What next for the 'Dalglish Revolution' ?
8th January 2011 - As the Liverpool contingent traced it’s path to Sir Matt Busby Way, there was an air of resurgence and hope among the ranks. Roy Hodgson had been relieved of his pain stricken Anfield reign, and the ‘King’ of Anfield – Kenneth Dalglish was placed on the much coveted hot seat.
There was much hope rather than expectation – A hope that the King would restore the fallen pride of the once mighty Reds, and take back Liverpool to the pinnacle of World Football.
What followed, was poetic justice.
After six months of agony, there were six months of relief. After six months of humiliation, there were six months of jubilation.
Liverpool were rampant in the second half of the season, and for the fans – well, they expected it to be the kickstart to the long journey back.
The summer transfer market did not disappoint either. Big money buys coupled with some astute transfers of experienced players made the Kop Enders believe that the famous Champions League Anthem would not be far away from the Cauldron of Anfield.
LIVERPOOL SUMMER TRANSFERS 2011-12
1) SEBASTIAN COATES :
FROM : UD NACIONAL
FEE : £6 Million.2) JORDAN HENDERSON :
FROM : SUNDERLAND
FEE : £18 Million.3) STEWART DOWNING :
FROM : ASTON VILLA
FEE : £20 Million.
4) CHARLIE ADAM :
5) DONI :
6) CRAIG BELLAMY :
7) JOSE ENRIQUE :
| OUT :|
1) RAUL MEIRELES :
TO : CHELSEA
FEE : £14 Million.2) PAUL KONCHESKY :
TO : Leicster City
FEE : Unattached3) EMILIANO INSUA :
To : Sporting CP
Fee : Undisclosed.
4) NABIL EL ZHAR :
5) CHRISTIAN POULSEN :
6) DAVID N’GOG :
7) MILAN JOVANOVIC :
8) SOTIRIS KRYIAGKOS :
After a decent early start to the new campaign which saw them win 2 of their first 3 matches(including a 2-0 win against Arsenal at the Emirates), Liverpool fans were pretty much convinced that their King had turned the tables.
What Followed – was the Beginning of the nightmare.
A nine Man Liverpool were demolished by Tottenham(who were themselves reeling under the two heavy defeats against the Manchester Clubs) at The White Hart Lane. The Liverpool side was badly exposed to the high tempo game of the whites, and the performance left King Kenny grim faced.
Liverpool, though dominant in the cup competitions, faltered in the Premier League. The weaknesses in weekends became strengths in the weekdays. And thus, Liverpool(yet again) defeated Chelsea in the League Cup.
The Merseysiders were in the hope that the brilliant form in the Cup would certainly be put on show in the league, and the blip was just a short term recurrence.
But, it was just a dream.
Liverpool stumbled in the league, continuously dropping points against the likes of QPRs and the Blackburns - which ultimately led to Champions League hopes being vanished into thin air!
Enter 2012 :
The year brought good tidings to the Liverpool supporters as they defeated Manchester City over two legs to play a Cup final at Wembley after 14 years. Jubiliance and delight gripped The Kop as their beloved Team were in sight of a trophy after 6 years of drought, and it did come to an end.
Cardiff put up a valiant fight, but the Liverpool players held their nerve to win the Carling Cup on Penalties.
Putting the Cup aside, Dalglish’s men have been nothing short of being abysmal in the League. Liverpool have amassed just 8 points in 2012, and according to stats :
“If the League began on January 2012, Liverpool would be in the drop zone.”
So, what exactly is the Problem?
1) Lack of balance in the midfield :
Since the injury sustained by Lucas Leiva in mid November in the Carling Cup tie against Chelsea, Liverpool’s midfield has often been over-run and dominated on many an occasion. The trio of Gerrard, Henderson and Adam like to get forward, leaving gaps behind – which are readily exploited by the opposition. Jay Spearing, for all his worth, is not upto the mark – as has been proven a number of times.
Dalglish chose not to invest in the Winter market, and this decision has definitely backfired.
Coming to the wings, Liverpool (even after all the investment) do not have a winger, who can stay put on the wings and deliver crosses. Stewart Downing has been off the mark since the start of the season(though he has hit a ‘blue patch’ of late). Both Jordan Henderson and Dirk Kyut have been tried on the right wing, but it has definitely not resolved any of the problems.
2) Poor show by the new signings :
The trio of Downing, Suarez and Carroll were expected to light up English Football, but in reality(except Suarez) they have done everything except that. Until the fall of 2012, Stewart Downing had 0 assists and 0 goals besides his name, and Andy Carroll had just a couple of strikes besides his.
Charlie Adam has not looked convincing in a Liverpool shirt, and Jordan Henderson has looked clueless in his.
Jose Enrique is the only player who has been consistent among the crop of signings.
Need of the hour?
1) Keep the faith in Dalglish :
Kenny Dalglish was appointed as Manager in literally ‘dire circumstances’ for Liverpool. Since then, Liverpool have come a long way(despite their present troubles).
A change in the style of play, and a bit more of self – belief has definitely been noticed among the ranks at Anfield. Not many would bet against King Kenny taking Liverpool out of this mess, and restoring the fallen pride.
2) Invest carefully in the summer market :
Problems at Anfield need to be detected properly and quality has to be sought after. Some of the ageing squad has to be replaced with young legs and as we know, Damien Commolli is a proven in this job.
The spots that require urgent attention would definitely be the right wing, and Liverpool also need a quality central midfielder.
If the American owners and Comolli work in tandem with the ‘King’ – it would not be long before we see the best coming out of Anfield.