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Richard Bates - Dalglish leading rejuvenated Liverpool into new era

Published: 26 Apr 2011 - 16:23:11

In football, very rarely is a managerial appointment made which has the backing of an entire club's fanbase.

Yet, in the build-up to the inevitable 'sacking' of Roy Hodgson at the beginning of January, Kenny Dalglish was the name on every Liverpool supporter's lips. And, since being inserted as caretaker manager, the Scot has galvanised the entire club, reviving the belief that Liverpool are still a force to be reckoned with.

A lot of credit has to be paid to owner John W Henry. Sacking Hodgson after just six months in the job, the American was ruthless exactly when he needed to be. He chose to install Dalglish, a man who could unite the fans, players and staff alike, giving the club fresh optimism when all seemed so gloomy.

Henry hasn't treated Dalglish like any old temporary boss either, providing him with all of the funds received from the Fernando Torres deal for instant reinvestment. Has that much power ever been placed in the hands of a caretaker manager before? Unlikely. Then again, King Kenny is no ordinary stop-gap.

A Liverpool legend, he won six League titles, three European Cups, one FA Cup and four League Cups during his time as a player on Merseyside. In his initial stint as a manager, he guided the Reds to three League titles and two FA Cups. Ever the crowd favourite, Dalglish is the toast of the Kop once again.

He inherited a side which was languishing in 12th, struggling to string together a run of positive results. Although the situation was a difficult one to walk into, Dalglish couldn't really lose. The fans would always sympathise with him had the team continued their slump of form, blaming the previous management. If they completed a dramatic transformation, his reputation would be further enhanced.

Leading his team to a haul of 27 points from just 14 matches, Dalglish has boosted the club's hopes of securing fifth place, and European football for next season. He has created an atmosphere in which everybody is treated equally, allowing the squad to bond as one. It is this renewed spirit which has seen performances, and more importantly, results, improve.

Presenting Jay Spearing with a regular starting berth in the middle of midfield, whilst introducing young full-backs Jack Robinson and John Flanagan, Dalglish has given every single player the belief that they can feature in the famous red shirt. In turn, there is a real hunger to be awarded a place in the starting XI.

Not only that, but the style of play is a joy to watch too. All of a sudden, the fans have got a bunch of players they can identify with.

Whilst there is a real vibrancy at Anfield, Dalglish continues to avoid questions regarding his future. Henry remains just as tight-lipped. Now is the time for the owner to break that silence, hiring Dalglish on a permanent basis as he leads Liverpool into a new era.

DSG


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FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:Richard Bates
Richard Bates is a clued-up, forthright and candid football writer. Every Monday, he’ll be devoting his Football.co.uk column inches to the most talked-about Premier League issues. A West Ham United season-ticket holder, Rich has been accused in the past of having a somewhat blinkered perspective when it comes to his beloved Hammers, but he’ll let you be the judge of that. Follow Richard on Twitter @richardbates_89

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