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Gus Keri

A life-long Liverpool fan who resides in New York City and also supports the New York Red Bulls.


Kenny Dalglish and Liverpool: Another Date with Destiny

Written by on January 13, 2011 | 17 Comments »
Posted in Liverpool

I remember that day in the spring of 1977. It was the first time I heard the name Kenny Dalglish. Liverpool had just broken the British transfer record to sign him as a replacement for the departing Kevin Keegan. The first question came to my mind then was: “Who is this guy?” I didn’t follow the Scottish league then. After I had read about him, I became familiar with his achievements with Celtic.

“But this is the English league”, I thought. Was he good enough to replace the one and only on the Liverpool roster? Keegan was my idol and I was very sad to see him leave. Before he left, Keegan delivered the long sought-after cup, the European Cup, and almost helped Liverpool achieve the treble.

Would Dalglish be able to replicate that? Many questions and doubts with no answers. I didn’t know what destiny had installed for him and for Liverpool Football Club.

It wasn’t long before the answers were clear to me and to the world. In the next thirteen and a half years, the world would witness one of the most dramatic periods, not only in the history of English soccer, but also in the history of the world. It would take Kenny Dalglish on an epic journey that would be engraved in the minds of Liverpool fans for ever.

This period was filled with all kind of emotions. From the highs of winning the most important trophies in England and Europe, multiple times, to the lows of the Heysel stadium disaster, where Liverpool hooligans’ action led to the death of 39 Juventus fans. I remember that game very vividly. It was the first time that I questioned my allegiance to Liverpool club. “Was it worth it?” I said.

The resignation of the manager, Joe Fagan, afterward sent a clear message that what happened could not be tolerated by club. When Kenny Dalglish agreed to take the helm as a manager/player, it was like a new beginning. He brought more success and more trophies. Then, another disaster struck.

The Hillsborough disaster claimed 96 innocent victims. This time, the victims were Liverpool fans. It struck a painful chord in everyone’s heart. What was happening to this great club? Why after every hugely successful period, we got even a bigger disaster?

This time, Dalglish had to walk a difficult road. He took the responsibility of comforting those grieving family on his shoulder. But how much can this shoulder lift? There is a limit for every thing. His departure was the massive price that Liverpool had to pay. The good man could not fight the evil forces that were taking the club on a rollercoaster ride, anymore.

When he left the club, he took with him all the good fortune he brought. Liverpool went into a dark period, as if the Gods of soccer had abandoned it. Many hopeful saviors have come and gone but to no avail. There were few glimmers of hope, now and then, but nothing to last longer than a heart beat.

Sadness and despair filled all the corners of the Anfield Stadium.

Then, a shining bright light struck the Liverpool football club. It was the spring of 2009. Liverpool went on a dream run, conquering the biggest clubs in the world. For a short period of time, it reminded us the good old days. “What is happening?” was the dominant question.

All analysts tried to figure out the puzzle but they couldn’t reach an agreement. Only the true Liverpool fans knew the answer. They looked at the corner where the administrators sit. Here it was – the face of the Prodigal Son. He has returned. They knew immediately what it needed to be done. Destiny helped shaped the next year and a half of the club’s fortune to open the door for his return.

But I, the ever doubting Thomas, still look at destiny with a great suspicion. There were many great comebacks, before, and many failed ones.  What will this comeback be? Is he going to take the club back to its glory days? Or is it going to be like Zinedine Zidane’s return to the World Cup that ended in shame?

I have to wait a little longer to find the answer.

17 responses to “Kenny Dalglish and Liverpool: Another Date with Destiny”


    okay your in charge who goes who stays and who do you bring in?do you go young and take your lumps or do you bring in older players as a patch?good article i think they will finish between 12 and 17.

  2. Soccerlogical says:

    Either way, I think it’s safe to say that we won’t be seeing King Kenny managing season…. even if he has only been in charge of 2 VERY disappointing performances. The man seems to have one marble more then Woy…. maybe. The cosmopolitan game with all its sophistication has clearly passed him by.

  3. Gus Keri says:

    We can’t judge Dalglish after two games only. But so far, I saw promising things.

    I like his use of young players and his players’ selection and substitutions were proper, I thoguht.

    The only thing that I questioned is his playing Johnson as left back. I thought he might have seen something no one else saw.
    If Johnson goes more inside and use his right foot to shoot instead of crossing with his left foot, which was bad, we might have seen something different. It’s like playing the left-footed Robben as right midfielder.
    I would lile to see Johnson as right midfielder for a few games to see how he does.

    But above all, the next few training sessions should focus on improving the defense. In the last three games, we conceded 6 goals and all were on bad defensive mistakes. Agger was at fault for at least two of the last three.

  4. damon says:

    G.Johnson is a terrible defender, everyone knows this..why doesn’t a manager put him in the midfield?

  5. soccerlogical says:

    Unless NESV & Comolli plan to replace all the key players with Brits…. Dalglish is NOT the answer. He lacks the man management skills to inspire international players…. not sophistcated enough.

  6. Gus Keri says:


    Why is he going to have a problem with the international players? Is it because of his difficult Scottish accent?

  7. Soccerlogical says:

    And he just doesn’t seem “in touch” with the modern player, the media and every other aspect of the game.He was a world class player a quarter century ago and had both managerial success and failure more than a decade ago BUT the EPL has changed and clearly passed him by… culturally, psychologically and every other “..lly” you can think of.

  8. Gus Keri says:

    I heard these theories before. We can only wait and see if they true.

    Just because he didn’t manage for a decade doesn’t mean he was far away from the game. He has been around soccer all his life.

    We live in a different era now. There are no more secrets in soccer. If you look around in all these blogs and chat rooms, you can see even the regular people have opinion on every small thing regarding soccer. They even tell the managers what they needed to do.

    Anyway, I only hope that these theories are proven wrong, for the sake of Dalglish and the Liverpool club.

  9. Ursusarctos says:

    Fernando Torres – who I believe may qualify as one of those “international players” that Dalglish is apparently not “sophistcated” [sic] enough to manage – has stated his awe of Dalglish.

    And of course both Sammy Lee and Steve Clarke know nothing at all about managing modern football players, and neither is in any position to assist Dalglish.

    Gus, don’t feed the ugly-under-bridge-living-scaring-children-creature …

  10. Soccerlogical says:

    URSU – Why are you insulting me for stating a speculation. Are you really such an angry and miserable person who got offended at an opinion of Dalglish.

    Don’t be one of those common ignorant fools who believes everything the players and media say. Do you expect Torres to tell the BBC or SKY “I have no idea what comes out of my manager’s mouth half the time and even my older NT coach Del Bosque is more in touch with the modern player”.

    Try not being such a pleb my friend!

  11. Gus Keri says:

    UA & SL:

    Let’s keep the discourse polite without calling name, please.

    I believe that the mere presense of a legend on the sideline and on the training ground should be enough inspiration for all players, domestic and intenational.

    Look at how Messi behave around Maradona.

    If a player doesn’t get inspired by a legend of the game, there is something wrong with him.

  12. Gus Keri says:

    On other note:

    In the Asian Cup, Australia tied South Korea 1-1 in a very balanced game. The Korean goalkeeper was at fault for the Australian gaol. Kewll had few shots that went close. He was the best player on the field, I thought.

    Both team are well on their way to the quarterfinals and we may see them agian in the finale.

    Japan, the heavy favorite, didn’t look convincing so far. Tying Jordan in stoppage time and getting undeserved win over Syria (2-1) doesn’t speak well for their brand of soccer.

  13. Soccerlogical says:

    GUS – What in the world are you talking about, Maradonna was an awful manager (NO Aimar, Riquelme, Cambiasso, Zanetti, barely used Pastore opting for an immobile Veron and 3 defenders?). Any pundit who knows the game will tell you that just because a manager was an amazing player doesn’t mean he will be an amazing coach. Dalglish was only brought in to appease the thuggish scouser fans and keep the stadium full. If Dalglish was a good manager, Liverpool or another team would have given him a chance much sooner.

    PS Being in “awe” of a manager means NOTHING! That doesn’t mean the manager is intelligent enough or has the ability to psychologically get the best outta his world class players.

  14. Gus Keri says:


    I didn’t say that Maradona was a good coach. And I wasn’t talking about good or bad management.

    We were talking about inspiration. Great legends inspire players. Maradona’s legend inspires players around him. Dalglish’s legend inspire players around him. Jack Charlton inspire players around him.

    About the “current” managerial ability of Dalglish, let wait and see.

  15. Gus Keri says:

    In Asian cup:

    Bahrain – India: 5-2

    India bacame the second team to be eliminated after two games.

    Ismaeel Abdulatif of Bahrain scored 4 goals.

    The other goal-socrer for Bahrain, Aaish, was red carded (two yellow cards) and will miss the Australia game where Bahrain needs a win to move on.

    Chhetri who plays for Sporting Kansas city scored one goal for India

  16. Soccerlogical says:

    Former great players can intimidate as much as inspire (just look at Roy Keane). Any inspiration an ex-great may have will fly out the window as soon as his ego, lack of tactical knowledge and other faults start to appear.

  17. Ursusarctos says:

    “the thuggish scouser fans”

    ’nuff said …

    Gus, don’t feed the troll.

    You and I both know the reason Dalglish’ appointment was so vital was to reunify the club, players and supporters – after 4 years of increasing suspicion, bitterness, betrayal, and finally sheer incompetence – as an essential first step to rebuilding.

    It is hard to think of anyone else who could do that job better than Dalglish.

    The appointment of Hodgson was the result of a complete failure by then management to understand LFC, as many supporters pointed out when he was named. Hodgson’s attitude as evidenced in his decisions and comments – even more than the unacceptable results – confirmed those fears.

    Those who now criticize LFC supporters for having insisted Hodgson go and Dalglish be named as interim manager show a similar failure to understand LFC.

    Don’t waste your time with them, Gus. They don’t understand – and worse, don’t want to. Don’t feed them.

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