Posts Tagged ‘Kenny Dalglish’

“The King has returned”- sorry to disappoint, but I’m not referring to Elvis, I’m talking about Kop Hero Kenny Dalglish. The Scot signed a three year deal last week (along with assistant Steve Clark), after months of fans and pundits calling for Kenny’s homecoming to be made permanent, more than 20 years after he vacated the seat. After what can only be described, by Liverpool’s standards, as a disastrous beginning to the Premier League season under Roy Hodgson’s tenure, Dalglish took over in January and turned the Merseyside outfit’s fortunes right around.

It is crucial for a manager to have the admiration and respect of not only the players but the fans too, and that is quite clearly there for all to see. A united dressing room has been the main achievement by the Scot, “The atmosphere surrounding the club has been transformed by his presence,” (Owner John Henry). The lack of team spirit under Hodgson’s tenure was more obvious than the sexual tension between the Sky Sports News presenters, but since King Kenny’s return there is a new sense of optimism and togetherness around Anfield, a key ingredient in any form or success, and one which will no doubt be essential next season if Liverpool are to recapture the glory days.

There are constant rumours circulating that Liverpool will embark on a huge summer spending spree, as the new owners and Dalglish look to make the club their own. With such promising youngsters who, under Kenny’s management, have been given valuable advice and experience, is a spree really needed? In my honest opinion I would argue that a Manchester City style spend is not required but a couple of additions wouldn’t go amiss. Sotirios Kyrgiakos is not of a high enough standard to be back up to Martin Skrtel and Liverpool stalwart Jamie Carragher, and no doubt Dalglish will look to bolster his side with a few squad players; other than that Liverpool definitely have a well balanced and strong squad to be challenging on all domestic fronts next season.

Liverpool’s success next season really depends on them not qualifying for the fifth place booby prize that is the Europa League. Thursday nights in eastern Europe playing obscure teams won’t benefit a team of Liverpool’s standing; a team with such an illustrious European history should be hosting Barcelona, not Slaven Koprivnica. If Liverpool can solely concentrate on the Premier League and regaining their top four status, which, if the current momentum builds is a very likely possibility, then being in the top four will only serve to be a platform for greater things.

Watch this space.

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If media reports are to be believed then Joe Cole is on his way out of Anfield this summer, with Tottenham Hotspur apparently readying a £10 million bid for the forgotten man. In a business sense this would be a very good bit of import export for Liverpool having signed the former Chelsea man on a free transfer, however upon signing Joe Cole it was dubbed one of the best signings of the transfer window, so what has happened to the England international while on Merseyside.

During Cole’s short spell at Anfield he has already seen two managers in charge, firstly Roy Hodgson and now Kenny Dalglish. For a new signing it is always hard when the manager who brings you leaves relatively early into your career but the fact of the matter is that even under Hodgson’s tenure Cole’s form was being criticised, with the former Fulham manager even commenting “He knows he is better than that and he knows he can do better than that,” every footballer goes through a blip in form but ‘King Kenny’s’ arrival should have made Cole want to start fresh and give his all to impress, although this appears to have failed with the reported selling of the midfielder, has Cole lost the desire to play or are there other issues?

Not playing is obviously not going to help anyone’s fitness, however in the modern age of football where footballers have intense and specially desgined diets, training programmes and routines becoming overweight is not a plausible option (if you saw me you would be shouting hyprocrite) but it has become apparent to even Stevie Wonder that Joe Cole has put on a few pounds, surely the former West Ham man hasn’t become the next Benni McCarthy, content to earn his weekly wage by warming the bench?

Getting sent off on his league debut for Liverpool after 45 minutes was close to rivalling Jonathan Woodgate’s Real Madrid debut as the worst one ever but this wasn’t enough for Cole and he decided to miss a penalty in his next game. Not the best start by any stretch of the imagination and perhaps they were early warning signs from the eye in the sky that Cole’s Liverpool career, was going to derail. Two incidents don’t ruin a career that has seen Cole been labelled the answer to England’s left midfield problem, the midfielder clearly has shown he has an abundance of talent over the years but has he really lost his ‘edge’ or should praise be going to the continual good form of Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez, with the former especially arguably Liverpool’s player of the season.

Ultimately Joe Cole will more than likely leave Anfield in the summer without ever showing fans why he was dubbed a child prodigy at West Ham and won Chelsea’s player of the year in 2008.

Before the beginning of the week I thought ‘Burnout’ was just a racing game on the Playstation, but after the media frenzy that has surrounded Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll’s inclusions in Stuart Pearce’s latest Under-21 squad for the European Championships in Denmark, I now know it means Arsene Wenger is moaning again.

The Frenchman has covered the back pages recently with a thousand reasons why Wilshere’s inclusion isn’t wise, but all of them seem insignificant after watching England being outclassed by a German side at the World Cup that consisted of Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Manuel Neuer and Jerome Boateng, four players who, 363 days before England’s exit, were playing for Germany in an Under-21 Championship final. Surely this is Pearce and Capello’s ideology for the future? An ideology that the likes of Wilshere and Carroll would be key to.

Andy Carroll has clearly struggled with match fitness since his return from injury and Kenny Dalglish will be happy enough for Carroll to go and regain this sharpness over the summer, especially with Liverpool looking likely to have a huge fixture list next season should they qualify for the Europa League.

The argument has been that the Under-21s would be a step back for the players after gate crashing recent England squads, but this isn’t a hugely valid point due to the fact that both players weren’t included in last years World Cup squad. Their international careers are still very much developing and so the next logical step in their maturation would be to play in Denmark this summer. This step eases the transition into the ‘full’ England squad, as Pearce works with Capello at the senior level, thus making the jump up not so extreme. Along with this is the bonus of playing with the likes of Danny Welbeck, Jordan Henderson and Phil Jones, who will potentially be their international team-mates at in the senior side in the not-so-distant future, hence ripening the team fluidity and ability to work together for several years to come (much like many of the current Barcelona squad in their graduation from La Masia).

Ultimately, the main positive in this whole scenario isn’t that Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll will be important in helping the Under 21s succeed in the tournament; the main message that needs to be received by all English clubs is that country comes first, no excuses. Everyone associated with the international football scene needs to send out this message, loudly and clearly.

If media reports are to be believed then Joe Cole is on his way out of Anfield this summer, with Tottenham Hotspur apparently readying a £10 million bid for the forgotten man. In a business sense this would be a very good bit of import export for Liverpool having signed the former Chelsea man on a free transfer, however upon signing Joe Cole it was dubbed one of the best signings of the transfer window, so what has happened to the England international while on Merseyside.

During Cole’s short spell at Anfield he has already seen two managers in charge, firstly Roy Hodgson and now Kenny Dalglish. For a new signing it is always hard when the manager who brings you leaves relatively early into your career but the fact of the matter is that even under Hodgson’s tenure Cole’s form was being criticised, with the former Fulham manager even commenting “He knows he is better than that and he knows he can do better than that,” every footballer goes through a blip in form but ‘King Kenny’s’ arrival should have made Cole want to start fresh and give his all to impress, although this appears to have failed with the reported selling of the midfielder, has Cole lost the desire to play or are there other issues?

Not playing is obviously not going to help anyone’s fitness, however in the modern age of football where footballers have intense and specially desgined diets, training programmes and routines becoming overweight is not a plausible option (if you saw me you would be shouting hyprocrite) but it has become apparent to even Stevie Wonder that Joe Cole has put on a few pounds, surely the former West Ham man hasn’t become the next Benni McCarthy, content to earn his weekly wage by warming the bench?

Getting sent off on his league debut for Liverpool after 45 minutes was close to rivalling Jonathan Woodgate’s Real Madrid debut as the worst one ever but this wasn’t enough for Cole and he decided to miss a penalty in his next game. Not the best start by any stretch of the imagination and perhaps they were early warning signs from the eye in the sky that Cole’s Liverpool career, was going to derail. Two incidents don’t ruin a career that has seen Cole been labelled the answer to England’s left midfield problem, the midfielder clearly has shown he has an abundance of talent over the years but has he really lost his ‘edge’ or should praise be going to the continual good form of Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez, with the former especially arguably Liverpool’s player of the season.

Ultimately Joe Cole will more than likely leave Anfield in the summer without ever showing fans why he was dubbed a child prodigy at West Ham and won Chelsea’s player of the year in 2008.

There is currently a revival under way at Anfield under the management of Kop idol Kenny Dalglish, the home coming of the prodigal son has seen a transformation at all levels for the Merseyside giants. With European qualification now a very realistic possibility for Liverpool after what can only be described as a disastrous start to the 2010/11 season, everyone is applauding the influence of the Scot, but in amongst all the adulation for King Kenny, should some praise be reserved for fellow Scotsman Steve Clarke?

Steve Clarke, throughout his career as a right hand man, has earned a reputation as the one the players go to for advice or any problems, ultimately summed up by the former Chelsea manager and colleague José Mourinho: “If he had the chance to manage a club, even a big club like Chelsea, he would be ready for that. He is that good. He is an intelligent guy and always looking to improve. He is very open to co-operation and learning. He has a good relationship with the players, knows how to handle them. I think he is much, much better than many managers who are in charge of teams at the moment.”

Clarke is renowned for his defensive knowledge and is rumoured to be the reason behind Liverpool’s recent use of three centre backs in certain games, that has proved very prosperous for the side, such as during the hard-fought victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. On top of this, the increasing confidence of the young Martin Kelly and the inspiring performances of Glen Johnson suggest the former Chelsea and West Ham assistant manager is having a more profound impact than he may have been receiving credit for. Sorting out the defence has been Liverpool’s enigma this season, but under Clarke’s management it is starting to look a lot easier.

Kenny Dalglish is known as a passionate and motivated man, and one that commands the utmost respect from the red half of Merseyside. This, combined with the experience from his career as one of British football’s greatest ever strikers, gives him the knowledge to impart to his attackers, which has been demonstrated in Liverpool’s current run of 15 consecutive games in which they have scored. With ‘King’ Kenny as the force behind Liverpool’s attacking resurgence and Steve Clarke pulling the defensive strings, they compliment each other fantastically, which is a huge benefit to the Reds.

Like every story there is always another side, and despite Clarke’s apparent role as the unsung hero down Anfield Road, you have to remember he was the assistant manager at West Ham when they nearly got relegated: where were his ‘unsung hero’ qualities then? Perhaps this has something to do with the ‘good cop, bad cop’ ethos; Dalglish and Mourinho are strong characters, whereas Gianfranco Zola, who was West Ham manager during Clarke’s time at Upton Park, is a very calm and placid character, very similar to Clarke, not allowing a balance to be struck between the two personalities.

Overall, no one can underestimate the impact that an Anfield legend such as Kenny Dalglish can have, but I’m sure Clarke will soon get the recognition from Liverpool fans if things continue to go as well as they have recently. Maybe even a song for him?