The dethroning of King Kenny proves again that there are no long term strategies when it comes to the management level of top flight football.
Plan A was given 16 turbulent months; now what we all are anxious to see is what FSG will have in store for plan B.
From the time of writing we have been strongly linked with Roberto Martinez who put the feelers out on his twitter account asking his followers if they want him to stay at Wigan. What followed was a flurry of Reds requesting him to stay put. Having sat in on one or two of his press conferences I found the Latics boss to be an engaging, forward thinking strategist one who is obviously a talented manager but what concerns most of us is that his only Premier League experience is keeping Dave Whelan’s side afloat in the top league which is the limit of their ambitions.
John Henry and co have found themselves in a position where there next move is crucial to their standing in the hearts and minds of Kopites. Parting company with the biggest legend the club have needed to be done in a sensitive delicate fashion. Only a few know what was said in the meeting in Boston: did Kenny go over on his own accord to discuss his future? Or was he summonsed? If it was the latter which I suspect, it was a clear show of intent and ruthlessness by the ownership. The official line from Henry justifies the talk that he was pushed was summed up in a pragmatic but respectful way: “He [Dalglish] is in many ways the heart and soul of the club (but) our job is to identify and recruit the right person to take this club forward”.
But is Martinez the man to do this or what about others who we have been linked with such as Chelsea flop Andre Villas Boaz? This is a man who comes across a few degrees colder than the Wigan man, the Portuguese native never really had a grip on the Chelsea dressing room, albeit a petulant self-serving one at that. He has pedigree – leading FC Porto to the UEFA Cup – and youth on his side but does he fit a side which badly needs unity and direction with self belief hemorrhaging from the side and players unsure where their futures lie.
Whoever gets the nod will certainly be aware that over the last 2 years the club has regressed in reputation. As fans we sneer at clubs like Chelsea and Real Madrid notorious for their trigger happy custodians but I fear that we are in danger of following this trend. Long term planning for short term goals is the way our owners seem to work and I understand that when there is large investment patience and loyalty is severely tested when it does not show value.
What will happen next will be another series of upheavals. The owners have rejected Steve Clarke’s request to leave – this will surely bring complications as the new man will certainly want to have his own people around him which may leave the Scottish coach in the wilderness. With Dalglish gone and Gerrard and Carragher in their twilight years the club’s identity is slowly on the wane. The new man needs to be strong enough to filter his personality through the club like his predecessor did when he lifted us from our post-Hodgson stupor, for him to do this he needs the most precious and rare commodity in football: TIME. Investment is all well and good but if it is not nurtured over a number of years every year will be the same with a clamour to build it up and break it back down with every new manager wanting his own players, staff etc thus further diluting the aura of this great club.
I do hope that next time FSG will find the man to lead us on a long term basis or at least be allowed to honour his contract, this consistency should eventually give us the time to build the club back to where we belong.
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