Those that thought Kenny’s removal as manager was not a possibility must be living in another universe. FSG started ‘cracking the whip’ (as I have a habit of writing) as the season came to a close rather progressively and aggressively. Comolli, Bruckner, Cotton and now Dalglish have all been unceremoniously removed which means that the ownership is looking at a new chapter and which also translates to the owners not having been entirely convinced that ‘the project’ was going to work. In my view, the outcome was written on the wall for some weeks: expect Steve Clarke and Kevin Keen to be shown the door as well once the new manager is announced, and do NOT be surprised to see Jamie Carragher joining the coaching staff (depending on who is appointed).
It is very unwise to slag off the owners for having come to this decision. These people want the best for the Club because they also want to protect their investment, and possibly enhance it. Lest we forget that these people saved us from possible administration and more importantly from being mocked by the media and rival clubs. They probably came to the conclusion that Comolli brought in players with Kenny’s consensus and that the general overhaul did not bear the desired fruit. I had written on many occasions that the target was Champions League football and I have a gut feeling that even though this target was not achieved by a long margin, winning the FA Cup final might have saved Kenny his job. Perhaps it was not meant to be. Kenny managed to uplift everyone emotionally, fans included, but he arguably did not succeed in giving the team the necessary technical and tactical impetus that would have translated in achieving consistency, which was without a shadow of a doubt the teams main issue this past season! The Reds alternated scintillating performances with outrageous ‘no-shows’ from one game to another, culminating in a final 8th League position. My take is that losing the FA Cup Final and especially not landing a Champions League berth translated into the owners opting to clean the slate and go for a fresh start.
Many seem to be terrified of what is to come, but I am not that pessimistic. Kenny will still be around and he will remain part of whatever happens at LFC. Now the Reds will have a new manager, and whether it will be AVB, Martinez, Rodgers, Capello, O’Neill, Klopp or some other candidate (including Benitez), the fans’ desire, unlike in the case of Kenny’s appointment, will have absolutely no bearing on it. What the fans will need to do is, unlike in the case of Roy Hodgson, give the new manager time to stamp his blueprint on the team and give him their unconditional backing and support. Let’s face it, if we are perfectly honest with ourselves, the team gave some disgraceful performances under Roy, but they gave us some embarrassing performances under Kenny as well. We adore if not worship Kenny, so many negative aspects were forgiven and we closed an eye if not both on many an occasion.
Now I am eager to see who is going to be the next Gaffer! Personally, and forgive me if I am not of anyone’s opinion, I’d prefer a Brendan Rodgers to a Capello. Word of warning: what Klopp did at Dortmund and what Guardiola did at Barcelona are NOT that easily transferable. So those that might foolishly think that bringing in a manager would see the Reds playing the same way as the team that manager had just left is nothing short of wishful thinking. If Klopp was to bring his first eleven with him than that possibility is more likely. You cannot replicate a recipe without the exact same ingredients, and even then a lower flame might make a difference to the flavor.
If the new manager, whoever it may be, gets just a fraction of the support and affection Kenny got during his 18 month stint, then we may, just may, have a chance of kick-starting a new era and a new cycle that should propel the Club to the higher levels of football hierarchy it so rightly deserves to be amongst! I’d love to see Jamie taking up the assistance manager role though……..!
The news that Liverpool had approached Wigan for Roberto Martinez came out yesterday evening. I read a statement by Gary McAllister that said ‘There is also the problem of whether he can attract the type of player that Liverpool need to get into the Champions League. I think it’s more in today’s game. I think in the past Liverpool was Liverpool but now I think that top players are attracted by top managers, managers that have been and done the distance. I’m a fan of Martinez, don’t get me wrong, but he’s battling away at the wrong end of the league for his entire Premier League career.”
Could be true Gary, but in the last three seasons we had Benitez, Hodgson and Dalglish, and we did attract top-dollar stars, almost two dozen of them! We did not however obtain Champions League football so perhaps your reasoning here does not hold that much water. Note that Klopp with Dortmund built a team that played high-pressure football that no one could keep up with, culminating with a 5-2 crushing of mighty Bayern Munich in the German cup final: not many star players in the Dortmund line-up I believe…and if there are, they weren’t when they first got their! In the end today’s game is in the running and the tactics, not really in the primadonnas! I am in no way promoting the candidature of Martinez, and I am sure the Club will speak to a few pretenders before a final decision is taken.
On a final note, thank you Kenny! Thank you for what you have done in the past, the present, and what you will be doing for our beloved Club in the future. Because no one is greater than the Club, but you are part of its successful history and its legacy and that speak volumes of what the fans think of you!