Kenny Dalglish has been sacked as the manager of Liverpool Football Club after just 16 months in the job.
He did get Liverpool's first trophy in six years when Liverpool beat Cardiff on penalties in the Carling Cup Final. He reached another final when Liverpool beat their Merseyside neighbor, Everton, in the FA Cup semifinal. The Reds played at Wembley thrice this season, but all this failed to sugarcoat a dismal performance in the league where Liverpool finished eighth, 37 points behind title winners Manchester City and 18 points behind the last of the Champions League places (third-placed Arsenal).
By my own admission, this article is being written a little late, but then, as they say, better late than never. Let us get to the two views about the sacking being a boon or a curse then.
Being an optimist, I think it is more a boon rather than a curse. But let us first focus on why it might prove to be a curse.
Firstly, managerial stability is important to get the players to believe in the project and possible success at the end of the tunnel. Players after all want to represent their national sides and win medals—besides earning ridiculous sums of money that they now take for granted.
Secondly, a new manager will have to bed in really quickly to meet the demands of the owners, or we shall be looking for candidates to fill in important positions again next summer.
Thirdly, the players will take time to get used to the system and new philosophy.
Finally, the new manager will have to try to get the crowd and fans on his side as soon as possible.
Kenny Dalglish is a legend, and you do not sack a legend. Not when the Reds' fans justify the true meaning of "fan" stemming from the word "fanatic."
This I believe will be the major problem and leaves FSG confined to finding big-name managers rather than your next-door Roberto Martinez.
It is a similar offense that Liverpool's PR team committed while handling the Suarez-Evra episode. A bad job was done then, and something in a similar vein has just been repeated by FSG and John Henry. So much for learning from your mistakes.
All is not doomed, though, fellow Reds. There are many positives to be taken into the next season when a new manager takes Liverpool Football Club's reins.
Firstly, one would hope that the new manager will not accept mediocrity and instead play the players on merit. Kenny Dalglish kept on playing certain players even when they were not quite performing. He was stifled by their price tags actually and ought to have shown some bottle.
Secondly, Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez, players that are by no means finished, will take an interest in who will be appointed. They will want to cement their place again and will work hard as ever. This will—or should, anyway—inspire Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing to work for their place in the team, and in the process, the manager will get more out of them.
Thirdly, LFC has some great talent on loan at the moment. If Kenny Dalglish had remained, one could not see the likes of Alberto Aquilani getting a chance or returning, despite what had been mentioned in the press.
With a new manager in charge, everyone will gear up for next season, and the competition for places will be immense. Time to raise your game Mr. Charlie Adam; you are no longer a guaranteed starter. I also heard somewhere that Dani Pacheco is about to return after a disappointing loan spell. The lad is only starting his career and may yet prove to be a great player. The potential is at least there for everyone to see.
Moving on, I believe the new manager will know so much about what went wrong and what needs to be improved at LFC. I do agree that Kenny Dalglish would have the same knowledge at present, but a different perspective guarantees change. A recycling of the same thoughts within the same mind do not quite result in a varied end product most of the time.
Things that went wrong include dealing with the media, tactics to break down we'll-park-the-bus-at Anfield teams, finishing, crossing and getting players inside the box, along with retaining possession, building attacks and scoring goals.
Kenny Dalglish knew all this when the awful run at the turn of the year started. Yet, he was only able to address the problem of dealing with the media, something again that seems to have been dictated to him by John Henry rather than by his own opinion.
The new manager will also have an incredible, budding youth setup that is on the threshold of reaping rewards.
I doubt Kenny Dalglish's persistence with his expensive signings would have stopped and so the youth would have suffered. He hardly showed ruthlessness towards the players and supported them wholeheartedly.
The players betrayed him and were, to a large extent, responsible for his sacking. He was all for his players and did not want to alienate any one.
Sadly, the players did not repay the trust. But as the money in the game has grown, the style of managing players has also changed. Kenny went the old-fashioned way, and it did not prove productive.
Finally, I think players are receptive to change in a footballing philosophy whenever a new manager comes in.
Under Kenny Dalglish, many a time, it seemed that the players were confused. A huge reason for this might have been the constant changing of tactics and philosophy. Kenny was under huge pressure, and adding to this pressure were his expensive signings who were misfiring.
When a manager tries to change his philosophy mid-season, I think players lose faith in him, as he is perceived to lack conviction in his own methods. So let us hope that the new manager will bring in fresh ideas and stick to them. Formations can vary, but the philosophy has to remain uniform—preferably to attack and score a lot of goals.
Thanks for reading.
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