Dirk Kuyt has hit out at Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish for refusing to play the Dutch forward, but has quashed speculation of a return to Feyenoord in the process.
Kuyt has been a loyal servant to Liverpool and an ever present in the team since his move in 2006 and has become a fan favourite for his non-stop, hard-working attitude. However, Dalglish’s revolution in the past 18 months has pushed Kuyt out of the team and he’s become a bench warmer under the Scot.
A furious Kuyt said,
“Under this manager I don’t have the feeling any more that he will put me in the side every week. I’m under no illusion about playing every week. But I believe I am still good enough to play for Liverpool every week.”
Given that Kuyt is a probable starter for Holland at Euro 2012, you have to ask the question – why on earth won’t Dalglish play Kuyt? The Dutchman has been a consistent performer at Anfield and has been known to chip in with crucial goals – something Liverpool have often lacked under Dalglish in the 2011/12 season, particularly at home.
The reliance on Luis Suarez for goals has been crippling for Liverpool this year – Suarez has scored 11 goals this season, but the nearest to him is Craig Bellamy, another bit part player, with 6 goals. Their profligacy in front of goal has been evident in many games this season and you would have to think that someone like Kuyt would have been of great use.
Dalglish’s decision to overhaul the team with British talent has backfired. Take Stewart Downing for instance. Instead of using Kuyt, Dalglish felt obliged to stick by his £20m purchase despite the winger failing to score or even notch an assist during the entirety of the 2011 season.
Would Kuyt have been more productive than this if he had started as many games as Downing did? I think the answer would be a resounding yes. Even Jordan Henderson has been favoured on the right hand side despite being better in the centre of midfield and has had a poor season this year since signing from Sunderland.
Kuyt has to be in the Liverpool setup next year. He offers valuable experience and is a great role model for younger players coming through the ranks, but if Dalglish wants to keep hold of Kuyt then he needs to start giving him more opportunities in the first team or a well respected team player will seek a move elsewhere.
However, you get the feeling that Dalglish doesn’t consider Kuyt part of his long term plan for the club and if Dalglish’s track record is anything to go buy, expect a huge wad of cash to be thrown at some under-productive English winger instead of playing someone who has proven his worth to the club.
Someone who has given great service like Kuyt deserves more respect given to him – but it looks as though Kenny Dalglish isn’t the man to give it to him.
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