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Steady, as he goes

Kenny will get it right with Reds, says Jamie

Features - Jamie Redknapp Posted 29th March 2012 view comments

There is no doubt in mind that Kenny Dalglish is the right man for Liverpool, but I just hope people give him the time to prove it.

He's come under increasing pressure in the last few weeks after some bad results for the club, but I think it's important we put this poor run and Liverpool's achievements this year, and as a whole in recent seasons, into perspective.

Dalglish: under pressure, despite winning silverware

Dalglish: under pressure, despite winning silverware

At the start of the campaign Liverpool were in with a shout of winning three trophies this season; they've won the Carling Cup already and are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

And if they finish the season with a cup double we will all be saying what a great campaign it has been for a club that had gone six years without any silverware before their Wembley win against Cardiff last month.

There are eight Premier League games remaining and Kenny will demand everything from his team, while there are a few players who are playing for their Anfield futures.

Jamie Redknapp
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That's not to say that their league form can be ignored. They currently sit seventh in the table, eight points behind Newcastle, who haven't spent the money that Liverpool have, but have done brilliantly recruiting players like Cheik Tiote, Yohann Cabaye, Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba.

Being that far behind them has really put the pressure on Kenny, but I totally disagree with those who are blaming his tactics for the team's form and the fact that he'd been out of the game for 10 years before returning last year. It's not as though Liverpool were fighting for the title consistently before he came in.

He signed me as a 17-year-old so I have a massive amount of respect for him, but I honestly believe he will prove to be the right man for the club, even if it has been difficult so far.


There are eight Premier League games remaining and he will demand everything from his team, while there are a few players who are playing for their Anfield futures.

It's the first season for a lot of them and they'll realise that they have to produce every week, not every other, because of the high standards at this club and that's where I think a lot of them have fallen short.

It also looks like a lot of the players have thought to themselves: 'Okay, we've won a trophy, now we can relax until the end of the season'.

When I was playing for Liverpool we won the League Cup in 1995 under Roy Evans and we did a similar thing. There were a lot of young players in that side and we switched off towards the end and it can cost you.

You can't pick and choose which games you're going to perform in, football doesn't work like that. You have to keep that level and intensity up, but the performances of some players have just dropped a bit, which has resulted in two really poor back-to-back defeats against QPR and, in particular, against Wigan, which was a shocker.

That's no disrespect to Roberto Martinez's men, but Liverpool shouldn't be losing to Wigan at home. A lot of managers come out and protect their players after results like that and that's what Kenny has done, but there has to come a time when you say: 'That's simply not good enough', and players like Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing have to do better next term.

It's by no means a lack of effort on their part, though. People sometimes assume that if footballers aren't playing well it's because they're not working hard enough, but often it can be the complete opposite; you can try too hard sometimes.

I've been in situations where things that you usually do well aren't quite working for you, and that results in you losing a little bit of confidence and belief and once the fans get anxious it transmits to the players.

And then all of a sudden you lose the courage to maybe take the risk of playing a good positive pass in favour of a safe one, which is exactly what they're doing at the moment.


A good result at Newcastle on Sunday, however, could get them out of this poor run, but that will be easier said than done because Alan Pardew's men are playing some great stuff at the moment.

Their first-half performance against West Brom last week was the best I've seen from an away side this season. They had a good shape to them with a midfield three of Danny Gutherie, Jonas Gutierrez and Cabaye and a front three of Ba, Hatem ben Arfa, and Cisse who were given license to thrill, which is exactly what they did!

They counter-attacked with so much pace and every time they got on the ball you just felt like something was going to happen. I was so impressed with them and the overall team performance.

The only negative to come out of the game was the hamstring injury picked up by Fabricio Coloccini, because with the threat of Luis Suarez, Newcastle would be desperate to have him at the heart of their defence where he has been magnificent this season.

I think James Perch will come take his place and he and Mike Williamson will have to keep it really tight at the back or Liverpool will punish them, but their opposite numbers will be in for an equally tough day.

In Ba and Cisse, Newcastle have a real handful partnership up front and Liverpool's centre-backs will know they've been in a proper game afterwards.

They're both so powerful and are happy going direct, but they can also play and when Ben Arfa is on form he is as exciting a player as anyone in the Premier League.Unfortunately for Newcastle and Alan Pardew he's a bit of an enigma, but there's no doubt he's got ability.

It's setup to be a cracking game and I think the absence of Coloccini could be pivotal, which is why I see it ending all square at St James' Park.

A win for Newcastle, however, would virtually guarantee them European football next season and that would be one of the year's success stories.

Comments (35)

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Philip Joyce (West Ham United fan) says...

i think these club should stop blaming the managers and blame the players if the players cant do it on the pitch who can the managers dont get enough recognition the club are allright when things go there way but it starts to go wrong they blame the managers but what they should do is have a go at the players not the managers

Posted 12:30 2nd April 2012

Carolyn Jones (Liverpool fan) says...

Sorry, Jamie, I have to disagree. Daglish has bought very poorly and that's why Liverpool are where they are in the table. The table does not lie. Carroll, Henderson, Adam and Downing are poor buys. Stocking up on mediocrity won't move Liverpool ahead. Winning the league cuip was great but let's not forget they had to do it on penalties against a Championship club. By the way, if Cardiff had scored the sitter they missed we would be having a totally different conversation. Only a new manager with fresh ideas and one with an eye for talent will move Liverpool forward. I'm afraid that's not Daglish.

Posted 15:43 30th March 2012

Rob Davies (Liverpool fan) says...

think kenny will definately get it right but having said that he needs to play hendo in his best position also use the last 8 league games to see some of the class reserve players we have and 1 last observation we need to play carroll and suarez for the last 8 games and stop playing 1 striker against the lower teams and really have a go at teams show them we mean business make Anfield a fortress and a "bastion of invincability" again

Posted 15:42 30th March 2012

Brendan Stapleton (Arsenal fan) says...

As an Arsenal Fan though I would loved to have won the carling cup last year I would take CL any year over it. If you are a top for every year you will win the cup sooner or later if your seventh and fighting it out for Europa it becomes alot harder to win a cup as you loose players. What players will play for a mid table side. If you Liverpool don't make CL in the next two years they will be like all the other nearly sides that just fade way. Do they really think being below what is now the top 5 as being improvement. Last year they at least close.

Posted 15:25 30th March 2012

Marty Maxwell (Liverpool fan) says...

To be honest are league campaign has been appauling, yeah we have won the carling cup, but we just about won it....the preformance was that terrible i struggled to celebrate it. A few years ago we were a side that was taken seriously, a serious opposition, but i agree with Ben the Fulham fan, if Roy Hodgson had done this he would have been sacked, 100 million spent..i expected us to be cruisiing back into champions league, not to spend 100 million and say "we are rebuilding our team" absolutely terrible, even tho the new recruits arnt performing so well now i wouldnt tottally blame them nor get rid of them...we have to remember how long it took Lucas Leiva to start performing well, Liverpool fans hated him for years and then last year and the start of this year he was a rock for our midfield. Not saying that in a few years Carroll Downing and Hendo will be top players, just need to give them a chance...but for 100 million we should be getting results instantly...stupid money like

Posted 15:22 30th March 2012

John Devlin (Liverpool fan) says...

Kenny is definitely the right man to take Liverpool forward. A trophy in the bag, another Merseyside Derby semi-final to play AT WEMBLEY, some excellent performances in the league and loads of young players to develop even further. Add to that the fact that we've played exceptionally well against a lot of the bigger clubs - Man.City & Arsenal at Anfield spring to mind - and we've been extremely unlucky in front of goal then the future really does look bright. Kenny is as passionate if not more passionate than a lot of Liverpool fans. He certainly cares for the club more than most of the fans that are currently calling for him to step aside!

Posted 15:11 30th March 2012

James G (Newcastle United fan) says...

I honestly feel sorry for Andy Carroll, he gets so much abuse on here cos liverpool fans have never seen the best of him!! at newcastle every freekick was aimed at him, he won every header and you feed off his knock downs thats why we scored so many home goals last season!! He was told for us win the goalkick bring it down play it wide and get in the box. For liverpool the ball goes wide then its played back to the middle then out the other side back to the middle by which time the whole defending team is behind the ball and unless Suarez does something magic the ball never gets into the box. if you want to see Carroll at this best (which is why you bought him) get the ball in from wide areas as often as possible. You have tried playing possesion football for 30 games and not scored enough goals, how about playing to your £35 million strikers strenghts????

Posted 15:01 30th March 2012

Danny Manley (Arsenal fan) says...

Have to disagree, not saying Kenny picked the signings, but giving them time to settle in... STILL! We struggled with Arteta, Ramsey coming back, Gibbs and Santos, no Vermaelen.... But what has happened? The players have settled, after about 2-3 months in fact. Truth is Downing, Henderson, Carroll and Adam are average premier league players, they're never going to get you into the top 4, with the huge funds available I expect Liverpool to have learnt from this and invest in some actual talent and potential, like Suarez, next season. Even though I don't rate them as greats by any means any more, with money and ambition they could still snag 1 or 2 top class players. Might be a long wait to get back to the top though, as us, Spurs and Chelski won't give up our spots easily!

Posted 14:45 30th March 2012

Bryan Kelly (Liverpool fan) says...

the so called liverpool fans calling for another managers head, shame on you! Kenny has been here 18 months, yes his buys have not been the best but, was ronaldo at his best in his 1st season? was Lucas? We have been unlucky most games and goal keepers have worldies against us. We need to score more gaols, thats it. We need a goal scorer like Defo or Bent, an we will be fine. YNWA

Posted 14:40 30th March 2012

Lyndon Hamilton (Liverpool fan) says...

The only real improvement from Liverpool have made is in defence. We now do look very solid and when we get Lucas back, this will allow Gerrard to have a more free role within the side. Having bought Andy Carroll, we have missed the trick! He feeds on bals in the box! Downing is being played on the right! Why? We need to playing 2 wide men, if he is going to be effective. I think we should look at playing 3-5-2, play Skirtel left, Agger left and Coates in the middle. Enrique and Johnson as wing backs, Lucas with Henderson or Shelby. And Gerrard behind Suarez. When we get Bellamy fit he to play up front with Suarez.and Gerrardcmove back. I agree with a lot of writers though, we need an out and out striker. I know he is very greedy, but with all the chances we are making we could do a lot worse than buy Jermaine Defoe

Posted 14:33 30th March 2012

Larry T (Liverpool fan) says...

A few years we had one of the best midfields in the world Alonso, Mascherano and Gerrard are a match for any Team. We replaced this with any two from Adam, Henderson and Spearing? The players that left havent been replaced with the same quality. The Transer stragey of buying young inexperienced players is flawed. We should have spent the money on quality, experienced players and then bought younger players into the squad with not as much pressure. No thought or planning has been put into Liverpools recent buys. Carroll suits a long ball team, hoof it upto him and get players around him to pick up the pieces, Adam is way too slow for the modern game hes a one trick "superstar pass" pony and he cant tackle. Henderson should be on the bench and intigrated into the team over a season or so and played in position.Spearing is an average reserve team player at best. hes never going to make it at the top level. I doubt if we will win the FA Cup but if we do it shouldnt paper over a poor season and we need a serious look at our long term strategy

Posted 14:07 30th March 2012

Paul Devlin (Liverpool fan) says...

Like many of the posters below, I too am concerned at the blinkered press releases from KD. Generally, when someone picks a different scapegoat every week, it is because they can't identify the real culprit. Quite simply, many of the players at KD's disposal this year are not as good as those he had last year, or the start of this. Henderson and Adam combined do not equal 1 Meireles, who was arguably our best player second half of last season. Henderson is afraid of the ball, and responsibility for doing anything with it. I'm still not convinced by Enrique- he can't cross, passing is not great and keeps getting beat on the outside. And inside. But the biggest problem, as has been highlighted, is that we don't play to the strengths of players available. Carroll should be playing every game, with a brief to stay up, hang on the last defender and wait for the cross. Everyone else should be supporting that. I worry that KD doesn't see that he is setting his team out in an often bizarre way. Because if he doesn't see that, we will never improve. And incidentally, we haven't won the FA cup yet. People using it as evidence of progress are being disengenuous.

Posted 14:07 30th March 2012

Dai Field-thomas (Swansea City fan) says...

Sorry Jamie but i don't see any improvement, you've won a 'cup' that the top 4 barely bother with, you have spent £100m on players quite frankly not cut out for a club as big as Liverpool (Henderson, Carroll) and are currently 7th in the league, if you were under Roy Hodgson he would have quite rightly been sacked but for some reason you are all blinded by 'King Kenny'. the man has been a bumbling mess all season with his press comments/excuses and needs to go for any real progress to be made.

Posted 13:12 30th March 2012

Anisah Ala (Liverpool fan) says...

I think we should keep dalglish this season n next season f he don't improve then I think he should go.

Posted 13:09 30th March 2012

Robert Fraser (Liverpool fan) says...

lets face it he has bought a load of second rate players, we should go all out for mourino or martin oneill, daglish wont make this lot any better, in fact we are worse now than before he took over,

Posted 13:08 30th March 2012

Alan Escobar (Arsenal fan) says...

To suggest players will start playing better once they 'realise that they have to produce every week, not every other' is ridiculous. These guys are professional sportsmen and they'll all know very well what a big deal playing for Liverpool is. The simple fact is that Liverpool have spent a lot of money on players who just aren't good enough. Carroll and Downing just don't cut the mustard and Henderson is no where near the £16m figure that Liverpool supposedly paid for him. Liverpool have spent a lot of money on dross and questions should be asked as to who allowed these players to be signed for so much money. It's smacks of poor management from top to bottom. Liverpool may have the league cup in the bag but that doesn't make a successful season. Birmingham City won that trophy last year and look where they are now! This season has been a dismal failure and I know plenty of Reds fans who are just waiting for the season to be over.

Posted 13:05 30th March 2012

Keith Moran (Liverpool fan) says...

Kenny Dalglish IS the right man for the job. What worries me is the poor performances from the majority of the players that have been signed during his time as manager. The decision to buy Henderson was a strange one. Did we really need to spend 20 million on an attacking midfield player when we had Gerrard and were about to sign Charlie Adam? I am yet to see him have a good game in a Liverpool shirt but is that down to him never being played in his best position or simply because he is just an average player? Is Henderson a better player than Aquilani or Joe Cole? Charlie Adam was signed to bring quality to Liverpool's set plays but his delivery from corners, free kicks and penalties has been very poor this season. Without that attribute he represents an average midfield player. Then we come to Andy Carroll. We paid a lot of money for a player and then went out and paid even more on Downing in the hope that he would deliver the ammunition but if Carroll is never in the box to get on the end of things he will never convert assists into goals. Only Enrique and Suarez can be cited as successes with the jury still out on Downing due to his inconsistent displays this season. With Damien Comolli being brought in to oversee transfers you have to ask why have the signings been so poor. Dalglish seemed to do better toward the end of last season with the players he had at his disposal. I only hope any signings made this summer prove to be more successful.

Posted 12:52 30th March 2012

Pat Molloy (Liverpool fan) says...

Kenny should have been given the reins until the end of last season to steady the ship and then a more modern thinking manager should have been brought in to fit in with the structure of the club. At the end of the day he's not choosing players to buy, thats Comollis role. Comolli is the man who selects the players to buy, so when people blame Kenny for the money spent, he's working with the players that have been brought in by a man above him. Should it be Kenny out or then again Damien out???

Posted 12:46 30th March 2012

Neil Smith (Liverpool fan) says...

Inconsistent Yes, Stalling? No. I honestly believe the club has moved forward in the respect that they are actually playing a more attack minded game of football. I felt sorry for Roy Hodgson as I dont think he had a chance from the start, but the performances were very tactical but negative and not attractive to watch. With regards the money paid out. I think everyone agrees we paid over the odds on price for the players that we have bought however I still think we will see the best in the players if they are given some time. We just need an out and out striker as mentioned above as Carroll and Suarez are more your support forwards, but both have been working really hard recently. I trust the job the manager is doing at the moment and if we can strengthen the team with a genuine goal threat next term and puit away some of the countless chances we have created we will be in with a good chance of getting back in to the top 4 again. YNWA

Posted 12:41 30th March 2012

Paul Incles (Liverpool fan) says...

Just to underline previous comment - I don't want Kenny to go. I think it would be a big mistake. He does need time. But totally agree with Phil @ 11.29am comment - I can't bear all this 'QPR got lucky, Tiredness vs Wigan, it will come etc etc' stuff he comes out with. "We have a problem, we are working on it" would be more positive! But I don't see him working on it, tactics wise.

Posted 12:15 30th March 2012

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