Yesterday was one of the saddest days in my living LFC memory. Still torn between whether the 2007 Final loss was more painful or did I feel worse when we lost the FA Cup final or when I finally conceded the title in 2009 after months of anticipation and years of hope. None are comparable but given that Kenny’s sack is freshest it remains the most painful one.
I was vocal in objections earlier when Kenny’s name was doing the rounds as the prospective manager of the club. Not because I doubted the man. Only because I feared the events of yesterday. The lasting memory of him that I would like the fans to have of him would have been of his pure delight and arms raised gesture towards the dugout when LFC scored a goal. What do you know, I will always remember him by that gesture and his childlike smile.
No parting ever is happy. Probably the ideal case scenario would have been for Kenny to have taken the two year contract and honed an Assistant Manager to take over the reigns when his contract expired. Had everything gone to plan, now would have been the time we would have been looking to appoint the future successor of Kenny. As it turns out, we are now looking at the successor either way. We all love Kenny. We all are so grateful to him for what he did in the past as well as how he rescued us when we were staring at abyss last January. Having said that, it is fair to assume that it is arguable to call 2011-12 a success. Kenny unselfishly served the club when the need arose. I would have liked him to have worked a way out if things did not go as per plan instead of defending what transpired on the field. At the risk of someone who would have wanted Kenny to go, I should clarify it couldn’t be further from the truth. I wanted him to stay. At least one more season. There are two major reasons for that – a. he was our biggest hero in the past season and a half. While that is obviously a testament to how big a man Kenny is, it also points out the lack of other star players, and b. because of the romance that Kenny’s second coming brought to the club. We would have liked it to have a happy ending. Pragmatically, if it had been anyone except Kenny, we would have probably wanted him to go in January, if not sooner.
I was also worried about the ‘Liverpool Way’ of only telling fans about things when there was anything concrete. However, all of us on twitter heard ‘confirmed, not rumors’ news from every media house before club came out with a statement about an hour later. While the way club conducts his business is well respected, the fans appreciate to hear things first from the club than from anyone else. Similar goes for other rumors, like Ayre came out with the statement dismissing reports that he’d been sacked too. The club will do well to understand that sometimes quashing rumors is more important from the fans’ perspective.
I still believe the FSG know what they are doing and in the business of running this club with good intentions. For lack of any evidence on the contrary, I would like to give them the ‘benefit of doubt’. If it’s a business and making money is their aim, it isn’t contradictory to the fans’ goal of success. There’s nothing that sells better than success. For them, it is an opportunity to start afresh. When they’d come in, they didn’t know much about the footballing business. They couldn’t look much beyond appointing a Director of Football and beyond Kenny for Manager. They might be a little more educated now. Still assuming they have noble intentions, what happens in the next two months would define their reign at Anfield. It is an important summer for both LFC as well as FSG’s ownership of LFC. It is all well and good to hear that FSG have a ‘plan’, an ‘ambition’ and that they are ‘winners’. Let’s see how that plan transpires over the next two months or so.
I doubt that they will give Kenny millions in severance pay just to hire someone like Roberto Martinez. It has to be someone whom they believe will take club closer to success. It would also mean that they need another substantial influx into the club in terms of new manager’s players. I doubt they would hire Rafa for they would fear being stuck in a similar situation sometime down the line and wouldn’t like to attract further criticism. I am holding my breath this summer for FSG to demonstrate their ambition. It is double or bust time for FSG. In the meantime, I would expect them to appreciate the fact that fans would be nervy in the next few months and would like them to connect with us better.
If we’re able to climb up the table and get into Champions League football next year, every fan would be over-the-moon. As a fan, there’s nothing that Kenny would want more.
YNWA, Kenny. You’ll forever be King.