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King Kenny Takes Liverpool Back In Time
Posted Jan 25, 2011 by Shaun Edwards
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Whilst I have (and continue) to voice questions as to whether Kenny Dalglish’s appointment at Liverpool is going to be quite the master-stroke that many loyal scousers believe, it is very hard to deny the possibility that at Anfield on Saturday, Liverpool acted like not a thing had changed from the days where they were regularly competing for the biggest trophies in the game.
The chants of ‘Dalglish, Dalglish’ echoing around the Kop were not new – they’ve been chanted there now for over ten years whenever there has been management dissatisfaction – but not since 1991 have they been chanted with the same vigour and enthusiasm. Now, the chants were a celebration, not a request.
What transformed the most consistently under-performing side in the division into a team that dominated a Wolves side always keen for a scrap? Morale, according to King Kenny. The Scot noted that ‘At the moment the feeling is elation’ and revealed that ‘Everybody's happy, because they've got the sensation they played as a team. It was only comprehensive at the end because of the hard work, determination and effort they put in throughout the game. They got the reward.’
What Dalglish says is absolutely true, and is in-keeping with a problem that Liverpool have been having since the days of the mid 90’s and the under-performing ‘Spice Boys’: that Liverpool’s inability to win a championship is as much of a mental deficiency as it is a technical one. On their day, a Liverpool side is capable of defeating anyone, but they require the discipline and confidence to be able to execute their plans.
Nowhere is this more evident that in the Spanish striker Fernando Torres. Widely lauded as one of the planet’s finest strikers a little over a year ago, Torres has spent most of this season being out-performed by the likes of DJ Campbell at Blackpool and Elmander at Bolton: both men who have managed to get the ball in the net again and again despite their names not carrying anywhere near the glamour that Torres’s does. Scoring twice, Torres was superb against Wolves, probing for gaps and demonstrating a work rate and passion that Roy Hodgson was simply unable to achieve.
Whether Liverpool will be able to maintain this level of self confidence or not will be the most telling judgement of Dalglish’s latest spell in charge. However, if he is able to continue to utilise his undisputed charisma and motivational skills to bring even more passion to a gradually improving Liverpool side, I wouldn’t be surprised if King Kenny’s name isn’t still ringing around the Kop next season.
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