There is really no need to enter into the merit of this declaration made by Roy Hodgson, as in matter of a few months, he was proved totally and undeniably wrong! What Kenny Dalglish has done at Anfield since 8th January 2011 is nothing short of miraculous, and though many of us have religious belief in his capabilities, not many of us perhaps thought his influence would be this significant.
Let’s take a quick look at what has been achieved. The most conspicuous is the dramatic exit of Torres and the impressive entry and impact of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll. The Reds have played eight home games under the King and remain unbeaten, and remain mathematically in with a shot of European football which was only a mirage last December. We have seen the rampant rise of Liverpudlian blood in the form of Martin Kelly and Jay Spearing and more recently John Flanagan and Jack Robinson, with many other starlets waiting in the wings and beckoning for the right moment to shine. Ultimately he brought back the ingredients needed for a team like Liverpool to regain the regard and prestige it deserves: belief, pride, commitment and unity.
These facts, achieved in the space of a few months, and after inheriting a team that had lost any sense of direction or motivation, are the arguments that will convince FSG to confirm Kenny as permanent manager. It’s undoubtedly a no-brainer, and the benefits the Club will achieve are all interconnecting and may well be the catalyst to another great era of achievement by the Reds. All the first team players, those that really count (Pepe Reina included!) have claimed time and again that Kenny has brought a breath of fresh air into the dressing room. All could see how he cracked a joke with Jack Robinson before he came on at the Emirates, or how he called Flanno to the touchline to reassure him after his incident with Carra! That fatherly reassurance that gives both stars and the new blood the confidence needed is not something you learn at a UEFA course, it’s something you acquire over time, with experience, and which only a few are able to express it the way Kenny Dalglish does.
He is measured in his ways; he is measured in his declarations. This week he came out with some comments concerning Alberto Aquilani! The scope, in his customary soft-spoken manner, was to send a clear message to Juventus that ultimately, the Italian international midfielder remains a Liverpool player and that at the end of the day he would not mind having him back in his plans. Personally, I feel the Italian will stay with Juve, but Kenny threw his weight into the incumbent issue and in doing so put more pressure on the Old Lady to either come up with the funds and keep their side of the bargain.
Kenny Dalglish, in truth, is not Superman and not even a miracle-worker, yet his injection of passion and love for the Club have brought about a dramatic change, and this is only the beginning. Kenny is about to kick-start a new era. He is the perfect candidate to forge our up and coming starlets into future stars and more importantly successors to Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher. He has the team behind him, and he has the fans behind him. I have no doubt that the also has FSG behind him.
Kenny Dalglish has proved to Roy Hodgson that yes, taking the same team and the same players you can do a different job and achieve results he was not able to. And as we said, this is just the start.