As a diehard Liverpool fan I felt a tingle down my spine when the return of the legendary manager Kenny Dalglish was announced. Could this be the man to finally break the long trophy drought at Liverpool Football Club (LFC) and bring the Premier League title back to Anfield? All the hype and excitement surrounding the appointment certainly made it feel so. Now a year later, what has changed since the return of King Kenny?
After Dalglish took over the reigns from Roy Hodgson he had in front of him a battered looking team that was sitting below mid-table in the league. This certainly was not Liverpool-esque. Then, a flurry of changes occurred at once. The signing of star Ajax and Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez brought a wide smile to Liverpool fans salivating at the thought of a partnership up front with the struggling Fernando Torres. A formidable striking duo but it was not written in the stars as a day later, El Nino broke the hearts of all Reds fans by moving to London rival — Chelsea FC. Oh well, we got 50 million quid right? Surely this money can help buy star players with the calibre of Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain? Wait! Never mind. Liverpool spent 35 million and bought an injured Andy Carroll from newly promoted Newcastle. Hmmm…interesting.
Come the end of the season though, things were looking good for the Merseyside club. Kenny was able to move the team up to seventh and new signing Suarez made a massive impact on the team and became an overnight Kop favourite after scoring on his debut. The summer transfer window looked promising. King Kenny somehow, though, decided to invest in British talent…well whatever is left of it anyway. Sunderland’s Jordan Henderson, relegated Blackpool’s Charlie Adam and Aston Villa’s Stewart Downing were the first major signings. Dalglish splashed out the cash spending over 50 million quid. Good players, no doubt, but not great.
Craig Bellamy and Jose Enrique were snatched up late in the transfer window. But, the biggest mystery of the transfer window was the departure of Raul Meireles, arguably Liverpool’s most creative midfielder, to Chelsea. Gone, just like that! Why Kenny? Why? This topped off what proved to be an…interesting summer.
So, how is Liverpool doing now? Certainly better than last year but not the standard a top-notched, well-endowed club should be. Seventh in the league, with a miserable home record, things could definitely be much better at Anfield. Big money buy, Andy Carroll, is still struggling to find the back of the net and the only new signings that have really proved themselves is top scorer Craig Bellamy and left back Jose Enrique. Putting aside their recent successes in the Carling Cup and FA Cup, I would grade the performance of Dalglish’s current outfit a solid “B” at best.
Since Kenny Dalglish’s return, the team hasn’t been as good as many fans hoped it would be by this stage. Some questionable signings and managerial decisions and the Reds are still dangling outside of the English Premier League’s top four. Dalglish must admit that the current team is just not good enough. World-class talent must enter the club…and soon! For us supporters, we’re just hoping that we can finish watching a match feeling fulfilled, for a change. Well, King Kenny came, he saw, but Kopites are still waiting for him to conquer.