King Kenny

I have to be honest and admit that I didn’t see Kenny Dalglish working out as a success when he was put in caretaker charge of Liverpool back in January. I though that Kenny had had his day and would be out of his depth after such a long time away from managing a big club.

How wrong was I? I am pleased to admit I got it wrong as I am a Dalglish fan and am happy to see him back in football.

I still believe that Roy Hodgson was treated badly by the fans, if the fans had got behind Roy in the same way they have Kenny, then he may well have been a success also.

At the time of Hodgson’s sacking I thought it was another of these stupid situations where all the fans thought they knew better and had hounded out a better manager to the detriment of their club.

Where Kenny has proved me wrong, is that he has shown with unity and everyone pulling in the same direction, you can be successful. Obviously, without Kenny, Liverpool wouldn’t have this unity.

Common sense seems to have returned to Anfield. There is now no rash decisons, no stupid promises that can’t be kept.

Another common sense decision is the one to also give Steve Clarke a 3 year contract to run parallel with Kenny’s deal. Clarke has plenty of experience and is working proof of the theory that surrounding yourself with good people is a recipe for success.

It will be interesting to see what the transfer policy is this summer. The new owners are yet to put any of their own money up for transfers as Suarez and Carroll where bought with the Torres and Babel cash.

Kenny must have faith in the new owners to put money up, otherwise I doubt he would have signed. He may well have brought a lot of the yougsters into the 1st team, but obviously he needs some more experienced heads in the squad. How much money will he be given for the rebuilding?

What happens over the summer will probably go a long way to finding out just how serious the new owners are.

Arsene Wenger loses the plot again

Why did Arsene Wenger have to gesticulate his displeasure towards Kenny Dalglish over the award of the late penalty today?

It was another blatent example of Wenger’s increasing petulance and bad sportsmanship. In my opinion it was also disrespectful and it makes Wenger look like a total fool.

Wenger has brought so much to the English game with his nurturing of young talent and his ‘pleasing on the eye’ brand of football. For all that he has done and achieved, I feel I should like him, but because of the manner he sometimes behaves in I find it hard to warm too him.

Today’s latest embarrassment comes only a few weeks after his stupid outburst in Barcelona.

There is a question of the timing of the penalty award, but the original free kick that led to the penalty was awarded in the 9th minute of injury time, the referee added a minimum of 8 – a penalty was scored by Arsenal during that 8 minutes so the referee must have added on time for that. So what has he done wrong?

Wenger’s claim on Sky Sports that time was over is stupid, as was his view that it wasn’t a penalty. If he thinks a game is over before the referee blows the final whistle, then he is a bigger fool than he looks.

The facts of today’s match are that Wenger’s team just weren’t good enough. It was a penalty, Eboue’s attempted tackle was ridiculous, what the hell was he trying to do?

Instead of blaming Dalglish or the referee, Wenger needs to take a good look in the mirror if he wants to find the real culprit for Arsenal not winning the title.

Alex Ferguson has done him again, he has made Wenger look stupid which is quite an achievement considering Wenger does it brilliantly for himself.

Grant in, Rafa out.

Another quiet post season day in the world of Premier League football saw the departure of Rafa Benitez from Liverpool, and the arrival of the Transylvanian looking Avran Grant at West Ham United.

Another one of footballs worst kept secrets, Grant was unveiled as West Ham’s new manager by a statement on the club website, he is on a 4 year contract subject to a work permit.

It will be interesting to see if the constant drip feed of information to the media will still be as forthcoming from David Sullivan as it was under Gianfranco Zola’s spell as manager.

Or was it more a case of just trying to continually undermine Zola? A risky stratergy given the clubs perilous position at the time.

Grant would seem to have a large job on his hands at Upton Park. He will almost certainly be required to reduce the wage bill, a task not likely to be made any easier while the club are openly pursuing the likes of David Beckham and Thierry Henry, presumably on large contracts.

It will be interesting to see how things develope at Upton Park, get the feeling ‘The Two Davids Show’ will find it hard to keep their opinions to themselves over the course of the season.

Meanwhile at Anfield, Benitez is finally gone. I have wrote a lot on this blog about how lucky he seemed to be to keep his job last season, and do believe he had to go.

I’m not suggesting he is a bad manager, his CV would contradict that. I just think at times he over complicated things, making a simple game harder.

And at times he was way too negative to win the Premier League, all too often picking defensive sides at home to lower league teams.

Nothing surprises me about this saga though, so it was no great shock to hear that fans gathered outside Anfield to protest in the wake of Rafa’s departure.

I take it they would have rathered Steven Gerrard left instead?

Some reports are suggesting that Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush are being lined up to take over, possibly on a caretaker basis.

Another report suggested that Dalglish and managing director Christian Purslow will begin the search for a successor to Rafa.

One name heavily touted around and up there in the betting is that of Martin O’Neill’s. He might well be unsettled at Villa, and the sale of James Milner might be the final straw.

Anyone looking to back O’Neill with their hard earned though, should bear in mind that it was he who ordered Kenny Dalglish’s removal from his role as Director of Football at Celtic before he took the managers job in Glasgow.

King Kenny may well have a long memory.