While it might not be a complete shock, given the Reds run of league form, it was a little surprising to see Kenny Dalglish get sacked. Rebuilding Liverpool was never going to be a quick turnaround, despite declarations of disappointment if they not did make the Champions League.
Truth is the club was far from the quality needed to compete at Europe’s highest level when Kenny returned, and they are only slightly closer on his exit.
The squad is undoubtedly deeper than it was a year ago. Of course, the club overpaid for Carroll, Henderson, Downing, and Adam.
Yet, the expensive new arrivals under-performed considerably and never lived up to their manager’s unwavering attempts to fill them with confidence. Coupled with a rash of key injuries and a positively woeful inability to finish, never mind lengthy absences of the club’s two best players for disparate reasons, the team ultimately let Dalglish down.
Still, as sports cliches go, the whole team cannot be fired.
Now Liverpool is back to square one since Fenway Sports Group’s purchase, with absences in nearly all key club roles. There doesn’t seem to be a plan or vision forward. Moreover, FSG seems to misunderstand one key issue about their newest property.
Until they return to top four status and are playing European nights with the best, they are going to have to continue to overpay for talent. The club’s reputation and prestige only has so much appeal to the modern day footballer and probably holds even less weight for players outside the UK.
They need to dangle some kind of lure for top talent and right now they need to use cash, boom or bust. Plus, John Henry and company only look naive to think that the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City won’t press every possible angle and exploit every potential loophole in the impending UEFA’s Financial Fair Play.
While rumors already swirled, LFC is starting to look a lot like the current version of the Boston Red Sox, floundering in seeming disarray with little to instill hope in either team’s supporters. Ironically, the Red Sox have ridiculously overpaid talent on their roster, and cleaning house hasn’t made any difference in that team’s performance.
So, in throwing King Kenny aside, FSG has burned through most of the supporter’s good will. Now more than ever all that will matter are results, and the cast of characters rumored to be in the frame as possible replacements have none of the pedigree of their predecessor.
A series of big moves needs be made to avoid another disappointing campaign, starting with a staff of that boasts proven winners not simply the latest young gun manager, followed up with some more spending on a small mix of savvy veterans of the comeback variety and youth filled with potential.
Hopefully, a that group will include a proven goal poacher, if not little is likely to change.
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