From comments read on this website, there is quite a divided thought on whether Kenny has been given enough time or not to deliver. After 18 months on the job and bringing in 8 first team and presumably established new faces through substantial investment, we have reaped a Carling Cup triumph, an FA Cup final heartache, entry back into European football through the back door, and in the same lapse of time, we have gone from 6th with 58 points in 2010/11, to 8th with 52 points (avoiding 9th only because we have a better goal average than Fulham) in 2011/12.
Dwelling on statistics a little longer and going back a little further, and just to make sure we get our facts right, we need to look at the final standings of the Reds in the last three seasons to have a grasp of whether we have progressed or not:
2009/2010 – W18/D09/L11 – F61/A35 = +26 – Points 63 (7th)
2010/2011 – W17/D07/L14 – F59/A44 = +15 – Points 58 (6th)
2011/2012 – W14/D10/L14 – F47/A40 = +07 – Points 52 (8th)
In the face of the above stats, we have to come to terms with reality in that in the last three seasons, the last season when Rafa Benitez was in charge translates to arguably the most solid. We won more, lost less, scored more, conceded less, and the final points tally was better. Unfair comparisons one could say, but these are the facts, and I am prone to say that we now seem to have been better when we were worse.
Now from facts to emotions! Many Reds, me included, will never want Kenny to be shown the door. Pragmatically, I’d prefer Kenny to walk away from the hot seat if it came to that, but with him visiting the owners in the US this week I reckon we will soon know where we stand as far as his confirmation at the helm is concerned. I am prone to think that Fenway will give him another season, because even though they are evidently not happy (having removed three top position execs) with some of the people that have been calling the shots, they know that Kenny is loved by the fan-base and Fenway will avoid disappointing the fans because they know what fans are what make a Club strong.
The phrases ‘we are still a works in progress’, or ‘give him time’ and ‘go support Chelski’ have a tendency to irk my rationale and this is where I start making mind boggling comparisons. From a personal standpoint these phrases only attempt to atone the discontent but a real football fan with his head on his shoulders and not buried in his ass is honest enough to figure out that a ‘works in progress’ means moving forward. Essentially and objectively, we have not moved forward!
Now I will go for a long shot attempt at making a direct comparison between two European greats: Liverpool and Juventus. Both finished 7th last season, both were out of European football and both were in a search for direction. Both Clubs needed to pick themselves up and while the Reds seem to have slipped a notch or two; Juventus have been superb, winning the Scudetto with a 38 unbeaten cavalcade and are in line to win the Coppa Italia next weekend (final with AC Napoli). They brought in Antonio Conte (who played 419 games for the bianconeri between 1991 and 2004 scoring 44 goals from midfield – nowhere near the legendary status of our King, but still a Juventus great), and he transformed them! Now this could be down to luck, it could be that the other Serie A greats fell short of expectations, but the job done in 12 months cannot most certainly be called a ‘works in progress!’ It is definitely ‘mission accomplished’. By the way, they are back in Champions League football again, with flying colours and not through the back door!
My personal standpoint is that bar a few exceptions, the players brought in with Kenny’s consensus (lest we forget) have either not delivered, been deployed badly or ultimately do not have the quality to deliver what Liverpool Football Club requires them to. I am also of the opinion that we are technically and tactically lacking (frankly inferior) and my take is that this will not change with the classic and simple wave of the magic wand. It may require a crack of the whip but without us being tactically and technically sound, innovative and progressive; we are not going to get anywhere! Question is, what can we objectively see changing if Kenny is in effect given more time?