Kenny is still the King of the Kop

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Quite bizarrely, a section of the Liverpool support turned on manager Kenny Dalglish both during and after Sunday’s 4-0 thumping by Tottenham Hotspur. In what is possibly the most defining ever statement on the fickleness of the modern game, a man who has revitalised from a team heading more towards the bottom half than the Champions League to genuine top four contenders, felt the brunt of the supporters frustration as the goals reined in.

Setting aside the question of how a man can go from being a legendary saviour to an unwanted parasite in the space of two defeats, the blame can hardly be laid at the feet of the manager for Sunday’s capitulation. Dalglish picked an attacking side, opting for a front pairing of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll and, while this may be considered naive in the modern game it is a refreshing change from the approach adopted under Rafa Benitez.

The blame most certainly lay with those in Liverpool shirts on Sunday. After falling behind to a stunning strike from Luka Modric, Liverpool shot themselves in the foot with indiscipline. Charlie Adam’s first booking may have been soft, but his reckless lunge on Scott Parker was madness and he can have no complaints at being sent packing.

A man down and a goal down, Liverpool’s task was nigh on impossible. Make no mistake about it, Spurs at White Hart Lane are arguably second only to Manchester United when they have their tails up. The quality is rife throughout the Spurs squad and they are looking very good for (at least) a 4th place finish this season.

Supporters can blame Dalglish, but it wasn’t him who made the needless challenge on Gareth Bale to pick up a second booking and leave his teammates high and dry. It wasn’t him who spilled a relatively simple shot at goal, allowing Emmanuel Adebayor to seal the game with Spurs 3rd goal.

Just as supporters shouldn’t turn on Dalglish, neither should they panic. This was just a bad day at the office for Liverpool and while back to back defeats has tempered some of the early season optimism, both were very difficult games.

With captain Steven Gerrard set to return this week to add to the quality of Suarez, Stuart Downing and Carroll and new boy Sebastian Coates still settling into defensive duties, Liverpool have plenty to be optimistic about.

A top four finish is in my opinion not likely as I believe Spurs are more advanced than the Reds, but we are definitely in the right direction and Dalglish has my full confidence to continue steering the ship back to where it belongs.

Written by Colin Hill, a sports writer who blogs about Serie A jerseys.

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  1. Totally agree about the ridiculous doubters of KK after two bad results. I think its pathetic that people are so fickle they can doubt him so quickly.

    But I disagree in that he did make some mistakes and was partly to blame for the loss.
    I think he should have put Flanno on after Skrtel’s first booking- anyone could see Skrtel was going to get a second yellow before too long, he was having a bad day and looking shaky.

    Also, he should have had Bellamy and Kuyt on much earlier for Carroll and Henderson. I think he’s trying to get Andy’s confidence up by giving him game time, but he’d do better doing that after we’ve gone a goal or two up, rather than starting him.

    He’s a great manager but like anyone, he can make mistakes.

    1. Spot on mate. The players were to blame but Kenny made numuerous mistakes with team selection and even once the game was well under way. As you pointed out Skrtel was being ripped apart by Bale. You could see it was not working within the first 5 mins. I also dont understand the selection of Carrol and Henderson. IMO they should be getting eased into the team when we are 1 or 2 goals up as at the moment their confidence is shot to pieces. Kenny keeps saying that players will be chosen on form and merit instead of their previous accomplishments yet he contradicts himself by insisting on playing these 2. They have been non existant for the whole 5 games other than the win at Bolton where Henderson finally showed some grit. How either of those 2 start ahead of Kuyt and Bellamy and Maxi is beyond me. They have done nothing to ‘merit’ their inclusions and playing them simply because massive money has been sent is not justifiable. The fact is it will cost us a lot more in revenue from champions league qualificatoin if he keeps naming these players and we keep dropping points.

      I dont have a problem with him making mistakes and I dont want to say too much cause he has pulled the club up from where we were a year ago but so far the signings and team selections are looking really poor.

      1. Really you guys have got to be kidding me. When Roy H was tactically inept did we blame the players?

        KK messed up again as he did 3 outa 5 games. When Man u palyed spurs, fergie had enof sense to detail his team to mark Bale in twos. But KK left it for Sktel only, becos he had to play Henderson :-).

        Africa is doing badly economically becos of nepotism and entitlement mentality; this is what KK is breeding into liverpool with Adam, Henderson, Carra, Carroll. Imagine him saying of aqua, ‘ we couldnt get him into the team’, but there was space for henderson and adam, and HE most likely asked mereiles to hand in a request bcos henderson must play.

        It all a big joke that is not funny! If its not working in Africa, i watch to see if KK can defy the odds!

  2. KK was to blame for the loss, he is the manager he chooses the team and he agrees to buy the players. End of the day we faltered and he didn’t make the right changes even after this happened. He brought about a huge turnaround with the team last year all it needed was a tweak here and there and he changed the whole format, our highest scorer on the bench our creative midfield sold or sent away, yes he did a fantastic job but why change it, it doesn’t make sense and every one would understand if Hendo does not play for a while he is for the future not for NOW. as for Andy send him to the reserves for a while where he will shine and get his confidence back

  3. There will always be a contingent of irrational supporters in any fan base and given the enormity of the LFC fan base it is to be expected. A few uneducated comments on social networking forums since Sunday has been blown out of all proportion and is giving the impression that there is a swelling number of fans doubting the King’s credentials when this is not the case, indeed the travelling supporters loudly and proudly chanted “Dalglish” continuously at the end of the game and therefore reference to these ignorant few should not be referred to as this gives them encouragement to continue.

  4. So how many defeats should we go through to realize something is wrong? To lose 1-0 would be acceptable but 4-0? It’s ridiculous.. A lot of money has been invested during the summer and some claim that we are buying the future, but it’s not the future we need right now, we need something for right now. 19 years is along time and how much more time do we need? It’s hard to held my head up high when every time u were promise something great u ended up disappointed. Believe me, I’m a Liverpool die hard fan and waking up in the morning after that lost I don’t know where to put my face.

    During the game I saw that our midfield is not putting pressure as the spurs players playes the ball around, our defender plays a deep line (blames Carragher for this, coz he is too slow to play up high) which give more space to the opponents to exploit. Downing and Suarez doesnt see much of the ball due to Adam lack of creativity. Andy Carroll needs to develop even more to warrant a starting place. What pains me most is putting so much faith on Adam and selling Meireles and loaning out Aqualani. We lack depth and the best alternative that we’ve got is Kuyt and Bellamy which non a central midfield player. Let’s remember this mistakes and hope no lost would come to our side anymore. In my opinion the starting eleven should be like this Reina Enrique Coates Agger Kelly Lucas Adam Gerrard Downing Suarez Bellamy 4-3-3.


  5. How the hell we paid 20m for Henderson, 35m for Carrol, 7 for Adam and let a gems like parker/Adebayor go to spurs for peanuts, sold good player Meireless and let Aqua go for free beats the s#@t outa me!!Everyone connected to LFC is led to believe what a great job Commoli/ Kenny have done at the transfers!!! REALITY CHECK everyone!!

  6. Great points Tony! Agree KK shldn’t be abused. He is and always will be a Legend – no doubt about it. However if we aren’t able to analyse whats going wrong how can we be expected to improve!! And if we are all genuine fans then we should all want to improve!

    Hendo looks like a CM being played out wide and we need natural width, two out and out wing men. Been impressed with Downing as I have Enrique; both look great signings. UTD play with creativity, movement, and fluidity to they’re game with great interplay from they’re wide men – this enables them to stretch defences really well and create lots of chances for the strikers. We need to incorporate this into our ethos too and get the balance right. Carroll and Suarez would benefit massively from two out and out wide men.

    Unfortunately as much as I have been a massive, massive fan of Carra – his pace is looking suspect; he gave way to two metres in the lead up to the penalty at Stoke, and whilst i’ve always loved his no nonense approach and physical endeavour his distribution is also not the best and it was the same last season. It might be time for a change, the purchase of Coates seems to also suggest the management see him as his long term successor.

    Regarding Sundays game – the obvious mistakes for me were Skrtel’s inclusion at RB and whilst we were short on the ground; a better option may have been to use Enrique here and Agger at LB instead, I also think Skrtel may have dealt with Adebayor better than any other of our CB options that day!

    The other factors for me in this result was the need to get subs on before 68 mins especially when the team is having to work even harder physically due to only having and 9 players and the delay probably cost us more goals! And thats where I think the frustration comes from as well as the points dropped against Sunderland, and Stoke. I would have opted for Bellamy and Kuyt to come on for they’re exceptional work rate myself, however it did also seem that Kenny wanted to leave Carroll on for both fitness and confidence; which i understand.

    Bellamy could provide us with great pace and width for us going forward so whilst we aren’t spoilt with an abundance of natural width and tricky i’d like to see him and downing used out wide and Hendo battling with Lucas and Adam for a CM position instead.

    There’s question marks over the prices paid, however I also know that I am excited by the prospect of the squad! When we signed Carroll he had scored 11 goals from 17 starts for Newcastle – we just need to support him with good service, but service that’s going to benefit his game – a ball over the top isn’t going to suit him; however players beating defenders and providing nice balls aerially from out wide will!!!

    We also miss Meirelles and we can already see from the job he is doing at Chelsea what he gave us, quick and controlled interplay from midfield to the strikers and a forward mentality to support attacks – i’m hoping Gerrard’s return will fill the void and sooner rather than later.

    Anyway these are just my humble opinion’s, opinions that seem obvious to me as a fan of LFC, and opinions i’m entitled to have as a supporter of the club.

    Follow me on twitter @MrLiverpoolFC

  7. Whenever I see fans mocking the King irrationally (after just 2 defeats early in the season), here’s what I always say. Some fans are STUPID!! To the core! I don’t need to explain why I feel this way (maybe I’m just a die-hard LFC fan). My message to you is (echoing Brian Reece), WE DON’T NEED YOU! Go support the scums or the plastics for all I care. Boooo! STUPID!

    1. If Dalglish wants the fans to get off his back, he should start making sensible decisions. He should tell Carragher that he is only a sub from now on. He should face facts and realise that Suarez and Kuyt should be one striker pairing and that Carroll and Bellamy should be the backup striker pairing. He should put Johnson on the rightwing if he ever comes back from injury and leave Downing on the leftwing permanently. If he plays Henderson at all then play him in the centre of midfield beside Lucas or Spearing. The only place Adam or Gerrard should play is behind Suarez in away games and drop Kuyt to the bench.

  8. When Roy H was tactically inept did we blame the players? KK messed up again as he did 3 outa 5 games.
    When Man u palyed spurs, fergie had enof sense to de
    tail his team to mark Bale in twos. But KK left it for
    Sktel only, becos he had to play Henderson :-). Africa is doing badly economically becos of
    nepotism and entitlement mentality; this is what KK
    is breeding into liverpool with Adam, Henderson,
    Carra, Carroll. Imagine him saying of aqua, ‘ we
    couldnt get him into the team’, but there was space
    for henderson and adam, and HE most likely asked mereiles to hand in a request bcos henderson must
    play. It all a big joke that is not funny! If its not working
    in Africa, i watch to see if KK can defy the odds!

  9. I like KK but he was too slow to decisions against Spurs I knew Skrtel would see Red after Adam and I expected King to bring on maybe Spearing or make a tactical change to shore up that position he left it so late till it became an embarrassment then he made the changes pls KK don’t make such mistake again.We need out and out wingers we gotten left winger in downing we need a right winger and the only person that can fill up that void is Bellamy he’s pacy and dribbles nicely KK shouldn’t play Henderson there anymore Henderson is a traditional central midfielder its up to him to perform in training to earn him slot in the first 11 he needs to dig it out wiv Lucas,Adam,Spearing and a Fit Gerrad..KK shouldn’t be putting out a player for his confidence to be boosted and to be fit afterall there are few senior players that can do a proper job in their respective familiar positions,we need Kuyt back in that Centre forward or Bellamy as a Centre forward,Maxi on the wing either left or right with suarez interchanging wiv them I believe Suarez is betteroff attacking from the wing Carrol should be relegated to the bench we are Liverpool no player is bigger than the club not even the manager..The Owners have spent loads of money and they did admit it would be a major disappointment if we don’t finish in top four.KK has made dodgy dealings in the transfer market and I hope he doesn’t come back to hunt him..Why did he allow Aquilani to go he didn’t even allow him game time before the window shuts,why did he sacrifice Miereles for Henderson technically Miereles is better off Henderson,experience wise he’s better off,in terms of skills he’s better off so what justification does kk have for allowing Miereles to go 30mins to the end of the transfer window.

  10. If carrol needs his confidence to be boosted he needs to see a psychologist or betterstill drink loads of energy boost arrant nonsense..As for Henderson I don’t wish to see him on that right wing anymore he hardly dribbles and goes past defenders everytime he gets the ball he passes it backwards to our ageing Carragher and I trust Carragher to either send it back to Reina or he hoofs it over to the strikers.I presume KK understands the feelings of the fans and gets it right in our next match,KK has demanded for reaction from the players so we fans have demanded players being played in their familiar positions and playing players on merit in their familiar positions afterall KK said we have strength in depth so we wanna see him exploring those strengths and qualities..I presume he should bring Raheem into first team he’s promising winger..I m gonna keep my fingers crossed on KK as his managerial abilities is about to be tested in the course of the season especially wiv matches coming up in a short while

  11. I don’t understand how some fans can react negatively when we still 5 games so far. Some are saying it all hodgson again well that is totally rubbish . KK did not sign a contract for 5 matches only he signed for more than 2 years. We have to support lfc in win, draw or defeat all the same. Football is not only about winning, teams do lose but they do bounce back because these teams looked forward not back .this is the same philosophy in real life there is drawbacks but also success.

    Adebayor and Parker had a good game against us , no one can argue at that but we don’t start saying our players are shit because we did not sign those two in the summer.this does not make sense at all.

    I just want to request all the fans that we need to get back behind the team ; one can learn from mistakes and kk will definitely amend his tactics. You may judge the manager and players after 2 defeats but remember we are a team that is being rebuilt. There is no quick fix solution to everything.

    We have lost 2 matches but it is not the end of world or for Liverpool FC, we as a whole has to look forward

  12. fickle crap from fickle so called “supporters” of this wonderful club.
    nonsense crap from people pretending to have better knowledge of the game and tactics than Kenny. HA.
    you jokers.
    question for you jokers – What have you won? what team did you manage ? Which cup did you win?
    you muppet jokers.
    it’s one thing to come out with some common sense analysis and use some logic presented in a respectful manner, but some of the muppets coming out are taking the knives, swords , and guns out on Kenny.
    seriously people, keep the patience. Kenny has the experience, the knowledge, to turn things round. at the same time, let’s not heap so much expectations and pressure on the players, and the team.
    It’s like ur saying man u can’t loose, and have never lost before. fergie has lost a few games, and he didn’t start winning in his first season in charge did he?
    alright then…..
    in times like these, the true so called supporters get behind the team, and the manager.
    and yes, it was brutal killing, no doubt. we’re all hurting.
    but you muppets need to take a chill pill and grow up.

  13. Why is it that people are so impatient with Dalglish after just 9 months in charge, yet after 6 years of Benitez some were still saying ‘in Rafa we trust’. How did Benitez earn such loyalty with the fickle few? 2 trophies in SIX years!
    Give Dalglish the time he deserves to get things right.

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