Since taking over as Liverpool boss last year, Just Kenny Dalglish has apparently helped establish a sense of stability at Liverpool. The fans loved him, the BBC loved him and the world watched in awe as Kenny dragged England's sixth best team to the heights of seventh place. The world was at Dalglish's feet after just a year of his tenure at the club at which he is apparently 'King'. Which King he is is the subject of much debate, and although I would love to talk about past Kings of England, I would rather slate Liverpool.
I must say, Dalglish did an OK job in 2011; turning Liverpool into a team with a genuine chance of challenging for Europe in the next season. But then he bought Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Charlie Adam. The reason I keep bringing this up is simple: if the team you hate the most signed Jordan Henderson for £20 million, you would still be laughing in your sleep. Nevertheless, Liverpool remained in with a chance of a Champions League spot as 2012 came into view. Since then, Liverpool's record is such that they have picked up less points than any Premier League side this calendar year. Even Wolves.
At the weekend, Liverpool went from awful to dreadful, a bit like National Treasure 2. Although their home form has been less impressive than Roberto Mancini's strength of mind, many - even me - expected Liverpool to roll over Wigan Athletic - hitherto bottom of the league. I have also wanted to say the word hitherto in one of these blogs, so I can't fail now. However, Liverpool were so bad I almost felt sorry for them. I didn't, but I almost did. Wigan didn't even sneak the win, they actually deserved it, and finally the murmurings of discontent are becoming more and more audible. The fact that Gary Caldwell scored against Liverpool may well be the straw that breaks Just Kenny's back.
So how has he survived this long? Because I am lazy and don't like forming proper paragraphs, I will explain via the medium of the bullet point.
- Liverpool's victim complex. I'm sorry, but Liverpool have a major issue here, it's never anyone's fault. "But Kenny never moans in press conferences, he keeps his head high because he's a top guy who I wish would kiss me on the forehead and tell me everything is OK". Ahhh, but he does! He taps into Liverpool's insistence upon siege mentality and hard-done-by...ness. He always looks like a man being beaten up by the world, or a man who has forgotten his PIN number. His downcast manner has many people thinking "ahh poor Kenny, I wish he was my grandfather so I could see him every week". He has many people fooled. BUT NOT ME KENNY! The reason you are so "unlucky" is because you keep buying and picking crap players. The reason your team have hit the woodwork more times than any side this season is because THEY ARE MISSING!
- He is a legend there. There is no question that as a player, Dalglish was a top figure at Liverpool. Scoring goal after goal, you have to pinch yourself after reading his record at Liverpool, whilst remembering that he's Scottish. Legends as players always have a little more time than others, and it is for this reason that he is staying put. I am not saying sack the man, I just wish the world would stop licking his face.
- The media! OK, here comes some standard Doug Elder hypocrisy. After accusing Liverpool of paranoia and a victim-complex, I have to say that the press LOVE Dalglish. Why? Because he sells papers. Why? Because anyone ex-Liverpool is in a position of power somewhere in the media. Stand Collymore, really?! Dietmar Hamaan, really?! Rafael Benitez, really?! Added to this, us football fans are a sad, sad bunch. As a result, many a Saturday night is spent absorbing and pretending to understand the words of two middle-aged men sitting casually on a sofa. A bit like Brokeback Mountain but with less sex and more funky graphics. I am of course talking about Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson. I'm not paranoid, BUT THEY ARE CONTROLLING OUR MINDS!
- They won the Carling Cup. Woop-dee-do Basil, they beat Cardiff City in the final, allowing Liverpool to win their first trophy in seventy-nine years. That's great. Their subsequent qualification into European football - the Europa League... hallelujah - means that the focus on league position has been abandoned. Added to this, Liverpool have proceeded to the semi-final of the FA Cup, courtesy of a jammy draw, with the exception of...
- Beating Manchester United. Unfortunately, this feat seems to weigh more than any in an argument in the the analysis of a Liverpool season. Beating United has cleared up the FA Cup for them, giving them an excuse for their awfulness in the Premier League. Even that day, Liverpool were terrible, they just happened to play less terrible than a Manchester United side who have also been shit for 90% of the season...like most seasons.
There we go, detailed enough? But Doug, we are desperate to know, why are Liverpool doing so badly? And why do you hate them so, did eleven men in curly wigs and moustaches do naughty things to you as a child? I will answer one of those questions.
- Their best player is always injured/beating up DJ's. Steven Gerrard, where has he been all year? I haven't seen him play at all this season, either he is more physically unlucky than Ann Widdecombe or he has been anonymous whenever he has played. The system Liverpool operate - a sort of 4-5-1/4-3-2/3-6-1/2-3-1-2-1-1 - thing doesn't bring the best out of Gerrard, but he has been ordinary all season. Of course, it is Frank Lampard getting all the stick from the media while Gerrard goes unnoticed. No comment.
- Their second best player is a frigging arsehole. This is also part of the reason why Kenny has been allowed to stay so revered for so long, as it has provided a distraction. While the world and his wife are busy thinking of new ways to hate Luis Suarez, the teams mediocrity slips under the radar. I moan enough about Luis Suarez as it is, so I won't do anymore. But if you see him, please throw some shit at him, it would make me laugh.
- Crap team. After spending millions of pounds on squad "development", Just Kenny's side remain behind Newcastle in the table, a side whose XI which beat West Brom today cost £34.5 million...or 99% of an Andy Carroll. How can a team with so much financial backing succeed so consistently at buying crap players?!
And no, I wasn't abused by eleven men in curly wigs and moustaches.
There we have it, the Gospel truth. I will never see eye to eye with Liverpool or their succession of mediocre managers, but I felt the need to document the fact they lost at home to Wigan. And let Gary Caldwell score.
'King Kenny' may have had the wool over the eyes of many for a while, but it's slowly being removed, as the Liverpool fans blink into the harsh light of another day of being a Liverpool fan. If anyone has an objection to this, I would advise simply this: