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Liverpool united, but for how long?

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Chris Bevan | 23:04 UK time, Sunday, 9 January 2011

At Old Trafford.

The result was easily the worst part of Kenny Dalglish's first day back in the dugout and there can be few FA Cup exits - especially at at the hands of their fiercest rivals - that could have left any Liverpool manager, not to mention their fans, feeling more hopeful that there are better times ahead.

You could argue that, despite his side's third-round defeat by Manchester United on Sunday, Dalglish has already managed to do most of the things expected of him when Liverpool's owner John W Henry put Roy Hodgson out of his misery and asked the 59-year-old Scot to take charge until the end of the season.

Dalglish's most obvious impact was on the 9,000 travelling Reds fans, who showed him more love during the 90 or so minutes at Old Trafford than Hodgson received in the entire six months he spent in charge of the Merseysiders. Not that such a reception was a surprise for a man who helped fill the Anfield trophy room with silverware as a player and manager between 1977 and 1991.

The affection was mutual too, putting right one of the mistakes of his predecessor. After receiving raptuous applause when he emerged from the tunnel before kick-off, Dalglish grinned as he saluted the Reds supporters and he was always quick to raise a hand in acknowledgement on every occasion - and there were quite a few - that his name was rhythmically chanted over the course of the afternoon.

Helped, perhaps, by the fact that their own supporters were again fully behind them and their manager, the Liverpool players also looked galvanized by Dalglish's presence. He was only introduced to his squad at 10.30am on the morning of the match but they showed the kind of conviction that was sorely lacking in the Premier League defeat by Blackburn which proved to be Hodgson's last game in charge.

Kenny Dalglish and Fernando TorresDalglish needs to galvanise the likes of striker Torres: Photo: Getty

After Ryan Giggs' penalty and Steven Gerrard's red card left them a goal and a man down with almost an hour to play, Liverpool's spirit was obvious and, despite being under the cosh for most of that time, they were in the tie until the final whistle.

It is during training, on the pitch and in the stands where Dalglish can have the most effect on performance and morale so no wonder he was so happy with what he saw and heard, especially as he is only too aware of the conflicts that have marred the Reds' recent past.

"Obviously I am not going to be pleased to lose a match but the most important thing for us is what we got out of it, which was a great deal of effort and enthusiasm from the players," Dalglish said. "Their endeavour and commitment to the cause was helped and matched by the supporters who came along here. If we can get everyone pulling in the same direction we are going to have a good chance to improve things in the future too."

That was not the last time he referred to club unity in his post-match press conference, something that is hugely relevant to the club's owners too. By the very fact he is the man the fans wanted, Dalglish has also already improved relations between supporters and board - something that Henry and his cohorts in Boston wisely do not underestimate the importance of after witnessing the fate of their fellow Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

Just as importantly, Dalglish is happy too. Visibly delighted, in fact, to be back in the job he has craved for years and was disappointed to be overlooked for in the summer.

As a top-flight manager in the 1980s and 90s, Dalglish was renowned for being gruff with the media but in the bowels of Old Trafford, despite having to contend with a couple of contentious decisions that contributed to his first game in charge of Liverpool for almost 20 years being all but ruined after just 30 minutes, he cracked gag after gag when he faced the press afterwards.

"It's not even 48 hours since I was on a boat - and I was happy," he said with a smile when explaining how he was relaxing by the bar during a cruise in the Middle East when he was interrupted by a phone call from Henry saying Hodgson was gone and the Liverpool job was his until the end of the season, if he wanted it.

After a hastily-arranged drop-off at a port in Bahrain, Dalglish got a flight back to the UK on Saturday night and was at Old Trafford, as a Premier League manager, for the first time since his Newcastle side drew 1-1 with United in 1998.

His opposite number on Sunday, as it was 12 years ago, was Sir Alex Ferguson - who greeted him by saying 'welcome back'. Then came a welcome a great-deal louder from the Liverpool fans, which almost resulted in another touchline dash to rival some of those seen on the same ground in recent seasons.

"It crossed my mind to do a Gary Neville or Jose Mourinho and run down the touchline to that corner where our fans were but I never quite made it," Dalglish explained. "The supporters are very special. Thankfully they have got a long memory and they could remember some happy times and hopefully we can bring them back. Their support for the team today was superb."

From passenger to captain in the space of a day, and he is already relishing being in control again. Judging by his instant impact you can see why, despite his long hiatus from management, Dalglish was seen as the ideal man to steady the Liverpool ship and steer it towards calmer water.

But, without getting carried away with the nautical analogy, he still has to deal with some of the same problems that led to Hodgson being cast adrift.

Yes, there will be easier tests than travelling to take on the Premier League leaders in their own back yard but, the less formidable the opposition, the higher the expectations. Forget next weekend's Merseyside derby, defeat in Wednesday's trip to Blackpool is entirely feasible and would wash away much of the feelgood factor established during the past couple of days.

The Reds squad he inherits is clearly weak in some key areas too and might lead to further frustrations. Hodgson was keen to strengthen it in January but another potential problem is whether Dalglish will have any say in who is brought in, or whether he will want to.

Dalglish claims he has no transfer targets in mind and went as far as to say that he would have taken the job had he been told he had to work with the squad he has. If he is really only looking to stay until the end of the season then he is unlikely to rock the boat in the manner of, say, Kevin Keegan at Newcastle should any signings be thrust upon him by Liverpool's director of football strategy Damien Comolli.

But that is the big question that remains at Anfield. What happens in the summer?

If Dalglish does anything but disastrously, he will feel he deserves to get the job full-time - the indications are that he wants it. So too will the supporters who have backed him this time around. These fans already feel they have got rid of unpopular owners and an unwanted manager in the last few months so they are on a roll, and will probably anticipate keeping hold of somebody they like.

That will leave the owners with a difficult decision to make. Get it wrong, and they could reopen the same rifts that Dalglish's appointment have already started to heal. His return means Liverpool's short-term future is undoubtedly brighter but their long-term prospects are no less uncertain.

You can follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/chrisbevan_bbc

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    Good to see the effort from players, I will be happy with a steady road to recovery, as long as there is passion and a desire to win!

  • Comment number 2.

    Liverpool showed character that has been missing in recent weeks.

    But isn't that a sad reflection on the efforts of the players, rather than the motivation of the now departed Hodgson?

  • Comment number 3.

    It was always going to be a mammoth task to win his first game in charge, but going 1-0 to a very harsh penalty didn't help.
    Initially, I didn't think Gerrard should have been sent off, but looking back on it, it was always a dangerous challenge.

    Still, it was definitely an improved performance for Liverpool with crucial games coming up.
    Shame for them that Gerrard is missing for the Merseyside derby.

    So, tough result, but Liverpool's more important games are on Wednesday and against Everton next weekend.

    Daglish did well in his first game in charge, especially as it was one of the toughest fixtures in the footballing calender.

  • Comment number 4.

    Man Utd deserved to win. I think so anyway. Liverpool were terrible going forward, not helped by the likes of Shelvy and Kuyt who would not even get into the Barnsley side at the minute, Hammill and Doyle would have them that's for sure!

    When Torres is not working, Liverpool can always rely on the skill and pace of NGog and Babel, two world class players who have performed at the highest level for a number of seasons.

    Man Utd have the likes of Owen and Obertan who can easily change the game, Obertan looks to me like he has twice the pace of Babel. This alone makes him a fearsome winger.

    Typical ITV bias towards Liverpool harping on about the Gerrard sending off...just accept it and shut up about it...much rather have Adrian Chiles commentating, such a great commentator...Maybe with Claire Balding as pre match summeriser?

  • Comment number 5.

    Dalglish has 5 or 6m reasons to want to stay on as manager!! They say Woy got a £7.5m pay off - i'd be crying all the way to the bank. All Dalglish needs to do is not get relegated and he's safe. The club are becoming a joke!!

  • Comment number 6.

    Great appointment, lets hope we can achieve some early wins to start a momentum. However, the question about Kenny's case to be the permenant Manager is not so one of results but style of play along with results. If Kenny proves that he has the tacicle know how for the current climate then why not keep him.

    A few issues: The players need to start to improve their decesion making skills (they need to think quicker and smarter) for example, with 10 men you do not hoof the ball up, you play in packs so your controlling the game in small areas and you play the wings when possible.

    Something needs to be done about Ferrando...he has no excuses now, the player selection was almost perfect... we need to drop Kuyt and bring in Johnson on the right midfield and let Kelly overlap as i have been saying for a while.

    Kenny has all the reds behind him. what amazing support provided by The Reds, they put 68,000 Macrobrachium's to shame.

  • Comment number 7.

    Judging by the looks on Mr. Dalglish's face in today's game, this job is the last thing he needs. He already appeared seriously stressed out.

    On another topic, have the BBC commentators read The Laws of the Game? It is a mandatory red if a player jumps (two footed tackle) at an opponent. There is no question that Howard Webb made the right decision. What were the commentators thinking, and the Setanta pundit, when they said they thought Webb had got it wrong?

  • Comment number 8.

    As a fan, all I can say "Long Live the King".
    Seeing him there, its like the 80s again.

  • Comment number 9.

    I was extremely surprised that Dalglish decided not to wait until the Blackpool game to take charge. Albeit Liverpool played well at OT, but immediately he begins on the back foot with a defeat.

    There doesn't seem to be the impetus and momentum behind him that there really should be given his stature.

  • Comment number 10.

    So Liverpool should be performing better, there's nothing wrong with the team, it still has one of the best spines in the league, with Reina in goal, Agger and Skrtel centre defence (forget Carragher, he's as finished as a top drawer player as Gary Neville), Gerrard in midfield and Torres up front, plus decent support from Johnson, Kuyt, Meireles and Babel.
    It was obvious that Hodgson was simply the wrong choice. Why? Who knows, it just works that way sometimes, just like Scolari was wrong for Chelsea.
    With Kenny back in charge the players can focus on just getting back to winning games. The top 4 is gone for this season, but top 6 should be easy, if Bolton, Sunderland and Newcastle can be up there, Liverpool certainly can.
    And I'm not a 'Pool fan by the way, just a realist that can see some very good players at Anfield

  • Comment number 11.

    Liverpool remind me a little of Newcastle of 2 years ago. Fans got rid of the manager, then demanded the return of the messiah. That worked out well didn't it?

  • Comment number 12.

    I thought Dalglish's substitutions were as good as they could have been although Shelvey showed inexperience, but at least he had some enthusiasm. Always going to be tough taking over on the day of the match...and then conceding a soft penalty in the first minute. Gerrard wants his rear end kicking for being so stupid. I do not see how any of the commentators could see that as anything but a red card. Two footed lunge with both feet off the ground and studs leading. Fortunate for Carrick that he was not badly injured.
    United continue to be poor but win, Jonny Evans name on the team sheet was worrying - I thought the West Ham game was his last for United, but Torres on current form is obviously much easier to play against than Carlton Cole! I expected more from Nani than he delivered, Rafael continues to impress. Ferdinand continues to show why he is still one of the very best central defenders.
    I think Liverpool fans can take some heart from the performance and I think Dalglish will relish the challenge and can only be an improvement on Hodgson. The Mersey Derby should be a tasty affair! The absence of Gerrard and Cahill just about cancel each other out.

  • Comment number 13.

    11. At 00:28am on 10 Jan 2011, wiganchap wrote:

    Liverpool remind me a little of Newcastle of 2 years ago. Fans got rid of the manager, then demanded the return of the messiah. That worked out well didn't it?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Newcastle did not get relegated the season Keegan took charge. They got relegated the season after when he was forced out and they struggled with board room wranglings. If anything, they would never have been relegated with Keegan in charge as they had decent results right up until he quit. Ask any Newcastle fan and they'll tell you that.

    That aside, we played much better football than we did last time we were at old traffords. I think with Kenny having more time to work with the squad there can only be one way and that is up. I hope so anyway.

  • Comment number 14.

    @ post 11.

    Kenny Dalglish is a manager who post war, is the third most successful manager in England in terms of league titles won.

    Please don't even attempt to compare him to Keegan who has won precisely zero trophies.

    Kenny Dalglish has won more trophies in his career than Roy Hodgson has away games for all of the English league sides he has managed. And that's not a random witicism, it's true.

    Dalglish will be good for Liverpool. The fans love him and that is important, the owners trust him until they prove otherwise and seeing as these are serious sports people, not large comedy fans with a lot of money, I can't see him going the same way as Keegan.

    As for Liverpool, they are a horrible side at the moment. Roy Hodgson was a complete disaster for all the players and there are some bad ones in the team. But it was an improvement. It will take time but I'm sure Kenny will do better than Roy. A big summer is ahead. Players will be sold in droves and hopefully there will be plenty of funds to make some really good transfers. I know we seem to say it every year, but summer 2011 really is a completely fresh start. Competent owners and a successful manager that is adored. Lets hope he can make a big improvement on the first half of the season.

    As for Howard Webb, he made a bad decision with the penalty. Football is a contact sport and there was contact, but not a foul. For a free kick or penalty to be awarded a foul must be made, not mere contact. Berbatov went down like a sack of spuds and the ref was conned. I don't blame Berbatov, football has no sportsmanship in it anymore, no integrity, and Berbatov was doing the best for his team. But it's the refs that need to make the right calls, and he didn't. He wasn't in the right position to call it either way.

    As for Gerrard's red, it could have been yellow, it could have been red. It wasn't clear cut. But Webb went for the maximum punishment option, at Old Trafford, in favour of Manchester United. It doesn't help his cause whatever way you look at it. He's not a ref known to hand out red cards regularly anyway, just ask Nigel de Jong and Xabi Alonso.

  • Comment number 15.

    You can't polish an average squad but you can definitely cover it with glitter (is that how the saying goes?).

    Liverpool have been papering over the cracks for years, but there is only so long you can get away with selling your best players and replacing them with average ones.this started under houllier and continued under benitez. Liverpool fans mention the wins against man u a couple of seasons ago, the win against real madrid and the 05 champions league campaign, but that is it, these results are lost in a sea of mediocrity.

    Liverpool will continue as they have been doing for the last season and a half, dalglish won't change anything - good new players will, but good new players cost money and liverpool haven't got much of that.

    On top of this they have got comolli buying their players. Can someone remind me what comolli's record at spurs was? No? well let me remind you. He drove out the manager they had who finished fifth twice in a row, buying midfielder after midfielder and players that weren't needed for a lot of money (reminds me of benitez a bit). On his recommendation ramos was brought in. we all remember what happened at spurs under ramos don't we? Comolli and ramos were shown the door with spurs bottom of the league.

    It does not look good for liverpool. daglish will not make any difference to the trajectory liverpool have been following for the last season and a half.

  • Comment number 16.

    Why hasn't anyone mentioned how the team and style of play was changed. Agger and Aurelio starting, the team pressing higher up the pitch and actually passing the ball in midfield rather than hoofing it as they did under Hodgson. This contributed to the improvement in the performance rather than it just being the players wanting to work harder for the new manager.

    The team Kenny put out today was exactly what I predicted and would never have been picked by Hodgson.

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 18.

    The main thing for me was the Dalglish interview after the match.

    Instead of Rafa's deluded excuses, or Hodgson putting his foot in it again, Dalglish sounded look a football manager.

  • Comment number 19.

    was it me or did kelly and shelvey look the best liverpool players today?
    says something about liverpool and the young talent they had.

    also playing skertl and agger for the first in like ever.. they didnt concede, bar a berbatov dive
    i'd say liverpool are in safe hands

  • Comment number 20.

    So Liverpool should be performing better, there's nothing wrong with the team, it still has one of the best spines in the league, with Reina in goal, Agger and Skrtel centre defence (forget Carragher, he's as finished as a top drawer player as Gary Neville), Gerrard in midfield and Torres up front, plus decent support from Johnson, Kuyt, Meireles and Babel.
    It was obvious that Hodgson was simply the wrong choice. Why? Who knows, it just works that way sometimes, just like Scolari was wrong for Chelsea.
    With Kenny back in charge the players can focus on just getting back to winning games. The top 4 is gone for this season, but top 6 should be easy, if Bolton, Sunderland and Newcastle can be up there, Liverpool certainly can.
    And I'm not a 'Pool fan by the way, just a realist that can see some very good players at Anfield

    --------------------------------------------------------

    how can you say that..
    The quality of those players is questionable, especially the defense.
    Torres of colour for a while and Gerrard cant do it all


    Im a West Ham fan and im all to used to fans of us saying were too good, the fact is were not and were bottom.. the fact liverpoool are where they are in the league sums up the team..
    and the fact man u are winning it shows they have far greater quality in all areas..

  • Comment number 21.

    A straight red card is awarded for serious foul play or violent conduct. Both players left the ground to reach a 50/50 ball and Gerrard caught Carrick, but not while his leg was planted, which is why, after Carrick finally decided to stop play-acting, there was no injury.
    If the timing had been slightly different then it would have been Gerrard who was caught. Would Carrick have gone off? I think we all know the answer to that one.
    In these instances where both players go sliding in and it is a question of timing, the punishment at most should be a yellow. For serious foul play there has to be intent.
    All these people claiming a two footed tackle is a straight red don't know the rules. There is no rule stating any two-footed tackle is a red card. For example, if Gerrard had won the ball cleanly would he have been sent off? No. Straight reds are for serious foul play and there wasn't any here.
    The penalty was a joke. Berbatov was manoevered out of position by Agger and when he saw the ball was going out of play, he dived. The ref wasn't even close to it and God knows where his assistant was, but he didn;t call it.

  • Comment number 22.

    Good to see Kenny is back for Liverpool. No point to compare him with likes of Keegan and Rodgson who hadn't won one English League title.

    Hope his immense presence would motivate the team to do better for the Reds and fans. My view is the team has been very down with previous appointment of Rodgson and they are glad he is gone for good. Some good touch like taking off Torres for a meaningless cup game. May need some signings to strengthen the squad to get a better place or Europa next year. Surely unlikely to see them relegated.

    Finally the new owner listen to the fans !

  • Comment number 23.

    Though the squad lacks Quality, it isn't very bad. E.g. Babel & Shelvey came on as subs and they did provide some sparkle except that 10 vs 11 was indeed difficult.

    Going fwd, Babel needs more games and also more of a team player, and Shelvey showed both skills and commitment.

  • Comment number 24.

    iocoman - of course liverpool have never benefitted from diving have they? or any red cards that shouldn't have been awarded? In fact gerrard's never got away with ridiculous tackles has he? those pesky referees...

  • Comment number 25.

    On the Keegan point.
    Keegan would have kept Newcastle up and had them challenging he had been stunted at every step by a chairman determined that his side should do badly. It happened again with CH this season.

    The King is back
    Kenny Dalglish should have been the natural choice for an experienced steady pair of hands to keep things ticking over or even stay if he wanted to and Roy wouldn't have totally ruined his reputation.

    Howard Webb
    Well those are two words that strike fear into the hearts of any opposition team when he is refereeing at OT. SAF would have had a 'happy ending' to his night in his office. Fact!

  • Comment number 26.

    All you people saying "Kenny took over a great team in the Eighties" and "Kenny was rubbish at Newcastle and Celtic" and "Look what the Messiah Keegan did to Newcastle" need to get your facts right, get of your bandwagon and just realise who you're talking about here.

    Yes Kenny did inherit a great team with Liverpool and won the double with them. Then he had to practically rebuild the side, signing players like Barnes, Beardsley, Houghton and Aldridge. He did all this and Liverpool never broke their stride through the late Eighties, right up until he had to leave for medical reasons after the Hillsborough effect.

    Then he goes to Blackburn and wins the Premier League (only one of five managers to do it) with them, after completely building the team. Yes he was given money, but he still had to get balance and chemistry right. He created the Shearer and Sutton partnership. Roy takes over from Kenny and Blackburn are eventually relegated.

    He takes over Newcastle and finishes second in the Premier League, gets them to an FA Cup Final and beats Barcelona in the CL (How many British Managers have pulled that off?)

    Celtic P18 W10 D4 L4 and wins the Scottish League Cup all in 6 months. It was his Press Conference's he was doing in Local Pubs that made them sack him, some thought he'd lost the plot. I think it was brilliant!.

    As a Player and a Manager the man has won 14 League Titles, 3 European Cups, 7 FA Cups, 6 League Cups and 1 European Super Cup. Holds the record for the most International Caps and the most International goals for his country. Has been awarded Manager of the year 4 times. Was voted Greatest British Striker Ever in a massive nationwide poll.

    You people seriously need to wake up to the fact that this is a living legend we have here, a footballing great. If this man ever played for a bigger national team, he would be mentioned in the same breath as Maradona or Pelé.

    You haters can carry on spouting off all your nonsense that you're just copying from other posts on here, but us LFC fans feel honoured and priveleged that he is back where he belongs. And other true football fans are happy to have him back in the Premier League. Exciting times ahead and I for one can't wait.

    This Legend truely will Never Walk Alone.

  • Comment number 27.

    @14 - I think he was referring to the club/manager situation as opposed to quality of manager.... Not that Keegan was a bad manager - he just never got the results that counted.

    And for those amongst you complaining about Gerrard's sending off - it has been a rule for a number of seasons now, that lunging for the ball with both feet, showing one or both sets of studs is an immediate red card

  • Comment number 28.

    The early signs already justify his appointment, post match he was honest and down to earth, but most important the players responded with a better performance. You can tell he has established good player/supporter bonds already, but that was never really surprising.

    At least for Liverpool this loss was close 1-0 to ManU instead of 3-1 to Blackburn in the PL.

  • Comment number 29.

    Positives!!! Yes , i believe there is something which Liverpool faithfulls can take out from this game..Steven Gerrard was playing behind Torress and that has always always been the right combination for liverpool and somehow Hodgson and Benitez didnt seem to agree with it.. the harsh penalty came at a very wrong time for Liverpool coz it seemed that they had come to old trafford to take the game to Man U..Steven gerrard gets sent off , so that doesnt haelp the cause..
    I think the main thing that Dalglish needs to do is to work very closely with Torres..He looked out of sorts , he needs to find his rythym back..

  • Comment number 30.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 31.

    So Liverpool should be performing better, there's nothing wrong with the team, it still has one of the best spines in the league, with Reina in goal, Agger and Skrtel centre defence (forget Carragher, he's as finished as a top drawer player as Gary Neville), Gerrard in midfield and Torres up front, plus decent support from Johnson, Kuyt, Meireles and Babel.
    It was obvious that Hodgson was simply the wrong choice. Why? Who knows, it just works that way sometimes, just like Scolari was wrong for Chelsea.
    With Kenny back in charge the players can focus on just getting back to winning games. The top 4 is gone for this season, but top 6 should be easy, if Bolton, Sunderland and Newcastle can be up there, Liverpool certainly can.
    And I'm not a 'Pool fan by the way, just a realist that can see some very good players at Anfield

    --------------------------------------------------------

    how can you say that..
    The quality of those players is questionable, especially the defense.
    Torres of colour for a while and Gerrard cant do it all


    Im a West Ham fan and im all to used to fans of us saying were too good, the fact is were not and were bottom.. the fact liverpoool are where they are in the league sums up the team..
    and the fact man u are winning it shows they have far greater quality in all areas..

    ========================================================================
    The quality is questionable?!
    Pepe Reina is the best keeper in the country, one of the best in the world and would be a double European championship and World Cup winner if it wasn't for casillas.
    Agger is wanted by Arsenal and Juventus (according to the press), and Gerrard and Torres are genuine World Class players, just because they are having a bad patch means nothing, class is permanent.
    Are Rooney and Drogba also "questionable"?
    As for Skrtel? It's just my opinion that he is a good defender, I like him.
    With an extra couple of signings (the correct signings) Liverpool will/should be back in the top 4

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    I have not yet seen the first Liverpool performance under Dalglish, but I am encouraged by all I have read so far. This is an inspired decision and will have a hugely positive impact on Liverpool, who although have now had a season and a half of mediocrity, are still a great club and I have no doubt they will return to somewhere near the top in another season and a half.

  • Comment number 34.

    reddevils78 ... your nan must bew fairly sprightly. Gerrard is in this 30s, not past them, and although not the same player he was, still 'world class'. 'Miereles' is a quality player and if not his usual effective self I expect he was playing his role. Watch a Liverpool game where its 11 vs 11 and tell me if he doesn't play some great passes forward.Yes Liverpool have a few average players right now, thanks to some poor dealings in the last few years. It won't take long to turn it around.

  • Comment number 35.

    Howard Webb has lost the plot, AGAIN. He's caused big contraversy after the World Cup Final in South Africa, now he's at it again. How he's given the chance to referee such a big game by FA is beyond belief. Utterly shocking.

  • Comment number 36.

    I'm beginning to wonder who the liverpool fans will blame next for the bad results: first it was the 'net spend', then the owners, then benitez, then poor roy hodgson, and now howard webb. perhaps the only constant through all this are the players...but they're world class aren't they?

  • Comment number 37.

    7. At 00:14am on 10 Jan 2011, football-in-canada wrote:
    Judging by the looks on Mr. Dalglish's face in today's game, this job is the last thing he needs. He already appeared seriously stressed out.

    On another topic, have the BBC commentators read The Laws of the Game? It is a mandatory red if a player jumps (two footed tackle) at an opponent. There is no question that Howard Webb made the right decision. What were the commentators thinking, and the Setanta pundit, when they said they thought Webb had got it wrong?

    ========================================

    So Raphael should have been sent off as well before the Gerrard tackle. Yes, Gerrard should have been sent off, but you can't have it both ways.

    We played ok yesterday. Utd were a poor side considering they are top of the league. Berbatov fell over.
    We have more important games ahead than this one.

    My opinion on the Dalglish appointment is still open at the moment.

  • Comment number 38.

    While it is undoubted that Kenny's appointment will have a positive effect on the fans it is still to be seen if this will transmit through to the players.

    Motivation for a game against Manchester United is never going to be an issue - all the players should be up for a game against their biggest rivals. It will be how Kenny motivates them against the likes of Blackpool that will be more telling.

    The match last night only showed me one thing; that Manchester United could afford to rest some of their biggest names against a full strength Liverpool team and while playing in only 2nd gear for much of the match, still had too much quality for Liverpool. Lets not delude ourselves that Liverpool were unlucky not to win that game - they were not even close. If i was a Liverpool fan, this would be what most concerns me.

    It will take time to turn that around i suppose, but look at how quickly Harry turned around Spurs - it can be done quickly under the right guidance. Can King Kenny weave the same magic? Will he be given time to?? The new owners are showing a bit of common sense in appointing him (in the short-term) as they know that this is something which will galvanise the fanbase (and get people coming back to Anfield), but longer term listening to the fans is not always the sensible decision, as fans demands are based on emotion rather than commonsense. It is for this reason that Kenny's apppointment is similar to Keegan's at Newcastle. It went wrong on Tyneside, it is not inconceivable it could go wrong on Merseyside too.

  • Comment number 39.

    Long live the King !! fantastic news . as for the game oh well its old trafford !! dubios penalty !!and the linesman didn't give by the way!!! and if that gerrard tackle is a sending off there won't be many players left in footy matches. having said that you rarely get the decsions at old trafford.and webb bottled it big time . but improvements were already there to see from the pool.

  • Comment number 40.

    Have to agree with what SirMouseburger says above. Liverpool are always motivated to raise their game against Utd.....and Dalglish returning gave added incentive.

    Reading the comments of LFC fans it seems that not being well beaten is some sort of moral victory. It's easy to blame Howard Webb but if the penalty had not been awarded would the game have ended 0-0.....unlikely.

    Utd were without VDS, Vidic and Rooney and played well within themselves. Bar Aurelio's free-kick Kuz was never stretched while Utd could easily have added another couple. Liverpool did look better with the incentives mentioned but can they continue this against the likes of Blackpool?

    Regarding The ArmBands rant on Dalglish.....yes he is a great football man but the fact is that every time the pressure was on as a manager he walked away. No problem with that, most big management jobs are a cauldron and Dalglish chose to give-up management. No reason to believe that he'll take the job permanently and, if he does, that the same won't happen again.

    Some Liverpool fans refer to a 'meaningless' cup game. Since when is ANY game against Utd meaningless for Liverpool?? Also, a win yesterday could have done wonders for Liverpool's confidence and an FA Cup run (or win) could be the makings of a turnaround.

    How the (once) mighty have fallen!!

  • Comment number 41.

    This is what should have been done when Rafa was fired - an old hand to steady the ship while everyone is recovering from Rafa's chaotic style of management.

    With his long absence from management I still think this is the best for the team right now.

    I wish him well.

  • Comment number 42.

    Ridiculous Liverpool hyperbole as usual from the media.

    "The affection was mutual too, putting right one of the mistakes of his predecessor." I'm sure if Hodgson had ever had any backing from the self-proclaimed "Most knowledgeable fans in football", then he too would have shown them some affection.

    Liverpool were just as insipid as they've been all season. United barely got out of second gear and still cruised to as comfortable a 1-0 victory as you'll see. When things have gotten no better by the end of the season, who will the fans blame this time? Because they will finally have no-one but themselves to point the finger at. No doubt they'll find someone though.

    Yes Berbatov waited until he knew the ball was running out of play before tumbling over. Webb bought it and gave a penalty which shouldn't have been. But whose mistake precipitated the whole thing? Ridiculously poor, nothing challenge from Agger when Berbatov was going nowhere.

    For the record, I'm a neutral lower division fan who is finally getting sick to the back teeth of the absolute nonsense which is spouted day in, day out, both on the TV and in the written press by Liverpool friendly hacks.

  • Comment number 43.

    Some of the comments on here deserve to be on a comedy programme,the facts of the matter are simple,first fact Howard Webb was conned by Berbatovs dive and should have consulted his linesman who did not flag for the penalty after all that is what he is there for.Second fact before Gerards two footed challenge on Carrick Raphael did the same to Miereles Webbs decision PLAY ON had he given the foul then Gerards tackle would not have taken place but as stated by other posts we all know where Webbs loyalty lies,he makes a joke of the respect the referee.As for the return of King Kenny if anyone can turn Liverpools fortune round he is the man to do it and yesterdays game proved that, every player gave 100%,and before you all start saying "oh its only another deluded Liverpool fan" I am from Blackpool and after what I saw yesterday am not looking forward to playing them on wednesday,a game I saw a week ago as 3 points which now I would settle for 1.If he gets the backing from the owners he will take LFC back into the top four very quickly.

  • Comment number 44.

    MrollyDavis #36: Don't forget the press. Yes that's right, some Liverpool fans have actually been blaming the press for their poor performances over the last 18 months - citing press xenophobia for forcing Rafa out of England and forcing the Hodgson appointment!!!

  • Comment number 45.

    he does offer them hope - nothing like a good 1-0 loss to start, but then again, he did get his average players to run a bit more. torres just looks like a player who wants to join chelsea, it's a bit of a coincidence that the 1 decent performance this season came against them...

  • Comment number 46.

    I'm beginning to wonder who the liverpool fans will blame next for the bad results: first it was the 'net spend', then the owners, then benitez, then poor roy hodgson, and now howard webb. perhaps the only constant through all this are the players...but they're world class aren't they?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now now, be fair. The net spend and the previous owners were the same problem, as we became tantamount to a selling club. Benitiez played a part by not buying well in the bargain basement (with a few higher profile problem buys too). Hodgson was overly defensive and playing tactics that simply did not suit the squad he had. And Howard Webb has only cost us one match so we cant blame him for the rest of the season.

    These are all pretty valid criticisms, and hopefully all on their way to being rectified under NESV and Kenny.

    As for the players, just go on any forum - including 606 - and you will see they have been getting criticism also.

  • Comment number 47.

    If Karl Henry or Lee Cattermole had made the tackle that Gerrard made, nobody would be questioning whether it should have been a red card and both would be getting pilloried by all and sundry. So, why do some people try and make allowances just because it's a big name player. Gerrard's tackle was two footed and dangerous and in the current climate is a straight red. End of story.

  • Comment number 48.

    Kenny, and all the others moaning about the red card, might want to have a look at the rules.

    118- Serious foul play
    A player is guilty of serious foul play if he uses excessive force or brutality against an opponent when challenging for the ball when it is in play.
    A tackle that endangers the safety of an opponent must be sanctioned as
    serious foul play.
    Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the
    front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play. Advantage should not be applied in situations involving serious foul play unless there is a clear subsequent opportunity to score a goal. The referee must send off the player guilty of serious foul play when the ball is next out of play.

  • Comment number 49.

    BrianTopp

    With regard to Comolli's transfer record, here are some of the players signed when he was at Spurs at Spurs.

    Zakora
    Rasiak
    Berbatov
    Malbranque
    Chimbonda
    Assou-Ekotto
    Bale
    Bent
    Boateng
    Kaboul
    Giovani Dos Santos
    Modric
    Corluka
    Gomes
    Murphy
    Rocha
    Pavlyuchenko
    Taarabt
    Hutton
    Woodgate
    Bentley
    Gunter
    Alnwick

    So a mixed record but he has signed currently the "best" player in the World.

  • Comment number 50.

    people are questioning the sending off cause it wasn't clear cut . Sir alex and his assistant howard webb were more than happy to see the premierships best player get red!!!

  • Comment number 51.

    1. Did you see Ferguson's face as Dalglish was being applauded in his own back yard? He had a face like thunder! He was thinking "Oh ...., I have just spent 25 years catching Liverpool up and now they bring HIM back!"

    2. Dalglish did what Hodgson was not brave or astute enough to do - he took Torres off. As Ian Rush (L'pool's greatest ever goalscorer) used to say "You're only as good as your last game" and he was dropped once in his first reign and he came back better.

    I was unhappy to see Torres not chasing the ball: L'pool seemed to play with 10 men at times. If he is not injured, then he seems to have an attitude problem.

    3. I don't think that any team in the last 10-20 years has won the league, without three top-class strikers.
    L'pool has one, who is badly under-performing, one who is improving, learning and holding the ball up well and one who has been the biggest disappointment, in terms of potential versus actual perfomance, since Bruno Cheyrou, who (apparently) tore Man U apart in the Champ L, but completely lost his confidence and was truly awful.

    4. Kelly - came in at Old T, kept Man U's left flank quiet and was dangerous going forward AND GOT BACK well (please note Johnson)

    5. Reina - kept L'pool in it - was that 5 brilliant saves in around 10 seconds?

    6. A win by cheating is a tainted win and Berbatov knows that - could he be charged for faking - is the rule that if the ref doesn't see it, then it is eligible for the FA to charge? Fergie unsurprisingly lost all coherence when asked about it.

  • Comment number 52.

    It makes me laugh to see people comparing the current situation to that of Newcastle 2 years ago. I'm as dubious about the appointment of Kenny as a lot of others, but to compare somebody who has won 4 League Titles and 2 FA Cups as a manager to somebody whose crowning glory is probably 2nd place in the league is absurd. Also the ownership situation is completely different, we have new owners who seem to have a bit more of a clue so far, than Mike Ashley.
    I think it will be great if Kenny does well, but I would still like to see somebody with a bit more recent experience at the helm although I suppose if he gets a decent points to games ratio we can't really look too far past him. Especially as we need somebody to build the club over the next couple of years, we can't really compete financially with City, Spurs and the other new top four boys so we need to slowly reconstruct the squad and hope we can build a team in the long term to get us back to the Champions League spots.

  • Comment number 53.

    There is only one King....and the name is Cantona

  • Comment number 54.

    Liverpool were poor. No attacking nous, gave the ball away continually, bad defensively and made ManU (who were definitely not at their best) look better than they played. Definite red card, possible penalty (stupid tackle from the defender, should have left it to go out of play). A lot has changed in football over the past 12 years, can 'King Kenny' really make any difference to a poor squad in a strong league? when he was last at 'Pool they had one of the best squads, now it is MUCH different. They will be lucky to get a top 10 finish this season if yesterdays performance, and the rest this season bar the Chelsea game, is anything to go by. One man can not make that much difference to a threadbare squad already struggling.

  • Comment number 55.

    Dalglish can well "fume" at the penalty decision but there were many shots of this and there WAS contact from behind - despite Berbatov's theatre.
    They (strikers) all do it now - without exception! Players will use the rules to their own advantage just like Gerrard tried to do yesterday but went too far!
    I just wonder if Dalglish has the mentality for the job? He is going to get this EVERY week in most games now!

  • Comment number 56.

    Definite contact...Definite penalty, not a player in the prem who wouldn't have gone down.

    Definite sending off, imagine if that had been a stoke player going in on an Arsenal player, blimey the gooners would still be moaning about it a fortnight from now.

    Nice that Utd finished with 11 men for a change against liverpool, a fact the ABU's will conveniently forget in the next 500 posts.

  • Comment number 57.

    The most curious and interesting sight amongst all the drama at Old Trafford yesterday was the almost silent Fernando Torres.
    He looks a "shadow" of his former self.
    He was almost invisible yet he was on the pitch for c. 80 minutes!
    I am convinced that Torres is going to leave - although I could be deceived!
    The 2 biggest Liverpool players yesterday were completely neutralised and I cannot remember a match between these 2 teams where there was so much of a lack of pressure from either side.
    United were extremely comfortable for the whole match - almost in 2nd gear. Liverpool looked a troubled and traumatised side.
    It was a good match to watch but it wasn't a thriller!

  • Comment number 58.

    Liverpool will always raise their game against Man Utd,So it makes no difference who is in charge. The weeks ahead will see if Dalglish,still has what it takes.In my opinion,I Fail to see how a man who has been out of management for so long,can turn things around.Keegan was only out for Four years,when he returned to management at Man City,but it may as well have been a lifetime,such was the the change in the game.
    I could be wrong,but maybe Liverpool fans,may have to come to terms with the fact,that Football like everything else is A Evolutionary process,and things their-fore constantly change.And that Liverpool's time at the very top is Over,Like Wolves,Preston,Huddersfield,before them.

  • Comment number 59.

    Oh dear! Here we go again. A manager is chosen simply to keep the fans happy. The sentamentality of Liverpudlians knows no bounds.

    Just because 'King Kenny' is a hero for his past exploits as a player doesn't make it sensible to stick him in the firing line to manage a team that is never going to excel in the short term.

    How impatient they (the fans) are. But perhaps they will give Dalglish a little more time than they gave poor Hodgson. If not, the disruption at the top will postpone any revival of the club as a major force in English football for a few more years.

  • Comment number 60.

    sentimentality

  • Comment number 61.

    @ 14,

    "As for Howard Webb, he made a bad decision with the penalty. Football is a contact sport and there was contact, but not a foul. For a free kick or penalty to be awarded a foul must be made, not mere contact. "

    There is a new terminology then: minor contact of a foot against opponent's foot - not a penalty. You must be joking :)
    In fact, in that ping-pong minute in front of Reina's posts, there were two more penalties not given to United:
    a) when an arm was pulling a United player
    b) when a leg brought down Ryan Giggs.
    Defending resolutely and defending stupidly are two different things.

    As for the Gerrard incident, I would be curious to see how Wenger would react had it been an Arsenal midfielder on the receiving end.

    Liverpool should be talking about why their golden boy, Torres, was again anonymous, with minimal contribution. Other teams' fans will always be asking why the players didn't apply themselves for Roy Hodgson, justifying their wages and the t-shirt they're wearing.

    Dalglish will do well for them. I would like to see him on a 4-5 years contract, too. We all know that he's not only Liverpool through and through but he also has the experience to drive them forward, while he knows it all about the 'Liverpool recipe' on bringing new players on their first team. There is a lot of english talent out there, something they know very well at Goodisson Park and they're learning it at Villa Park.

  • Comment number 62.

    The appointment of Dalglish is laughable!

  • Comment number 63.

    Why is Webb so highly rated?

    He consistently gets the big decisions wrong.

    With the level of cheating from the likes of Man U, Chelsea and especially Arsenal, refs really need to be sharper.

  • Comment number 64.

    Re there is only one King: "Cantona"
    Could someone please tell me. Is it correct that Man U had to get rid of Cantona before they were able to win the Champions League?
    Thank you

  • Comment number 65.

    Daglish won't make any difference. Another rose tinted spectacled appointment by Liverpool.

  • Comment number 66.

    Here we go again. King Kenny could whinge for Scotland. Talk about myopia. Anyway, if he wants to complain to the officials he will have to learn to speak English. Even I, a Scot, find it impossible to understand a word he says.

  • Comment number 67.

    If Hodgson was still in charge, you would have called that performance insipid and the "final nail"

  • Comment number 68.

    Typical Man utd fans . talking absolute rubbish , they are average side and just lucky the big guns are not performing at the mo!! if Gerrard stays on and the laughable penalty decsion , ( by the way the lino never gave it ) i'm covinced we would have got something out of the game.

    No one is saying that King Kenny will makes us world beaters again , but wot he will do is make sure that every player inc torres give no less than 100 % and he knows the traditions of the famous lfc when we were the best team on the planet. However i wish Hodgson good luck it was just a job too big for you !!

  • Comment number 69.

    Regarding the penalty... this is a seriously disturbing situation where any sort of contact in the box can be deemed a foul if a player goes down! Do the rules state that the merest of touches is considered a foul? The implications are ridiculous. Now in any game a player in the opposing box should just drop to the floor when he is touched and demand a pen. The refs might as well award 10 penalties apiece in that case! Very sad to see football heading this way, ruled by divers and officials who indulge them.

  • Comment number 70.

    Penalty and red card!!! You must be blind not to see it. remember when vidic was sent off for a little tug on torres, well revenge is sweet, remember the penalty when torres dove in our previous meeting, well revenge is sweet.

    Look, liverpool are not a good team anymore, the fact you only conceded 1 is a miricle. go back to the bottom half of the league!!!

  • Comment number 71.

    As a Liverpool fan I would be more than happy to see us out of the press. Apart from the sacking of Roy Hodgson it has been very quiet where the new owners are concerned. My hope is that they have a 5 year plan for the club, starting with either a new stadium or a redevelopment. If KD is to remain manager then hopefully he and Comolli will be getting together to plan the signing of a couple of decent players. I for one am very realistic about my club. It will take 5 years of careful planning, nurturing young players and proper investment before we can begin to think about challenging for honours again.

    As for yesterday's game - dive for the penalty, red card correct for Gerrard - he should have known better although Raphael should have gone for his 2 footed tackle. What worried me is that Torres does not look interested and as a team we still look a bit pedestrian and ordinary.

  • Comment number 72.

    It's been a while since Liverpool have been champions and I expect Dalglish will secure Liverpool a top half finish, maybe even top 7 to match last season's achievements.

    This King Kenny business is almost as funny as Newcastle and King Kev.


  • Comment number 73.

    70. At 09:57am on 10 Jan 2011, King Red wrote:
    Penalty and red card!!! You must be blind not to see it. remember when vidic was sent off for a little tug on torres, well revenge is sweet, remember the penalty when torres dove in our previous meeting, well revenge is sweet.

    Look, liverpool are not a good team anymore, the fact you only conceded 1 is a miricle. go back to the bottom half of the league!!!

    ==========================================

    Another well balanced comment from a Manure fan - priceless!

  • Comment number 74.

    The penalty was soft, but it was a wreckless challenge from the defender, no need to make it. He caught Berbatov's legs without cleaning him out. Only person to blame for that is the defender.

    The red card was as blatant a red card as you will see all season.

  • Comment number 75.

    Post #52 - Can you explain what makjes you say NESV have more of a clue than Mike Ashley?? As far as i could see they left Roy dangling for a couple of days, and then appointed a crowd favourite. Hardly insightful ownership, is it??

    Post #57. I agree. Every time i see Torres playing these days another million comes off of his valuation. He is clearly not interested anymore, and his time at Liverpool has seen him fall from the darling of Spanish football to warming the bench in the World Cup final....I bet that doesnt sit well with him. Liverpool should cash in on him why they still can.

  • Comment number 76.

    @ 63.dogeared,

    "Why is Webb so highly rated?"

    Because he's the only England referee who is likely to referee a World Cup final again, perhaps?

  • Comment number 77.

    I cannot believe that people on here are questioning Gerrard's red card! It was a terrible challenge - two-footed and a leg-breaker.

    Here's a question: if Konchesky had done that challenge, what would the reaction be? Liverpool fans would be on him like a ton of bricks (I can see it now: "has he got a brain?", "sell him now!", "worst left-back in the clubs history" etc). Yet no Liverpool fan seems to be blaming Gerrard for letting his team down... it's far to easy to blame the ref these days.

    Speaking of which, I thought it was a penalty. Anyone who has played the game at a decent level knows that it only takes the slightest touch to make you trip. As for the Liverpool fans (and Babel) crying about referee bias - funny how United's two penalty claims in the second half don't get mentioned (Evans and Giggs).

  • Comment number 78.

    @ 76. Football_UK

    "Because he's the only England referee who is likely to referee a World Cup final again, perhaps?"

    Hahahaha! You really think FIFA would be crazy enough to ever allow Howard Webb near another World Cup after his performance in the final?!?

  • Comment number 79.

    It was never going to happen for Hodgson, he inherited an average side with problems at Board level and the players never really got behind him and played for him as they did under Benitez before his reign turned sour.

    People are saying that Hodgson should have been given until the end of the season with money to spend during this transfer window, but although morally that would have been the right thing to do, realistically in the now business orientated dog eat dog World of Football that we now see, it was the correct decision for him to go.

    There is not going to be anyone available worth buying in January so we have to make do with what we've got, and we need a manager who is going to galvanise the support and get the best out of under performing players (Torres especially) and I can't think of anyone better at this moment in time than King Kenny.

    Kenny Dalgleish is a symbol of the Club and represents the heritage and everything decent about Liverpool Football Club.

    Considering he hasn't had a training session with the players as such, you can see that he got them geed up and fighting and tactically his team did not let the supporters down. It was actually nice to see them play a bit of football again by getting the ball down and passing it (the Liverpool way), instead of the long ball over the top we have become accustomed to in recent times.

    Maybe my nostalgia for the man has blinded me but his press conference talks and match talks has got me trembling with anticipation that we are going to be alright. If he succeeds in the next 6 months, there is no better man for this particular job to take it forward in my opinion.

    Welcome back King Kenny

  • Comment number 80.

    such a blatant penalty that lino didn't give it !!!

  • Comment number 81.

    Probably won't be popular to say this, but, the fans of Man U and Liverpool seem to stand for the good and the bad in football, in almost equal measures.

    They support clubs that for the most part have the finest traditions of English football, and football itself, at their heart and have the success on which to demonstrate that. But at the same time, they seem to have the greatest level of arrogance on the basis that no one is allowed to come along and challenge what they see as their position at the very top of English football.

    Everyone really knows that Berbatov cheated his way to a penalty yesterday but most pundits etc seem to defend him by saying that he was entitled to go down as there was contact in the box. These are the very same people that would probably go as far as to question the masculinity of a player that went down that easily elsewhere on the pitch. Why can't they call a spade a spade and stand up for justice in the game?

    Likewise, St Steven Gerrard often seems to get away with not receiving the stinging criticism that other players (foreign?) would probably get for what was a very poor challenge that rightly led to a red card.

    Too many associated with the game are so far up their own backsides that they themselves bring the whole thing into disrepute.

    Well, that's my contribution this Monday morning anyway.

    p.s. other than that, it was an alright game but probably the outcome was a little predictable, regardless of the key decisions. Liverpool can now concentrate on sorting themselves out and Man U can pat themselves on the back for the continuity they are showing this season.

  • Comment number 82.

    Neutral fan

    Possibly a dodgy penalty but a definite red card and deserved. I would hope Liverpool fine Gerrard for that. Some points on that red card:
    1. It was a loose ball on the half way line, there was no need to jump in
    2. A 2 footed studs up challenge off the ground is always going to be a red
    3. Liverpool were the away side at Old Trafford - its always likely any ref is likely to be be a homer - so why give him the chance?
    4. Howard Webb has given several controversial decisions in favour of Man U at Old Trafford this season already - so again why give him the chance?
    5. Tiote, the Newcastle player got sent off for doing the same type of tackle the day before - was Gerrard / Dalglish not watching??
    6. Gerrard himself has been sent off for such challenges before - does he not remember??
    7. Liverpool were already 1-0 down, they obviously needed all the players to get back in it - why risk it?
    8. Gerrard was the captain - lead by example?
    9. New manager trying to improve the confidence of the squad and improve atmosphere, why just undo all of it??

  • Comment number 83.

    4. At 00:11am on 10 Jan 2011, I mahatma I wrote:

    Typical ITV bias towards Liverpool harping on about the Gerrard sending off...just accept it and shut up about it...much rather have Adrian Chiles commentating, such a great commentator...Maybe with Claire Balding as pre match summeriser?

    You must be soft in the head mate, fair enough utd did enough to win the game but clive Tylsley is the biggest utd fan going and listening to beglin you wouldn't know he played for pool.
    When you've been through the patch Liverpool have you look for the bright spots no matter how few there may be and when the driving force of the team Gerrard is sent off (rightly or wrongly) what do you expect shelvey to come on and play like Messi. But your final comment about chiles shows what you know.

  • Comment number 84.

    78. At 10:09am on 10 Jan 2011, Kamana wrote:
    @ 76. Football_UK

    "Because he's the only England referee who is likely to referee a World Cup final again, perhaps?"

    Hahahaha! You really think FIFA would be crazy enough to ever allow Howard Webb near another World Cup after his performance in the final?!?


    --------------------------------

    You can be certain that when the next World Cup final comes about, Howard Webb will be in the draw to referee the match. Anything else?

  • Comment number 85.

    KING KENNY IS CLEARLY THE MAN TO TAKE LIVERPOOL BACK ON TOP, GIVE HIM TIME HE WILL HAVE A GOOD LOOK AT THE PLAYERS, DONT FORGET THESE PLAYERS HAD A GOOD GO AT THE LEAGUE 2008/2009 SO HE WILL ADD THE PLAYERS HE SEE'S FIT AND REMOVE THE ONES THAT ARE JUST "DEAD WOOD" I BELIVE THAT COME 2011/2012 SEASON YOU WILL SEE THE REAL LIVERPOOL FC THAT WAS SO POWEFUL IN THE LATE 60'S 70'S AND 80'S, HE WILL MAKE THE YOUTH TEAM WORK AND THEN BUY WORLD CLASS PLAYERS TO TAKE ON ANY TEAM. DONT FORGET FERGIE NEVER ONE THE TITLE WHILE KING KENNY WAS IN CHARGE, AND YOU CAN TELL THAT IF YOU BACK THE KING HE WILL DO IT JUST AS HE DID FOR BLACKBURN 2005. HE TOOK A CLUB FROM SECOND DIVISION AND MADE THEM THE CHAMPIONS OF ENGLAND IN FOUR SEASONS, LIVERPOOL ARE NO WHERE NEAR THE PROBLEM HE HAD WITH BLACKBURN, THATS WHY NO OTHER MAN WILL DO WHAT HE CAN, REMBER HE SOLD RUSH AND BOUGHT SOME ONE JUST AS GOOD AS HIM THEN RUSH CAME BACK, IF HE SELL KEY STAR PLAYERS HE WILL BUY BETTER!!!!!!!!!!! UNLIKE BENITEZ!!!!!!!!!!! I THIS MR FERGIE COPIED THE SAME STYLE OF THE LIVERPOOL FC HAD UNDER KING KENNY, YOUTH POLICY AND ATTACT THE BEST OF EUROPE TO0. WATCH OUT LIVERPOOL FC ARE BACK!!!!!!!!!!

    I HOPE ALAN HANSEN READS THIS AND MARK LOWRANCEN AS THEY KNOW THEY CANT SAY A BAD WORD AGAINST THE A PLAYER THEY RESPECTED AND PLAYED FOR.

  • Comment number 86.

    Methinks Man U fans are secretly a little unsure of themselves because, although he has been out for 10 years, King Kenny has pedigree.

    Over the last few years he has attended many games, been in a scouting role and was, partly or fully, recently responsible for liverpool snapping up two english youngsters of the highest pedigree (Sterling and Shelvey). Apparently, they chose Liverpool over Manc, Arsenal or Chelski, because of Kenny Dalglish.

  • Comment number 87.

    Don't think this is a good appointment for Liverpool, while he was "director of football" at Celtic they were beaten by Inverness Caley in the cup, an achievement which was later put down to John Barnes!!!!!!! Who will he be able to blame this time when things go wrong!!!!

  • Comment number 88.

    Webb is now possibly the worst referee doing premiership games and he even ruined the world cup final last year. It would be interesting to learn though just how often he gives Utd a penalty when he officiates at that ground, it seems like every time. Beginning to think that it is not possible for visiting teams to get a fair crack of the whip at old trafford -- Spurs certainly never do. Remember the "goal" that Pedro Mendez scored from the half way line that Clattenburg did not see/give and this year the same ref allowed that joke goal by Nani.

  • Comment number 89.

    Regarding Torres, could it not be that he still has problems with his knee, he has not been the same since the operation, and I have a feeling that it's not just down to "lack of interest" as a lot of pool fans seem to think.

    It's just a thought, I could be wrong.

  • Comment number 90.


    After a 12 year sabbatical away from English football management, Dalglish would be advised to purchase a new edition of the referees handbook as the rules on penalties and two footed lunges which, could have been a career threatening injury have changed dramatically.

    Liverpool fans were fickle on the '606 Live FA Cup' yesterday when hailing Dalglish for having the genitals to pull off Fernando Torres out of the game - Didn't Roy Hodgson do this on a regular basis for the want away, non existent, once goal scoring messiah of merseyside.

    For all teams who play Manchester United, it's their own personal FA Cup final and Liverpool were no exception in trying to raise their feeble game. Liverpool cannot claim to be a big club any longer as their last but one hope of making it into Europe next season was eliminated (after all they only made Europa league by default this season as a result of Portsmouth's going into administration).

    As for Dalglish, his tenure will be similar to Roy Hodgsons reign. It's not the manager, it's the players that won't take accountability for themselves on the pitch and perform.



  • Comment number 91.

    85 adamman

    Blimey, I don't like to criticise people's grammar etc but....

    Anyway, a number of keys floors in your post:-

    1) The team that had a good go at the league in 2008/09 included younger and inform versions of Gerrard, Torres and Carragher as well as Alonso and Mascherano who have since left.
    2) When Dalglish was at Blackburn, he was spending, comparatively, a very large amount of money. He will not have such a comparatively high amount available to him this time.
    3) How is he going to buy better players? Liverpool are simply not as attractive a proposition as they were and keeping hold of the likes of Gerrard, Torres and Reina is also an issue.
    4) Attract the best in Europe? How?

    Overall my friend, I think you probably need a history lesson and a reality check (as well as turn the caps lock off for a start).

  • Comment number 92.

    There was only 1 King in Premier League history, and that one used to play for Liverpool. His name is Robbie Fowler, and he scored the quickest hattrick for Liverpool against Arsenal under 5 mins. And that's what I call class.

  • Comment number 93.

    #26
    Celtic P18 W10 D4 L4 and wins the Scottish League Cup all in 6 months. It was his Press Conference's he was doing in Local Pubs that made them sack him, some thought he'd lost the plot. I think it was brilliant!.
    -------------

    Maybe you do have your facts right about King Kenny's record at Celtic but these are exactly the kind of facts that will get you booted out the door at Parkhead.

    You forget to mention that he persuaded the Celtic board to give John Barnes the job because JB was destined to become a managerial 'giant' by employing revolutionary new tactics.

    Ironically both might have survived had Henrik Larsson not broken his leg against Lyon that season.

    Kenny was a magnificent player for Celtic as well but just not up for it as a manager with the Scottish media. Media conferences in a Celtic pub in the Barras!? Priceless.

  • Comment number 94.

    Thanks for all your comments so far.

    It's obviously far too early to judge Dalglish - it's impossible to do it after one game, however encouraging the early signs are. As a neutral, in my mid-30s and old enough to remember him at Anfield first time around, it's good to see him back in the game and at the club where he belongs.

    As for suggestions he is too old (Dalglish turns 60 in March), well there are four Premier League managers older than him - Sir Alex Ferguson, Harry Redknapp, Gerard Houllier and Arsene Wenger.

    What I want to know is what Liverpool fans think about his long-term prospects. Would you be happy for Kenny to get the job permanently in the summer, if he does OK in the meantime that is?

    How would you feel if he does alright, or even pretty well, and is then shunted out to make way for a man the board rather than the fans want?

    By the way, it looks like Steve Clarke will be appointed Kenny's first-team coach. He's obviously sorting his backroom staff out... what should his priorities be when it comes to improving his team?

  • Comment number 95.

    So typical of the knee-jerking (and Liverpool obsession) displayed by most of the BBC bloggers.
    First game under a new manager and the team showed more effort, well there is a shocker - that has never happened anywhere else other than at Liverpool. Apparently that one performance (where they still lost by the way!) has completely reformed the team and there will be no problems from now on.
    Will Dalglish be a success? Who knows and what exactly will be seen as a success, I think that they will give him a lot more leeway than they would have given Hodgson! Lets not forget here that he hasn't been a manager in about a decade and football has changed dramatically since then, he may not be able to adapt.

    Finally on the actual match Liverpool fans need to stop being so hypocritical. Gerrard constantly performs nasty challenges (e.g. deliberately elbowing Welbeck in the head against Sunderland) and gets away with it so stop complaining when the ref actually pulls him up for one.

  • Comment number 96.

    In this country, it's just the norm for fans to accuse the referee of every failing of their teams.

    Some things nobody mentioned about Howard Webb:

    a) he didn't shy off giving a penalty in the first minute of the match - it was contact "foot to a foot", while Agger tried even to push or hold Berbatov but failed miserably.
    b) he applied the rule when the flying studs of Gerrard met Carrick's feet.
    c) he didn't stop the game countless times, as many referees do, allowing the game to be played.
    d) he didn't give countless yellows, stopping the game and leading players on games missed.
    e) he always has a smile on his face, defusing situations.
    f) perhaps he's the fittest referee in the premiership.

    For this defeat, Liverpool fans should blame:
    a) their chairman for not allowing players to be purchased
    b) Torres for being absent
    c) the failure of Liverpool to have dangerous shots on target, bar Aurelio's foul execution.

    Liverpool were what it was expected of them to be: poor. Manchester United didn't have to come out of the first gear, throughout the match and should have scored a few more, without mentioning two penalties not given to them.

    Saddly for Liverpool, this was one of the highlights of the season for them - that's how lowly they stand now, when the latter stages of the Champions League are about to start and the run-in to the premiership title is on the horizon. But this is not Howard Webb's fault.

  • Comment number 97.

    At post 26 -

    Very well said, a great tribute to an undoubtedly great footballer and manager of the 80s and 90s, and respect where it is due. However , King Kenny is not playing any more, and it isn't him who will be scoring any goals or organising any defence on the pitch. It is the "world class" squad he has.

    I love the passion of football fans, but their rose tinted spectacles do make me laugh. Your squad may have been the most represented at the last world cup, but that does not win you any matches in the Premier League 12 months later.

    You seriously can't think that Torres is world class anymore ? He used to be a wonderful player, but what has he done in the last 18months ? What did he do at the world cup ? He doesn't appear to have wanted to break wind for Liverpool for the last 18 months let alone break into a sweat for the sake of the team.

    Steve Gerrard, has never been world class, he had a "John Barnes" moment in the Champions League and has dined out on it for the last 4 years. Truly world class players put in an appearance week in week out, not burst into life every 4th game (when to his credit he does play well, in a David Beckham running around all over the pitch with no positional responsibility kind of way).

    Liverpool should have shifted on Gerrard and Torres (and Kuyt and Ngog and Babel for that matter)...and started again. Get Highway back running the academy for starters.

    I am not anti-liverpool, far from it, I hope they can get back to somewhere near their glory years, and the Premier League will be a lot better for a string Liverpool side. But you have to recognise you have a problem before you can fix it, and it seems that many many fans are in complete denial over the current squad and their current form and abilities.

    Good luck Kenny, you are going to need it.

  • Comment number 98.

    Firstly anyone who thinks Liverpool are on the road to recovery are very much blind. United hardly got out of third gear the whole match. When Liverpool was 1 nil down with 3 minutes to go there was just nothing in them whats-so-ever. You would have thought that they would have just thrown everything at United even if it meant them losing the second goal. But they let United just pass it around to the final whistle.
    Now Liverpool have got to get though 3 matches without there skipper including the Derby. If they play like they did against United then there season could end up disasterous.

  • Comment number 99.

    What a fantastic match for the Liverpool fans!

    - concede a penalty in the first minute
    - their captain makes a terrible challenge and gets sent of after half
    an hour
    - their talismanic striker couldn't hit the proverbial barn door
    - they lost 1-0 to their fiercest rivals
    - One of their worst players faces FA charges over a Twitter comment

    LONG LIVE KING KENNY!

    OK, I must admit, Liverpool did show a bit more agression and positive attitude but it's going to take one hell of a managerial performance from Kenny to get Liverpool back up the table.

    What I don't understand is all the comments from Pool supporters saying they have good team which should be higher up the table! Come on, Skrtel has to be one of the worst defenders in the country. Positioning is awful, technique is awful, passing is awful! Same goes for Agger. And when they say he's good because Arsenal want him... well, I'm an Arsenal fan and I'd be the first to admit we're hardly any good at spotting a good defender!

    Also, Pepe Reina best keeper in the PL? You're having a laugh, right?! He's made more mistakes than VDS and Hart and if Cassilas wasn't playing for Spain then Valdes would be in!

    Stop deluding yourselves, Pool supporters. You aren't a great team anymore. It will take an awful lot of money to get you back to the top four!

  • Comment number 100.

    88. docherty wrote:
    Webb is now possibly the worst referee doing premiership games... It would be interesting to learn though just how often he gives Utd a penalty when he officiates at that ground, it seems like every time. Beginning to think that it is not possible for visiting teams to get a fair crack of the whip at old trafford -- Spurs certainly never do. Remember the "goal" that Pedro Mendez scored from the half way line that Clattenburg did not see/give and this year the same ref allowed that joke goal by Nani.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    I also remember back in 1953, Webb gave United a dodgy free-kick against Preston North End

 

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