Will Dalglish Survive
Liverpool received a morale boosting win away to Norwich as they prepare for their meeting with Chelsea in Saturday’s FA Cup Final.
Luis Suarez was the hero for the FA Cup Finalists, with his first ever hat-trick for Liverpool.
Suarez was in scintillating form as he caused the Norwich defence all sorts of problems, and his shooting was clinical as he punished Norwich for defensive mistakes.
But Suarez took all the plaudits for his 3rd goal of the night as it must be a contender for goal of the season.
Suarez executed an audacious lob from 40 yards perfectly to give him his hat-trick.
Another encouraging sight for Liverpool was the return of Steven Gerrard after he was rested for the West Brom match.
But another League defeat on Tuesday at home to Fulham was another disappointing result in this very poor League campaign.
Dalglish made 9 changes to the team that beat Norwich as he prepares for the FA Cup Final, but the performance was very poor as Fulham won at Anfield for the first time in their history.
But Liverpool has enjoyed tremendous success in this season’s Cup competitions, already winning the Carling Cup and looking forward to a FA Cup Final.
But, the contrast in form between the League and Cup competitions is baffling all concerned at Anfield.
Maybe Kenny Dalglish will need to capture the FA Cup to keep his job as this seasons’ League campaign has been nothing short of disastrous.
Frustrating League Form
Liverpool’s league form has been a major concern as they have failed to mount a challenge for a top four place and Champions League football.
A major problem for Liverpool has been their home form.
Liverpool have only scored 20 goals in 17 home games in the League this season, which is one of the worst records in the Premiership, with Bolton scoring the same amount of goals at home, and only West Brom, Aston Villa, Wigan and Wolves scoring fewer.
Liverpool have proved that they can win the “big” matches, but they have struggled to win against “lesser” teams, which has crippled them for success in the League.
Dalglish V Hodgson
Dalglish’s predecessor Roy Hodgson and his team coming out on top with a gritty, determined, smash and grab win over Liverpool last Sunday, in Roy Hodgson’s first return to Anfield since leaving last January.
The result just added insult to injury for Dalglish in this rollercoaster season.
The fact that the much maligned Roy Hodgson inflicted another defeat on Liverpool makes things harder to take.
The debate rages on about Dalglish improving Liverpool from Hodgson.
Hodgson came to Liverpool at a very difficult time, especially with the ownership saga, and not many peoples’ first choice for the job.
Hodgson never spent as much as Dalglish in transfers. It may have been his transfer policy, but it could also have been that he wasn’t financially backed the way Dalglish has been backed.
Hodgson spent £16.8 million plus 13 million Euros on Raul Meireles on transfer fees.
Where, so far Dalglish has spent well over £100 million on transfer deals.
But the difficult start for Hodgson was the biggest problem as he struggled to get results.
The supporters were not going to be patient with Hodgson the way that they are showing patience with Dalglish with his season of inconsistent results.
Dalglish has legendary status at Liverpool and many supporters find it hard to criticise his management skills.
Dalglish has brought in a lot of new players and spent a lot of money on them, but the jury is still out on most of his signings.
Dalglish has stubbornly persisted on playing new signings Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll, although they have all struggled for form.
But how many more chances does he give these players.
They have to start repaying the faith Dalglish has shown in them.
All season long Dalglish has defended his players against any criticism.
Many people ask if Liverpool have improved since Kenny took charge.
Of course they have, the squad is far stronger than before with the likes of Kuyt, Maxi, Bellamy and Jamie Carragher struggling to get into the team.
Dalglish has got the team playing a far more attractive passing style of football.
Work In Progress
There is no hiding the fact that results have not been good enough but in many matches Liverpool have been very unlucky and the statistic of hitting the woodwork proves this point.
Liverpool has hit the woodwork more than 30 times this season, which is more than any other Premiership side since the year 2000.
Another thing to remember is that Liverpool is “work in progress” and this should not be forgotten.
It was not that long ago that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was struggling to make a success of Manchester United.
For Dalglish to win silverware in his first full season back in charge, with the chance of more before the end of the season, is a tremendous achievement, considered it has been a while since Liverpool won anything.
Liverpool is not far away from getting it right. They are creating chances and at times they are playing teams off the park, but their only problem is that they are not putting away their chances.
So it was good to see such a convincing win at Carrow Road against Norwich.
But do the American owners think Dalglish is the right man to bring back the League title and Champions League football to Anfield, or is Dalglish on borrowed time until they get their man.