To a certain extent Kenny Dalglish was in a no lose situation when he took over at Liverpool in January. Things could barely have got any worse than it had under Roy Hodgson and Dalglish’s previous achievements as both player and manager at the club meant he would have had plenty of patience from the supporters should things have gone badly.
But I imagine even the Scot is surprised about how well things have gone and just how different the team is playing compared to those dark days under Hodgson. They aren’t just winning games they are blasting the opposition apart. Fulham are the latest victims though Newcastle, Birmingham and Man City have all felt the full force of the ride tide while Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United have all failed to beat Liverpool under ‘King Kenny’.
All of a sudden the club find themselves in fifth place, a position that seemed like a pipe dream in the Online betting stakes back in January, and even fourth is a distant possibility should Man City implode.
There is an argument that the Europa League is a distraction Liverpool could do without next season. But they are also a club that prides itself on being in Europe every season, if UEFA have chosen to ruin the competition by endless meddling the that’s not Liverpool’s problem. Plus I get the feeling some of the younger players Dalglish has fielded this year will get more game time in Europe next campaign.
The pressure now for the Scot is to deal with raised expectations, brought about his own success in the past four months. Liverpool fans were already misty eyed about their glory years in the ‘70s and ‘80s when Dalglish was first appointed, now they are playing free flowing attacking football again the excitement about next season is palpable.
But Liverpool have their fair share of false dawns when it comes to title winning squads, with each big summer signing seemingly being the ‘final piece in the jigsaw’ to finally nudge ahead of bitter rivals Manchester United and claim the league title they once thought was theirs almost by default. By their high standards even fifth place is deemed failure, even with Dalglish at the helm.
Now is perhaps the time for the board to fulfil their side of the bargain and back Dalglish in the transfer market in the summer to ensure he can make the fans dreams a reality.