This time last year, few Liverpool fans were looking forward to the upcoming season with new manager Roy Hodgson at the helm. Benitez had left after a six-year spell and Hodgson, who had just taken Fulham to the Europa League final, was expected to steady the Anfield ship.
However with owners Hicks and Gillett still in charge, Hodgson was given only tight purse strings and some of his poorer signings included Paul Konchesky and Christian Poulsen. He only lasted six months in charge as Liverpool endured their worst start to the season in over fifty years. Hicks and Gillett were also soon out to be replaced by New England Sports Ventures under John W. Henry.
Kop legend, Dalglish was given the job in order to turn round the fortunes on the pitch while ensuring the support from the Anfield faithful. He took them to a sixth place finish, bringing through numerous young players to help a shattered squad while still adding in January.
Damien Comoli was brought in as Director of Football to head the club’s recruitment process and since the start of 2011, they have added talent to a squad that needed refreshing after the end of Benitez’s six-year term.
With the scars of Hicks and Gillet’s time in charge still remaining at Anfield, this summer has been about trying to remove these marks and to start looking to the future. Kenny has been given all the funds he requires by Henry who is obviously willing to support him in order to achieve success but has he done enough?
Breaking the £35m British transfer record to secure Andy Carroll, paying an estimated £16m for Jordan Henderson, picking up Charlie Adam for £9m and spending £20m to sign Stewart Downing are some of the names who have signed. Now that these players have been secured in 2011, spending has reached over £80m.
PFA Player of the year nominate, Adam was always going to leave Blackpool after their relegation, Henderson was linked with a move to Old Trafford but they baulked at Sunderland’s valuation and Downing is a natural winger who has the ability to support Carroll. Kenny now has a pleasant selection dilemma in midfield and it is likely that a few players will be leaving permanently or a long term loan to get some first team football.
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