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Dalglish Finally Admits His Mistakes But Will It Last?

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish finally looks like he has realised the error of his ways and dropped Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson, but will it last?

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Guest post submitted by Liverpool Football Blog:

It only took two thirds of the Premier League season but Kenny Dalglish finally seems to have recognized the error of his ways in continuing to play Charlie Adam, opting to drop him for the second match running whilst also showing none of the previous sentiment he had shown to Jordan Henderson, who was also resigned to a place on the bench. I can tolerate a lot of things, but prolonged blind faith in under-performing players is not one of them. As the saying goes, though, “better late than never” and if we’ll be putting out more sides like this then the decisions that have us in seventh place may slowly start to be forgotten.

It appears at long last we no longer have to put up with a Charlie Adam free kick hitting the first man. No longer do we have to put up with a woeful shot from distance or a skyed penalty effort, and no longer do we have to put up with the needless fouls he constantly gives away.

We’d almost become used to the sight of him raising a hand in apology, as if it was expected rather than a rare occurrence. If seeing Adam on the bench for the second match running was a good feeling, seeing Maxi’s name on the team sheet and Jordan Henderson parked alongside the Scotsman was almost surreal. I had to pinch myself to believe it.

It’s an unwritten rule than when Maxi Rodriguez plays, Suarez plays well, and it paid dividends on Sunday afternoon. The Uruguayan didn’t have to try and do it all on his own and was always looking for his Argentine compatriot in attack. His goal was a beautiful example of one touch football and we were treated to a South American tiki-taka delight, the kind Liverpool supporters expect to see. It truly was a wondrous bit of football.

Almost all of Liverpool’s best attacks came down the left hand side and indeed, it was interesting to see them develop on both sides, the Argentine, Spanish combination on the left, compared to the all English combination on the right.

The attacks down the left hand side were clearly more intricate and clever. Heck, even Andy Carroll was getting in on the act with his Spanish speaking teammates. Far too often, though, Downing and Kelly sent the kind of aimless crosses into the box from the right that we’ve seen all season.

Indeed, apart from his very well taken goal, Downing had a pretty average match. The link up between him and Gerrard had a touch of fortune about it, but the finish was exquisite and to be honest, in a season that’s seen some of the worst finishing in memory I’m not going to complain too much when the ball goes in the back of the net.

But it’s unlikely Dalglish will continue to go with Maxi against QPR, as we again saw him be the first man substituted, even though he had a very good game. Indeed, in the rare moments when he has played he’s almost always been straight back to the bench for the next match. If he does start against QPR, though, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

It’s only taken until the latter half of March, but Dalglish finally picked up a team that left fans with a sense of confidence going into the game, rather than a feeling of dread.

The midfield pairing of Gerrard and Spearing had so much more balance to it. Take the moment when Martin Kelly had galloped forward on the right, lost the ball and allowed Stoke to counter attack through the vacant space behind him. Had Charlie Adam started, there’s every likelihood that would have ended up with a cross and a shot on goal, but Steven Gerrard had stayed back, sprinted 30 yards across field and cut out the attack before it could get started. In a 4-2-3-1 both central midfielders have to have some sense of defensive duty and Charlie Adam, completely let off the hook in that department at Blackpool, is not capable of playing effectively in a two man midfield.

We saw in the last meeting between these two sides how Dalglish tried to combat Stoke’s physical approach with a three man defence, and that it completely failed because the opposition played with just one out and out striker, instead opting to pack the midfield. As a result Liverpool had a redundant man at the back that could have been utilised further forward, and because of this they barely had a shot on goal. That Dalglish went the entire game, using all three substitutions and thus not recognising this tactical error, was a real worry.

Thankfully, he started Sunday’s game in a much more suitable 4-2-3-1, meaning Liverpool were able to dominate the midfield and didn’t leave too many men at the back. Towards the end of the game, Liverpool were ahead, and therefore bringing on Coates to form a three man centre back line made sense, as not conceding, rather than controlling possession was Liverpool’s number one priority. In short, whereas Dalglish had gotten it completely wrong last time, he got it nearly spot on in this time around.

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t just whinge about Dalglish because I dislike him, rather, I believe he’s made some awful decisions this season, which have cost us dearly in the league. But I believe we should all give credit where it’s due and even though it’s come far too late in the season, that Dalglish finally decided it was time to drop Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson is a good start.

Whether or not he has the balls to continue without those two remains to be seen, but it would be thoroughly disappointing if against QPR all of the good work from the last two matches was undone and we reverted to the mediocre players we’ve seen for most of this season.

Playing for this club is a privilege, not a right. If players don’t perform, especially for an entire season, they don’t deserve to start every game. Liverpool should reward players that play well. Dalglish should know that better than anyone, and it appears at long last that the mediocrity of some of his signings is beginning to dawn on him. Hopefully, the same generosity that’s been undeservedly afforded to Henderson and Adam will be afforded to Maxi, who based on Sunday’s performance, still has a lot to offer this club.

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43 Comments

43 Comments

  1. bill martin

    March 21, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    A long moan written by a silly boy who should use his time more profitably. Has Kenny “got the balls”? Deary me! Ask any player who has played for him.

    • rassell

      March 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      mate wake up, don’t shoot the messenger, especially when he is right, only thing kenny seems to have the balls for now is making the wrong moves…one track mind…english…english….english somebody bloody change the track.

      • akhtar

        March 25, 2012 at 5:26 am

        well said

    • akhtar

      March 25, 2012 at 5:43 am

      Rafa’s word still haunt me. “time will tell if i was a failure”. 2 CL final, FA cup league cup super cup EPL runners up all that in 6 years. Now we can only dream of CL football.

  2. torres9

    March 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    such a thoughtful article. Adam & Henderson should be sold.

    • rassell

      March 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      two down, two to go, oh wait maybe 3,4,5…oh maybe 7/8.

  3. ahmad

    March 21, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    It’s only taken until the latter half of March, but Dalglish finally picked up a team that left fans with a sense of confidence going into the game, rather than a feeling of dread. (Liverpool Football Blog)

    WHAT? Are you suggesting Kenny doesn’t know what his doing? But Kenny’s the best in the world, the best, the best!

    That’s why, even after a decade absence the owners happily give him a huge budget knowing King Kenny will deliver!

    • A.J

      March 22, 2012 at 10:42 am

      he was given a huge budget with the expectation of ending in the top four!!!!

  4. Towson Tom

    March 21, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    For me Kennys biggest mistake is insinuating that any person who does not see things his way needs an inteligence check, that is an insult to about 25% of LFC supporters

  5. ojh

    March 21, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    The love affair with Henderson and Adam had to come to an end sooner or later… Spearing is twice the player – he does the simple things right and links up well with solid passes. As for Hendo enough said!

  6. KC2315

    March 21, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Adam was starting games earlier of the season coz Gerrard was not available due to injury! Now he’s back and rightly so he’s getting back his place coz not many players came close to Gerrard let alone Adam.

  7. qquiksilvr

    March 21, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    after all the man has done for the club, i can’t believe that ‘fans’ are still knocking him. fergie got 7 years to get things right at united. yes 7!

    • Brozzo

      March 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm

      Yes but that was in the day’s of bell bottom jeans!!!

      Oh…. and also when patience was a virtue.

      • Jay

        March 21, 2012 at 6:31 pm

        Patience is still a virtue.
        we are in this position in the league because the players are not ruthless in front of goal.
        those draw games we had dominated possession, played teams of the park, played some sweet barcelona style football, even the game we lost to Arsenal we spanked them.
        our only problem is scoring goals.
        so i’m not bothered about the league position, Kenny is building something really special…we just need to back him and keep patience.

        • Martin Badger

          March 22, 2012 at 11:32 am

          We are in this position in the league because we are no good. No good in midfield and no good up front. KD is building absolutely nothing. You can’t build with players like Henderson and Adam – you can only collapse. As for big Andy – he makes N’gog look halfway decent.
          Liverpool supporters accept any old rubbish – if the team wins a match every month they’re happy.

          • Flauvio

            March 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm

            You’re a tosser – focus on your Championship Manager game and shut it! You haven’t got a clue

  8. Bill

    March 21, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Hello all Henderson is not very good at right midfield but I’d like to bet that he will be playing first team central midfield as a regular in a year or two for Liverpool, it’s easy to slag young players off and look silly later any one remember how “bad” Lucas was

    • Mike

      March 21, 2012 at 9:35 pm

      Exactly. Give Henderson time. Tangent–>I Think Suarez would be more lethal if he could play with someone else up top who he could combine with. When we play 4-3-3 have suarez out right and when we play 4-4-2 play suarez “in the hole.” But the players I’ve been most critical of are Carroll and Adam. I think they cause cluster and are one-dimensional. They aren’t champions league players and really I think if we finish these season well we can find some some players with quality.

    • Martin Badger

      March 22, 2012 at 11:36 am

      Yes, and Lucas is still bad. He doesn’t score goals ( ever ), he doesn’t make goals ( ever ), he can’t dribble and he’s uselss in the air. The term holding midfielder was invented to describe a player who can’t do anything useful. The way Liverpool supporters talk about Lucas makes him sound like Iniesta or Xavi. The reason fans are continually suprised by collapses like last night’s is because they overrate their team. It is, at best, a very, very ordinary outfit.

      • Flauvio

        March 22, 2012 at 12:24 pm

        You’re constantly spouting your ignorance – as I mentioned in a previous reply you really are a tosser

      • Effect

        March 22, 2012 at 2:04 pm

        Wel said. Sack Daglish, We hav a calamity goal keeper. Reina formbles when tested. Carraghar should b benched, Lucas,Adams,Henderson Downing, Carroll, Spearing should b team ‘b’ players. Looking @ the list of players above, we’ve been playing with what should be our team ‘b’ and that is why we are at this position. We need world class players to compete and win trophy’s. We need Frank Rijkaard, we need a good defencive mid-filders, we need creative players, players who can take on 1, 2, 3 players. Players who opponents sees and get scared of. We need Eden Hazard, Shaquiri, Allen of Swansea, Marco Marine, Mathinez Tevez/Torres/Llorente

  9. gerald

    March 21, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    daglish has to be sacked he is spoiling the club(it was already spolt when he came.) we need benitez back!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Ian walsh

    March 21, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    I love this great club and kenny, but can’t help feeling that kenny is not the man for the future. He was perfect to steady the ship when he came in, no one else could of ha that effect. However I think in order for us to move forward we need a change

  11. Ian walsh

    March 21, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    I love this great club and kenny, but can’t help feeling that kenny is not the man for the future. He was perfect to steady the ship when he came in, no one else could of had that effect. However I think in order for us to move forward we need a change

  12. Vipakindele

    March 22, 2012 at 12:35 am

    I’ve never seen a manager as stubborn as Kenny.if Henderson and Adam deserve any munite on the pitch,i think Maxi and Shelvey deserve more.we should not have signed Henddo when we have Shelvey.Kenny knows his mistakes but too proud to accept them.i can only advise Maxi to be patient cos his nightmare(kenny) will soon go.

  13. ghostface killer

    March 22, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Do not give Kenny Daglish any more money to give away, Just get rid of this old school idiot.

  14. SickofKD

    March 22, 2012 at 5:41 am

    Kenny will have to go!!!

  15. Costasy

    March 22, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Another dark night of absolute humiliation and embarrassement by Kenny Dalglish and his squad, the squad he has personally chosen and set up for the current season. Kenny Dalglish and his squad tarnish the heritage that Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley left for this historic club. Kenny Dalglish and his squad are committing the biggest crime in this club’s history by molesting on this heritage. Everybody is feeling fed up by listening and reading all the time different irrational statements by the side of Kenny Dalglish as he can persuade first and above all himself that under him the team is progressing! Everytime he leads this team to another humiliating and embarrassing defeat he needs to realize that he places a gravestone to LFC fans’ dreams and expectations in all over the world to see their beloved team returning back to where it really deserves to be! I personally can’t explain it otherwise; Kenny Dalglish is on a denial stage! He doesn’t realize that by not seeing the raw reality, that he is not a capable manager for the modernized football and the manager who can turn the fortunes of this club around and as long as he behaves in a selfish manner he causes a serious damage! Back in 1991 he stepped down as LFC manager in a period which that was unnecessary and now that it is imperative to do so, why doesn’t him? ISN’T THAT A REAL PROOF OF A SELFISH, EGOISTIC, AND ARROGANT BEHAVIOR?

  16. LuThe

    March 22, 2012 at 7:10 am

    4-2-3-1 against Everton? Or Stoke (in the Cup)??? It couldn’t have been a more traditional or flat 4 in the middle if you used a spirit level to measure it. No diamonds, no AM, no DM. Anyone who watched the game could see both Jay and AH interchange defensive responsibilities whilst both were also supporting the attack.

    Whilst I agree upon the over-use of Hendo (predominantly in a RW position he is less comfortable in, though he did play there for S’land) – I quipped that the paternity test must’ve come back negative when he finally wasn’t selected – and Adam has been poor for some time, it really does the author’s case little service when he is unable to recognise usage of the most basic formation in football.

  17. LuThe

    March 22, 2012 at 7:16 am

    AH = SG, autocorrect on the mobile.

  18. chunky

    March 22, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I wrote before the QPR game that we would get no result as soon as I saw Adam in the start line. We will get nowhere as long as this man is run out game after game after game! Get rid of him ASAP and get out the youngsters for the remaining games of the season. Adam would embarrass LFC even if he turned out for the U-15’s even! What a complete waste of space and money as was foretold before his purchase by a great many fans besides me.

  19. RedRoy

    March 22, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Adam and Henderson back = no midfield apart from Stevie. What a shower at the back 3 centre backs and a goalie, 2 headed goals inside the 6 yard box! What a joke. Does’nt Reina come off his line? Balls put into the 6 yard box are the Goalies to collect or punch. Not stand there statuesque!

  20. Oluwatosyyn@naija

    March 22, 2012 at 9:11 am

    How can benitez get that great money and use it larvishly, since we have many legend that always advice kenny 2 use normal player and refuse so its time 4 him 2 go so we need benitez back, finally daglish must be sacked.g

  21. chris

    March 22, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Time is up for King kenny. You have selected two but I would include Downing in the same category. I am 57 but I believe I could provide more goals and assists in a season. MOURINHO please

  22. Sean

    March 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    “I asked for a table, they bought me a lampshade”

    Seems to me that we had a better squad at the back end of last season, why on earth we allowed Raul and Alberto to leave is a mystery but even more so were their replacements Adam and Henderson, some shocking signings by whoever was responsible, Dalglish or Comolli i don’t really care!

    Rafa was slated for some of his signings whilst for the most part working on a shoestring budget, if you look at the players he was wanting sign over the years most are now considered world class,but instead he mostly had opt for the cheaper option which is always a gamble, i would’ve loved to have seen the players and squad we’d have now if he were backed to the same extent as Kenny, i don’t think Henderson, Carrol or Adam would’ve been considered, thanks to Rafa we have lads in the reserves and academy that are far better players than them three and probably a winger or two with more raw talent than Downing too!

    Worst decision this club made in a long time was getting shot of Rafa, i’m not saying we would’ve won the league but we’d be up there fighting for it with a few of those european nights on the horizon too!

    Blind faith and loyalty is all well and good, but for me the club is about more than one player or manager, it’s about what is best for our club!

    Lets not forget that Rafa when he was given the funds bought,

    Alonso – One of the finest playmakers in the world today!

    Torres – At the time one of the best strikers in the world.

    Mascherano – Easily one of the best defensive midfielders in the world.

    Reina – One of the best goalkeepers in the world.

    Lucas – Great player despite all his critics, not seen much better in his position.

    Agger/Skrtel – Will form great partnership for years to come.

    I’ll leave you with the words of two very wise men!

    “Some people cannot see a priest on a mountain of sugar”

    “If i had a job to do, even if it was scrubbing the floor, i wanted my floor to be cleaner than yours, if everybody does all these small jobs to the best of their ability, that’s honesty”

    • akhtar

      March 25, 2012 at 5:32 am

      how i miss those players and CL games seems a distant dream now.Passion can only get you so far look at the England team if it was passion only they would win the world cup every time.

  23. Chri5jo

    March 22, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Fans are fickle, easy option get rid of Kenny they say! Then when after new manager lses a few they’ll be saying the same again.
    Thay’s the problem with the modern fan.
    I think You never walk alone means nowt to these fans.

    • qquiksilvr

      March 22, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      totally agree with that. thank goodness the owners are not as daft as these lot. if kenny thinks he has made mistakes in the previous transfer window, he’ll surely set it right in the next one. we played some barcelona like tiki taka for the first 20 minutes yesterday. we’ll be sticking the ball in the back of the net regularly with two or three more world class players in the team.

      • Sean

        March 22, 2012 at 5:40 pm

        He should’ve bought two or three world class players with the £110m he spent in the summer!

  24. williams s. etete

    March 22, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    kenny is an idiot and he (kenny)is not the one who can take lfc to top 4 as far as he (kenny)still believe on adam & henderson also downning even pepe reina,how can kenny continue denying maxi and kuyt also doni a good game opportunity,the best thing kenny could have done is to have build on the players performance toward the end of last,kenny surpose to have use all the new signing as subs except BELLAMY and unless a player is fit to start therefore he can now bring in any of the new player to start.

  25. dean

    March 22, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    in kenny we trust ? WHAT A COMPLETE JOKE,he is a relic who is the only person who thinks adam henderson carroll and downing are worth £100 million pounds ??? the whole premier league are laughing at us,and so they should,,,IF FOOLGLISH DOESNT STEP ASIDE,THE YANKS HAVE TOO JUST FIRE THE PRICK…WHERE UNLUCKY HE SAYS ? WE HAVE HIT POSTS BARS LOADS OF TIMES,STOP COMPLAINING FOOLGLISH AND TAKE RESPONCABILITY FOR YOUR PATHETIC SIGNING….

  26. obinna

    March 22, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    please let kenny Stop trying players by dis time , use mix , leave adam

  27. Bro Walid

    March 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Ahmad, u know nothing about football.. the stupid idiot! Kenny is a clueless. No one realize that Steve Clark plays the major part of the tactical game.

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