Liverpool legend defends record
Former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has claimed that he over-achieved during his second spell in charge of the Anfield club.
The Reds legend was sacked by the club’s American owners in May last year, and replaced by Brendan Rodgers, after a disappointing Premier League campaign saw the team finish in eighth place.
The Scot’s book ‘Kenny Dalglish My Life’ is currently being serialised by the Daily Mirror, and he has used this to defend his record, reports Sky Sports.
Dalglish endured mixed fortunes duing his final year on Merseyside, enjoying success in the League Cup, the club’s first trophy for six years, and reaching the final of the FA Cup, where his team lost to Chelsea.
However, the club’s league form was indifferent, and they equalled their joint lowest Premier League finish since 1994.
“Liverpool is a massive football club and they had not won anything for six years when I got there, but we won something in our first season” Dalglish says in his book, as reported by the broadcaster.
“What those boys achieved in 2012 was fantastic. To win the Carling Cup and to get to an FA Cup final was beyond any expectations.
“That League Cup was a trophy for Liverpool Football Club. I don’t see that as anything but a positive. It’s always pleasant to get a winner’s medal.
“Yes, I would have loved to have finished fourth and I would have loved to have won the Champions League and won the Premier League, but it was never going to be achieved overnight.”
Dalglish insists in his book that the three trips to Wembley during his final year helped to make it a success.
“People will turn around and say we finished eighth in the league, but how many points would you swap for three Wembley trips?” he continued.
“It might be more rewarding to qualify in Europe after finishing fourth, but who remembers that game when you finished fourth to get there?
“Winning a Cup final against Cardiff at Wembley and walking away with the Carling Cup was a day to remember.”
Although there is truth to the 62-year-old’s argument, Liverpool would surely have expected to perform better in the league, especially considering the vast transfer fees Dalglish spent on new signings.
During his second spell at Anfield, the Glaswegian manager spent more than £115million on new players, including Andy Carroll, Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing.
When Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, sacked Dalglish in May 2012, owner John W Henry stated that not even an FA Cup win would have saved his job, citing the disappointing league form as the reason for his dismissal.
His second spell in charge of the Reds was also overshadowed by the Luis Suarez race row, which was handled questionably by the club legend.
Liverpool tried to recreate the past with the reappointment of the manager who had enjoyed so much success previously, but top flight football appeared to have changed too much for Dalglish to cope with.
The Scot refused to accept the reality that Liverpool are no longer the force they were previously, and his inability to deliver Champions League football was his downfall, despite his delusions regarding the Wembley trips.
Dalglish concludes in his book: “I’ve always said that I’m happy to help Liverpool Football Club in whatever way I can and that hasn’t changed in any way, shape or form.”
With Liverpool’s recent good form under Brendan Rodgers, it is doubtful they will need to call on him again.