If Liverpool fans are struggling to know what the hell they were doing when they cheered the signing of Kenny Dalglish, John Henry must be feeling about one hundred and fifty million times more confused.
Liverpool sit 15 points away from a top four finish and even the grueling 18 game campaign of the financially unflattering Europa Cup seems desperately out of reach.
Dalglish supporters will immediately point to the Carling Cup. You know, that pot Steven Gerrard waved briefly in a somewhat embarrassed fashion at Anfield that time. You know, that pot that Liverpool won by beating the nation’s finest, Cardiff. A game that was nigh on unwatchable and had it not been for penalties could have gone on until on until four in the morning without a result.
Offering this trophy and the manner it was obtained to Liverpool fans as a crumb of comfort for this non event of a season is like throwing a drowning man a bag of crisps. Not enough air in the bag to save him and a lousy last meal.
So what’s the problem been? It’s quite simply Dalglish himself.
The bulk of the players brought in might well have been hugely expensive, but it’s difficult to recall many cries of, ‘rip off!’ and, ‘don’t do it!‘ at the time they were bought. Sure, you pay a premium for English players but all the guys Liverpool shipped in were wanted by many many other clubs.
Are you honestly telling me that Liverpool had a bit of bad luck and accidentally bought millions and millions of pounds worth of lemons in one go? I just don’t buy it. That’s not simply bad luck, that’s the conspiracy theory to eclipse all conspiracy theories.
No, the problem is Kenny.
The Suarez business was an embarrassment not just to the club but football as a whole. The voices of support for Suarez were by and large all the same; barrack room lawyers with a sudden expert knowledge and comprehensive understanding of all things cultural and linguistic.
The singular fact of that particular matter was that both the football authorities and the owners of LFC weren’t interested in any of the cobblers being wielded as worthy argument and swiftly banned and told the little rat-man respectively to apologize and keep it zipped in future.
The whining and victim culture that was allowed into Melwood and Anfield wasn’t just abhorrent but it was devaluing the brand, day by day, hour by hour. Where a wise and considered man would have brought the player to heel, Dalglish only served to fan the flames steering Liverpool’s reputation further and further down the toilet.
Kenny talking on football itself has become a pitiful watch. His churlish and witless exchanges with the press are now an all too predictable and unfunny joke. I always warmed to Dalglish when dealing with journalists in the past. He invariably displayed wit, a dry Celtic reticence and an underlying intelligence. He never suffer fools, but equally he never left himself exposed as he has to ridicule.
These days he is about as inventive as a hard done by 6 year old. Something as benign as, “What do you think Andy Carroll will think about that performance, today? will now be greeted a rapier line such as, “I don’t know what he’s thinking, you’ll have to ask him, won’t you?”
Oh, sorry Kenny, it’s just that you’re paid millions to manage a globally adored football club and the fans across the world might have been interested in some insight from you… I guess that was too great an ask.
You strip away the myth, the footballing legend and you’re left with an increasingly bitter and humourless man who has failed to bare the burden of expectation and seems overshadowed by the achievements that now seem to haunt not support him.
Dalglish’s lack of grace isn’t the burning issue, most football fans don’t care how charming their manager is, they want him to first and foremost simply be a great manager.
And that’s my last nail in this argument shaped coffin that says he ought be dismissed.
Liverpool have not been equal to the sum of their parts. And football is not a complicated game…. History is littered with sides that ‘dramatically’ improved by changing their manager and that’s what John Henry & Co. should do sooner rather than later.
I’m not a fan of chopping and changing managers every 5 minutes. But Dalglish is a lost clause. There’s not a hope in hell of his current squad picking up and delivering what’s expected. Not a hope.
If it was your money would you give him another £50 come August? No, me neither.