Kenny Dalglish may be an Anfield hero, but even among Liverpool fans it’s difficult to find those happy with his work this season with the club he was supposed to take back to greatness, given plenty of funds and patience from the American owners. A Carling Cup and a potential FA Cup won’t cover up the mess in the Premier League, no matter how you spin it.
Where did it go wrong for ‘King Kenny?’ Hard to pin point an exact moment. Luis Suarez getting suspended and the whole Patrice Evra saga is a good place to point your finger at. Lucas, playing the best football of his career over the last couple of seasons, going down for the rest of the campaign is another good reason to hang on to. Steven Gerrard returning full time (it seems) hasn’t been enough to turn the tide, except for the derby against Everton.
Daniel Agger, who teamed up to form one of the best centre back duos along with Martin Skrtel, went down, almost an annual thing. Going with Jamie Carragher instead of Sebastian Coates seems to be another wrong kind of reasoning from Dalglish, sticking to British guns even when they don’t deserve it.
The zig zag with Andrew Carroll hasn’t been beneficial to anyone. The zig zagging with the entire lineup hasn’t been beneficial to anyone. Jordan Henderson isn’t a winger no matter how much Dalglish wants him to be. Charlie Adam can’t defend no matter how Scottish he is, like Dalglish. Jay Spearing shouldn’t be starting for any Premier League side with aspirations above fighting against relegation.
The disappearance of Maxi Rodriguez, who was brilliant under Dalglish in the impressive finish last season, has also been alarming. Not injuries, mostly. Just a falling out apparently, while Dalglish keeps rotating players on the right wing. Stewart Downing actually did better while positioned on the right side of the midfield, while Bellamy hasn’t been himself since the death of Gary Speed.
The biggest mistake? Dalglish making it feel like everything is going fine because of the penalty win against Cardiff at the Carling Cup Final. Liverpool have lost 7 of their last 8 league matches and despite enjoying the majority of possession through most matches, have looked terrible in build up, passing and execution. Reina headbutting Perch was just a symptom of a bubbling team, quite aware of its own failures and shortcomings.
There’s no quick fix, there’s no cheap fix. Dalglish will get the chance to begin and build something new with a fresh injection of money unless he actually doesn’t at least stabilize the rockin’ ship and Liverpool somehow finish at their worst position since the beginning of the Premier League. Even the knowledge of a European season in 2012-2013 and an FA Cup won’t save him.