Hodgson poised to become
new Liverpool manager
BBC Sport Online
Roy Hodgson is set to be appointed Liverpool's new
manager by Thursday, BBC Sport understands.
The Reds were granted permission to speak to the 62-year-old two
weeks ago by his current club Fulham.
Hodgson has also been linked with the England manager's job
following the team's humiliating exit from the World Cup but
Liverpool have acted quickly.
The Englishman will replace Rafael Benitez in the Anfield hot seat
after the Spaniard left at the start of June.
"Hodgson has always been the number one target of the board at
Anfield to replace Benitez," said Ian Dennis, Radio 5 live's senior
"After Fulham granted Liverpool permission to speak to Hodgson, it
was just a matter of the clubs agreeing a compensation deal for
Hodgson has been in charge of Fulham since December 2007 and signed
a new 12-month rolling contract in December 2009.
Although he suffered a difficult start to his tenure, winning only
nine points from his first 13 league matches, he saved the club from
relegation in 2007/8, securing survival on the final day of the
The following season he steered the club to seventh place in the
Premier League - their highest ever finish - and a place in the
His achievement in guiding Fulham to the final of that competition,
when they beat Juventus and Wolfsburg en route, saw him named last
season's manager of the year by the League Manager's Association.
Hodgson has also managed Italian giants Inter Milan, Blackburn and
Switzerland, who he guided to the last 16 of the 1994 World Cup.
Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill, former Real Madrid coach Manuel
Pellegrini, ex-Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink, Croatia coach Slaven Bilic
and former Manchester City manager Mark Hughes have all been linked
with the Liverpool post.
Deschamps out of Reds role running
Didier Deschamps and Marseille have ruled the
former Chelsea midfielder out of the running to become the next
manager of Liverpool.
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson had looked most likely to take over before
Marseille's title-winning coach Deschamps emerged as a strong
However, the World Cup winner has now rejected any chance of him
joining Liverpool, revealing he is "in discussions" about a contract
extension with the French club..
He explained, "I am happy at Marseille. I am not there for just one
year. A coach must be there for the long haul, and that is my wish."
The French club's president has also dismissed the chances of
Deschamps, who also led Monaco to the 2004 Champions League final,
taking over at Anfield.
It was reported in L'Equipe that Liverpool chief executive Christian
Purslow contacted Marseille and asked to speak to Deschamps - a
request which was turned down by Jean-Claude Dassier.
Dassier claimed: "He asked me if I allowed him to meet Didier and
Jean-Pierre Bernes (Deschamps' agent).
"I replied that I did not allow any meeting to take place. I have
also indicated that there is no way we'll let go of our coach."
Dirk Kuyt admits he is unsure about his future at
With Rafael Benitez having departed recently and the club yet to
unveil his successor, uncertainty reigns at Anfield at the moment.
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson had looked most likely to take over before
Marseille’s title-winning coach Didier Deschamps emerged as a strong
Kuyt is concentrating on Holland’s ongoing World Cup campaign, with
a last-16 clash against Slovakia at the forefront of his mind, but
was non-committal about his future on Merseyside.
“I’m just focusing myself on the World Cup,” he said.
“I still have a long-term contract with Liverpool and I’m just
focused on the World Cup. What happens at Liverpool, we’ll see.”
Asked whether he has had contact with departed boss Benitez, Kuyt
said: “I haven’t spoken to him. I’ve had a few text messages but
they were more like ’good luck for the games’ and ’well done’.”
As for reports linking him with a move to join Benitez at Inter
Milan, the forward said: “We have to see what happens. I also have a
great time at Liverpool and I still have a two-year contract. My
focus is on the World Cup but I’m still happy to play at Liverpool.
“But who knows what happens in the future? We have to see.
“If the possibility is there...we have to see what happens with the
new manager at Liverpool.
“Hopefully we’ll get new players but we’ll see what the future is
Speculation has been rife over who will take
charge at Anfield since Rafael Benitez left the club at the
beginning of the month, with Kenny Dalglish and Roy Hodgson among
the current frontrunners. However, Dassier claims Deschamps is the
man Liverpool want.
"It's true, Liverpool's executive director Christian Purslow called
me Thursday morning,'' Dassier told L'Equipe. "He speaks French very
well, is very polite.
"I was expecting his call because I had heard of Liverpool's
interest in Didier. He asked me if I would allow him to meet Didier
and (agent) Jean-Pierre Bernes.
"I replied that I would never forbid anyone from meeting whoever. I
also kindly indicated to him that there wasn't the slightest chance
for him to pinch our coach. Even in his dreams.''
Deschamps' contract runs out at the end of next season and he is yet
to pen an extension. However, Dassier is confident of keeping the
former France captain.
"With Didier, we have a trusting relationship," he said. "I hope he
will commit himself to us for another year. I'm not worried. It's
true also that Didier is flattered to see a great European club
interested in him.''
Deschamps is regarded as one of Europe's best young managers and has
had an impressive start to his career since taking over the reins at
Monaco in 2001.
He steered the principality side to the Coupe de la Ligue title just
two years after taking his first managerial post and led them to the
Champions League final the following season
Deschamps, who won the World Cup and European Championship in an
illustrious playing career, then helped Juventus to the Serie B
title in his sole season at the Bianconeri.
The 41-year-old took charge at Marseille last summer and led them to
their first Ligue 1 title in 18 years.
Liverpool in race to sign
Roy Hodgson before England are tempted
By Andy Hunter - The Guardian
Liverpool hope to agree a deal with Roy Hodgson to
become their new manager before England's make-or-break game against
Slovenia tomorrow, despite concerns the appointment will prompt
Kenny Dalglish to reconsider his future at the club.
Anfield officials had been confident of appointing the Fulham
manager as successor to Rafael Benítez by the end of this week, only
for the uncertainty over Fabio Capello's position should England
fail to qualify from their World Cup group to hasten their approach.
Hodgson is considered a strong candidate for the England job should
Mindful of a potential rival for their first choice to replace
Benítez, the Liverpool board is now looking to secure an agreement
from Hodgson before England's fate in Group C is determined. The
62-year-old is well aware of Liverpool's interest and his likely
transfer budget at Anfield but may prefer to delay a decision on his
future until after the game in Port Elizabeth.
An added complication for the Liverpool hierarchy, and particularly
the managing director, Christian Purslow, is Dalglish's opposition
to Hodgson's appointment and his disillusionment with how the
process of identifying the new manager has unfolded.
In a statement confirming Benítez's departure this month, Liverpool
announced that Dalglish would work alongside Purslow in the search
for the club's next manager. Since then, however, Dalglish has made
it known that he wants the job due to what he perceives as a lack of
better qualified and available candidates.
He is a long-time friend of Hodgson but feels his recommendations to
the board have been ignored and that the Fulham manager is not the
right man to take Liverpool forward at a critical juncture in their
history. The Scot is likely to reconsider his role at Liverpool,
which is officially that of a club ambassador with input into the
club's youth academy, should Hodgson be installed as manager this
Liverpool talk to Pellegrini
over vacant manager's job
By Andy Hunter - The Guardian
Manuel Pellegrini, the former Real Madrid coach,
has held talks with Kenny Dalglish over the managerial vacancy at
Liverpool despite Roy Hodgson remaining the club's preferred
candidate to succeed Rafael Benítez at Anfield.
Pellegrini was dismissed by Real last month for failing to deliver
in the Champions League or beat Barcelona to the title, although he
did produce a club record 96 points during his one and only season
at the Bernabéu.
The Chilean's agent last night denied reports that the 56-year-old
met Dalglish at Heathrow airport but Pellegrini was in England
yesterday and did meet the Liverpool legend who is overseeing the
search for Benítez's replacement alongside the managing director,
Dalglish has told the Liverpool board that he would like the job in
the absence of any superior candidates.
Negotiations with Pellegrini, who worked with the Liverpool
goalkeeperJosé Reina during a successful five-year spell in charge
of Villarreal, reveal that Anfield officials are working through a
short-list of candidates to succeed Benítez, although it is
understood Hodgson remains top of that list.
The Fulham manager has yet to receive an official approach from
Liverpool and last night reaffirmed his contentment at Craven
Cottage from South Africa, where he is commentating for the BBC.
Asked about Liverpool's interest, Hodgson said: "I'm happy at
Fulham. It is all speculation and I can't enlighten you. I don't
know any more than you do." An official move for Hodgson from
Liverpool is anticipated next week, however.
fears Torres and
Gerrard may quit Liverpool
By Daniel Taylor in Durban - guardian.co.uk
Pepe Reina broke off from the Spanish inquisition
into their improbable defeat to Switzerland to express his concerns
that Liverpool could regress even further if Rafael Benítez's
departure as manager is followed by either Fernando Torres or Steven
Gerrard leaving Anfield.
While Reina has committed himself to the club, signing a six-year
contract in April, the goalkeeper is acutely aware that when he
begins next season at Liverpool there are no guarantees Gerrard or
Torres will be there.
The two most important players at Anfield are both giving serious
consideration to their future because of the problems afflicting the
club, most notably the ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett and
the lack of transfer funds to improve a squad that may need major
restoration work if they are to improve significantly next season.
Liverpool finished seventh last season, 23 points behind the
champions, Chelsea. With no manager in line to replace Benítez and
no sense that a takeover is close, Reina's fear is that Torres and
Gerrard may also sever their ties with the club.
"Of course there is concern about Fernando and Stevie," he said.
"Not just them, but others, too. Any team would count on Stevie and
Fernando as big names and, for us, it's the same. Without them, it
would be really tough to be up there at the top next season."
Those concerns have been compounded by the news that Yossi Benayoun,
one of Liverpool's more creative players, is on the verge of moving
to Chelsea while Javier Mascherano could conceivably link up again
with Benítez at Internazionale.
Torres has been prominently linked with Chelsea and Manchester City,
both of whom have resurrected their interest since Benítez left
Anfield, whereas Gerrard is reputedly among José Mourinho's targets
at Real Madrid and has resisted the opportunity to distance himself
from all the talk of a possible move, saying he will not talk about
his future until after the World Cup.
Torres has spoken of Liverpool needing to be powerful movers in the
transfer market this summer and Reina believes it is crucial that
the club's ownership issues are settled quickly. "Fingers crossed,
once we sort out the situation with the manager and the owners,
which we hope is soon, hopefully we can focus on building a squad
for the future," he said.
"We are all on the same boat and we want to redecorate the ship. We
want to be a lot stronger, more consistent and create and build a
proper squad to be contenders for the title once again."
Reina, like Torres, had a strong working relationship with Benítez,
but Iker Casillas's understudy as Spain's goalkeeper said he had
come to terms with recent events.
"I've had time to think about it and I guess it's one of those
things. Football is football, it happens, and I always say the same
thing – Liverpool will remain forever; which is the most important
happy with Cottagers
Roy Hodgson has reiterated his desire to bring
about an end to speculation linking him with Liverpool.
The Fulham boss has seen his stock rise considerably over recent
seasons, with his exploits at Craven Cottage drawing widespread
The plaudits are always most welcome, but the experienced coach now
finds himself at the centre of a distracting managerial debate.
Reports continue to suggest that he could be on his way to Anfield
this summer, with Liverpool looking to replace Rafa Benitez.
The Reds are believed to have identified Hodgson as a possible
candidate for the post and are planning to make contact in the near
Fulham would understandably be reluctant to see their highly-rated
manager leave, but accept that success inevitably leads to gossip.
Hodgson claims that is all the Liverpool talk is at present and has
once again stated that he is more than happy with life on the banks
of the Thames.
"I'm Fulham manager. I'm perfectly happy at Fulham." He said.
"To be honest, there's a lot of speculation but I can't enlighten
By James Riach - Sky Sports
Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has backed
club legend Kenny Dalglish to take the reins at Anfield.
Benitez was presented as new coach of Inter Milan on Tuesday after
he left Liverpool earlier in the month.
The 50-year-old Spaniard endured a torrid campaign with the Premier
League side last season, but left the club on good terms having
guided them to UEFA Champions League glory in 2005.
Liverpool are now in the hunt for a new manager, and the names in
the frame include Fulham's Roy Hodgson, Aston Villa's Martin O'Neill
and Dutch tactician Frank Rijkaard.
But Benitez is backing Dalglish, who is currently involved with the
youth academy and is a club ambassador, to be the next man at the
"I think Liverpool should look at Kenny Dalglish," he said.
"He is the man for the job. The owners should listen to the fans
because they are unhappy.
"No one knows the club better than Dalglish and he would be perfect
"He wants the job and in my opinion he should get it."
Liverpool legend Peter Beardsley is confident
Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres will stay with the club if Kenny
Dalglish is re-appointed as manager.
The two players' futures with the Merseyside outfit are uncertain
after a hugely disappointing 2009/10 season at Anfield and boss
Rafael Benitez's departure by mutual consent earlier this month.
Dalglish - who is widely regarded as Liverpool's greatest ever
player and enjoyed a successful spell in charge from 1985 to 1991 -
is believed to be interested in succeeding Benitez, and Beardsley
feels the Scot's return to the helm would be enough to persuade
Gerrard and Torres to stay.
'I'm not saying he would be a massive success straight away because
there are a lot of problems at Liverpool,' Beardsley said.
'They are not Kenny's problems but they need to be resolved - the
Steven Gerrard issue, the Fernando Torres issue - and I think you
would have more chance of keeping those players if you had a hero
like Kenny in charge of the team.
'You look at Torres and he probably came to Liverpool on the
strength of watching Dalglish as a player, and Gerrard grew up
watching that team.
'So I would think you'd have no problem keeping both of them if
Kenny Dalglish was your manager.'
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is another name being strongly linked with
the post, but Beardsley - who played for Liverpool between 1987 and
1991 - has no doubts that Dalglish is the man for the job.
'Roy Hodgson is obviously a great manager and has proved that with
Fulham and all over the world, but I wouldn't look further than
Kenny,' said Beardsley.
'I played for four years under Kenny and won the league twice and
the FA Cup. He gave me his number seven shirt and to wear it for
Liverpool was special.
'We were not able to play in Europe in those days, so what he did in
my time at the club, and winning the double before I even arrived,
'I can't speak for the people of Liverpool but I know the fans would
love him and when I look at him, his football knowledge and his
football mentality, he loves the game.
'What he means to Liverpool is sensational and I would have no
qualms about giving him the job.'
Fulham chairman Al Fayed confident
Hodgson will resist Liverpool
Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed has no concerns
over Liverpool's pursuit of manager Roy Hodgson.
Liverpool are on the brink of making an official approach for the
But Al Fayed said: “I don’t think he’ll leave me. I’m sure he’ll
have lots of approaches from other clubs, but I give him anything he
wants to reach results and we have a very good relationship.”
Despite increasing speculation that Hodgson is Liverpool’s No.1
target, no official approach has yet been made.
A senior Fulham source told the Sunday Mirror: “Roy’s his own man
and if an approach was forthcoming I’m sure he will sit down and
evaluate the situation. He is very private and keeps his own
counsel, so you can never second guess what he’s going to do.
“However, the indications are it would take something extraordinary
to convince him to leave Fulham and I’m not sure given all the
documented financial problems at Liverpool he’d see that as ideal
“Roy has an incredibly good relationship with the owner as well.
“Given that he is pressing ahead with player recruitment for the new
season, I’m not sure that is an indication he is planning to leave.”
What has Roy
achieved in management?
By James Pearce - Liverpool Echo
Roy Hodgson’s managerial career spans nearly 35
years and involves stints at no fewer than 12 top flight European
clubs and three international jobs.
The 62-year-old has won the Swedish and Danish league titles,
reached two European finals and taken Switzerland to their first
World Cup finals in 28 years.
Hodgson is a highly respected figure in the global football
community and has enhanced his reputation since he took over at
Fulham in December 2007.
When he arrived the Cottagers were slumped in the relegation zone
but he transformed their fortunes and they stayed up on the final
In 2008/09 he guided Fulham to seventh place in the Premier League –
their highest ever finish – and last season they reached the first
major European final in their history. A remarkable run saw them
knockout holders Shakhtar, Juventus and Hamburg on their way to the
Europa League final where they lost 2-1 to Atletico Madrid. However,
in the league they only won once away and ended up 12th.
Hodgson was voted the LMA Manager of the Year and won widespread
praise for his achievements on a limited budget.
The Croydon-born boss’ journey to the top flight began with an
undistinguished playing career in non-league football.
After moving into coaching, he landed his first job aged 28 at
Swedish outfit Halmstads in 1976. Tipped for relegation, Hodgson led
them to the title in his first season and repeated the trick in
“My greatest achievement would have to be that water into wine job,”
In 1980 he returned to England to become assistant manager at
Bristol City and two years later he took over at the helm. However,
with the club in financial trouble he struggled to make an impact
and in 1983 went back to Sweden. After a spell at Orebro he moved to
Malmo where he enjoyed five trophy-filled years. They won two
Swedish Cups and finished top of the league five years in a row,
although the play-off system meant he was only credited with two
Keen to broaden his horizons, he moved to Switzerland to manage
Neuchatel Xamax in 1990 and two years later took over as boss of the
national team. The Swiss were beaten just once on their way to
qualifying for their first World Cup since 1966 and reached the last
16 before losing to Spain.
Hodgson also led them to Euro ‘96, but quit before the tournament to
take over at Inter Milan where the highlight was leading them to the
1997 UEFA Cup final where they lost on penalties to Schalke.
Hodgson finally got a crack at the Premier League when Blackburn
came calling. But after a solid start at Blackburn it went swiftly
downhill. Poor buys, injuries and dressing room unrest contributed
to Rovers being bottom and in December 1998 Hodgson was sacked.
A brief second stint at Inter as caretaker boss followed in 1999
before returning to Switzerland to manage Grasshopper. Hodgson moved
on to Denmark and in 2001 won the title with Copenhagen before
Udinese offered him a return to Serie A but he was fired after just
Spells with the United Arab Emirates and Norwegian outfit Viking
followed before he took the Finland job in 2005. They failed to
qualify for Euro 2008 but he had done enough to convince Fulham to
take a chance on him.
Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool FC
legacy is secure, regardless of
his return to manager's office
Comment by James Pearce - Liverpool Echo
The King may not be back on his throne just yet –
and may even face an uphill battle to reclaim it. But the clamour on
the Kop for his coronation is growing by the day.
A week ago Kenny Dalglish was the man tasked with helping pinpoint
Rafa Benitez’s successor.
Fast forward seven days and he apparently finds himself in a
two-horse race for the Anfield hot-seat with Fulham’s Roy Hodgson.
The kingmaker has turned serious contender.
There has been no public word from the Kop legend himself but no one
should be in any doubt just how much he wants a second crack at the
job he cherishes above any other.
His former players have been queuing up all week to wax lyrical
about why he is the right man at the right time for a club wracked
by instability and uncertainty. And just to ram home the point his
son Paul, the ex-Reds reserves frontman, passionately pleaded his
“I think my dad is the best person to do the job, I know how much he
wants it,” he said.
“He’s a born winner. He’s an inspiration to everyone connected to
Liverpool. No-one can inspire the whole club in these difficult
times like my father.”
Of course not everyone is convinced about Dalglish’s fairytale
return and many of the doubts expressed are understandable.
Dalglish is the greatest player ever to wear a Reds shirt. A man who
cemented his legendary status on the Kop during six years as boss
between 1985 and 1991 when he won three league titles and two FA
He’s admired, respected and loved in equal measure and some are
concerned that by coming back he would risk damaging all that. And
also that by agreeing to work under Tom Hicks and George Gillett, he
would somehow be tarnished.
In the absence of a crystal ball, there are no guarantees. Who
knows, the second coming could end in tears but it’s clearly a risk
Dalglish is willing to take.
And if Kenny Dalglish himself is prepared to sacrifice his
reputation, to put his neck on the line for the club he loves, then
surely that should be good enough for anyone?
This is a man who doesn’t need the money and doesn’t crave the
spotlight. He would be making the leap from directors’ box to the
dugout because of his growing concern for what’s happening at
Anfield, seeking a chance to repay fans desparately in need of a
lift for their unswerving support.
And what if it did pay off? It would be one of football’s greatest
Another claim is that Dalglish has been out of the game too long.
It’s a decade since he last managed in the top flight. The argument
is that the game has moved on and Dalglish has been left behind;
that Liverpool supporters are living in the past.
But in truth how much has really changed? Players are richer, the
stakes are higher and some clubs are now playthings of billionaires.
But the qualities needed for success as a boss surely remain the
Nobody can question Dalglish’s knowledge of the game and he won’t
have lost that ability to motivate. The passion and desire is still
Others argue Dalglish may not be able to handle the pressure of life
as a Premier League boss these days. They point out it all got too
much for him in February 1991 when he resigned and walked away.
But that ignores the unbearable stress Dalglish had been faced with
over the preceding years. He had bravely led the club through two
major tragedies and when he quit, he was still dealing with the
emotional toil of Hillsborough and the aftermath.
Over the past decade Dalglish has had many chances to get back into
the game but nothing could tempt him. It was only when Liverpool
came calling last year that he leapt at the opportunity to work as
an ambassador for the club and help youngsters at the Academy.
Now another opening has arisen and having looked around at the
competition Dalglish, who has huge personal respect and affection
for Roy Hodgson, has nonetheless rightly concluded his credentials
stand up to allcomers in comparison. And he simply wants the best
Even if only on a short-term deal until the club’s sale is
completed, Dalglish would be the ideal man to provide unity and
the man best placed to calm fears of a player exodus and convince
the likes of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to stay put.
He knows how the club ticks and what’s needed to lead Liverpool
through these tough times.
Without doubt it would be an emotional appointment but that doesn’t
mean it would be the wrong one. Liverpool fans deserve the best and
club needs reinvigorating.
Dalglish is the man to do it.
Give it to Roy or Kenny
John Barnes has backed Kenny Dalglish or Roy
Hodgson to succeed Rafa Benitez, insisting whoever gets the job will
enjoy a "win-win situation".
Benitez parted company with the Reds by mutual consent last week and
speculation continues over the contenders to step into his shoes at
After guiding Liverpool to a remarkable Champions League triumph in
2005, success slowly dried up while relations with the club's
American owners soured, culminating in his recent departure and
subsequent appointment by Inter Milan.
A lowly seventh-placed finish in the Premier League last season was
the lowest of his tenure and Barnes believes the next man in will
benefit from the bar being set so low.
The former league and FA Cup winner said: "Whoever comes in will
finish better than seventh, regardless of whether there is money to
"To be honest, I would like there not to be money to spend because
if there is, it means you have sold Gerrard or Torres. So under
those circumstances, I'd rather have no money!
"A manager coming in has to be prepared to work in those
circumstances, knowing that Liverpool will finish higher than
seventh. So it's a positive thing.
"Even with no money to spend, if you finish fourth you have done
better than last year. The same if you finish fifth or sixth, you
have still done better.
"It's a win-win situation. I hope Liverpool fans don't expect a
manager coming in saying 'we're going to finish first or second' and
I don't think they will."
As for the names in the frame, Barnes insists he has no strong
opinion. However, he believes both former boss Dalglish and Fulham
boss Hodgson are well qualified.
"Is it going to be Kenny Dalglish or Roy Hodgson? Who knows?" he
"Both would do a great job, there are lots of good managers and
whoever it is will have to be a proven manager so they won't get the
"If Kenny wants it, why not Kenny? If it's Roy Hodgson I'm sure
he'll do a good job as well."
As for Benitez, Barnes added: "It does not surprise me that Rafa
Benitez has gone to Inter, because he is a good manager.
"He's proven that and his stature has not gone down, in my opinion.
You don't become a bad manager overnight. But obviously it didn't
work out in the last year so he left."
Should Kenny Dalglish come back to
Liverpool FC? Be careful what you wish for
Comment by David Prentice - Liverpool Echo
It was the saddest sporting spectacle of my entire
youth. The greatest sportsman who ever strode this planet, my
all-time sporting hero, a 20th century icon, slumped in the corner
of a Nassau boxing ring while a tinny cow bell – the bungling
promoters had forgotten to provide a proper timekeeper’s instrument
– signalled the end of the most remarkable boxing career in history.
Muhammad Ali, of course, was the victim.
The last rites to his charismatic career had just been read by an
ordinary scuffler called Trevor Berbick. And the world seemed a less
But it isn’t just boxers who don’t know when to bow out, although
that profession is greater than any other for self-delusion.
Football folk are more than capable of becoming the right people at
the wrong time.
Kevin Keegan was once a Geordie Messiah. But after his second coming
he was labelled just a naughty boy.
Fabio Capello won four Serie A titles in five seasons, routed
Barcelona 4-0 in a Champions League final and enjoyed a 58-game
unbeaten run in charge of AC Milan.
After a spell in Madrid he went back there and finished 10th.
Even the most successful manager in Everton’s history couldn't
resist a third bite of the apple, but came worryingly close to
becoming only the third manager to take Everton down.
Now we have a campaign gathering pace to return Kenny Dalglish to
his Anfield throne.
I have to hold my hand up and admit some culpability here.
Last Friday, 24 hours after Rafael Benitez was mutually consented, I
suggested Kenny and Sammy Lee was the only game in town to steer
Liverpool through murky waters.
I haven’t changed my mind. I haven’t had a Damascene conversion.
I still think Kenny and Sammy would be the safest pair of hands to
guide Liverpool through the turbulent waters of a takeover.
But short term. In an interim capacity. Until the American owners
have stopped darkening the doorstep of L4.
But Kenny Dalglish back as full-time Liverpool manager? Ten years
after he last managed a football club? Exposed in an age of the
instant idiot where message-boards, phone texters and tweeters pass
instant judgement on football managers on a hourly basis?
That leaves me uneasy.
Dalglish’s legacy as the greatest footballer ever to pull on a
Liverpool shirt is safe, secure, unchallengeable.
His position as a triple-title winning manager who created the most
thrilling, free-flowing, electrifying Liverpool team in living
memory is also safe.
But those memories can be tarnished.
Dalglish last enjoyed an active role in top flight football more
than a decade ago.
There’s an entire generation of Liverpool fans now who know of him
only from video tape and misty-eyed reminscences from dads.
Without first-hand knowledge of what this remarkable man achieved,
those fans would have no compunction at issuing knee-jerk reactions
to a third round FA Cup exit to Championship opposition.
Some sporting icons do come back.
If we’d listened to Sir Steven Redgrave’s appeal in 1996 to “shoot
me if anyone sees me anywhere near a boat” we’d have been denied his
historic fifth Olympic gold.
If George Foreman had carried on selling grill pans we’d never have
seen a 45-year-old winning a version of the world boxing title.
And if George Best hadn’t returned with his old pal Rodney for an
Indian summer in West London the only thing Fulham would have been
remembered for in the 1970s was Tommy Trinder’s hat.
But the odds are stacked against King Kenny.
The club doesn't have the financial muscle any more to lure players
like Barnes and Beardsley.
The boardroom is clearly still riven by internal politics.
And of the club’s triumvirate of world class players – one is
clearly hell-bent on following Benitez to Milan, while Steven
Gerrard and Fernando Torres are far from committing their futures to
Two-and-a-half years ago Dalglish said: “We are the ones who carry
out the dream. The dream that the supporters will never achieve
because they can’t play. So they live through us.”
Those dreams are rich, colourful, life enhancing.
Do we want to see them shattered by the cold, harsh reality of
Kenny Dalglish wants the job and is an overwhelming favourite
amongst Liverpool fans to reclaim his managerial crown.
The emotional pull is clear. He would bring dignity, a sense of
order, a link with the club’s glorious past.
But sometimes in life we should be very careful what we wish for.
Ali was a king who was carried out on a dustcart – I’d hate to see
King Kenny go the same way.
Liverpool FC hierarchy fear how
powerful Kenny Dalglish would become
Comment by Ben Thornley - Daily Post
Kenny Dalglish is the only candidate on Liverpool
FC’s managerial short list that could persuade Steven Gerrard and
Fernando Torres to stay.
It’s one of the many pressing reasons why the Anfield legend should
be installed as boss – but, sadly, also why he won’t be.
Not when the decision is being made by a banker (Christian Purslow)
and a Chelsea fan (Martin Broughton) on behalf of American owners
that have piled an unsustainable level of debt onto Liverpool.
Debt reduction not trophy gathering has long been the priority at
And that is reflected in the emergence of Roy Hodgson as the board’s
number one choice to replace Rafa Benitez.
They want a man who knows that under normal circumstances he
wouldn’t get the chance to sit in one of the game’s most prized
Someone to steady the ship for a season or two while the club is
sold, who won’t quibble when his two outstanding players are sold
for a combined fee of over £100m – even though he’s unlikely to
receive even half of that to reinvest.
Of course, the rest won’t go on reducing debt, we’ll be assured.
Just like the fees for Xabi Alonso and Robbie Keane.
Hodgson – whose only title triumphs arrived in Scandinavia – is
certainly the man for that job.
The Londoner is a fine coach who has excelled at Craven Cottage. But
Liverpool will just be a chance to add another big name on his CV to
go alongside Inter Milan, where he performed a similar role to the
one he will be asked to undertake at Anfield.
His appointment, though, will be viewed by most as a significant
reduction in ambition at Liverpool.
Not least by the Reds’ star players who will flee through the
Anfield exit doors.
But it’s not in the interests of the owners to keep Gerrard and
Torres – despite their presence in the Reds’ squad making the club
more attractive to buyers.
Liverpool lost a club-record £50m last year as they went £351m into
That was with Champions League revenue and Benitez trading at a
profit last summer. As well as being an awful competition, the
Europa League also offers little financial reward.
With Tom Hicks’ outrageous £800m valuation stalling the sale of
Liverpool it’s unlikely the club will change hands any time soon,
meaning the blundering Americans will have to find a solution to
their rapidly growing debt.
Now that Benitez is out of the way, there’s no-one to stop them
asset stripping – by the time they’ve left, they will probably have
ripped out and sold on Anfield’s lead piping, lighting and heating
No-one that is except Dalglish – the only living man to have won
top-flight English titles at two different clubs – and the Liverpool
board probably fear how powerful he would become if made manager for
a second time.
King Kenny is the only man in the Anfield hierarchy who has the
club’s best interests at heart. If he feels he is the best man to
take charge, who are the board to disagree?
Naming Liverpool’s greatest ever player as Benitez’s successor would
give the club the lift it needs after a wretched season. He’s the
overwhelming popular choice, with a poll on the excellent Reds
website, the www.theLiverpoolway.co.uk, showing 93% of supporters
preferring him to Hodgson.
More importantly, though, it would reassure fans and players that
they mean business and are not happy just to drift further into
Perhaps the game has moved on since Dalglish’s last managerial role
at Newcastle, as some doubters have claimed.
But it is still a sport played by two teams of 11 men – despite some
coaches, not least Benitez, making it unnecessarily complicated.
Forget Pro-Zone stats, blood tests and zonal marking, what really
matters is the ability to read the game – as Harry Redknapp proved
at Spurs this season.
And no amount of time out of the sport will dull a football brain as
brilliant as Dalglish’s.
Dalglish can resurrect
Liverpool FC says David May
Liverpool Daily Post
David May feels his former boss Kenny Dalglish
will give Liverpool FC fans something to get excited about if he
takes over at Anfield for the second time.
The Reds have confirmed Dalglish, who is widely regarded as
Liverpool's greatest ever player and enjoyed a successful spell in
charge from 1985 to 1991, is to assist managing director Christian
Purslow in the search for a successor to Rafael Benitez. However,
the 59-year-old - currently an Academy ambassador - has been hotly
tipped to take the post himself on a short-term basis.
May played under Dalglish in the early 1990s after the Scot left
Liverpool for Blackburn and told Press Association Sport: "He will
come in and liven things up."
May continued: "I remember him coming to Blackburn and the training
sessions were bright. They were short and sharp and he got the lads
"I think that is what needs to happen at Liverpool. Under Benitez
they have been playing very boring football, but with Kenny I think
they will give the fans something they deserve, which is attacking
Liverpool finished a disappointing seventh in the Barclays Premier
League last season and have not won the English top flight since
Dalglish delivered the title in 1990.
If he takes charge again it will inevitably rekindle memories of
former glories amongst the Anfield faithful, but May feels
Dalglish's affinity with the club will be most vital in helping to
find a more permanent manager who can take Liverpool forward in the
years to come.
Asked if he thought Dalglish was the man to revive the club's
fortunes, May said: "I think he could be short-term, but then I
think Kenny will look more long-term.
"He is more of an ambassador now for Liverpool and he is going to
make the right decision in terms of who actually comes in and takes
"With his knowledge of the game and knowledge of Liverpool - what
Liverpool is all about and what they need - I'm sure he will make
the right decision."
Thor Zakariassen ©