The news comes after days of speculation in which a trip to Boston for a meeting with the Liverpool owners was reported to have not gone well. It shook the entire Kop empire which expected Kenny Dalglish to be given at least another season at the helm by the Fenway Sports Group.
The long wait of will he? Won’t he? has ended, leaving millions of Kopites heartbroken when Fenway Sports Group released this statement:
“Fenway Sports Group (FSG) and Liverpool Football Club announced that Kenny Dalglish is to leave his post today as manager after having his contract terminated. After a careful and deliberative review of the season, the club came to the decision that a change was appropriate. It is not a decision that was reached lightly or hastily. The search for a new manager will begin immediately.”
Dalglish, who was handed a three-year contract 12 months ago, having replaced Roy Hodgson on a caretaker basis in January, told the club’s website after the announcement by FSG: “It has been an honor and a privilege to have had the chance to come back to Liverpool Football Club as manager.”
“I would like to thank all of the staff at the club for their effort and loyalty. I said when first approached about coming back as manager that I would always be of help if I can at any time and that offer remains the same.”
“Finally, I want to put on record my heartfelt gratitude to Liverpool’s fans, who have always given me and the club their unwavering support. Without them neither the club nor I would have achieved anything.”
This season has been record-breaking at Anfield, but for all the wrong reasons. Eighth place in the Premier League, six points down on last year’s disappointment with the worst points total for almost six decades, behind Everton for the first time in seven years, just six wins at Anfield, a goal difference in single figures and striking the woodwork more than any other team in the season. Nobody will pretend that that is a good record for this club. Though, he helped Liverpool to its first trophy in six years by winning Carling cup and lead Liverpool FC to FA Cup final. That however was not good enough to convince the owners that things will improve next season.
His departure leaves the Merseyside Giants with a cloud of uncertainty as to who would be the new manager? What kind of funds will be provided to the new manager by FSG? Which player will leave and who will stay? What kind of tactic will the new manager impose? A lot of questions will need to be answered and a lot of changes will need to be made at Anfield. The coming 1-2 months in the red half of Merseyside will surely be chaotic.
So, what next for Liverpool?
The search for a new manager is on full swing, probably Roberto Martinez, Fabio Capello or Rafa Benitez might end up at Liverpool, unless they get Pep Guardiola, another manager who has been linked with the job at Merseyside. This is as likely as Liverpool getting Ronaldo or Messi. The other names like AVB, Paul Lambert, and Brendan Rodgers etc. just don’t sound too good for Liverpool neither do they have the experience of managing a big club bar AVB, who managed Chelsea but failed to deliver the results.
With a new manager comes new tactics, and with new tactics arises the need of new players who can fit into those tactics. No doubt money will have to be spent on bringing new players.
Liverpool will be playing in Europe albeit it’s Europa League, the second tier in European Club Competition and to be big name in Europe Liverpool will have to play total football capitalizing on anchor & utility players and hire coach with big clubs experience with networking of 1st class players (and not only relying on scout recommendation), assisted by coaching staff who have trained big club and big name players
What difference will it make?
If the lessons of this season have been learnt then a couple of under performers will surely be sold and new players will be brought in. Improvements in league form, especially home form which has been very disappointing last season, will be made. Better performance from the players, more passion and enthusiasm on the pitch and a better finish to the League, which can be achieved should the new manager get the tactics and players right. If that happens then I don’t see any supporter complaining although I see Kenny still being missed.
Alternatively, it could go all wrong and the same empty vessels will continue to ring, the manager will be under pressure at a big club that expects to be at the top 4, the over-priced players once again unable to perform due to the price tag, the fans would want the title or Champions League spot not domestic trophies. If that happens then what will be FSG’s action? Sack the new manager? That probably would be the first action. FSG is showing its intentions in re-building Liverpool as a major trophy winning club; their sacking of Kenny was a confirmation of it. Kenny had a mediocre league performance though he achieved success in domestic cups, main target however was to reach Champions League, which he failed to do so and by a substantial margin. If they can sack a legend despite huge and constant calls for supports from all corners then they surely mean business. To them, performance is everything and if you fail to deliver the results you are out. Aggressive but makes sense as well. The only concern however is this might cause Liverpool to develop into a club like Chelsea and City who change players and coaches at will, which would be very disappointing.
I would have liked another season for Kenny but it’s not up to me. So, I will get behind the new man, whoever he will be. But what difference will it make if the new man doesn’t have us in the top four all season? Will the voices shout for him to be sacked? What if the new signings take time to gel? What if we lose one or more of our big players again? Question and doubts still rule my mind but as I have always said “If it’s not happy then it’s not end, It’s just the beginning of good things to come”.
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