Taking stock

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Now that the season is over it is time to review it and try to make some sense of what worked and what went wrong.

We have competed in three trophies this past season, we won one, finished second in another and we were a disaster in the most important one. Finishing 8th in the league is unacceptable for a club like Liverpool F.C.

We did clear a lot of dead wood last summer and reduced the wage bill, the only player we shouldn’t have lost was Raul Meireles. Meireles was promised more money by the previous regime however this current regime wasn’t able to fulfill that promise. Who do we blame for losing Meireles? Kenny? Comolli? The Owners? I quite frankly don’t know, but if someone wants to leave you risk a lot by keeping them. Let us not forget the mysterious case of Aquilani who might return to LFC after AC Milan didn’t play him enough games to automatically sign him. (the Aquilani case requires its own write up so I will not get into it now).

So what went wrong at L.F.C. last season?

First and foremost I think we can all agree that the summer signings didn’t rise to any of our expectation.

Craig Bellamy, without a doubt has been the best signing (or re-signing) from last summer however he has been limited to the number of games he can play due to the ongoing issue with his knee.

Jose Enrique has done a pretty decent job filling in a position for the ever injured Fabio Aurelio. Unfortunately Jose did show a lack of confidence especially when it came to shooting on target.

Stewart Downing, unfortunately has to be a big disappointment and I am sure he will agree himself, the guy has potential and has great skill but his confidence and self-belief keeps coming back to haunt him.

Charlie Adam was another disappointment although in his defence I was starting to see him starting to partner with Lucas pretty well before the Brazilian was injured. Charlie did miss the last few games due to an injury and we were still poor  so for sure we can’t blame him for all our disappointing games.

Jordan Henderson has shown some moments of brilliance and at age 21 the young lad has some very good years of football ahead of him. However he will have to work hard to win the Liverpool faithful.

Doni proved to be a decent stand-in for Pepe Reina who I must say had his worst season at L.F.C.

Sebastian Coates another young lad that shows promise. Not many games for Sebastian however he also did manage to score a beauty.

No one can argue that we have missed Lucas Leiva, things were on the up before he got injured. Stevie G. has been terribly missed again, unfortunately it seems that we will not get the old Stevie we knew so he will have to adapt to playing in a different role than he used to.

The Suarez/Evra case:
We got Fergied with this one. I am afraid Taggart really got us here, the whole event was not only a big distraction but we lost Luis Suarez for eight games.

Woodwork & missed penalties:
All our top penalty takers (including Stevie G) missed penalties last season and of course we can’t forget the woodwork, 33 times if I am not mistaken. Yes, we were unlucky however more focus, better confidence and more training would have turned these into goals.

Maxi and Kuyt not playing
Of course the criticism I have also heard has been the case of Maxi and Kuyt. I must admit I would have loved to see both of them play more games last season but we don’t know what happened at Melwood.

My verdict :
So how did Kenny suddenly become a “bad manager” after lifting us up from the doldrums in the second half of the 2010/11 season. How does one wake up one morning and suddenly lose his magic touch? This is the same man who won four league titles as a manager. Of the managers still active only Alex Ferguson has won more top English division titles than Kenny, so how is Kenny that bad?

Yes we have a couple of signings that aren’t exactly stellar but so did Rafa in his first season at LFC, remember Josemi & Nunez? We have paid a lot of money for the players signed by Kenny but in my opinion I don’t think it was Kenny’s fault we got them for that price. My feeling is that Comolli was the one negotiating the prices and that is why he probably got fired.

As far as all the games are concerned it was sure a mixed bag; we lost to Bolton & Swansea, we lost to Fulham and WBA at home,  we got hammered by Spurs (4-0)  yet we hammered Chelsea (4-1). We beat Manchester City and United in the cups, we even beat Arsenal early in the season. We finished below Everton in the league table yet we beat them three times. The games we have played sure can prove one thing, we can beat anyone but we can also lose to anyone.

On the bright side we have seen young Raheem Sterling make his debut for the first team and I do agree with Kenny’s approach to him on this. Raheem can’t be thrown out to the wolves, he needs to be given time to ease into the first team. Like Raheem we have a few other stars in the Academy so yes the future still looks bright.

And YES Kenny should (and must) be given at least another season to prove that is still the right man to lead us forward.


On Twitter @empireofthekop 


  1. A reasonable summing up of the problems but the thing I feel is missing is the trend or rather lack of it during 2012. The owners of the club won’t have the rose-tinted glasses that many of the fans have of Dalglish, being a club legend for so long.

    They want success and they have to be convinced that Kenny is the right man to provide it. I’m not saying he isn’t but from the owners’s point of view what evidence is there for it?

    We can’t blame the woodwork and bad luck for our league position. This might wash after 8 games but after 38 the league does not lie. At the moment I cannot see how next season will suddenly be so different from this season. Kenny doesn’t become a bad man manager overnight but perhaps his tactics are a little outdated after so long not managing and perhaps he isn’t used to having to work with a director of football and spend this kind of money.

    If he is given next season to improve I would think that it will only be until Christmas and by then we will have to be at least 5th or 6th and challening for the Champions League places. We’re not going to win the title but for Newcastle and Spurs to be so far ahead is just embarrassing

  2. Last season was a mess and we need to give Kenny another year to redeem himself. Success isn’t instant .it has to be earned and if the owners expectations are for instant success they are wrong.

  3. Is just simple we are below everton and newcastle and we spent 120m.. We buy the players on the club that now they almost get in the big four(newcastle)..These club only spend not even a half… We have to admit its a big failure! Carling cup just a bonus not a target.. When u work on company and they support you financing, and you fail to fullfil the target? That u have to be respect the decision of failure and not looking for a reason..

  4. I would ask every Liverpool fan to bear one thing in mind when judging Dalglish as a future manager. If it was your money and, your business, would you let him loose with it?

  5. My verdict :

    Signed rubbish players for criminal prices, finished 8th in the league, won the carling cup, lost the FA cup with a disgraceful performance, little or no fight shown all season, Kenny wants to keep everyone in the summer? and constantly fails to acknowledge just how poor we’ve been this season.

    He needs to go

  6. Fair round up of the season. I must say that the end of 2010/11 campaign we was playing a better game of football but I cant say if it was because of the team was near enough already gelled or every man was fighting for his place?

    But then I have said it all season that we have played really good football this season too. A lot more attractive football and a lot more Liverpool.

    The Suarez incident without going into too much I think was handled very badly yet no matter what we would have done we would have been fergied anyway.

    Dalglish is no way near a bad manager as surprisingly a lot of the “fans” have been saying. He has got some tactics wrong but who doesn’t? NOT ONE SINGLE MANAGER HAS GOT EVERY GAME SPOT ON.

    I do hope that everyone stays at the moment and I really want Downing to start improving because he is not a bad winger, just doesn’t seem to play with confidence. I doubt it that he is just not bothered.

    Im going to say that even though Enrique has provided us with stability at left back I really did think he was more attacking than that… he has deffo got the pace but he favours passing or cutting back alot more than just getting the ball in there.

    Last note is that im optimistic is Dalglish stays but that could go either way with anyone else in charge.

  7. What would you do as owner in buisness mind and ethic? The owner will sack kenny and bring refresh manager in charge with lots money to spend? Or the owners will keep kenny with unconfident felling to give lots money to spend? The owner already lossing their faith on kenny.. They will save the image of lfc on the market..

  8. A good description of the season and the summer signings. What changed in Kenny’s management of 2011/12 compared with 2010/11? In my view, LFC played a high tempo pressing game in the 2nd half of 2010/11. In 2011/12, every time they did that they won (mostly in the Cup games). In the League, Kenny adopted what seems to be a slow 1st half with a better tempo (usually catch-up) 2nd half. This is a very outdated and negative way of playing. LFC also lacked creative players and was without a proper DM since November. The team lacked creativity and balance and the players were not very confident. The money spent in the summer could have been spent better by acquiring Dembele for Henderson, Gaston Ramirez for Adam/Downing and a genuine left footed DM. If we kept Aquaman, we could have been in a much better place. Kenny needs to examine some of his views on non-UK players if he is going to bring success to LFC!

  9. I completely disagree with the Bellamy hype from this season. He has not been anywhere near as spectacular as people are making out. Yes he has had his injuries, but so has Charlie Adam who has been so unfairly blamed for our performances it is unreal. The guy got in to double figures with assists, where would we have been without those. He clearly struggled when Lucas sustained his injury, and from the minute Gerrard gained full fitness the pressure was back on immediately. Even though Gerrard himself has not hit the heights on where he should be. I refuse to bring Coates and Henderson into the equation as they are both young and used in various ways in Kenny’s rotation this season. It would be unfair to criticize at such an early stage. (See Lucas Leiva)Our best signing was clearly Jose Enrique. It shouldn’t be overlooked how badly we have struggled to fill the left back void. Since J.A Riise left we have nobody of real quality in that position. Insua, Dossena & Konchesky. Enrique slowly deteriorated in performance towards the end of the season, but can that not just be a blip in form as any footballer has? I would love somebody to explain the me the biggest contradiction in world football at the moment. It is when “analysts” state “Liverpool have been in 2 cup finals this season, but the players have been flops”. (To that effect)

  10. Kenny became a bad manager after 10yrs out of the game so to speak, 10yrs cannot be classed as overnight.

    He rode the crest of the wave to pullus up the table in his first six months, but, last season was a disaster and he needs to shoulder the blame.

    Pointing toward the amount of times we hit the woodwork is clutching at straws..it’s poor finishing, nothng more, nothing less.

    The one straw we can clutch at is; I doubt that, collectively, the goalies visiting Anfield next season will produce as many worldies as they did this season.

    Goals win games, all and sundry knew we were poor infront of goal in Jan yet we didn’t sign a striker….that’s our biggest failing as fresh impetus at a critical time may just have saved our season from declining as far as it did.

    Bring Rafa back ASAP. IRWT.


  11. A fair summing up and if we are honest the two cup finals were not why FSG bought us, cup finals were icing on the cake, but the problem we have is that the cake f****d. This leaves us in a shocking position as the owners paid out somewhere in the region £60 million last summer and got a team 6 wins away from the CL, hardly a success. I’m certain that the name Kenny Dalglish means nothing to the owners all they deal in is facts and like it or not we are a business to them and they will run us as a business so it’s clear Kenny is in trouble. However they do have a get out of jail free card here put Kenny in Comelli’s role where if there popularists they could then try to bring back Rafa Benitez. This has the benefit of keeping a legend at the club and bringing someone who still has substanial support within the fanbase, it also has the added advantage of really annoying the very annoying Jamie Kanwar, the most negative so called LFc fan anywhere. The difficulity is that Senor Benitez is recognized as being difficult for owners to handle, so a more likely scenatio is that Roberto Martinez will inherit the crown. If that happens Liverpool are taking the biggest gamble in over 50 years. This is a decision which needs to be thought throught properly because if we get this wrong we could be looking at disaster.

  12. Funny how the Rafa fans fail to mention his horrendous spell at Inter Milan, the Inter fans blame him for destroying their club and ending their unprecedented dominance. They had just won the treble and then Rafa showed up…..

    1. The most comedian is the rafa hatters cant respect what rafa already give to the club: champions of europe, 2 finalist of champs league, bring back kenny to the liverpool fc, fa cup medal, build the foundation of lfc for future with the limited budget he can sense a star from: xabi, mascherano, torres, garcia, pepe, kuyt, lucas, skritel, agger, maxi, aqua.. And he only failure one seasson and all rafa hatters is a morron idiot and dont deserve to be lfc fans!

  13. firstly I’d like to say that I’m an advocate of KK. However the one thing that got under my skin and I find unacceptable at a club of Liverpool’s stature was the continued excuses about bad luck and how we played better then what the result showed and the players did them selves proud etc after bad performances. For me the mark of a top manager is one that calls out the reality and has positive plans to remediate the issues if there are any. YNWA

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