Our recent results have been inconsistent. There’s no doubting that. We just don’t score enough goals. Too many players seem to either not be up to playing for Liverpool or they’re taking a lot of time to settle in. Carroll still looks like he’s off the pace. Adam isn’t living up to what people expected of him when he signed for the club and even Enrique has struggled since January, losing the ball in dangerous areas on too many occasions. But we’re already guaranteed a place in Europe thanks to our Carling Cup victory and we have an excellent chance of getting to the final of the FA Cup.
Don’t get me wrong; I’ve been as frustrated as anyone watching us lose games against teams such as Arsenal, despite outplaying them. QPR is the latest example where we have dropped three points. And it isn’t good enough. But why do people keep calling for Kenny to go?
The man’s a legend. As a player, Kenny had more twists and turns than any title race. As a manager he’s experienced, loyal and he commands the respect of every player at the club. Maybe some of his critics are too young to remember Kenny the player. Because I doubt anyone who recalls his sensational first touch, magical runs and delicate chips in a red shirt would be so quick to call for his head.
We aren’t Chelsea. And we shouldn’t get into the habit of sacking managers every year. Unfortunately, it was probably the right time for Benitez to go. He was finding the situation with the previous owners intolerable and had become quite stubborn in some of his decision-making. Letting Alonso leave was a big mistake. Hodgson was out of his depth and should never have been given the job in the first place. But in Kenny we have a manager who has won the league with Liverpool as both a player and a manager. He even won it while managing Blackburn! Yet all I seem to hear is fans on phone-ins calling for him to be sacked.
The fact is, Liverpool’s squad isn’t good enough. I know some people will argue that Kenny, along with Commoli, bought many of the players but it’s hard to attract the best talent when we’re not in the Champions League. This was always going to be a transitional season and our best chance of taking teams by surprise in the league was ironically our lack of European football. Sadly the top four now seems beyond us for another year so we have to do our best, aim to win two cups this season and hope top players see the potential at the club. There have been lots of games during this campaign where the team has played the opposition off the park and we desperately need a goal scorer. Also, Suarez needs to add more goals to his game. A lot of people will jump to the defence of Suarez but I’m not slating him – his strike against Stoke was brilliant. I just think if we want to improve, get back into the Champions League and have a chance of winning the title we need all of the players to step up their game.
Messi has scored 54 goals for Barcelona this season. Now I’m not expecting Suarez to start scoring 50 plus goals a season but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a player of his quality to get 20. Torres (3 in 36) Carroll (5 in 31) and Suarez (10 in 36) have scored as many goals in a combined 103 league games as Messi has in his last 7. That’s phenomenal. Obviously Liverpool have no chance of signing Messi. Carroll is probably never going to be a twenty goal a season man. And I personally wouldn’t want Torres back. So we need Suarez to stay at the club and start scoring more. Thankfully he wants to stay. He’s still young and he will only get better. In him we have a player with similar qualities to Kenny – now we need a player alongside him with the game of Ian Rush. A young Robbie Fowler. That’s the level we need to get back to if we are to be up there challenging for the main trophies.
Some of the other players either have to dramatically improve, settle for being squad players or need to move on. But for me the only place Kenny should go is back to Wembley when he lifts more trophies with us.