hodgson, it seemed, defied the old Anfield saying, "You'll Never Walk Alone." He certainly cut a lonely figure as he departed Anfield after only 31 matches in charge—a record low for any Liverpool manager.
Following the takeover of the club by Fenway Sports Group, supporters lobbied fanatically for the appointment of former player and manager, Dalglish. Apparently interested in taking the job, Dalglish was ushered in against the better judgement of the club's new American owners, who had stated upon their takeover that they wanted to appoint a young manager with fresh ideas who could take the club forward.
Despite that aim, they succumbed to fan pressure and gave Dalglish the job until the end of the 2010/11 season. An upturn in league performances led to his appointment on a three-year contract at the end of that campaign.
Fast forward 12 months and all is suddenly not so rosy at Anfield. Dalglish has been dismissed following a disappointing Premier League finish of eighth, as well as the squandering of over £100 million on under-performing players.
As Dalglish reflects on his second tenure in the Anfield hot seat, he won't regret taking the job. However, it would be fair to say that the owners most likely regret the appointment, particularly as it was made under such pressure from the club's supporters.
Dalglish's legend at Liverpool is unquestionable, but his legacy will be tainted by his failure to restore Liverpool to the Champions League at least. Liverpool's famous supporters must take a large portion of the blame for that undeniable fact.
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