Time for a New Manager

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Time for a New Manager

Post by stevieg8 on Sat May 05, 2012 7:45 pm

I know people will immediately write this off as a kneejerk to today's game, but in truth, it's been a long time building. A quick look through my posts on the matter will show that I've been unwavering in my support for King Kenny, maintaining that stability and another year of progress should be enough to let him show his approach. I no longer can stand by that opinion.

The fact of the matter is, this year has been a failure. Finishing so far below our expected spot in the league is awful, but even Dalglish himself has pointed to the run for a cup double as a highlight to look at. Now that we will officially end the season only with the Carling Cup title, I think it's fair to say that there are few positives to take from our results.

Bad luck has played a major part, I think we all know that from watching the games. Even today, we had a late equalizer get saved just off the line with an incredible stop from Petr Cech. But it goes deeper than that. Kenny's choice of formations has seemed off throughout the year; multiple suggestions in this forum for how to best utilize our players have never been experimented with, and we've stuck to a few basic systems regardless of how successful they've been. Squad selection has been even worse, with his management of players' confidence (Andy Carroll anybody?) and ability to select in-form players killing off the few good runs we've put together. Henderson keeps getting played on the right despite looking out of depth, Charlie Adam started far too many big games, and Dirk Kuyt's name on the team sheet scared me consistently, and yet he continued to be sent out there. These are repeated problems, they are not one offs, and it seems like Dalglish doesn't even realize that these are mistakes he could try tinkering with.

Most importantly, though, has been his failure in the exact field he was expected to excel - man motivation. Being coached by a true legend of the game was supposed to have some effect on our squad, and we saw something of that nature during his honeymoon period at the end of last season, but the players only seem to get up for the big games this year (and even then, there were lapses). Our record against bottom dwellers has killed any chance we had at the top spots this season, and it seems like the players just don't care in those games sometimes. I'm not sure what he's saying in the locker room before we play QPR or Bolton, but it's not working.

I am optimistic for next season, because there were positives to take from individuals, and having Suarez/Lucas/hopefully Gerrard for a full year will help, as will whatever new signings we bring in. That being said, I'm not confident in his ability to identify fixes for our holes right now, considering how the biggest signings we had panned out. Everyone here knows I like Carroll and Henderson and think they have bright futures at Liverpool, but our biggest problem last year - the wings - remain our biggest problem this year, as Stewart Downing has been miserably ineffective. If we continue looking for a typical English winger who will launch crosses haphazardly in Carroll's direction, we are going to see another disappointing season.

Hopefully I'm wrong on these predictions, but as it stands right now, I can't justify retaining Kenny. Too many of our losses can be blamed directly or indirectly on him, and after a full year, the luck claims are beginning to ring hollow. This morning was simply the straw that broke the frustrated camel's back, but overall I'm quite disappointed in KK's management of the team for the entire year. I'm worried we won't return to glory with him at the helm.
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Re: Time for a New Manager

Post by Don't call me James on Sat May 05, 2012 8:06 pm

100% agreed. Just like yourself, I have constantly backed Kenny to deliver for us, but I just don't see it happening. Kenny is simply not a top tier manager in todays game.

I'm pretty sure Kenny will be given another season, but I'm willing to bet my life on it, that the next season will be just as disappointing. Kenny's tactical sense is just not up to standards expected in a club like Liverpool.

BRING RAFA BACK!!!!!

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Re: Time for a New Manager

Post by RedOranje on Sat May 05, 2012 8:12 pm

Just... no. It's not going to help the rebuilding process to sack a manager a season in. It's not going to help the club atmosphere, the players' mentality, nor the fans' support to sack a legend right now, and it's simply not The Liverpool Way, if you believe in that.

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Re: Time for a New Manager

Post by stevieg8 on Sat May 05, 2012 8:13 pm

@RedOranje wrote:Just... no. It's not going to help the rebuilding process to sack a manager a season in. It's not going to help the club atmosphere, the players' mentality, nor the fans' support to sack a legend right now, and it's simply not The Liverpool Way, if you believe in that.

I fully believe in that, and I agree with you - stability is important, both for the fans and the players. But we have not seen improvement from him in basic areas since the beginning of the year, and it's worrying.
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Re: Time for a New Manager

Post by RedOranje on Sat May 05, 2012 8:23 pm

Basic areas being what? Our midfield?

He's shown his ability out-think opposing sides almost as often (if not just as much) as he has not... remember the previous meetings with Chelsea and the City games in the Cup? The first half today was horrid, yes, but it looked as much down to lack of energy and concentration from the players as anything to do with the manager. Hell, despite the poor display it would likely have been 0-0 at halftime if not for 3 separate screw-ups for Chelsea's goal. And you can claim this isn't knee-jerk all you want but when it's posted immediately after the final and has portions directly related to the final, using the final as the evidence in the case, then I'm inclined to believe otherwise.

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Re: Time for a New Manager

Post by stevieg8 on Sat May 05, 2012 8:28 pm

@RedOranje wrote:Basic areas being what? Our midfield?

He's shown his ability out-think opposing sides almost as often (if not just as much) as he has not... remember the previous meetings with Chelsea and the City games in the Cup? The first half today was horrid, yes, but it looked as much down to lack of energy and concentration from the players as anything to do with the manager. Hell, despite the poor display it would likely have been 0-0 at halftime if not for 3 separate screw-ups for Chelsea's goal. And you can claim this isn't knee-jerk all you want but when it's posted immediately after the final and has portions directly related to the final, using the final as the evidence in the case, then I'm inclined to believe otherwise.

And what of the large parts of it that are devoted to things that aren't the final? The problems I've seen and am frustrated with I repeated in that post, time and time again. No, Kenny is not responsible for the play of our midfield. What he is responsible for is the motivation of our midfield; the structure and formation of our midfield; the players selected as part of our midfield; and the players in the squad from which he is able to select our midfield. And on those fronts, he has consistently frustrated me. I believe I elaborated in detail on all of those above.

And frankly, I'm not impressed by tactics that beat top teams but can't find a way to get past Bolton. If you can't sweep up the bottomfeeders, you will not compete at the top of the league, and he has been out-thought, out-tacticed and out-played by the bottom half of the table more times than not this year. I don't think that can be argued; bad luck only contributes so much.
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Re: Time for a New Manager

Post by Art Morte on Sat May 05, 2012 10:08 pm

No.

I want Kenny Dlalglish to continue as our manager.

Reasons:

- We have played some good football. Our league position does not completely reflect our performances. Many games in which we were the better side, but did not come out on top. 30+ goal frame shots tell their own story. Bottom line: most of the time we've been set out well.

- Two domestic cup finals, one of which was won.

- No voices of discontent from the team. Everybody seems happy to carry on. Kenny seems to be in control of the players and enjoy their respect.

- Continuity. An experienced manager like King Kenny will have seen - I'd like to think so - our short-comings this season and if he just has cash available, he should be the right man to take us forward in terms of transfers.


I have got faith that we can compete for a top-4 spot next season under Kenny. So I would keep him. Absolutely. Hail to the King, baby!!!
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Re: Time for a New Manager

Post by Don't call me James on Sat May 05, 2012 10:28 pm

who is to say that these short-comings won't happen again next season??? So what will we do then? Give Kenny another year because we're playing good football just can't seem to get the results?

We can save ourselves some pain and time and replace him sooner, or we can go through this same painful season next year and finish 6-7th again and ponder what went wrong.

Frankly we're all going to support the team no matter what, but it's just impossible to keep our eyes closed and ignore Kenny's short-comings as a manager just because he's a legend.

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Re: Time for a New Manager

Post by RedOranje on Sat May 05, 2012 10:38 pm

Huh? Kenny is on a two-year contract, so unless the results earn his an extension he will be step down at the end of next season regardless. Silly argument to make.

Go have a beer and a rest, you're overreacting.

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Re: Time for a New Manager

Post by Ganso on Sat May 05, 2012 10:49 pm

Give him another season with Lucas and decent wingers/wide midfielders,i think he has the manager skills just not the players...
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Re: Time for a New Manager

Post by mr-r34 on Sun May 06, 2012 2:37 pm

Not even worth reading

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Re: Time for a New Manager

Post by donttreadonred on Sun May 06, 2012 4:00 pm

I respectfully disagree.

I too have been frustrated by some of Kenny’s decisions over the course of the season, and his signings so far have been less than inspired. I don’t think I need to go into the details of who and why they have failed to deliver this season, as we have already done that on multiple occasions. Suffice it to say that, they have not quite panned out as planned for a variety of reasons.

That said, we were always going to be a work in progress this season. This was only exacerbated by injuries and poor form in areas in which we were already lacking quality cover. As a result we have seen disjointed performances, as well as a general lack of composure and guile in league play over the second half of the season. There were several unrecognized (at the time)flaws in our approach to transfer dealings (generally buying for creation and not finishing, buying creative/hollywood-ball midfielders instead of defensively grounded ones, buying for a stat and not a system, etc. ) which have lead to a mismatch of players and systems. This doesn’t even begin to delve into my frustration at running out a different formation nearly every week.

However, we’ve played better football, we’ve created chances, we’ve struck the post well over 30 times, we’ve established a defensive core that could lead us well into the 20-teens (although one of the most influential parts of that core has been injured for over half the season),we’ve had so many players underperform it’s not even funny, etc… You’ve heard the phrase, “There, but for the grace of God, go we.” Well, we been decidedly lacking in the “grace of God” in the league (and the FA Cup final). Posters in the general section have stated that we’re “only 11 players away from a good team.” That’s simply not true. At most, we are four players away, and some of those players may be in the side waiting to find form/come of age/what have you.

Kenny’s tactics of late have, on the surface, been questionable. However, upon closer examination, the teams are often set up correctly to counter the opposition’s tactics. The problem comes with the in-game adjustments, usually after we’ve failed to finish chances or conceded a goal on a one-off error. These are all attributable to personnel problems. Take Spearing for example. He is a half-decent squad player who can provide cover against lower opposition. He should never be a regular starter. Downing is another example. He’s been unable to score for the majority of the season, but he can put in a cross. With Carroll out of the side/out of form for most of the season, he doesn’t really have a target CF. Suarez is actually another example. He can be a best of a forward, but when he’s the only goal-scoring threat, he’s simply smothered by the opposition. He either needs a strike partner (Carroll/Kuyt) to play off of and distract defenders, or goal-scoring wingers who can run in behind (allowing him to play a false9 role). The most apt analogy is that we have enough pieces to compete a puzzle. The problem is that we have pieces from two or three different puzzles and we’re trying to hammer them into different shapes every week in the futile attempt to make a pretty picture.

I know that I often appear to be ever the optimist, but it’s usually an attempt to provide a counterpoint to the natural state of a football supporter. (1) Though, in this case, my claims are neither groundless, nor overly fanciful. Moreover, it would appear that the Liverpool upper management agree with my assessment, as Henry and Werner have reiterated their support (monetary and sentimentally) of Daglish. (2) They appear to be of the opinion that our transfer blunders (if not the selection of players, at least the prices we paid for them) were Comolli’s doing. This means that Kenny should – and I would say rightfully so – receive another shot at restructuring his team to contest for honors. Hopefully, this season has exposed the needs of the club, and we will have the time and means to properly address them. It takes time to build a consistent, quality squad. We had merely hoped to be a little further along one season into a new project. Remember, it always seems darkest just before the dawn.

(1) A reference to the quote, “The natural state of the football fan is bitter disappointment, no matter what the score.” – Hornby, Nick. 1992. “Fever Pitch.” Penguin.
(2) http://sports.yahoo.com/news/liverpool-executive-chairman-werner-expects-070800045--mls.html

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Re: Time for a New Manager

Post by Red Alert on Mon May 07, 2012 8:04 am

Fix the problems, not restart the whole long term project with yet another manager...

They start with buying strikers that are capable of scoring goals, and sign a decent winger that actually wants to be at the club. That isn't mentally weak, and doesn't go missing for the whole game bar a special moment. Then you evaluate at the end of the season again.

Oh, and I've changed my mind. Keep Carroll for the third striker next season. :)
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Re: Time for a New Manager

Post by BeautifulGame on Wed May 09, 2012 4:48 pm

No way.I even wanted Hodgson to be given a full season so my opinions may not be the best but in way Kenny should be sacked.Thats simply the Liverpool way.

Kenny has made some damaging mistakes in TM but his onfield tactics have always been spot on IMO.So we only need better transfer strategy rather than change of Manager.

IMO sacking kenny will set us 2 steps back rather than a step forward.And a person of Kenny's stature simply deserves another season.As simple as that right wrong in my view.

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