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Dalglish Needs To Wake Up To His Mistakes & Drop His Transfer Flops

Kenny Dalglish will be hoping the annihilation of Liverpool by Tottenham on Sunday was just a one off, but the toothless manner of  ‘The Red’s’ capitulation in their first test against quality opposition suggests there are much more serious problems to address.

Needless to say, Dalglish got his team selection and tactics completely wrong against Spurs. Liverpool essentially played three in midfield with Suarez, Carroll and Downing ahead in attack. In theory, their numerical advantage in the middle should have allowed them to control possession but all three midfielders were so poor that Parker and Modric were virtually able to keep the ball unopposed.

Andy Carroll’s selection ahead of Dirk Kuyt and Craig Bellamy was completely unjustifiable, as the number nine did nothing in his cameo at Stoke City or indeed at any time since his arrival at the club to warrant a place in the squad, let alone in the starting eleven. His lethargic runs and poor ball control are testing the patience of even the most loyal supporters.

Of the four British signings Liverpool have bought, only Stewart Downing has been a good addition. Carroll, Adam and Henderson have all been let-downs.

Neither Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson have so far justified why they deserve a starting place. Adam was the only signing that didn’t cost an excessive amount of money and he has proven that he’s justified his price tag with very rare moments of quality being overshadowed by frequently inconsistent displays.

It seems as if he’s incapable of playing under pressure. At Rangers he crumbled, after Christmas when Liverpool’s interest became known he crumbled and on Sunday he crumbled under the pressure again, pulling off a reckless tackle that Nigel De Jong would be proud of, and putting his already bewildered side under unimaginable pressure.

On his day Adam can spray the ball around well, but his lack of mobility and inconsistency are what make him such a risk and perhaps not the player Liverpool need.

Indeed, he seems to have forgotten he’s no longer the main man he was at Blackpool, evidenced by his three shots from the half way line in five premier league matches so far this season. He has looked so out of sync with Luis Suarez in the previous two matches that the Uruguayan has taken to shouting at him when more often than not his pass misses its intended target.

Suarez is by far Liverpool’s best player and Dalglish should be doing everything in his power to get the best out of him, but at the moment, it’s clear that isn’t happening.

Last season under Dalglish only Chelsea had a better record than Liverpool in the second half of the season. That was largely down to a fluid front four of Kuyt, Maxi, Suarez and Meireles, who were completely unplayable at times. Of that front four, only Luis Suarez remains. The others have either been benched or pushed out completely, and the Uruguayan is looking more and more frustrated with the completely average service he is getting from their replacements.

Why Dalglish decided to unravel a combination that was working so well remains a mystery. His sudden loss of faith in his young players is strange too. Surely John Flanagan could’ve done no worse at right back then Martin Skrtel, who was found completely wanting by Gareth Bale. It came as no surprise then when a second yellow was produced, after the Slovak could do nothing but foul the Welshman to stem the flow of Spurs’ attacks.

Playing Stewart Downing’s on the right of midfield was questionable as well. It seems pointless having Carroll in the starting line up most of the time, but even more so when your best crosser of the ball is forced to cross with his weaker foot. Carroll is incapable of link up play so if he’s going to start he at least needs decent service.

After so much has been invested since January, is the manner of this 4-0 defeat really acceptable? Liverpool were toothless in their play, allowing Tottenham the time and space to do as they pleased. Kenny Dalglish has said that players will only be picked on merit, but the continued selection of Andy Carroll, Henderson and Adam proves that that’s just not the case.

It will become increasingly difficult for Liverpool to keep the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City away from Suarez if this is the kind of performance they’re going to put out against a quality (but not even top quality) opposition?

After all, only a few weeks ago Tottenham were thrashed by Manchester United so how will Liverpool fair when they travel to Old Trafford, Etihad Stadium or Stamford Bridge?

Dalglish needs to make changes following this second straight defeat, because supporters and owners will only be patient for so long.

Carroll should be dropped outright from the squad. Liverpool need to accept he’s not going to get better, move on and give a spot on the bench to a promising youngster. Henderson should be dropped to the bench as well with Maxi replacing him. When he can prove that he deserves a starting place then he should be picked.

When Steven Gerrard is fit, Adam should be dropped straight away, but until then Dalglish should even considering recalling Jay Spearing now, because even though he’s not the most technically gifted midfielder he never gives the opposition a moments rest and is not as prone to catastrophic capitulation as Adam is.

Restoring the fluid combination of Kuyt, Suarez and Maxi, and replacing Meireles with Downing is the first step that Dalglish should take to restore the supporters confidence in him.

Carragher too has been afforded no small amount of unjustified lenience. His organizational skills are often harped on about, but where was that on Sunday? He failed to organize his defense, although that blame should be shared with Daglish. Considering the circumstances, Sebastian Coates did ok when he came on and perhaps it’s time for Dalglish to make a change to a defense that has kept a clean sheet just once in the last eight competitive fixtures.

The owners can’t be happy with the start Liverpool have had. Their side have dropped points against Sunderland and Stoke, two sides they should be beating, and now have been completely annihilated by Spurs.

Football is a business and businesses are all about results. So far, Liverpool’s haven’t been good enough, not when you consider how much has been invested in the squad over the Summer. Dalglish deserves time to get it right, but he needs to make changes.

No matter how patient and kind John Henry appears, at the end of the day top four is his target. He knows Liverpool won’t get anywhere near that if this kind of performance is repeated, or indeed if they can’t finish off their chances against Stoke. Henry is a fantastic owner, but he’s only been involved in football for a short amount of time.

Thus, he could not have known how bad Andy Carroll was and equally had to put his trust in Dalglish and Commoli when they wanted to bring in Henderson and Charlie Adam, ship out Alberto Aquilani and fail to put up a fight when Raul Meireles decided to leave.

You only have to look at how well Modric played to see that it doesn’t hurt making the extra effort to keep quality players in the side, even if they might have their sights set on pastures greener.

Commoli and Dalglish have to share the blame for these transfers mistakes. And Dalglish and Steve Clark need to hold their hands up for persisting with Henderson and Adam, and reverting back to starting with Carroll, when it had been so clear that the side play better without him.

It was a soul destroying result for the fans, the players and the manager; but the performance more so than the result is what hurts. It’s not the end of the world for Liverpool, but it is an eye opener to all of those who have persisted with blind faith in Dalglish, insisting that he can do no wrong.

In their first test against a quality side this season, Liverpool have failed miserably. Dalglish needs to acknowledge and fix the mistakes, which were so clearly highlighted in this game, otherwise when Liverpool face another side of equal or greater ability, things could get very, very ugly again.

Submitted by Liverpool Football Blog




  1. kunle

    September 21, 2011 at 1:42 am

    i am very unhappy 2 c dat scoreline nd i blame kk 4 letting quality player go.sktel is a bad player dat shud b bench all thru

  2. rick segour

    September 21, 2011 at 3:28 am

    spot on guys,we need good footballers and its ok if they are not british..cummon Kenny..your not running a parliment..Joga it for the love of the game..YNWA

  3. victor

    September 21, 2011 at 4:40 am

    Nice article, kk should drop d flops & use goal getters to get us results. Can anyone imagine starting hendo,caroll,adams to kuyt,maxi,craig who nos what it takes to play & win big matches. Well, i belief lesson have been learnt, things will reshape we will start getting results.

  4. red88

    September 21, 2011 at 4:46 am

    So totally right … i rue the day that they sold Aquilani & Meireles. Hope KG wake up from his slumber & use his good players instead of Adam, Henderson & Caroll (a total waste of money)

  5. victor

    September 21, 2011 at 5:05 am

    coming back of Steven G will provide more options in midfield and that may see hendo back to bench or propably loan him out in january to get more experince and give Spearing more playing time coz his is better than hendo. Bench Caroll, use Craig,kuyt & maxi with Steven G,Suraz & Downing. Lfc wil get there.

  6. moha

    September 21, 2011 at 6:21 am

    yes its time for daglish to open his eyes and to make things happen we kwon you can make it happen if you open your eyes.that article its real true and kenny should look at it and make us move on top form with the goods result to the top four we kwon all we a human we can make mistake but its time for you kenny to sit and look this article is black and white clear and cristal!!!

  7. John

    September 21, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Meireles is a ageing midfielder who cant/won’t tackle and wanted to leave glad he has I’ll agree the players have looked poor but Henderson Is a young player cumin through as is Carroll who say he’s lost all faith in youngsters coz he didn’t play flanno when he’s playing Carroll and Henderson one bad performance and now it’s the end of the world. Stoke Liverpool should have won never mind get beat and the 1st half against Sunderland Liverpool were very good and should have put the game to bed

    • ken08

      September 21, 2011 at 8:10 am

      Hi John, i agree with your post but king and his partner looked awesome against no attacking force for us whatsoever,Carroll is being made / or making himself look a donkey,Hendo not strong enough yet,I`d prefer Gerrard(thank god he`s fit again)and Adam and Lucas holding,Suarez Kuyt Downing Maxi up front,like the look of Coates too,hope Kenny turns it round but NEVER the tactician Rafa was. YNWA

    • pete

      September 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm

      If you excuse a 21 year old Henderson as being too young after almost 2 seasons of premiership experience it then shows the transfer policy of buying players with premiership experience was wrong because they were supposed to come ready for the first team.
      It also goes without saying that players like Jack Wilshere, Kyle Walker,Tom Cleverly,Gareth Bale,Juan Mata, Fabio and Rafael who are all aged 23 or less are more accomplished players than Henderson and Carroll are in the same age group and all these players cost a fraction of their combined total of either £51ml/£55mln(depending on whether Henderson cost £16mln or £20mln).

  8. oz red

    September 21, 2011 at 9:05 am

    starting XI 4-3-3

    johnson kelly coates enrique
    gerrard lucas downing
    bellamy kuyt suarez

  9. stevo

    September 21, 2011 at 9:48 am

    All I heard when these signing were made was what great additions they will make ,king Kenny is a top man.What total rubbish and I said so at the time.Gerrard on his way,so what he has been shocking for the last number of years results dont lie.85,000,000 spent by Dalglish when other sides have spent a fraction of that amount and will finish higher than the Pool.Liverpool are no longer a big club and should have lesser targets than a top four finish.

  10. Dilzar

    September 21, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Frankly saying,I no more trust KK,he can’t lead LFC’s ship in the EPL’s ocean.
    He wasted foolishly the money on bad players who can’t cope with this kind of competition which needs a solid defense and formidable striking force to play against rivals given that Liverpool has no European obligations like them.
    With this kind of squad and tactics we’ll be lucky to finish 10th.
    I’m a very old supporter of Liverpool,so nobody criticize what I’m saying because this is true.

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