What Ingrates! The failure to appreciate Kenny Dalglish

This was originally written a couple of months before Kenny Dalglsh was sacked. Herein I examine the short-minded foolishness that guides the people who now control Liverpool Football Club

What Ingrates!

In the olden days when a person wanted to listen to their favourite song they had to get up out of their seat, take the record or cassette out of it’s cover, put on the LP and sit through the whole thing waiting for their favourite song. Kids these days wouldn’t believe the hassle one used to go through for the sake of a hearing a good album, what with having to actually leave your home and driving over to the next town to physically buy a hard to find , out of print Sinatra record. And although I’m not that old, I remember that when I had to invest energy in finding a record it meant more to me, and I appreciated it more. Now I just flick on my ipod, skipping from song to song in a way that would destroy an analouge recording, and can download a song which previously would have taken months of searching in a matter of minutes. The point of this is that as a music fan I’m awfully spoilt. Once coveted recordings are now as common as garden variety apples, and to be honest a little bit of the magic has disappeared. But I try to remind myself every now and then that when I was 14 I would have killed to have the access I do now, and to be grateful for what I have today.
Sir Kenneth recently spoke of the instant-success, fast-food culture infecting football. Wise words from the manager indeed. The vast majority of sports hacks and glory hunting “supporters” seem to have collective memory problems. I do think that modern technology can shoulder some of the blame. People today expect everything to be served up instantly, without having to invest anything on their own part. The sheer insanity/stupidity of people calling for Kenny Dalglish to resign can only be explained as the outcome of a general dumbing down of the culture. But one positive outcome of this hullabloo is that we can now seperate the real reds from the woolies. Liverpool supporters, *real* Liverpool supporters, are probably some of the most knowledgeable football supporters in the world. We’re a breed apart. And we know that in professional sports you cannot go from one successful period to another seemlessly and without having to go through the tiresome process of the rebuilding year.
Of course this is lost on many people who think that European Cups just fall from the sky. They probably don’t remember all the tedious games we had to lose in order for us to win that 5th Champions League title. “You don’t lose to win! You win to win!” I hear some of you say. Some people might think that Istanbul was the result of a remarkable 45 minutes. In truth it was the result of seven years of planning and building under the guidance of two managers. Istanbul 2005 started in the late 90s when Gerard Houllier decided to rebuild the club from the ground up. Along the way there were embarrasing defeats to Sunderland, several signings that didn’t work out, and countless newspaper columns declaring that Liverpool FC was a mere relic of days gone by. I know, and you know who had the last laugh.

Only a blind person can fail to appreciate what Kenny’s vision for the club is. I, like all of you, am not entirely enthralled with all of the players brought in over the past year. For instance I thought it was a mistake to let Aquilani leave in order to make room for Charlie Adam. But five minutes into the second leg of the League Cup semi at Anfield I finally understood why Kenny signed Adam. Dzeko and Adam were competing for the ball inside of the box when Adam ruthlessly hacked Edin Dzeko in the shins, winning the ball in the process. In that instant I saw what Dalglish is building – a team which can turn on the style, but also a team with sharp teeth. In other words, he is bringing back the team philosophy of Shankly, Paisley, and Fagan. Every great Liverpool side has been a team capable of moving the ball around the park with ease and efficiency, but also a team that is never pushed around. Let Manchester City and Arsenal continue running out the show ponies. Here something special will happen, but only with time.

Sadly, the incompetence of the club’s owners meant that Dalglish’s plans were never given time to come to fruition.  With Dalglish gone,  the players he signed also seem out of place. The likes of Charlie Adam, and Andy Carroll were signed to perform very specific tasks, and they will not fit the vision of Brendan Rodgers. Liverpool are going to pay a high price for the lack of continuity in the club.
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5 thoughts on “What Ingrates! The failure to appreciate Kenny Dalglish

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