Liverpool FC Managerial Conundrum: Is It Time To Bring Back Kenny Dalglish?
The short tenure of Roy Hodgson as Liverpool manager has been riddled with poor results and poor performances.
All that I can count during his reign is approximately 60 minutes of football that was worth watching: 45 minutes against Chelsea and 15 against Manchester United.
The rest has been utterly forgettable.
Unlike with the previous manager, Rafa Benitez, the opinion amongst fans is more or less shared. Roy Hodgson is not a suitable manager for Liverpool FC and needs to go. He is a wrong fit for the club in too many ways.
The things he has said conflict the ideals of the fans. No previous Liverpool manager would ever admit concern for the star striker to be poached by Manchester United, no previous manager would ever attack the fans for lack of support and no previous manager would be seen having a cosy little exchange with Alex Ferguson at the Wigan vs Newcastle game.
It is not The Liverpool Way.
Many will argue that the fans berating the manager is not The Liverpool Way either, but this is an exceptional case. Bill Shankly once said that it is the people that matter, and if the people aren't happy, then something is going wrong.
Roy Hodgson refuses to take responsibility for his part in Liverpool's atrocious season and his attitude, arrogance, outdated tactics and lack of commitment to acknowledging the mindset and attitude of the fans have made him the number one culprit.
Many "experts" and Roy himself have blamed the previous manager for leaving behind poor playing staff. The majority of those players finished second in the table in 2008/2009 and demolished Real Madrid. The majority of those players are fully fledged internationals, two of them are World Cup winners.
The only major omissions from the scintillating side of two years ago are Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso.
Rafa Benitez did not buy Paul Konchesky and Christian Poulsen who are the two poorest players to pull on the Liverpool shirt since El Hadji Diouf and Rigobert Song. Roy had better players and a better infrastructure (now) to work with than at Fulham and most managers would thrive at the opportunity, rather than transfer the same outdated philosophy and refuse to take responsibility when the going got tough.
His conduct has been despicable. The players may publicly back him but I doubt more than two or three actually believe in what Roy is doing.
So it seems inevitable, thankfully, that Roy Hodgson will not be Liverpool manager for much longer (barring a miracle and given that the next three fixtures are away to Blackburn, Manchester United and Everton, don't count on it).
And now the search has begun for his successor. The owners have a very difficult decision to make and their next move will be crucial to the future of the club.
Stick with Roy until the end of the season and irreparable damage could be done, and the backing of the fans will be lost (again, barring a miracle).
Hire Kenny Dalglish and the fans will be elated and the players most likely galvanised, but if Kenny doesn't do the job, then his reputation will be tarnished.
Hire Rafael Benitez and the fan base will be split, the players who didn't like him will be disillusioned and the media slaughter of him will continue.
Hire Ralf Rangnick or a similar manager unfamiliar with the English game and it could be a stroke of genius or a catastrophe.
Hire a manager like Owen Coyle or Sam Allardyce and expect attendances to dip even lower than Saturday's 35,400.
For me, hiring Kenny Dalglish as a short to mid-term solution would be the best option, and see which managers are available in the summer. Kenny is a club legend and the fans adore him. The players respect him and he has won the Premier League.
Granted, that was in 1995 and it is clear that Liverpool don't have a chance in hell of winning the title this season, but he has a better record than Hodgson. I doubt he has lost his managerial abilities, despite a lengthy break and he has been involved in the club for quite a while now.
Giving Kenny a chance to steady the ship and turn this abomination of a season into something respectable is not beyond his ability. Despite what Roy may say, there is a decent squad to work with, there are no more politics at the top (that we know of) and so Kenny and Damien Comolli could work to make some useful additions in the January transfer window.
He is the tonic that the fans and players so desperately need. He understands the club and most importantly, he understands the fans.
If there's one thing I've noticed is that this current group of players respond to the atmosphere around the club: If there is disdain and dissent (as with the tenure of Hicks and Gillett and now the management of Roy) their performance will suffer no matter how hard they try; if there is positivity and inspiration, they can achieve anything.
The winning run when Hicks and Gillett were ousted as owners, and the improbable win over Spurs last January after the fans gathered outside the stadium in a display of solidarity towards the manager are two glaring examples.
The appointment of Kenny Dalglish, I feel, would have this effect.
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