Liverpool FC: Kenny Dalglish Frustration Finally Comes out over Fixture Pile Up
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Managers are never one to accept things with which they don't agree. That includes everything from their team's performance to the decisions from their board and even outside interferences that affect the welfare of their club and players.
48 hours of frustration
Liverpool's manager Kenny Dalglish has not taken kindly to the fact that Liverpool will play two games in the space of 48 hours. First they play a 4 p.m. kickoff in the Premier League at Anfield against Manchester City.
Two days later on Tuesday, they travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea in the quarterfinals of the Carling Cup.
The Scotsman has vented his anger at the cup competition’s handling of the matter and their refusal to change dates accordingly. Yet, on the week of international fixtures, a domestic feud has arisen between Liverpool and the Football League.
Of the eight managers coaching in the Carling Cup, it is only Dalglish that is dismayed by the fixture congestion. Granted, sides playing in the other quarterfinal fixtures have an extra day of rest between league and cup duties.
No word from City
While Dalglish has openly spoken of his disappointment in the Football League, Manchester City—whom Liverpool face two days prior—are in the same position. After travelling to Anfield, Roberto Mancini’s men travel to London to take on Arsenal in the Carling Cup.
Yet no word has been spoken of by the Italian, purely because of his strength in depth. With the likes of Mario Balotelli, Eden Dzeko and Samir Nasri likely to fill in at the Emirates, there’s no need to complain.
Perhaps Dalglish understands his squad’s depth isn’t expected to last two games in as many days.
The criticism has been aimed at the Football League’s inability to reschedule the match. The opportunity is there for Dalglish to question the Premier League and ask them to bring forward their match against City on Saturday.
Merseyside rivals Everton are away at Bolton so both sides playing at home would not be a problem for the police and security to take concern over.
The fact that Dalglish has persisted on playing Luis Suarez in every cup fixture reinforces how important the competition is and how serious he is taking it. Many critics point out how long Arsenal have gone without winning a trophy, when in truth Liverpool is just as disappointing.
Is there a hint of frustration that is boiling over for Dalglish, and this is an opportunity for him to let it come out. He has frustratingly seen his Liverpool side draw at home to Norwich City and Swansea City, both of which they could have just as easily lost.
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No matter how well both sides have fared this season in the Premier League, Dalglish, more than anyone, will know no newly promoted sides should be coming to Anfield and claiming a point, especially under his watch.
Again, this frustration could be escalating further, given Liverpool should have beaten Manchester United at Anfield. Failure to win those three home matches has seen his side’s hopes of finishing in the top four questioned.
Combine that with the re-occurrence of his inspirational captain, Steven Gerrard, Liverpool look one paced in the centre of the park. An over-reliance on Luis Suarez is becoming apparent; his body oozes class that his fellow teammates are failing to show.
With regards to the Carling Cup, Dalglish mentioned that both Liverpool and Chelsea have treated the competition with respect. The lack of rest would mean he would potentially be fielding youngsters in the competition.
Liverpool haven’t reached a Carling Cup final since 2005 when they were defeated by Tuesday’s opposition, Chelsea.
Manager Rafael Benitez hardly showed respect with the quality of players he fielded. Last season Roy Hodgson’s brief stint as manager saw his side dumped out of the competition in the fourth round by League Two outfit Northampton Town.
However, with Dalglish fielding a strong side in all of the rounds thus far, it is understandable he would make such a point.
The Reds face a couple of tough fixtures in the Premier League, starting with an away fixture at Chelsea. A week later they welcome Manchester City.
Following the Carling Cup fixture against the Blues, Dalglish’s men face equally tricky matches away at Craven Cottage against Fulham and then at home against a resurgent Queens Park Rangers, who were unlucky to lose to Tottenham.
With the winter period not far off, and games coming thick and fast, Dalglish will have no choice but to use his squad and rotate accordingly. It remains to be seen however if his side will also be in contention for the Carling Cup by that stage.
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