Thursday, 17 May 2012

Dalglish Deserved More Respect From Americans

Dalglish Deserved More Respect From Americans

Kenny Dalglish has been sacked by Liverpool’s American owners, shocking the Anfield faithful to the core.

Kenny Dalglish like any other manager should have been given more time to improve Liverpool’s league fortunes.

But in this modern era of football and “modern” owners, time is not given to managers and they must get positive results immediately or suffer.

But for Kenny Dalglish not to be honoured more time is disgraceful, for a man who has served this club so well over the years as a player and as a manager, and who has his heart in the club.

Dalglish came to Liverpool’s rescue when he got an SOS call from Liverpool’s new American owners aboard the Titanic’s sister ship SS Roy Hodgson.

Dalglish then transformed the club and brought back a “feel good” factor back to the club and got everyone pulling in the same direction.

Dalglish spent a lot of money in the summer with new signings and big expectations for the new season with expectations of even winning the league.

But the league form was very poor and finishing in 8th position was very poor for a club like Liverpool.

But for Kenny to guide the club to two cup finals was a fantastic achievement and to win one of the finals and bring back a trophy to Anfield was vitally important for Liverpool to get back to winning things after going far too long without a trophy.

But inevitably Liverpool’s league form has cost Dalglish his job.

There has been criticism of Dalglish about some of his signings like Henderson, Downing and Andy Carroll not repaying the faith Dalglish showed in signing them, but some players take time to fit in to a new team.

Kenny’s tactics have also been criticised during his time, and his persistence in playing Jordan Henderson was highly criticised.

Dalglish’s biggest mistake was his handling of the controversial Suarez affair which could have been handled a lot better, but Dalglish always showed great support for his players, rightly or wrongly.

Dalglish never handled the media very well and in this era of scrutinised media attention made Dalglish look very uncomfortable.

But Dalglish provided more positives than negatives to Liverpool Football Club and that should not have been understated.

Dalglish has brought the club together and made the squad stronger with the signings he made.

Dalglish has produced a very young team with great potential and towards the end of the season we have witnessed some of Kenny’s underperforming signings start to perform, like Andy Carroll and Henderson looking far better players than they did at the start.

The impressive structure of youth coming through at Anfield that Dalglish should receive great credit for with the likes of Sterling, Coady, Morgan, Wisdom, Silva, Robinson and Flanagan on the verge of threatening for first team action.

But the progress and structure that Dalglish has been building could now be dismantled.

It is a massive gamble to bring someone new in, when Liverpool were making progress under Dalglish, but it seems that Liverpool’s owners are looking for instant title winning success from their manager, regardless of how much of a mess they were in not so long ago.

Liverpool has always been a club that has shown great patience with their managers but this act of impatience by their owners towards a “legendary” figure like Dalglish shows that Liverpool could be turning into a “managerial merry go-round” club like Chelsea which is very worrying.

Far from a disastrous season Dalglish was summoned to America to be professionally executed, the Americans could at least have conducted their calculated business at Anfield, and faced the supporters and media, in what is a massive decision for the club, it is ridiculous treatment for a man who answered their call for help not so long ago.

Time will tell if the Americans have made a very brave decision or a very big mistake, because whoever takes over the Anfield hot seat will have to be very good and hit the ground running.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

No Way To Treat A King

No Way To Treat A King

Kenny Dalglish has flown over to the States to meet Liverpool’s owners in Boston with speculation rife.

Liverpool’s owners should have cleared the air by issuing a statement to prevent the speculation surrounding Kenny’s trip over the pond.

With Liverpool’s league form so poor this season, the nation’s media is scaremongering that Dalglish could be axed.

No doubt this meeting in America is a pre-planned visit, not a showdown like the media would like it to be.

Dalglish will be given more time in charge, especially after steering Liverpool to two cup finals and bringing one trophy home to Anfield this season.

It would be ludicrous to sack Dalglish as he has brought the club some stability and has everyone pulling in the same direction.

The league form has suffered due to some bad luck in front of goal and some injuries to key players.

Gerrard was missing for the early part of the season and Lucas has been a massive loss for Kenny.

Suarez being banned was a big miss and his absence resulted in a disjointed strike force, with Suarez struggling a bit with his form on his return from his ban.

The number of new players added to the squad this season has made it difficult for the team too, as it takes time for players to gel into a new side.

Kenny just needs a couple of players and his team won’t be far away.

Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez are starting to look like a good partnership at last and this can only be promising for the new season.

Liverpool has always been a patient club with managers and the owners need to be patient again with Kenny as Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Liverpool have proved they can compete with the best, like when they beat Manchester City in the semi-final of the Carling Cup and when they beat Manchester United in the FA Cup.

They just need to get it right and find the consistency against the “lesser” clubs to improve their league position.

But to get rid of Dalglish would just cause mayhem at Liverpool with the supporters who back Dalglish, who would replace him, and the club would be unstable again, with so much insecurity once again.

So the American owners have to do the right thing and let Kenny continue his work and not get trigger happy in this situation.

The sooner Liverpool’s owners come out and issue a statement regarding Dalglish’s future, the better for all concerned, especially for the supporters, who deserve reassurance of Kenny’s future.

Monday, 14 May 2012

The Scottish Connection

The Scottish Connection

Over the years, Liverpool has had many players from many countries, especially in recent years, with so many foreigners coming to play football in England. But has there been a country that has produced more influential players in the history of Liverpool Football Club than Scotland ?

Being a native Scot I am extremely proud of this fact. I remember when I was young and my dad would let me stay up late to watch Match Of The Day on a Saturday night, with the days’ football highlights, he would ask me to count how many Scots were in each team, because he would tell me that the team with the most Scottish players would win, and it seemed to me at the time that his theory was always right.

I have to point out that this was in the late seventies to early eighties, when there was an abundance of Scots playing in the first division in England. Unfortunately nowadays there is not so many. But when I was growing up supporting Liverpool the number of Scots in the team provided a massive reason why I started supporting them.

But throughout the history of Liverpool Football Club there have been many Scots that have played a massive part in shaping the club that we know today. Liverpool’s squad was mostly made up of Scots in their very first season and that has set a pattern throughout the history of the club. In fact in Liverpool’s eighteen title winning seasons, there has always been a Scot in the team.

Some Scots that have played important roles in the history of Liverpool are, Andrew Hannah, Liverpool’s first ever captain.

Alan Hansen, who captained Liverpool, and won many trophies in an illustrious career.

George Allan, Liverpool’s first great goal scorer.

Matt Busby who played over one hundred matches for Liverpool, but unfortunately moved to Manchester United to become manager, where the rest is history, he gets the credit for finding the great Billy Liddell before he left.

Ned Doig, a goalkeeper who is the oldest player to have made his debut at the age of thirty-seven and three hundred and seven days. Ned also holds the record for the oldest player to play for Liverpool when he played his last game, aged forty-one years and one hundred and sixty-five days old.

Matt McQueen who played in over one hundred matches for Liverpool before becoming manager, where he won the League title despite losing his leg in a car accident.

Malcolm McVean goes down in history as the man who scored Liverpool’s first ever League goal.

Alex Raisbeck played over ten years with Liverpool and captained the team to their first two titles. An early legend.

Tommy Lawrence, Shankly’s goalkeeper, played three hundred and ninety games for Liverpool and played a major role in the Shankly era.

Billy Liddell, arguably Liverpool’s greatest ever player, he played five hundred and thirty-four matches and scored two hundred and twenty-eight goals for Liverpool. He only won one league title in his career as he played at a time when Liverpool had a struggling team, but his tremendous play nicknamed the team “Liddellpool”.

Gary McAllister only came to Liverpool when he was thirty-five, but he played a major part in Liverpool’s treble winning season of two thousand and one.

Kenny Dalglish, in my opinion, the greatest Liverpool player of all time, although, Steven Gerrard is catching up. Dalglish played over five hundred games and scored one hundred and seventy-two goals for Liverpool. He also holds the record number of caps for Scotland with one hundred and two and is joint equal record goal scorer with thirty alongside Dennis Law. Dalglish won everything as a player and after the tragedy at Heysel he became player manager of the club, and won the double in his first season. Dalglish is best remembered for the role he played throughout the aftermath of the Hillsborough tragedy. Dalglish is adding to his legendary status by returning for a second spell as manager.

Ian St John was one of Shankly’s first signings and played a major part in Liverpool’s resurgence in the sixties under the leadership of Shankly. He played over four hundred goals and scored over one hundred goals for Liverpool.

Ron Yeats was another of Shankly’s early signings, Yeats was Shankly’s captain and captained Liverpool to their first ever FA Cup win. Yeats played for ten years with Liverpool and played over four hundred games for the club and like St John was a major influence in the success during Shankly’s reign.

Graeme Souness is regarded as one of Liverpool’s greatest players. A brilliant midfielder who could dominate games with his passing and his tackling. He later became captain and led Liverpool to another European Cup win in Rome in nineteen eighty-four in his last match for the club. Souness later became manager of the club in the nineties, but never had as much success, although he did manage Liverpool to an FA Cup success.

Bill Shankly is the greatest manager the club has known. Liverpool was a sleeping giant when he took over. The club were in the second division and Anfield was falling apart. But this man transformed the whole club, the stadium and most importantly the team. He might not be the most successful manager in the club’s history, but he placed the foundations for future success.

There are many more Scots that have played a part in the fabric of Liverpool’s history, in fact there has been one hundred and fifty-five players in the history of Liverpool Football Club and I’m sure there will be many more. At the moment we have young Danny Wilson and Charlie Adam who is playing regularly for the first team. So there are encouraging signs as we only win the league with a Scot in the team, so hopefully we are nearing our nineteenth title.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Liverpool Forever

Liverpool Forever

The anthem we sing upon the Kop

The Redmen we cheer year in year out

The joy they bring us the passion we show them

The trophies they have won us

The history they bring us is second to none

Great European nights

We have terrified the foreigners

5 European Cups

No other British team can match

Legends galore

From Liddell to Kenny to Stevie G

The list is endless

Great managers too, Shanks and Paisley

The boot room boys

All part of the tapestry that made Liverpool great

There have been dark times too

Heysel and Hillsborough our darkest days

Never to be forgotten

Made Liverpool stronger

The ups and the downs make Liverpool unique

We stick together through the tough times

As we showed to get those Cowboys out

And we celebrate the good times

Like when Shankley’s Red army brought back our first FA Cup in 65

And Sir Bob had us ruling Europe

King Kenny won the double

And Rafa made a nightmare into a dream come true in Istanbul

King Kenny is back now

And in true Liverpool fashion he has gave us many ups and downs

What a rollercoaster of a season

Poor in the league but 2 cup finals

And a trophy in the cabinet

Our first for a while

But with Kenny in charge

The future is Red

Liverpool forever

Monday, 7 May 2012

Can Kenny Make Liverpool Title Contenders ?

Can Kenny Make Liverpool Title Contenders ?

This is the question Liverpool’s American owners will be asking, as Liverpool languish in mid-table in the Premiership.

Liverpool’s success in this year’s domestic cup competitions has papered over the cracks of their failings in the league, but the league table does not lie.

Many people thought Dalglish would only survive if he won the FA Cup because Liverpool’s league form has been so poor.

But Dalglish has won Liverpool their first trophy in 6 years when he won the Carling Cup earlier this year, and for Liverpool to get back to winning trophies is very important.

One season in charge is never long enough for any manager at any club and the American owners don’t want to make Liverpool into another “Chelsea” who hire and fire managers after a few bad results.

Dalglish has “legendary” status at Anfield and he is so committed to this club that he loves, and he will be working harder than anyone to put results right and improve this club.

But for the first time in his Liverpool career there are sections of the Anfield faithful criticising Dalglish and his managerial skills, especially after losing the FA Cup against Chelsea.

Dalglish has spent an awful lot of money on players that have not produced enough for his team and this gives critics the most ammunition to fire at him.

Andy Carroll cost the most money and his lack of goals has meant Dalglish has constantly been questioned of his worth to the club.

I’m sure Dalglish would have expected more from the players he has brought in, players like Adam, Downing, Enrique and Jordan Henderson, but sometimes it can take players time to adapt to a new club, especially a club as big as Liverpool.

In recent games Andy Carroll has looked more like the player we saw at Newcastle as his cameo role in the FA Cup final proved, so maybe he that game could be the making of the big striker in such a disappointing day for the club.

But with Liverpool 37 points behind leaders Manchester City in the Premiership, how can Dalglish bridge that gap next season.

It will be a must for Liverpool to qualify for the Champions League at the end of next season or there will be a reality that Liverpool will become a perennial mid-table club.

Competition is so much tougher now to gain a top four place with Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and even Newcastle all fighting it out this season, so next season will not be any easier.

But the American owners need to decide if Dalglish is the right man to take them forward. There is no doubt that Dalglish has brought unity to the club and the supporters since taking over, but can Dalglish take the club to the next level, it will be a very important summer at Anfield this year before the new season begins.

It looks like Liverpool will have to spend a lot of money too, to improve the side, but will the Americans be prepared to part with as much cash as they did last year to not see much reward for their investment.

Time will tell what happens at Anfield, but the American owners should remember to do things the “Liverpool Way” and with Dalglish in charge, nobody knows it better.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Will Dalglish Survive

Will Dalglish Survive

Liverpool received a morale boosting win away to Norwich as they prepare for their meeting with Chelsea in Saturday’s FA Cup Final.

Luis Suarez was the hero for the FA Cup Finalists, with his first ever hat-trick for Liverpool.

Suarez was in scintillating form as he caused the Norwich defence all sorts of problems, and his shooting was clinical as he punished Norwich for defensive mistakes.

But Suarez took all the plaudits for his 3rd goal of the night as it must be a contender for goal of the season.

Suarez executed an audacious lob from 40 yards perfectly to give him his hat-trick.

Another encouraging sight for Liverpool was the return of Steven Gerrard after he was rested for the West Brom match.

But another League defeat on Tuesday at home to Fulham was another disappointing result in this very poor League campaign.

Dalglish made 9 changes to the team that beat Norwich as he prepares for the FA Cup Final, but the performance was very poor as Fulham won at Anfield for the first time in their history.

Cup Competitions

But Liverpool has enjoyed tremendous success in this season’s Cup competitions, already winning the Carling Cup and looking forward to a FA Cup Final.

But, the contrast in form between the League and Cup competitions is baffling all concerned at Anfield.

Maybe Kenny Dalglish will need to capture the FA Cup to keep his job as this seasons’ League campaign has been nothing short of disastrous.

Frustrating League Form

Liverpool’s league form has been a major concern as they have failed to mount a challenge for a top four place and Champions League football.

A major problem for Liverpool has been their home form.

Liverpool have only scored 20 goals in 17 home games in the League this season, which is one of the worst records in the Premiership, with Bolton scoring the same amount of goals at home, and only West Brom, Aston Villa, Wigan and Wolves scoring fewer.

Liverpool have proved that they can win the “big” matches, but they have struggled to win against “lesser” teams, which has crippled them for success in the League.

Dalglish V Hodgson

Dalglish’s predecessor Roy Hodgson and his team coming out on top with a gritty, determined, smash and grab win over Liverpool last Sunday, in Roy Hodgson’s first return to Anfield since leaving last January.

The result just added insult to injury for Dalglish in this rollercoaster season.

The fact that the much maligned Roy Hodgson inflicted another defeat on Liverpool makes things harder to take.

The debate rages on about Dalglish improving Liverpool from Hodgson.

Hodgson came to Liverpool at a very difficult time, especially with the ownership saga, and not many peoples’ first choice for the job.

Hodgson never spent as much as Dalglish in transfers. It may have been his transfer policy, but it could also have been that he wasn’t financially backed the way Dalglish has been backed.

Hodgson spent £16.8 million plus 13 million Euros on Raul Meireles on transfer fees.

Where, so far Dalglish has spent well over £100 million on transfer deals.

But the difficult start for Hodgson was the biggest problem as he struggled to get results.

The supporters were not going to be patient with Hodgson the way that they are showing patience with Dalglish with his season of inconsistent results.

Dalglish has legendary status at Liverpool and many supporters find it hard to criticise his management skills.

Dalglish Signings

Dalglish has brought in a lot of new players and spent a lot of money on them, but the jury is still out on most of his signings.

Dalglish has stubbornly persisted on playing new signings Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll, although they have all struggled for form.

But how many more chances does he give these players.

They have to start repaying the faith Dalglish has shown in them.

All season long Dalglish has defended his players against any criticism.

Many people ask if Liverpool have improved since Kenny took charge.

Of course they have, the squad is far stronger than before with the likes of Kuyt, Maxi, Bellamy and Jamie Carragher struggling to get into the team.

Dalglish has got the team playing a far more attractive passing style of football.

Work In Progress

There is no hiding the fact that results have not been good enough but in many matches Liverpool have been very unlucky and the statistic of hitting the woodwork proves this point.

Liverpool has hit the woodwork more than 30 times this season, which is more than any other Premiership side since the year 2000.

Another thing to remember is that Liverpool is “work in progress” and this should not be forgotten.

It was not that long ago that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was struggling to make a success of Manchester United.

For Dalglish to win silverware in his first full season back in charge, with the chance of more before the end of the season, is a tremendous achievement, considered it has been a while since Liverpool won anything.

Liverpool is not far away from getting it right. They are creating chances and at times they are playing teams off the park, but their only problem is that they are not putting away their chances.

So it was good to see such a convincing win at Carrow Road against Norwich.

But do the American owners think Dalglish is the right man to bring back the League title and Champions League football to Anfield, or is Dalglish on borrowed time until they get their man.

Friday, 4 May 2012

The Forgotten Man

The Forgotten Man

Dirk Kuyt has been such a big player for Liverpool in recent years, with his tireless work rate and his knack of scoring vital goals in big matches, he really has been so important to Liverpool. But this season he has struggled to get a game. Obviously there were going to be changes to the team this season with the amount of summer signings, and Kuyt has suffered more than most because of this.

Kuyt has mostly been used on the right side of midfield in recent years and with Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson arriving in big money buys, Kuyt has had to make way for them. Henderson has played a lot of matches on the right side of midfield this season, but in recent games Downing has featured on the right, although he is a left footed player.

Dirk Kuyt can also play up front, as he was signed as a striker in the first place, but Liverpool have preferred to use him on the right of midfield. Kuyt has played a few games up front this season but with the likes of Carroll, Suarez and Bellamy, he has been used sparingly.

Kuyt finished last season as Liverpool’s top goal scorer and he must have felt that he would continue as one the team’s most important players. But unfortunately he has struggled to feature. Kuyt is now 31 years of age and he must be wondering what his future holds as he is finding himself not a regular for the first time in his Liverpool career.

Although Kuyt had a terrific season last season, I worried that he might find it difficult to feature this season because of the new signings. With Andy Carroll starting to find some form and Luis Suarez coming back from suspension I think Kuyt will struggle to get a game again, which will be really tough for him considering he has played really well in the last couple of games and scored two goals in his last two games . I prefer Henderson playing in the middle as I have not been too impressed with him on the right. But Kenny has so many options now and Kuyt has been the odd man out most of the time this season.

I am not touting Kuyt as the best player in the world and he does have his weaknesses, like his passing and his first touch can be poor at times, but I just feel he brings so much energy to the team and inspires other players to work harder too. He has a great knack of scoring important goals in the big games which he proved recently against Manchester United.

But Kenny is the man who makes the decisions and it is far more difficult for him to select his team this season as his squad is certainly stronger and you can’t play everyone. But I can’t understand why Kuyt with all his experience is the man to be left out. It really is looking like Kuyt is the forgotten man of Anfield as Dalglish looks to build his own team. Kuyt is not at the stage of his career where he will want to be sitting warming the bench.

I hope Kenny uses Kuyt against Chelsea in the FA Cup Final because the Dutchman has a great knack of score in the big matches.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Two Cups Makes This Season Brilliant

Two Cups Makes This Season Brilliant

Many people are slating Liverpool for having a terrible season because of their League position, and maybe they are right for a club of the stature of Liverpool Football Club.

Most football clubs would be overjoyed at winning one trophy and in the final of another competition, but at Liverpool it is still not good enough.

Liverpool’s 8th position in the League is major concern. 37 points behind leaders Manchester United and 16 points behind 4th place Newcastle who is in a Champions League place is a major problem for Liverpool.

Champions League football is where the big money is and football nowadays is all about money. Liverpool need to be in the Champions League or they will fall further behind the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea.

The money Liverpool miss out on is vitally important, but the other thing that is a major concern for the club is the calibre of player they can attract to the club.

All the top players want to play in the Champions League and Liverpool need the best players at Anfield if they are to challenge once again for the title.

Expectations of winning the League were very high at the start of this season, as Kenny Dalglish brought back a feel good factor and belief to the club.

Liverpool’s summer signings also boosted the belief of the supporters at the start of the season, but to be fair it would have been a massive achievement so soon into Kenny’s second spell in charge to challenge for the League.

But the wheels have really come off since the start of the year in the League as Liverpool has only won 3 League matches.

It really is very poor form and understandable why there has been much criticism.

But Liverpool’s League position does not tell the whole truth of how Liverpool has performed this season.

In many of the games this season Liverpool have dominated, but their Achilles heal has been their failure to take their chances.

The fact that they have hit the woodwork on 30 occasions this season hasn’t helped.

Many opposing goalkeepers have produced heroics and man of the match standard performances especially at Anfield this season as Liverpool have been left frustrated on numerous occasions.

The latest episode of frustration was witnessed just last Sunday as West Brom performed daylight robbery at Anfield.

This latest injustice was orchestrated by former manager Roy Hodgson who was impatiently hounded out of Anfield just last January.

Liverpool conjured up 28 attempts at West Brom’s goal and won 15 corners in the match, but like so many times this season they failed to find the visitors’ net.

It just seems to be the same story every other week this season the way games have panned out.

People say you make your own luck in football, but it really has been ridiculous some of the games this season.

But the problem for Liverpool and Dalglish is that football is a results based business and no hard luck story is going to win any prizes.

Thankfully for Liverpool has been the form in the Cup competitions this season. Winning the Carling Cup was a tremendous achievement and gave the club its first piece of silverware in 6 years.

To also get to the FA Cup Final makes it an amazing season considering the troubles in the league.

If Liverpool do win the FA Cup then this has to go down as a brilliant season. With only three competitions entered this season and winning two of them would be remarkable.

The trophy or trophies should appease the American owners for now as their quest to be the best continues.

But next season Liverpool’s focus will be on the League and Dalglish will have to get his team to do much better.

Both Dalglish and the American owners know football is a results business and there are no excuses for failure.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Liverpool Are Not Far Away From Greatness

Liverpool Are Not Far Away From Greatness

Liverpool’s frustrating season goes on with another defeat, this time at home to West Brom, who won at Anfield for the first time in 45 years.

Dalglish’s predecessor Roy Hodgson and his team coming out on top with a gritty, determined, smash and grab win over Liverpool.

Like many matches at Anfield this season , the game was dominated by Liverpool , but once again the failure to take their chances came back to haunt them.

It has been a common theme all season long with only five League wins at home all season in a venue that was once heralded as “Fortress Anfield”.

So many teams have come away from Anfield this season with points and this has resulted in Liverpool being way off the pace in the race for a top four Champions League place.

But Liverpool have enjoyed tremendous success in this seasons’ Cup competitions, already winning the Carling Cup and looking forward to a FA Cup Final.

The contrast in form between the League and Cup competitions is baffling all concerned at Anfield.

But in all reality Liverpool’s League position is of paramount importance for their American owners.

Maybe Kenny Dalglish will need to capture the FA Cup to keep his job as this seasons’ League campaign has been nothing short of disastrous.

Dalglish has brought in a lot of new players and spent a lot of money on them, but the jury is still out on most of his signings.

Many people ask if Liverpool have improved since Kenny took charge.

Of course they have, the squad is far stronger than before with the likes of Kuyt, Maxi, Bellamy and Jamie Carragher struggling to get into the team.

Dalglish has got the team playing a far more attractive passing style of football.

There is no hiding the fact that results have not been good enough but in many matches Liverpool have been very unlucky and the statistic of hitting the woodwork proves this point.

Another thing to remember is that Liverpool is “work in progress” and this should not be forgotten.

When Dalglish took over the reigns once again, I believed he was taking on a job similar to the task that the great Bill Shankly took on all those years ago, and it took that genius time to turn around this great club, so Dalglish should be given time.

To win silverware in his first full season back in charge, with the chance of more before the end of the season, is a tremendous achievement, considered it has been a while since Liverpool won anything.

Liverpool is not far away from getting it right. They are creating chances and at times they are playing teams off the park, but their only problem is that they are not putting away their chances.

There just needs to be a bit of fine tuning to this team, maybe a goal poacher type striker, which they lack just now.

Liverpool have proved that they can win the “big” matches, but they have struggled to win against “lesser” teams, which has crippled them for success in the League.

But the talk of getting rid of Dalglish and saying that Liverpool were a better team under the management of Roy Hodgson are nonsense.

This Liverpool team will be great again under the leadership of Kenny Dalglish and the American owners should appreciate this and be patient as there is no better man for this job.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Carroll Starting To Pay Liverpool Back

Carroll Starting To Pay Liverpool Back

It has taken a very long time, but on Saturday Andy Carroll might just have won over the Anfield faithful.

The heavy price tag that has weighed the big man down seems to be easing at last.

Carroll’s every move has been scrutinised since his arrival last January.

Even the former England manager Fabio Capello criticised his lifestyle.

But through all the mud thrown at Carroll, Kenny Dalglish has defended his striker resolutely.

Even many of the Liverpool supporters have questioned Carroll’s credentials as the goals have been hard to come by.

But Dalglish has shown great faith that Carroll would come good.

Saturday’s winning goal against Everton sending Liverpool to a third visit to Wembley this season has just repaid the faith Dalglish has shown.

It was a difficult start to life at Anfield for Carroll as he was injured when he arrived to the club and it took him a long time to regain his fitness.

The impact Suarez has had has maybe heaped extra pressure on Carroll to produce too.

Carroll can’t be criticised for his work rate, he has kept going and never hid.

There is no hiding the fact that Carroll has not scored enough goals for a striker.

But he works for the team, he wins a lot of headers and holds the ball up well to bring others into the game, he also helps out defensively for the team.

In most games Carroll has played in, the service from wide areas has been very poor and chances for him to score have been few.

Carroll has also been deployed as lone striker in many games which I don’t think suits him.

He looks a far better player with a strike partner to compliment his game.

I feel Dalglish has tried to protect him too much at times by not giving him a run of games or by substituting him.

It looked at times this season that Carroll was finding his form, but then he would be dropped.

But maybe now Dalglish realises that Carroll needs games as he is player that needs to keep his match sharpness.

The great thing about Carroll is he is a confident lad and never hides if things are not going for him.

Even on Saturday Carroll missed a couple of great chances but he kept going and got his reward with the winner.

What a difference a week makes with Carroll grabbing a late winner at Blackburn and then scoring an even more important winner on Saturday.

Another important thing was the fact that Carroll played the full match because in many of his appearances he has been substituted.

Carroll and Suarez have showed signs of a good partnership forming in recent games too which is encouraging for Dalglish.

Andy Carroll is also a very important player for Liverpool defending set-pieces, as he has made numerous important defensive clearances.

But with this goal on Saturday I just hope everyone gives Carroll a bit of a break.

With Carroll now starting to look like a Liverpool player, maybe now everyone should give the other new signings a bit more time to fit in to this Liverpool team.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

A Red And Blue Wembley

A Red And Blue Wembley

On a lovely sunny April day the natives of Liverpool descended on Wembley

The prize for the winners a return trip to Wembley in the FA Cup Final

The crowd was colourful the noise was passionate as both teams entered the arena

The crowd was silenced although for just a minute as respect was paid to the 96

Both sets of fans paid a moving tribute to Gary Ablett who was a Red before becoming Blue

The Reds started brightly with much possession

And Spearing went close early doors

But with nerves jangling the Reds’ defence gifted the Blues a chance

And big Jelavic slotted the Blues into the lead

The Blues were bouncing the Reds were stunned

And so the Blues took the lead at the half as the Reds huffed and puffed

But the Redmen came out for the second half with all guns blazing

With Carroll heading narrowly wide

As the Reds attacked and the Blues sat deep

But just as the Blues looked to have stemmed the tide

Distin gifted the Reds an equaliser with a short back pass to Howard

Suarez said thank you very much with a clinical finish

The Reds and the Blues were level but the Red half of Wembley sensed victory

Andy Carroll was eager to become the hero

First he smashed a shot just past the upright

Then he miss-kicked following a goal mouth scramble

But the big man would not be denied

With time running out and the match looking likely for extra time

Big Carroll rose highest to nod the Reds into the final

And break the Blues hearts

It is a long way home for the Blues

But a merry trip home for the Reds

Friday, 13 April 2012

96 Red Angels

96 Red Angels

On a weekend remembering Hillsborough 23 years on

It is very fitting to have a Merseyside derby at Wembley

Where 96 angels will be

Those poor souls who never returned will never be forgotten

They had hope in their hearts and now they never walk alone

The Reds against the Blues with King Kenny in charge

Just like 23 years ago when the King led Liverpool through those dark days

The Reds triumphed for the 96 angels in the final that year

Now Dalglish and the Redmen will try and win again for the 96 angels

Just like Shankly and Paisley they will never be forgotten

Etched in the fabric that is the history of this famous club

The 96 angels have made this club stronger

The fight for justice and the truth of that fateful day

The cover up

The lies

The blame on Liverpool supporters

But this club stood firm

The family that is Liverpool Football Club is unique

With more history than any other club

There have been many triumphs and disasters

But Liverpool will go on making history

This weekend will provide another chapter

With the 96 angels in attendance down Wembley Way

You Will Never Walk Alone

Thursday, 12 April 2012



Liverpool’s American owners flew into Merseyside this week meaning business. Most people would think that they would just be over to experience the atmosphere of a build up to a Merseyside derby at Wembley in the semi-final of the FA Cup. But these guys are winners, like they have shown in Boston with the Boston Red Sox baseball team, and they are over for a stewards’ enquiry at Anfield regarding the team’s poor League position.

Liverpool have already won the Carling Cup, making it the club’s first trophy in six years, and are also in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Everton. But this is not enough for these success thirsty Americans.

Today’s announcement that Director of Football, Damien Comolli is to leave the club has come as a shock, especially with the timing of the announcement. Comolli is leaving the club by mutual consent, and that he is leaving due to family reasons. But many believe Comolli’s record in the transfer market has resulted in the American’s sacking him.

Comolli joined Liverpool in the 3rd of November 2010 as the Director of Football Strategy after gaining an impressive reputation in the world of football working at AS Monaco, AS Saint-Etienne,Arsenal and Spurs.

Comolli came to Liverpool with the task of overseeing the recruitment of new players to Anfield. Comolli has orchestrated the signings of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll in last year’s January transfer window, before signing Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Doni, Jose Enrique, Sebastian Coates and Craig Bellamy in the summer of 2011.

The new players that have arrived at Anfield in the last 18 months have had much criticism as most have struggled to fit in to their new environment, but the massive amount of money spent on these players has only intensified the scrutiny on Liverpool’s new signings.

But with Liverpool’s poor League form and the Fenway Sports Group’s demand to be the best, changes had to be made. Damien Comolli is the first victim of the Americans’ ruthless streak. But will he be the last as the owners show that they will make the necessary changes to make Liverpool the best.

Friday, 6 April 2012


The moment Kenny Dalglish returned to manage Liverpool he has made one thing clear that he will always back his players.

On many occasions he has went on the defensive when questions of criticism have been directed towards one of his players.

Dalglish stubbornly defended Suarez during a very difficult time when his handling of the affair came in for much criticism.

Dalglish has shown great loyalty and belief towards his signings as many have questioned their performances, Andy Carroll being the prime target for the media, as he has struggled to find the back of the net for Liverpool.

Dalglish has steered Liverpool to their first piece of silverware for 6 years, but since then Liverpool’s League form has suffered, losing 6 of their last 7 League games, in what is their worst run since 1953.

Dalglish has been receiving some serious criticism during this run of results that has seen Liverpool drop to 8th position in the League and no chance of qualifying for a Champions League place.

But Dalglish has continued to defend his players as the media’s vultures pick on his players.

Whatever you want to say about Dalglish and his team selections or tactics and especially his signings, you have to respect the way he defends his players from the media.

But now it is time for these players that Dalglish has backed to stand up and be counted as their manager suffers severe scrutiny about his future.

Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing, Craig Bellamy and Jose Enrique along with Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez have all arrived since Dalglish returned for a second spell at Anfield.

But only Luis Suarez, Craig Bellamy and Jose Enrique have pass marks for their performances, the rest have been questioned about being good enough to play for Liverpool Football Club.

It is now time for these players to step up and prove that they are good enough to play at this club and prove their manager’s belief in them.

Dalglish picks the team but when the players cross the line they need to show that they are worthy of wearing that Red shirt and playing with pride.

In recent weeks not enough players have shown the pride or passion or quality to play for this club and yet Dalglish has still defended them.

With a FA Cup semi-final date against Everton due up, these players will need to prove themselves fast or risk losing a manager caused by their poor performances that have resulted in poor results.

The club’s American owners could be forced into a change of leadership if results don’t pick up fast and maybe Dalglish will need a FA Cup win to keep his job, who knows.

I think Dalglish is still the right man for the job and I hope the owners think that too. At a club like Liverpool when results have been so poor there are always alarm bells, but there can be no rash decisions based on a bad run of results.

Look at Ferguson with Manchester United, he was having a wretched start to his career at United but the owner showed faith and look how they have been rewarded, and Dalglish is the right man to take Liverpool forward.

But the players now have a point to prove.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


                                        Liverpool 6-1 Brighton Match Report

Liverpool warmed up for their trip to Wembley in next Sunday’s Carling Cup final in emphatic style as they put Championship side Brighton to the sword in the 5th round of the FA Cup. The sides had already met in the Carling Cup earlier this season, with Liverpool winning 2-1 in that tie. But Liverpool looked greedy for another trip to Wembley by brushing Brighton aside and eyeing up a home tie against Stoke City in the quarter-final.

                                            The Team
Dalglish fielded a strong team against Brighton with Carragher coming back into the side alongside Gerrard, Suarez and Carroll, who were starting a match for the first time together. Dalglish showed that he was not going to take Poyet’s side lightly with the side he sent out to win a place in the quarter final.

                                          The Match

 Liverpool got off to a great start with Martin Skrtel heading home Gerrard corner inside five minutes, but the visitors responded with LuaLua blasting a 25 yard free-kick past Pepe Reina. Liverpool regained the lead seconds before half-time after Bridcutt deflected a goal line clearance into his own net from a Glen Johnson header.

Liverpool was buoyed going into the second half with the lead, and they added another in the 57th minute when Andy Carroll fired home a Downing cutback with his left foot. Liverpool made it 4-1 when the unlucky Bridcutt scored his second own goal when trying to keep out a Gerrard effort. Amazingly Liverpool’s fifth goal was from another Brighton player when Dunk tried to clear after some ball juggling, only to send the ball over his own goal line.

Suarez missed a penalty late on after Kuyt had been brought down, but the Liverpool striker was not to be denied as he headed in a sixth goal for the home side late on. This was Liverpool’s biggest win of the season and a victory that will certainly boost their confidence with important games coming up.

After the match Kenny Dalglish showed how pleased he was with his team’s goals tally when he said “Someone said we had 15 attempts on target. We’ve said we’d like to get our conversion rate up and today that’s not a bad return.” 


Great to see Dalglish send out a strong team and not underestimating Brighton. We struggled a bit the first half, although we still had more of the play. But scoring the second goal just before half-time really sent us on our way, although we did get plenty of help scoring wise from Brighton defenders who were prolific in front of goal. Played some great stuff second half and brilliant to see Carroll and Suarez scoring. I thought Downing played really well, especially after receiving plenty of criticism recently. A home draw against Stoke now to look forward to in the quarter finals and hopefully followed by another trip to Wembley.

Man Of The Match- Carroll – caused mayhem in the Brighton defence all day and took his goal brilliantly.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A Quiet Incredible Man

                                                A Quiet Incredible Man

On the 23rd of January 1919 in a little known town called Hetton-le-Hole in County Durham, was born a baby who was to grow up to be the most successful manager in Liverpool Football Club’s history. His name of course was Bob Paisley.

Paisley started his long road to success at non-league Bishop Auckland before signing for Liverpool in May 1939, but due to war breaking out Paisley had to wait until 5th of January 1946 to make his debut in Liverpool’s first post-war competitive match. Paisley became a regular in the Liverpool team at left-half and he helped Liverpool win their first league title in 24 years in his first full season at the club. Paisley had to wait until 1948 to net his first goal at Liverpool on the 1st May at Anfield in a 2-1 win over Wolves.

Paisley scored the opening goal in a 2-0 FA Cup semi-final win over Everton in 1950 only to suffer heartache when he was dropped for the final against Arsenal in the club’s first ever trip to Wembley, which they lost. Paisley stated that this experience helped him deal with players during his time in management when he had to tell a player he was being left out of a big game.

Paisley became the club captain the following year. He retired from playing as a one club man in 1954 and continued to work for Liverpool as a self-taught physiotherapist. He later became coach of the reserves before becoming a member of Bill Shankly’s famous “Boot Room”. In 1971 he became Shankly’s assistant manager until Shankly’s shock resignation in 1974, where Paisley succeeded as manager.

Liverpool had become one of the top clubs in the country under Shankly’s leadership and had won numerous trophies. Paisley’s task seemed a formidable one to continue in Shankly’s footsteps. But the unassuming Geordie took to management like a duck to water, although his first season did end without a trophy.

Bob Paisley went on to manage Liverpool for 9 years winning 6 League Titles, 3 European Cups, 1 UEFA Cup, 3 League Cups, 5 Community Shields and 1 UEFA Super Cup. The only cup that eluded him was the FA Cup which he lost in a final in 1977. It really is a remarkable record for a man that never really wanted to become manager.

Paisley inherited a great team from Shankly but through time he had to shape the team into his. He lost great players like Kevin Keegan but he replaced him with an even better player in Kenny Dalglish. He could change the role of an established player like Ray Kennedy who was a superb striker for Arsenal, but Paisley could see that he would be a better player in midfield.

Paisley retired from management in 1983 after serving Liverpool Football Club in so many different roles in 44 years unbroken service. He did return to help Liverpool in 1985 as a consultant and advisor to new player-manager Kenny Dalglish for two years before being appointed a director of the club until 1992, having to retire due to ill health after being diagnosed with Alzhiemer’s Disease. Bob Paisley died on the 14th of February 1996. But Liverpool Football Club honoured his fantastic service and achievements by erecting the “Paisley Gates”.

For me, Bob Paisley is the most under-rated manager in the history of British football, his record of success is astonishing. He is the only manager in history to win the European Cup 3 times. During his time as manager he always tried to shun the spotlight and maybe because he was so quiet may be the reason why he is not talked about as much as Ferguson or Mourinho.

It’s not just Paisley’s incredible management career that excites me, but his service to one club in so many roles that he played to help Liverpool Football Club achieve what they have. Paisley was the opposite of Shankly in terms of personality but similar in terms of success.

Although Paisley was quiet he did come away with some memorable quotes –

"Kevin was quicker off the mark, but Kenny runs the first five yards in his head."

“Mind you, I’ve been here through the bad times too – one year we came second”

“It’s not about the long ball or the short ball, it’s about the right ball”

“Other people have earned more money than me in football but no-one has enjoyed it as much as me”

Although this great man is overlooked by many people on his achievements in football, he has legendary status in the hearts of Liverpool supporters. Paisley was manager of Liverpool when I started supporting them and I took the winning for granted at the time, but now after nearly 30 years since his departure from management I realise that success does not come easily in football, and I now I can fully appreciate how great a manager Paisley was.

Bob Paisley -  You’ll Never Walk Alone

Monday, 13 February 2012


                                            Suarez Let Liverpool Down

I was shocked and disappointed with Luis Suarez on Saturday by his decision to not shake Patrice Evra’s hand. I was more disappointed by his actions because he had the chance to put this sorry episode to bed, and I knew the vultures that are the British media would tear this latest episode of controversy to pieces, and lead to further bad publicity for Liverpool Football Club.

Liverpool have not handled this affair very well as they have showed a siege mentality in their defensive attitude. Liverpool has shown obvious disappointment and anger towards the decision to ban Suarez for a lengthy period. Personally I thought the punishment and the handling of the case was wrong and I was disappointed to see Liverpool accept the resulting ban without appeal. If Liverpool felt aggrieved by the decision then they should have appealed, but on their decision to accept the ban, then they should have just moved on. But there have been constant comments of displeasure from the club concerning Suarez’s ban which should not have happened. Like Dalglish’s comments after the Spurs’ match last Monday.

I was worried when I saw Suarez was named in the team on Saturday, in case something happened. Dalglish should have left the striker out of this game to avoid any kind of controversy, but also his team had been playing well without him and he can’t be match fit after missing so long. Dalglish could have even have named Suarez as a substitute and this would have at least avoided the mandatory handshake before the game.

Rightly or wrongly Liverpool Football Club has backed Suarez during this whole sorry episode and he was out of order and let the whole club down by refusing to shake Evra’s hand. To be fair to Suarez his conduct during the game was first class as he refused to get involved in any shenanigans, but the damage was done and the fallout has been massive. Any news programme on the TV or the radio has been about Suarez and racism, it has been unbelievable, the news has even reached America, prompting an apology from Liverpool Football Club to Manchester United, no doubt from their American owners.

Dalglish looked shocked when told during the post-match interview that Suarez had not made the handshake with Evra and he did the right thing to not get involved with the subject until he knew more. But Dalglish must have felt betrayed by the man he has protected since his arrival to Anfield just over a year ago. I think Liverpool should punish Suarez for his conduct and embarrassment to the club, but I’m not sure they will, however I’m sure he will be well warned over his future conduct as a Liverpool player.

Suarez has made a rod for his own back now and he will be constantly scrutinised by his every move and life will be more difficult for him now playing in this country. It is a great shame because he is such a great talent and a very important player for Liverpool.

I have commented plenty about Suarez and Liverpool Football Club just like the media has, but not mentioned Manchester United. To start with Evra and his actions should see him receive punishment for his apparent role in a tunnel bust up at half-time, but for more seriously for his celebrations at the end of the match, where he deliberately tried to provoke Luis Suarez, this could have caused trouble and Suarez showed great restraint in avoiding retaliation.

But far worse was United manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s comments after the match where he told Liverpool Football Club that Suarez should never play again for them and that they should sell him, he also stated that Suarez has tarnished the history of this great club. Ferguson has no right to tell Liverpool Football Club what they should do with any of their players and he should just concentrate on his own.

I never saw Ferguson kicking Cantona out of Old Trafford after he attacked a supporter, or Ferdinand when he missed a drugs test, or Giggs and Rooney when they brought bad publicity to his club. He did not kick them out because they were important players for him and he protected them. I can’t remember an opposing manager telling him to get rid of any the players mentioned, so why should he instruct Liverpool to do so.

Ferguson just tried to stoke the fire that was already burning and he knew it would ignite the media. Ferguson knows Liverpool are a sitting duck for the media and his comments has worked perfectly too, with every newspaper at the weekend highlighting his comments to get rid of Suarez. The FA should hammer him for this, but we all know this won’t happen. He can do as he pleases and say what he wants, where other managers get punished for their comments.

To end this article I really feel the whole episode has been blown out of proportion by the media, just because a player refused to shake hands with someone he doesn’t like. Suarez was ignorant to think his actions on Saturday would not be highlighted. But the media have overwhelmed their coverage on this incident and they are not helping things. Liverpool is an easy target right now and they are really being savaged by the media, although a lot of the attention could have been avoided. Hopefully the media can start to report on matters on the park now after Liverpool’s recent apology.