I may suspect that I am on my own this one, with the Kop singing happy birthday to their former hero last Sunday, who would dare to question who Liverpool’s next manager should be. Since Dalglish returned to Anfield Liverpool have picked up 20 points out of a possible 30 with 5 of those victories, only two less than Hodgson managed in his spell in charge.
Hodgson said at the weekend that he had been unlucky during his time at Anfield. While this may be true in regard to some instances, an unhappy Torres and only Ngog as back up, however there is no doubt which manager has got the best out of the current crop of Liverpool players. Even Hodgson’s most expensive signing Raul Meireles looks a different player under Dalglish.
Kenny will point to a key victory at Stamford Bridge with the same group of players Hodgson had at his disposal. However despite this recent upturn for Liverpool I still believe it would be a mistake for NESV to make a decision before the summer. Here are three reasons to support this.
The Scotsman clearly has the backing of the players with more commitment and passion shown. The side is playing a better brand of football, with Dalglish insisting on the ball being kept on the deck. However would that motivation and drive fade away if the Glaswegian was to be offered a contract with a couple months of the season still to play?
There is an argument to suggest the players could relax little knowing their manager has got his wish. With Kenny’s position still not clear the players still have motivation to make sure he gets that job at he end of season. Liverpool still have the Europa to play for and while 4th may be just out of reach, the Reds will want to finish strongly to show the gap between them and those above them isn’t too great.
Blackburn’s owners were quick to push Big Sam out the door before offering assistant Steve Kean the job on a permanent position, all in a matter of weeks. The future seemed bright for Kean before a run of 5 defeats in 6 games has left Blackburn 2 points above the relegation zone.
The Indian owners today have released a vote of confidence in Kean to ward off any further speculation. The point is what if Dalglish was to be offered a permanent deal, and then Liverpool goes on a run of 6 games without a win? Questions would be raised about his ability and the Boards hastiness to give him a new deal. Hodgson was only given two months under NESV before he was moved along, albeit with the fans backing. The fans would have more patience with Dalglish and would find it hard to accept him be moved aside.
If NESV waits till the summer they will have a much clearer picture on Liverpool’s situation. Dalglish will have had 6 months to show what he can do as Liverpool manager. They will be able to tell Kenny how much money is available for transfers and wages and Comolli will have ideal targets in mind. Not only this but should Liverpool’s season tail off towards the end and Dalglish hasn’t been the saviour many had hoped for, then there will be more time to asses other targets in the summer.
I wonder how Liverpool fans would feel should Jose Mourinho be available, given his spats with the Madrid hierarchy, no La Liga title and a wish to return to England, the Liverpool owners may snoop around to see what Mourinho’s availability might be.
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