The date, Wednesday, December 29th – Liverpool have just lost 1-0 to Wolves. Not for the first time, the chants begin to ring out. “Dalglish, Dalglish, Dalglish” were the cries of the Kop faithful as their team trudges off the field.
Speculation has been rife at Anfield for the past couple of days regarding the future of Roy Hodgson, but the inevitable has happened. Today, those fans finally got their wish – as it was confirmed today that Roy Hodgson has left the club by “mutual consent”. Kenny Dalglish has been installed as their caretaker-manager.
Dalglish will now take-control of Liverpool for tomorrow’s FA Cup Third Round tie against Manchester United, and according to a statement released by the club, he will remain in charge “for the remainder of the season.” The Scot previously managed Liverpool for the best part of six years – from 1985 to 1991 and brought success from the off – winning the double in his first season as manager. Three league titles and two FA Cups later, Dalglish departed.
The Liverpool job was never going to be an easy task for Hodgson, especially after the recent turmoil’s that have gone on at the club over the past year. Coupled with that fact that Hodgson was never the fans first choice to be manager, this was made dramatically worse as he oversaw Liverpool’s worst start to a season since 1953/54 – when they were relegated.
“King Kenny”, as he is known by fans, has been lurking in the background since returning to the club in July 2009 as an ambassador. On his appointment as caretaker –manager chairman Tom Werner has said: “Kenny will bring considerable experience to the position and provide management and leadership for the rest of the season.”
Leadership is exactly what Liverpool need at this moment in time. They need somebody to steady the ship. Undeniably, this is a Liverpool side that is in deep decline. The appointment of a “club-legend,” in Dalglish, be it in a temporary capacity till a replacement is found, is not exactly the answer to Liverpool’s woes.The players will also have to take some of the blame. They have been ordinary under Hodgson, so they’re not going to turn into world-beaters over night. Dalglish, in my view, is putting his reputation on the line for a club that is very close to his heart.
Many things have changed in football since Dalglish last managed ten years ago, at Celtic but something that has remained a constant is Liverpool still hold the (joint) record for league titles won – 18, which will looks to be in doubt and will surely end this season, if Manchester United continue to top the Premier League.
When it came to the supporters, Hodgson believe that he was walking alone and he said as much: “Ever since I came here the famous Anfield support hasn’t really been there,”. On the other hand, Dalglish will enter the job with the full support of the fans.
A new chapter is beginning at Liverpool, and the opening of an old one for Dalglish. Having recently released his autobiography, “My Liverpool Home”, Dalglish could be and depending on how he fairs in his return, he could be re-writing it very soon.