by Pulasta Dhar May 3, 2012 16:39 IST
Roy Hodgson was Liverpool manager for 31 matches. That was the shortest stint by any manager at the illustrious club. In his time, his record was 13 wins, nine draws and nine losses.
Now, to give you an exact comparison, here is Kenny Dalglish's record in the last 31 matches: 11 wins, nine draws, 11 losses.
Worse than Hodgson, whose sympathisers will say that his only problem was that he was not Dalglish.
Going by Kenny's record and affiliation with The Kop since 1977, he is surely alluring to the fans, but are his exploits in the past stopping them from staging a protest like they did when Hodgson was around?
Well, that should be the most logical reason. Forget about the League Cup win in February against a spirited Cardiff City. A club like Liverpool does not aim for League Cups.
A club like Liverpool needs to be in the Champions League, fighting for a top three finish and aiming for the league title whilst attracting world-class talent from all over the world. Winning against Manchester United now and again is not enough... they are 34 points ahead of them.
They may be in the FA Cup final, and that is as good as it gets. They have not played in the Champions League since 2009-10 and even in that season, they crashed out of the group stages — winning twice, losing thrice and drawing once.
They finished 6th last season in the English Premier League and this year, are likely to finish anywhere between 8th and 10th in the table. That is behind the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and bitter Merseyside rivals Everton.
Is a club with the backing of fans as loyal as those like Liverpool has and a history which any club would die for become so bad that they can't finish in the top ten of the EPL?
It certainly seems so. If it was any other manager, then the ruthless world of the EPL would have consumed him. But Kenny Dalglish is surviving solely because of his status as one of the greatest players Liverpool has ever had.
Not to forget the tremendous record he had during his first stint at Liverpool where he won three league titles and two FA Cups.
The problem is, Liverpool football club has changed. The EPL has changed and the competition has moved on, leaving behind this legendary club in its wake. Even transfer-wise, it must hurt Dalglish to see Newcastle sell them their most prizes possession for a whopping 35 million pounds, only to buy two of the most prolific strikers in Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse and still pocket a profit.
If Liverpool continue like this, then it will be hard to attract players of a higher quality. They should count themselves lucky Steven Gerrard is around. But even that is not enough to propel them to the echelons they belong to.
For Dalglish to admit that Cup games were a higher priority than the league position is accepting defeat in itself. Liverpool aren't good enough anymore, not for the league and maybe not for Europe.
But the fact which surprises most, and maybe it's even good for football managers in a way, is that Kenny is still around. At least for the moment, Kenny isn't walking alone.
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