Of how much I’ve seen football and read about it (I’m sure it’s a lot less than enough) I’ve learnt one thing. To bring success to a club, you need a very stubborn manager with the faith of the board and time on his hand OR an owner who’s willing to splash cash every time the transfer window starts to creak open. At Liverpool, we have learnt to go with the former.
The next few paragraphs are my opinion why Kenny Dalglish will still be a success if given the backing.
A lot of us want Rafa Benitez back. I love the man, and would love to see him back one day, but not yet. Well, a look at how Rafa started his Liverpool Managerial Career.
One thing we know about Rafa is he is stubborn. And that’s what made him a great manager. When he came in, he brought the zonal marking system. He was criticised for it left right centre by media and fans alike. They said ‘england is no place for zonal marking’. Every time Liverpool conceded a set piece, the asian pundits (the only ones I have access to) blamed zonal marking for it (Jamie Reeves did not. Fair play to him). But Rafa stuck to it. And it soon turned out to be something we grew so fond of.
Then comes the role of holding mid-fielder. Rafa brought in Sissoko and kept playing him in that play breaking role. Again, he was criticised. He was apparently ‘wasting a player’. For all I remember, Mommo only made back passes and diagonal passes. But he created that role. It was no co-incidence that Mascherano went on from a surplus in west ham utd squad to Argentina national team’s captain.
Rafa had another criticism to his name. It was playing Steven Gerrard out of position. I fairly remember a lot of sighs and grunts that England’s favourite midfielder went from right wing to left wing to at times right back. But then Rafa found the right place for him. And oh well, how it worked.
Rafa also brought in the 4-2-3-1 formation. Most of us had not heard of it. But inspite all the negative comments, even the ‘great’ Alex Ferguson used it a couple of times.
I’m pointing all this out to draw comparisons. Rafa was adamant and stubborn in his ways. He wanted things his way, he wanted the team to play football his way and he stuck to his philosophies. And that’s what Kenny is all about. Yes, he plays players out of positions, brings subs only after the 70 min mark (like Rafa did it at 60′), makes baffling substitutions (again like Rafa many a times.. I pulled my hair in frustration when Smicer came on in 2005 finals ). But Kenny is fix on his philosophies. He has known Liverpool play pass and move football during his time and he will not settle for anything else. And that kind of football takes more time than anything else.
Have a look at our arch rivals (far too tempted to go for the word enemies). It took 6 years and the faith in a strong headed stubborn man Ferguson before they got anywhere.(How I wish they hadn’t been patient)
Barcelona started their quest to pass and move football under the regime of their previous manager and are world beaters today under Mr. Pep. It did not happen overnight. We went to their home and beat them just 6 years back. And not with our strongest team.
As far as money spending is concerned, Kenny was / is trying to fix a team still hurting from the loss of Alonso and a much maligned walk out by Torres.
United’s 92 batch produced their greats. Barcelona waited patiently to develop Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and likes. They required patience.
Kenny Dalglish is a man of self belief, a man who has tasted success, a man who definitely knows what it takes to achieve it. Also, he’s a man who’s in love with our football club. Like the other managers and teams mentioned above, Kenny has his set ideas and philosophies. He has his own style of players (a big centre forward in his every title winning side) So who’s to say when these philosophies are drilled into his players, Liverpool won’t be on the rise again.
Maybe these are facts, maybe it’s my blind love for the man. But this is my 2 pence on why Mr. Kenneth Dalglish will be a success story. AGAIN.