By China Acheru
Not many Nigerians my age watched Kenny Dalglish play at the time he did for Liverpool but I was fortunate as a kid to live in Merseyside at the time and saw a few games (not live at the stadium of course).
The one that completely turned my life around was the 1979 FA Cup semi final between Liverpool and Manchester United.
That Liverpool side had the likes of Ray Clemence, Alan Hansen, Phil Thompson, Graeme Souness, Kenny Dalglish, Steve Heighway etc and it ended 2-2 with goals from Dalglish and Hansen but that was the turning point in my life.
I had become a Liverpool fan. Even though we went on to lose the replay, that goal scored by Jimmy Greenhorf, my sympathy laid with Liverpool.
My family returned to Nigeria but I continued to follow Liverpool through Shoot and Match magazines and scavenging on recordings of “The Big Match” I could get around I managed see through the career of one of the greatest, Kenny Dalglish who went on to win six first division titles, one FA Cup, four League Cups, five Charity Shields , three European Cups and one European Super Cup
As manager he also grabbed three first division titles, two FA Cups, one League Cup and two Charity shields making him the king of the Kop.
With the poor run of Roy Hodgson in his six months in charge, most faithful like me advocated for the return of King Kenny.
A few hours ago, we finally got our wish and the king is back.
But in our excitement have we asked ourselves what the club really wants for itself and what the fans also want?
Do we still see ourselves as the best club in the world or have our recent travails made us begin to look down on ourselves? Is it too late to make a strong showing in the EPL or is Kenny just coming in to pick up the pieces and nothing more?
Can we actually win at United on Sunday?
Is Kenny, as they say, out of touch with the game? Is he the “wrongest” of choices for the position of manager?
I have heard the voices of fans from England and in Nigeria where I live and most are happy with the return of the king; a few are a bit laid back not sure if he can really do the job because they say he has been out of it for at least a decade but one thing is certain- We have a man who knew how to win as a player and still knows how to win as a manager.
We also have a fan favourite, a man that the players will most definitely respect because they probably heard his legend.
A manager that would not be scared of taking on other managers and will not be scared to tell the players to go out and win games rather than mostly playing not to lose and eventually losing.
We have the king back at Anfield, back in the dugout. Does Kenny have the heart to go all out to win at United in less than 24 hours on the job?
Six months ago most fans of the club wanted the owners out of the way; a month ago most wanted the manager out.
Now there really seems to be nobody the fans want out so its down to the team to start the revival.
Truth be told I am not that optimistic we will win at Old Trafford because the manager cannot actually impose anything on the players but I know our revival has begun. Just watch this space.