Dalglish on the past few months and the future

When Liverpool Football Club announced the departure of former manager Rafael Benítez “by mutual consent” they added the name of club legend Kenny Dalglish to the statement. Kenny was to help Christian Purslow in the search for a new manager.

Kenny Dalglish 'I think obviously it’s a huge disappointment that Rafa left'It’s believed Kenny didn’t know his name would appear on the statement, it’s also believed the club hadn’t even discussed the idea with him to help out in the search for a replacement. They assumed he’d help, and they clearly needed his name to appear on the statement. It not only gave an impression he would be heavily involved in selecting the new manager, it also implied he approved of the decision to part company with Benítez, a decision that had been far from universally accepted.

Kenny would later put his own name forward as a candidate for the job, but the club showed him further disrespect by choosing to snub his offer for reasons yet to be explained. Despite this lack of respect, Kenny went ahead and helped the board out with the process. Not that he was actually helping in a search – a list of names was handed to him rather than him being involved in drawing up that list.

Why Kenny wasn’t asked to provide input on some potential candidates remains as unclear as the reasons why the board felt they could ignore his request to be considered for the job.

Kenny’s first full interview since Hodgson’s appointment went out on BBC Five Live yesterday. It began with him being asked on his views on the Bosman signing of Joe Cole. Kenny said: “I think it just gave everybody a lift. Joe’s a really talented footballer. For Liverpool to get hold of him and strengthen the squad they had was very important, it’s very important for Joe Cole as well that he’s gone somewhere where he knows he’s got a very good chance of playing. If he plays well he’ll stay in if he doesn’t, it’s his fault, nobody else’s.”

Kenny was determined to put a positive slant on the events at the club this summer, and spoke about what Steven Gerrard had said earlier in the week:  “Signing Joe Cole and Steven coming out with a statement just afterwards that he was staying, it wasn’t a bad week for the club really.”

Did Gerrard actually say he was staying? He was looking forward to playing alongside Joe Cole: “It will be fantastic to play alongside him in a red shirt for Liverpool.” He’d needed time to think: “I made it clear that I simply needed to concentrate on the World Cup and then have a decent holiday with my family.” He’d spoken to the new manager and liked what he had to say: “I wanted the chance to meet Roy Hodgson privately and having done so, I’m very impressed with his plans for the future.” But he stopped short of saying that speculation about his future was nonsense or that he’d reject any offers that came in as the summer went on.

Kenny knows that Gerrard isn’t as certain about staying as he would be if the club was being run the way it should be. He also knows that Fernando Torres would be moving to end all speculation about his future if there was no doubt he wanted to stay. Kenny said he didn’t know what Torres was planning: “I hope he stays. There’s only Fernando knows really what he’s going to do. Unfortunately for him he’s injured, but Fernando’s a fantastic player and he’s very happy in and around Liverpool the football club and the city.”

Sticking with the positive theme about issues at the football level Kenny added more reasons that might persuade Torres to stay: “So the fact that Steven’s staying I think will be a great help to Fernando, the fact that Joe Cole’s signed, Jovanovich is coming in, they signed young Danny Wilson from Rangers, they’ve signed Jonjo Shelvey from Charlton, so a wee bit of buying for present and buying for the future there. So I’m sure Fernando will look at what’s gone on and when he gets chance to sit down and talk to Roy I’m sure he’ll give everybody good news.”

Kenny was also asked about Mascherano, one player who’s made it clear he wants to leave: “As far as I know he’s a Liverpool player isn’t he? I don’t know if he’s gone anywhere but Mascherano’s a top class player, if he stays at Liverpool as well that gives them a real strong base because obviously the stronger the squad is the better chance you have of success.”

Dalglish spoke about the new manager too: “Obviously Roy’s going to stamp his own authority on the job. It’s a wee bit difficult for Roy at the moment to get into the job, because most of the players are just coming back after being at world cups and they’re coming in in dribs and drabs, it’s a difficult start when you don’t have everybody in at the very beginning. Certainly Roy will put his own authority on the job and I’m sure he’ll do a very good job.”

There was also an explanation, a diplomatic version at least, of how Kenny saw the events that followed the departure of Benítez: “Unfortunately when Rafa went I only offered to help as best I possibly could, in any way shape or form I could help.”

Kenny revealed that his part in the process was relatively minor. He spoke to people on a list already drawn up and the board made the actual decision on who to appoint: “Myself and Christian Purslow: there was a list drawn up, we spoke to a few people and then, after initial conversations, I stepped aside and the board made the decision who was going to be the new manager. So basically that was it.”

On his offer to be the manager he didn’t go into details about why he was refused the job: “I said I would help in any way I possibly could with Liverpool and I would have been prepared to be the manager if they wanted it, but obviously they didn’t want that to happen, which is their prerogative and it’s not a problem for me.

“If you say you’re wanting to help and if you don’t offer to help in any way shape or form then you’re not sticking to your word and that’s what I did. But whether I get to be a manager anywhere else remains to be seen, I don’t know.” Asked if he’d ruled out managing anywhere else he said: “I’ve not ruled it in either.”

There’s a feeling that Kenny’s desire to be a manager again only relates to the Liverpool job. Asked if he missed the “buzz” of managing at the top level he had mixed feelings: “Sometimes you do, other times you don’t. The times you don’t miss it is when you’ve lost a game. It’s a lonely feeling when you’ve lost a game and you’re a manager.”

Asked whether he’d been offered a new role at the club, as suggested in the wake of the Hodgson appointment, he suggested that nothing had been said to him yet: “I was very happy at the club last year when Rafa brought us back in, to look after the academy, or be an ambassador for the academy and obviously for the board’s point of view to attend the home games, it was very enjoyable doing what I was doing. And if there’s some other role that the club want me to do there we’ll look at that and see what happens.”

He also had chance to hint at his opinion on the departure of Rafa, the man who he credits for bringing him back to the club: “I think obviously it’s a huge disappointment that Rafa left. At the end of the day if the academy turns out to produce two or three players then he’s left a fantastic legacy there.”

Asked again what his role at the club was from here onwards, he said: “The same as it was when Rafa was there I think. At the moment there’s nothing else. I was just to be an ambassador and work in and around the academy for a couple of days a week and go to the home games.”

Last season began with many expecting – almost demanding – another title challenge. Roy Hodgson has inherited the same squad (with some improvements) that carried those expectations on its shoulders last summer. But nobody seems to be talking about title challenges this summer, which Kenny suggests isn’t a bad thing: “I think all you set yourself out to do is as well as you possibly can in every game you playing in and see where that takes you. Liverpool have never ever gone into a season in my knowledge shouting their mouth off about what they’re going to do so I don’t see why they need to start now.”

Was a Champions League place a minimum requirement? “No, the minimum is to give everything you’ve got in every game. The best players want to play in the best competition and the Champions League is the best competition so I’m sure the players will be striving for that.”

As Kenny pointed out, it’s no longer a case of four clubs fighting for the top four places: “There’s a lot of very good clubs out there, I mean apart from your Chelsea, United and Arsenal you’ve got Man City; Harry had a great season last year at Tottenham so the competition’s getting stiffer, but as I say, as long as you give everything you’ve got then nobody can ask for any more.”

What the Liverpool hierarchy now need to watch out for is the consequences of Kenny Dalglish doing his best for the club. He’s now got a better idea of what’s been going on over the past 12 months; don’t be surprised if we hear more interviews from him away from the club’s official outlets.

7 thoughts on “Dalglish on the past few months and the future”

  1. it shows are board are usless, kenny was the right man for liverpool.most fans know that , the yanks pursow anfd the chelsea fan chairman
    should all go asp. hodgson nice man yes but noway on this earth is he better than kenny,in fact hes not better than rafa. whats he ever won? sacked at blackburn no good at inter. one good season at fulham yet they finshed 12th. i hope he does well but we will get nowere till that crowd go..

  2. On the subject of S.G. staying:
    “…but he stopped short of saying that speculation about his future was nonsense or that he’d reject any offers that came in as the summer went on.”

    Yes it’s ambiguous, but that’s probably the idea. It makes the fans sweat, extra pressure is put on the owners, and so it builds.

    People should read between the lines and they’d have realised that he was never going anywhere. I’m sure he’s as unhappy about the way the club is being run as the fans are and wants it sorted out.

    Ditto Nando.

  3. Time to forget the debate of Kenny and what if and just get behind Roy H now. He is our Mgr and I for one am happy about that.

  4. Kenny is being diplomatic, to say the least, and the real story has yet to come out once the ownership issue is resolved. I truly wish for an outcome in the next few months rather than another year or so of stalemate which would be soul destroying.

    Apart from Man City & Chelsea, nobody seems to be spending big and new owners with investment could strengthen quickly. Man U seem to be financially impotent and I dont see the media jumping all over that one. It is going to be a far more competitive EPL this year which is good for the league and more of the tops teams will slip up.

    There is lots of talk about Torres going to Chelsea but just imagine the impact of that happening whilst Broughton is pulling the strings for Tom & Gerry. I see him staying for one more season at least and I hope he is using the situation as a ploy to put pressure on the board as he has put on record on many occassions his love for LFC, the fans and the city. Hopefully winning the World Cup will satisfy him for now.

    Roy has conducted himself incredibly well during uncertain times when there are so many raw emotions amongst the fans. He genuinely seemed thrilled to be given the Anfield hotseat and by his own admission, feels that under any other circumstances he would not have been considered for the role. I like what I have seen so far but the real talking has to be done on the pitch rather than the tedious circus of the past few years.

    Getting Joe Cole on a free has been a master stroke and if he can play anywhere near his potential he could be exactly the catalyst we need to break down defences. Is the No 7 shirt still up for grabs? Is there another signing targeted for the No 7 shirt?

    Roy has got rid of the some of the dead wood and I hope that we can get a few more fresh faces in so that there is real competition for places.

    Riera was a greek tragedy before he left and we need players who get the club and get the fans because there is nothing like Anfield when it is rocking. Lets get fully behind Roy and I genuinely see a positive season for us. The media can say what they like but we will be on the up this season.

    Thank you Rafa for all the good memories and you “got LFC” and what it stands for. Time for a new chapter to begin. Lets get behind the team and the manager and not cloud our judgement by the ownership issue as we ALL want the cowboys out yesterday.

    Very little is out there about the potential owners around the negotiating table. Is there any more information about who the board are talking to?

  5. Jim
    I believe Steven Gerrard’s autobiography down the road will state that he would have left Liverpool this summer if Benitez had stayed.
    For my money, it was one or the other to go. I am glad it is SG who is staying. I do think he will say in his book that he couldn’t have worked with Rafa again. His facial expressions last year suggested it. SG was disillusioned. You try playing alongside Lucas for a season!!
    Rafa is an arrogant man.
    I sense from your writing over recent years that you got close-ish to him. Closer to him than you will ever be with another manager and that gave you rose tinted glasses and this site some more credibility. This site is okay, but your moaning is tiresome. And now one of the attractions is gone. You don’t have any more insider knowledge being fed to you by Rafa or one of those close to him.
    As a Pool fan since 1974 I was shamed by our performance vs likes of Fulham and Portsmouth and others last year. The onus for that falls on Rafa. He kept selecting Lucas and Ngog etc. It was like he felt if he kept on playing them he’d prove people wrong in the end. Never a chance.
    And at least our youngsters will get a real chance to prove themselves or otherwise this year. We’d never know with Rafa who brought in a lotta, lotta crap as well as good.
    Roy won’t win us the league. He’ll get us back in the Champs League though. He has helped to keep SG, or probably Torres. He will give us 2-3, maybe 4 if lucky, youngsters for the first squad.
    I agree the Yanks HAVE to go. And CP with them.
    But the club is also better off without Rafa and his moods, arrogance, pig headness.

  6. @Damien,

    I’ve tried to answer this and it’s hard to do it without sounding condescending.

    If you come here for “insider” information I suggest you stop coming here, and I suggest you shouldn’t have come here in the first place if that was what you’re looking for.

    If it’s positivity you want, regardless of how good or bad things might be, go to the official website, that’s what they are expected to be like.

    I’ve never met or spoken to Benitez, so that implication in your comment was off-target as well as insulting.

    Nobody enjoyed our performances in the games you mention last season. The Fulham game you mention was one like many last season where we had key players missing through injury. Defenders were our problem that day – Skrtel, Agger and Johnson were missing. At 2-1 down Degen and then Carragher got sent off. Torres was again suffering from injury, and was only used for an hour – and he scored our goal. Disappointing game and I don’t anyone came out of it well.

    Injuries played a big part last season – which is why Ngog got so many games. Remind me again – who was it he kept out of the side?

    And with Lucas, do you actually have any reasons of your own why he’s so bad or is that a case of following the herd? One of the most successful players in the league on tackles won, recalled to the Brazil squad again, he might not be the best in the world but he’s certainly not as bad as he’s made out to be.

    Funny though isn’t it – you cite two reasons why Gerrard might have left. One was Rafa you claim – yet Gerrard didn’t take any of the opportunities he had to assert he wanted to stay after Benitez had gone, such as the end of the World Cup or the day he met Hodgson at Melwood. Secondly you mention Lucas as part of the reason for Gerard’s despondency – didn’t Hodgson make Lucas captain of the thin-on-the-ground squad he used for pre-season? Is Lucas (Lieva) leaving? Seems not. How will Gerrard react to that?

    As for youngsters getting a chance, two things spring to mind. One of them is the tributes Kenny paid to Rafa’s work on reinvigorating the academy and so making it more likely some decent youngsters might once again be produced. Two is the fact that there are quotes in place this coming season meaning youngsters will have to be relied on far more.

    In fact there’s more points to make in relation to your comments about youngsters – Insua is still classed as a youngster, played most of last season (partly because of injuries), but he might be gone this season to be replaced by someone older. Martin Kelly is another youngster who is highly regarded and got his chance last season – only to see it brought to an early end by injuries. Jay Spearing got some chances last season, he was being moulded into a player to cover for Mascherano in the long term. I presume you don’t consider Mascherano to be “lotta lotta crap”. What about Ayala? Who’s this lad setting the Under-19 championships alight for Spain, some lad called Pacheco? Who does he play for again? Liverpool? Who brought him here? Rafa? Really. (And if some reports are to be believed, he’ll not be here next season).

    In truth though all of this is pretty much pointless going back over again. Hodgson is the boss now, whether he was the right choice brought for the right reasons or not. If he can’t win us the league then why were so many people up in arms at the start of last season when a title challenge first started to look slim? The squad is all but the same as it stands now. Pepe shared the golden glove with Cech last season so it’s not like our defence needed anything much doing with it. Our problem was going forward, not helped by having to pull out at the last minute from agreements to sign at least two attacking players in the summer. But now Benayoun’s been replaced by Cole, an improvement and Jovanovich and Maxi (if he’s not sold) have been added we’ve got some improvements. If Aquilani is as good as he’s supposed to be we should actually be able to find out this season. If Torres and Gerrard are fit for most of the games we’ll be laughing. Won’t we?

    There you are, a bit more “moaning” followed by some positivity about the upcoming season. Basically we’ll be very unlucky to have as many injuries as last season, our manager doesn’t expect to have much of a say in transfers and will do what he can with whatever CP gives him, he’ll be able to tell players they aren’t good enough or played badly without it being a drama, he’s already got a better squad than the one we began last season with, most people who supported Rafa will support him, most people who hated Rafa will go out of their way to support him, all in all our own little world is in a position to do as well as it was expected to do at the start of last season.

    Whether Spurs, Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd and Arsenal have stood still, gone backwards or made huge strides forwards remains to be seen. We can’t do anything about them.

    Anyway, I look forward to your answers about Lucas and Ngog.

Comments are closed.