It was on the cards for most of last season and sure enough, after six years in a red shirt, Dirk Kuyt left us this week Fenerbahce.
I was hoping he’d sign for Leeds, Spurs or Real Madrid so the headline could be “Dirk Wears White Sox” (Google it!). However, the rumours were about a return to Feyenoord, his old club, or Hamburg. None of this materialised as the lure of Champions League Football with the Turkish club and a better deal (three years and presumably more wonga) prevailed. Who can blame Dirk on the latter as at 31 years old this will surely be his last big move?
When he first joined Liverpool Dirk took some time to settle in. I remember my friend’s wife, who is Liverpool fan, calling him Dirk Sh*t however, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
I’ve said this before Dirk has his limitations for example you won’t see him chipping the keeper from the half way line just as Suarez did at Norwich recently and you won’t see him executing a Jan Mobyesque and Xavi Alonsoesque pass right into the space, no the blade of grass, where the on running player wishes it to be. In that respect he is very much like Kevin Keegan, what he lacks in “skill” or “Hollywood Football” he more than makes up for in other areas such as commitment, keeping it sensible and simple and, above all, sheer hard graft.
The end product is often the same, it’s just that Dirk has a different way of getting there? An example? Take Luis Suarez’s hat trick at Norwich, two long range shots and that audacious chip. Dirk got a hat rick against The Mancs last season which involved a series a short range tap ins. Which of the two was the more commendable Suarez’s unique piece of inspiration or Kuyt’s clever knack of being there in the right place at the right time? The answer to me is neither, both will do which his why both players, in their own individual ways, are/were just as valuable.
Liverpool over the last five years or so have been accused of being a one man team (Gerrard) or a two man team (Gerrard and Torres). This suggests that these players have carried the team to the places where its’ been over that time with others hanging in it’s wake. This is nonsense, especially as Gerrard and Torres have suffered long lay offs through injury. Moreover I would lay odds that Dirk Kuyt scored more vital goals during this time than Torres, Gerrard or anyone else you want to include put together. The list is impressive and if you are anorak enough to find out just type “Dirk” or “Kuyt” or “late” into the search engine on this blog to see some of the examples and if you still don’t believe me I’m more than happy to list them to prove my point!
Many of these goals have been scored in the last twitchings of the game which says a lot about Dirk’s fitness and his determination to see things through to the end and give 100%. Dirk didn’t feature too much in the side last season however given the habit I’ve just described one wonders how many of our draws, especially at home, might have been turned into victories had he played? Underused and undervalued? Whatever the case it seems this made up his mind to move?
‘My last season at Liverpool wasn’t the best one, I thought that I should’ve played more so, after six years, I just had a feeling I needed to change something in my career, a new experience, a new country, new people around me, and that’s why I made the decision to leave. I had a great time and I had great team-mates. The club was great, the people were great and the people from Liverpool – the text messages, the phone calls, the e-mails, all the tweets I had on my Twitter account – it’s unbelievable how much respect they showed me and it’s also a bit emotional.”
Dirk Kuyt deserves every bit of it, I wish him good luck at Fenerbahce, their gain is very much our loss!