Reality check: has Kenny had enough time?

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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?


    1. How can you say boring tactics when we have had more shots on goal then Man U? The failure of players to take chances is why we have failed! Tactics must have been working if you end up with a shot at goal!

  1. Had the race row not happened, I think the season would’ve been better, especially league wise. He needs to be wiser in the transfer window, and get a decent striker and creative midfielder. Who? And where from? Only god knows. This is why kenny needs to be wise (and shrewd!). We also need to be more composed in front of goal. Our chance conversion rate wasn’t good enough! Tactics need a good shake up too. We were too 1 dimensional, play through the middle and final balls not good enough. Kenny deserves another season as that’s why he signed a 3 year contract. Judge him at the end of it.

  2. It begs the question ‘was woy badly treated?’ .
    I think Kenny will get until January and then re-evaluated if there are still ‘concerns’. I haven’t come on here to take big swipes at players and management but for me, Adam and Downing have not been good enough. Then again, I’m sure they are aware of this ans SHOULD be desperate to put things right. AC has under achieved but has shown recent promise. We need a couple of canny buys and for several others to stand up and be counted, and I think Kenny needs to reflect on some of his strategies and learn from it. This is the opinion of a season ticket holder, not an ex player or manager. We all want what’s best and ultimately, if FSG feel that it’s without KD at the helm then that’s the way it has to be. No room for sentiment in business as they say, I would like him to have at least half a season to try and put the record straight.

    1. You have put it perfectly for me. It’s a good post and a good reply. For me Woy was never gonna be good enough and it’s history anyway. Kenny must get more time and I think he will. Imagine if Kenny goes and whoever else comes in does no better…..we would all be left thinking well what if Kenny had been given another year.
      Lets just give him chance, success is not always instant.
      And anyway we’ll never get anyone with Kennys smile and celebration when we score!!

  3. i don’t think this is a stupid post. this is fact that we can’t deny. this person gave a great example of juventus. kenny has spent more than 100 mil and the result should’ve been better.

  4. foolglish should be sacked asap !!! worst midfield in premier league { spearing henderson downing } shouldnt even play in reserves,tactics shameful,substitutions suspect,team selections are SHAMBOLIC.WORD IS FOOLGLISH WASNT BACKED IN BOSTON,SO IT LOOKS LIKE WHERE WELL RID OF HIM NOW ? ONWARDS AND UPWARDS YNWA,ANNOUNCEMENT LATER TODAY ???

  5. The Juve comparison is so unfair , the Scudetto is completely another thing and the PL is the best league in the world today . One more thing is that the quality of players present already in juve shouldn’t be compared to the likes of Jovanovic , Cole , Poulsen and so on . Kenny needs to be given atleast until next christmas , knee jerk reactions at this point could be catastrophic and can only send the whole project downwards , more money will need to be spent as the new managers philosophy will be different and the players will take time to settle , results won’t come and the cycle will just keep going with no real improvement .
    I really trust FSG are smarter than sacking Kenny , they will lose both the fans and their millions .

    1. The comparison with Juve is legitimate for many reasons. Firstly Juve are not the Club they were in the past, when the Agnelli family pumped in the dosh. Today they pretty much run under their own steam. They also have not spent the kind of money that the Reds have spent on players in the last couple of years. My point there was that when Antonio Conte arrived, he made a statement and stuck to it. Players like Krasic, Toni, Iaquinta, Amauri, Ziegler and our very own Aquilani were told ‘you are not part of my plans’. You know what, facts proved him right. Have you seen Juve play this year? Have you seen them go from a 433 to a 4-2-3-1 and then to a 5-3-2 all in the same game, according to what players are brought on. That is tactical prowess for you, that is knowledge of the modern game. Thirty eight games without defeat…..!

  6. I think it is very very basic. And obvious to all LFC Fans. Dalglish was a great Player but as a Modern Day manager he has woefully Inadequate. He has NO idea of how to judge playing talent(or lack thereof!) I think it is a joke that we bought Newcastle’s “Best” Players – Carroll & Enrique – Giving them a Shedload of money in the Process and they then go on to have a Storming Season with a few budget(But Talented Buys!)
    Ditto for Everton’s David Moyes. Jelavic for 5 Million? Inspired!!!! Allat a fraction od LFC’s budget. Time for KD to go please!!!

  7. I think he did a good job. Loses this year were close, well fought games. Give him one more year to put the reds on top

  8. I know everyone keeps saying it but we were very unlucky this season, added to that the 8 match ban for a trumped up charge for our best striker, not to mention the few games it took for him to get his mojo back, also not having Gerrard at the start, losing Lucas mid season, & losing Adam towards the end(highest assists at the time)& after all that if only half of the 30 odd woodwork hits had of actually gone in would anyone even be having this conversation, but its not good enough to be finishing in 8th, & some players need to pull their fingers out, but really thats why its a work in progress, & can anyone really deny Kennys ability, desire, & dedication to Liverpool??? no, hes been through more for this club than anyone else has, ANYONE!!! so surely he deserves at least a season, lets not forget that if someone else came in now theres no guarantee we will do any better than this season, personally I think we play better now than before, but its all down to points so lets see the points total next season

    1. Actually I think it is more a question of Liverpool fans expressing themselves and what they feel. Some people tend to stick their heads in the their ass while others pop it out and say, ‘hey, I did not like that so much’. Now if that qualifies you to be a Chelski fan I don’t know. For sure I do not think you have the necessary qualifications or authority to be so judgmental! Relax, and let the fans vent off!

    2. Hi Toni, My intent is that even though we all have frustrations, we need to realise that we need to be a little more realistic.

      I have said before that even Man C with all their money took a few years before they started to challenge for Champions League and this was also true with Spurs.

      Guys/Gals, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

      If you had watched the interview with Kenny after winning the League Cup, he claerly said that he was not into this for personnel glory but here because of the club and he will walk away if he knows that he has nothing to offer to bring us back to the top.

      So chill venting frustrations is one thing but to ask to sack someone so loyal to the Club is another.

      Shankly started the revolution but it was Bob who brought us most of the glory. So let’s give the man a chance to do his job.

  9. Too many mistake and too many LFC record Kenny broke this season. If FSG decide to retain him , please moved him to boardroom. I pray rafa will replace Kenny after Euro

  10. Good post Tonio…Stat’s dont always tell the whole story, but I looked back over the last 10 seasons, and Liverpool averaged 66.7 points per season. During that time, the points total for 4th in the EPL was 67.5. Clearly were short just on numbers alone. Looking at the Rafa era during that time, Liverpool averaged 72.1 points, and the 4th place finish averaged 69.0. Clearly better points totals against even higher points requirements to get into Champions League football. Whats the point to my amazing grasp of statistics (joking), those of you who hate the Rafa era, make me wonder what all the hate is about. That being said, I do NOT want to see Kenny get the sack. It would not be good for the club to throw him under the bus so to speak. Do I think Kenny is manager of the year, no. But I do think he came in at a time and did what he could for the club in the wake of H&G and Woy. I would like to see Kenny go out with his head held high. In my perfect world, Rafa would be signed to manage the Academy this upcoming season, and take over the club in 2013/14, and Kenny can get the opportunity to work with his current signings (less Adam and __?) who should get shipped out. I really do feel we are 1 quality striker, and a healthy Lucas away from fighting for a Champions League spot…Just my 2 cents…

    1. I agree that stats are just….stats. They are the factual measure of progress or regression, but obviously then you have to take all factors into account. Considering that Rafa worked for a good part of his tenure under the failed H&G ownership, his stats seem to be more impressive in that sense. Kenny is an untouchable soul but I am sure that if he feels he has nothing to give to the team he will be the first to acknowledge it and move away from it.

  11. Looking at Dean Jones contribution above I have to shake my head in wonder at the lack of class and utter disrespect for the greatest servant as a player and a manager LFC has ever had – regardless of what views you might have about KK as a current day manager to demean his name and refer to him so disrespectfully makes me sick.
    Kenny is a man of total integrity and he should be treated with dignity by Fenway and everybody else including the media and glory hunting fans who think LFC is just another franchise – perhaps if KK goes that’s all it is – I personally really really hope not and that he gets a chance to work for the good of the club at least until the half way point of next season – but you know what who could blame him for walking away from all of this bile and bad feeling? As for Deans YNWA seriously dude do you actually know what it means?

  12. KD had a go but it was obvious from early 2012 that his managerial ability in todays game was suspect and did not work out. Thankd though for trying. This just happens, no one can deny.

    The inability to take penalties, hitting the post and cross bars to frequently, missing some howellers, poor tactics, clueless on sizing the opposition, poor player selection, failure to promote youth, etc. These are just some observations

  13. I like kenny, some games on him looks very lots of intelectual tactical but most of all looks so predictible. What i see if the opponent knows how to stop us, kenny dont know how to change the game and looks to late on important subtitution.

    I prefer Rafa to complish his unfinish project on lfc, with great owner and good financing, Rafa only failure once season when we lossig xabi alonso, on him we can beaten the catalans barcelona and more, on him we bring the pride of lfc back on highest level.. On him we can create lots of tactical on defensive and attacking creativity.

    Rafa will finish his project!

  14. KK protected his players unfortunately Downing in particular and loss of key players Lucas, Gerrard etc have let him down. Don’t imagine if he goes that it is suddenly going to improve without the injection of at least 3-4 outstanding players a wad of cash from the owners and a different style of play to adjust to – we are going to be years off the mark without the unifying presence of KK if he has gone….what a mess!

  15. When rumour came out about kenny going to buy carroll,hendo,downing and adam,i was praying this is just rumour cause everyone who watch football know with that kinda money we can buy world class player but my prayer go unanswer and came these fab 4 who doesn’t go with our philosophy of pass and move.Kenny was given the chance to redeem himself,money to spend,to bring the club he love back into it’s glory day and for him to full fill his unfinish bzness but the King with his stubborness refuse to buy foreign player instead he choose british even though it’s a big risk he have to take. The point is he’s been given the chance and he blew it himself,can’t blame the fans to be frustrated and want him sack cause if he’s gonna stay for another season everyone who love liverpool is gonna endure another frustration season with those fab 4.

  16. You lot don’t get it do you? If KK goes we are 4 years or more off the pace, because that’s how long it may take for a new manager to turn things around…..if Fenway have another £100 million to spend on a new manager and players then maybe things would be sorted but they don’t – KK has to be given more time to turn it around…apart from Rafa there is no one else out there

  17. As much as his past record and love for the club make me want to say ” give him another season ” the cold reality is.
    We finished so far behind the top two in points, and those two clubs in Manchester will be buying more top players to ensure they either retain the title or win it back.
    Liverpools owners on paper COULD afford to buy the likes of Cavani, Lavezzi, De jong, and co, but they’ll be paying top dollar to prise their attention from City United or even Spurs and Chelsea while Dalglish is in charge.
    All players are wise to other leagues and their current standings, and those I mentioned would know Liverpool had a poor season.
    Asides from Money only a new manager who’s currently in demand will entice top players to come to Liverpool, Wigans martinez isnt high profile enough, so if Fenway were to choose him, you could deduce they arent planning to spend much money, Pep G or even Rafa would require about the same outlay that Dalglish has spent thus far, in the region of 100+ mill in the next transfer window, this would only get you 3 top players of the standing required to challenge for the title, as the spine of our side is actually pretty good, its just the likes of henderson and spearing that just wont do.
    Leaving the players to one side, its the approach of the manager and his charisma thats lacking at Liverpool, with Kenny its like he’s put on an old pair of slippers, he’s cosy and relaxed, there was a good feeling around the club, but through-out the season its become apparent that he’s lost his tactical nounce, if he ever had it to begin with, the players have sensed this, and we do look nervy when we concede.
    We need a manager with the arrogance of Mourhino, love him or loathe him, he inspires confidence within his team and his arrogance removes any pressure.
    Those Loyal to the Liverpool way should understand the Liverpool way died with Shankly and co, it was an ideology, and we dont have anyone with the same ideology and charisma of shankly to revive it, couple that with the fact the players in our squad were barely born when the Liverpool way was vibrant.
    Shankly would say adapt or die.
    I dont see Kenny adapting.
    If Kenny stays.
    I see more of the same next season.

  18. To be honest I don’t want Dalglish to go just yet…even though I know he has fucked up in the league side of things..but its because players failed him…I can’t fault him for signing Carrol no one knew carrol wud turn out to be like this even YOU! Anyways I just feel we shud hang on and see how da team turns out half way next season before properly judging the man.
    Incase KK gets sacked or moved upstairs DO NOT “bring back Rafa”…2 managers in my mind unai Emery the Valencia manager or Rijkaard.

  19. I haven’t paid much attention to those further down the table, but successful managers at the top end all delivered their success and showed what they would be delivering within the first 18 months. Ferguson was the exception, not the rule.

  20. give kenny till december get txiki as DOF and welcome in Pep after that… otherwise take the whole crew from dortmund.. from Klopp right down to the scouts or take AVB and his previous team from Porto in full (scouts included) YNWA

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