Friday, July 10, 2009

Kop Legend Kenny Dalglish Back in Liverpool FC

On Saturday July 4th 2009, Liverpool rekindled a link with a Kop Legend that will bridge the old regime with the new brigade. Soccernet has this to report last week,
Returning hero Kenny Dalglish has promised to make the most of his second chance with Liverpool. The Scot - branded 'King Kenny' by the Anfield faithful after winning eight league titles and three Europeans Cups with the Reds as a player and then manager - confirmed on Friday he has accepted a senior role in the club's academy and as a global ambassador for the Merseysiders. He immediately revealed his gratitude towards manager Rafael Benitez for handing him an official position at Liverpool for the first time since he quit as boss in February 1991.
More pertinently, Liverpool FC official website published an interview with the great Scot and this was what he told LFC magazine,
"...It's really, really exciting. I've arrived at Liverpool as a player, and I've been in the manager's office too, so this is my third new start at the football club. I felt exactly the same on Monday on my first day at the Academy as I did as a player or as a manager. I couldn't wait to get started and underway. I've missed it. Although I haven't been involved in football on a day-to-day basis for a long time, I've still spent all day every day talking about it. I very rarely talk about anything else. But at the end of the day talking was all I was doing. When something has played such a big part in your life like football has with me you miss not being around it every day. So I'm delighted to be back, and I'm very grateful to Rafa for bringing me on board. It's going to be special..."
Image from

The return of King Kenny, as he is called, was a bit of a surprise both in a positive and negative way. Positive as it means Rafa Benitez understands and respects the history and heritage of Liverpool Football Club. Negative because it does put a bit more pressure on Rafa since supporters will inevitably start calling for Dalglish when results turn sour on the pitch.

Nevertheless, Dalglish's return has been welcomed by all supporters and players alike. Here are the Top Five Qualities that Dalglish will impart onto Rafa's coaching staff.

1. Knowledge of the Boot Room - With Dalglish's return, who is to say that Rafa does not intend reestablishing the famed and successful Boot Room? It is back and Dalglish will be able to have valuable input into its setup and structure from bottom up i.e. the youth team all the way into the senior squad. Perhaps a little far-fetched but across the Wirral, Tranmere is perfectly placed to be Liverpool's feeder club with John Barnes and Jason McAteer at the helm.

2. Expert Talent Spotting - Kenny Dalglish's eye for talent underlined his successes as manager. Players like Alan Shearer, Jan Molby, Peter Beardsley, John Barnes, John Aldridge, Shay Given, Gary Ablett and Steve McMahon were all signed by Dalglish thus proving that he knows talent when he sees one.

3. Mountains of Winning Experience - Dalglish still remains the only Liverpool manager to have won the EPL (with Blackburn). That experience coupled with nine League titles (three as manager) and three European Cups makes him special. The advice that he can give to Rafa and his staff will invariably be priceless.

4. Father Figure - The respect that Daglish still commands in the Liverpool ranks is immense. This will be reflected in the willingness of the youth players to soak up and apply what he will tell them. Although Daglish has said that training and tactics will be conducted by Rafa's team of coaches, I would not be surprised if King Kenny will be at the training ground from time to time.

5. A Winning Mentality - The youth players and perhaps even senior players will benefit from the winning mentality that Dalglish possesses. It's been a while since Liverpool youth have won anything, last season they made it to the FA Youth Cup only to lose to Arsenal. Building a winning youth squad could prove beneficial to the senior squad much like Manchester United's golden generation of Beckham, Scholes, the Nevilles and Butt.

This surely ranks as a significant and precarious signing by Rafael Benitez. Will it bring about title no. 19? We shall see...2009/10 season starts August 16th for Liverpool.


Andrew Saul said...

I think he is a good addition, though his coaching and managing input will probably be very limited, if any at all. Dalglish has been out of that game for quite a while now and the reason he left was that he just wasn't getting the results anymore. No offence to his pedigree, which is beyond reproach, but he isn't good enough anymore, and that's why he doesn't manage somewhere still. Time passes everyone by at one stage or anohter. He will be a good 'club legend'to have on board for PR and to help the younger ones link in to the Liverpool ethos. But thats probably going to be it unfortunately.

Andrew Saul said...

Also, great blog. Prolific to say the least! Keep up the great work

TheFlatBackFour said...

Thanks so much for the compliments Andrew!
Dalglish definitely will be useful for the PR and the profound advice here and there.

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