King Kenny to come back?

Liverpool fans woke this morning to a piece of news that could see an extremely difficult week end on a high note.

The Liverpool Echo have reported that Kenny Dalglish could be about to make a return to Anfield as part of the team Rafael Benítez is setting up in his quest to turn the football side of operations around at the club.

According to Tony Barrett, Rafa has already raised the idea with the club’s owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett and is desperate to see the move sealed as soon as possible. Informal talks are said to have taken place between the two and it seems that in principle the legend will be happy to come back.

The report says Rafa sees Kenny in a role where he would concentrate in particular on providing advice on youth development, but that as well as spending time at the Academy he’d also be involved at Melwood and Anfield. This news comes after the appointment of Frank McParland to investigate the Academy set-up with a view to improving its value to the club.

Kenny’s status at Liverpool Football Club is such that only those with something to hide would have any concerns about his appointment. He’s never been known to make knee-jerk comments on situations the rest of us might have blown our tops over; when he has been critical he’s always been constructive, he has always stood by that criticism.

Kenny left Anfield in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster, needing a break from the pressure that had long-since passed the levels any other football manager is likely to ever face. He’d already gone from a legend on the field to a legend as manager; in 1989 he became a legend as a man.

The Hillsborough disaster saw Liverpool lose 96 fans, with many more injured and permanently traumatised. Kenny went to funerals, visited patients in hospital, spoke with families and helped organise his players to ensure nobody missed out on support from the club.

When Kelvin McKenzie pleaded for help after printing lies, headlined “The Truth”, that would lead to an ongoing 20-year boycott of ‘newspaper’ The Sun, Kenny’s advice was simple: Print the real truth, under a headline, “We Lied” in the same size font. McKenzie said he couldn’t do that – Kenny told him that he couldn’t help him then.

Liverpool won the FA Cup after Hillsborough, and the following season “King Kenny” steered Liverpool to their 18th title.  That was the last time the club won it.

He left the following season after struggling with all that pressure, two days after a 4-4 FA Cup draw with Everton. But with hindsight it is clear the club failed to recognise what had happened, as Kenny later said: “I needed the break, I needed the rest. After two weeks I got what I needed and I’d have been ready to go back, but the phone never rang. No one ever asked me how I was doing or whether I’d reconsider and the club went on and appointed Graeme.”

He’s referring of course to Graeme Souness, once a hero on the field but something far from it as manager. Fans blame Souness for the Liverpool downturn, and even if that was forgivable his decision to sell his heart-surgery story to The Sun will never be forgiven.

So now the club’s owners have a chance to make amends for the huge errors of judgement made 18 years ago by their predecessors. If – as reported – Rafa’s happy to bring Kenny back and Kenny’s happy to come back on the terms Rafa has in mind, then it’s the easiest decision Tom Hicks or George Gillett could ever make as owners of this club.

We look forward to his return.

8 thoughts on “King Kenny to come back?”

  1. Fair play Yossi, another inspired performance!

    It’s a real shame about the result, Arsenal were there for the taking (defensively at least). It’s ironic that really stupid defensive mistakes cost us?

    Were you at the game Midlands?

  2. It looks, baring a miracle, that the title is lost to LFC for another year but, progress has been made this season.
    Looking forward to the transfer window and comments that LFC will sign 3 new players. I do sincerely hope that Rafa will not buy 3 also rans again, one proven top player is far better than also rans. LFC still have 3 also rans to yet quit, therefore I hope that the lesson has been learned.

  3. @ Edward,

    I’m a little late reporting back but the 4-4 against Arsenal was a good game for forwards but a horrendous day for defenders, especially our own.

    Unbelievable the mistakes that were made – and I have to say that from where I was stood/sat Jamie Carragher had a very poor game causing Arbeloa to let in Arshavin. But he wasn’t alone of course.

    The supporters were great. Singing even when we were 4-3 down with moments remaining and I barely saw anyone leave the ground early. But with our late goal shows all year you can understand why.

    So far it’s been a truly interesting season for us with many games won without Stevie G and/or Torres, unexpected star players from Benny to Kuyt, Babel going missing when I for one thought this would be his breakthrough season, and now a defence which, against the usual Rafa blueprint, leak goals when past seasons would expect them to solidly hold onto a lead. No matter what it’s been a real roller-coaster of a season.

    I just hope that there’s a final twist in the tail, although Spurs gave us little reason to put money on one judging by their crash over the past weekend.

    ……….but then there’s always the ownership issue!!

  4. Maybe Klinnsman would have been a success at our club………but the case against that is perhaps alot stronger this morning……..

    ‘…..picking an assistant manager without Bundesliga experience, yoga classes for the players, Landon Donovan … “His concept convinced us – on paper,” said Hoeness pointedly. Minutes before kick-off players still did not know whether they were supposed to play a pressing game. After very vocal off- and on-the-record criticism of tactics that were seen as too attacking by key squad members, Klinsmann relented in February. The numbers improved slightly but his credibility was damaged irreparably.

  5. midlands have to agrre, went to the Arsenal game and the atmosphere was the best its been all season mate.

  6. Jesus wept,

    Don’t think Arsenal are going to do us any favours in the league. There goes our goal difference advantage 🙁

  7. Wouldn’t go that far, yet!

    Remember, Fulham turned United over after being tanked twice………….and also Arsenal won’t want to lose three times against United in such a short space of time.

    While I’m here, we retain Agger and lose Hyypia, and we’re certain to lose a left back (because we’ve got too many). The gaps in the squad are beginning to appear and new recruits certain to fill them. I just hope that we give one or two of our youngsters the chance – if they’re good enough – to fill the odd gap.

    Not looking forward to our game against West Ham, btw. I know we’re playing well but United have a habit of costing us the odd result. Hopefully Torres back – and Stevie G in tandem – will allay my fears

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