Yesterday’s news that Kenny Dalglish has had his temporary stewardship of the club made permanent is only surprising in the sense that it took the club so long to make the decision?
Kenny, along with Steve Clarke, have been handed three year contracts. Football is full of speculation however, after only a month or so in charge, it was surely nailed on that Dalglish would keep the job for a little longer? It’s not often the papers and other media are completely devoid of “candidate lists” regarding a “vacant” manager’s post. It must have been a certainty however if there was any doubt results such as the wins against The Mancs, Chelsea and Manchester City, improved away form, together with seventeen goals in our last five games, surely put pay to that? In this instance at least Damien “Headhunter” Comolli, our Director of Football must feel, he has an easy job.
“We didn’t really look elsewhere because Kenny turned things around very quickly, with the help of Steve Clarke. For us, it was a no-brainer.”
The results since Kenny took over from Roy Hodgson in January, speak for themselves, apparently we are second only to Chelsea on current form since that month. However, there is more to it than that. The style of play has improved and we are, thanks to signings such as Suarez, a genuinely good watch. Since taking over players such as Maxi. and Meireles appear to have been galvanised and Dirk Kuyt now appears to be scoring for fun. Every player seems to talk favourably about Dalglish and Clarke and their methods suggesting that morale in the camp is good. On top of that youngsters such a Robinson, Kelly, Flanagan and Spearing have been introduced to the first team for decent spells and have done well.
It goes without saying that the appointment has the approval of the fans indeed it would take a brave man not to give Kenny the job and face their certain wrath. Hell they have even got louder says a website which measures these sorts of things. Quite how they do and arrive at these conclusions I don’t know but the general message is that the Dalglish effect has rippled through to all aspects of the club. His impact, and subsequent permanent appointment, and has received universal approval from those connected with the club past and present. Said Kenny
“I said when I took the job on in January that I was just happy to help the club out for the remainder of the season. Now the owners have decided in their wisdom that they want me to stay a little longer and its fantastic news for both myself and Steve Clarke that we have signed these contracts. This is a unique football club and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to help build something special here again.”
And now that we have another key piece in the rebuilding process inserted I guess it is the future that it what we should be looking to now even though for me it’s genuine pity that we are running out of games to play this season. Say everyone had five games left instead of two what would the odds be on us overhauling Manchester City for the Champions League fourth spot? Nonetheless many heads will already be turned to this summer and rebuilding certain areas of the squad. Throughout the season we’ve been linked with many players and the latest appears to be Ashley Young of Aston Villa along with club mate Stuart Downing.
The Young rumour is not new, we were linked with him when Rafa was manager. This time there appears to be more to it even prices have been bandied about, £15m in many papers. I wonder? Young looks like establishing himself in the England side however I guess Villa will be keen to get something for him as he only has a year or so left on his contract. At least this will prevent Villa showing some of the stubbornness and hard ball tactics they employed a few seasons ago when we tried to sign Gareth Barry? We appear to be facing competition for his signature from The Mancs however it is a testament to the improvements we’ve made that it is thought that Young prefers a move to us?
One wonders if we will also be successful securing the services of Stuart Downing? Will Aston Villa really be willing to sell two of their experienced midfielders and two key players to boot? If it happens what conclusions will the fans draw about the clubs ambition? One also wonders how Downing and Young will be accommodated into the side? Who will Kenny sell or shunt out? Add to this rumours concerning players such as Charlie Adam, Gary Cahill and Jose Enricque and you could potentially have something of clear out on your hands?
I suspect we will end up signing just two or three players and see others going out the door. At present one can’t help wondering just how necessary this is given our current form. However, I guess we shouldn’t let this cloud the need for strength in depth and, even though we’ve been on a run, there are still areas of weakness. I guess it is trying to tread a line fine between consistency and making changes for the better.
Over to you Kenny, its definitely your concern now!