Did Kenny Dalglish deserve another year? Personally, I would have given him one but if you look at the numbers, which we know here in Boston is what John Henry and the FSG are all about, then it’s so apparent just how awful we have been this past year and so this decision is not without merit or reasoning. Personally, I think Liverpool should have given King Kenny another season — he saved us last year and while some of his signings have yet to repay him for the amount of money he spent to get them, I believe in time he would have gotten it right and restored Liverpool back to the top, where we belong.

That said, Dalglish has looked defeated of late and has appeared dejected in pre-game interviews and post-game conferences. Ever the optimist but always quick to point the finger elsewhere, whether it be the referee or the pitch or the crossbar or, more times than anything else this season, it was as simple as luck not being on our side for whatever reason. However, if I had to pick the moment it all started to fall apart, I’d say it was after we lost to Arsenal in injury time back in early March when a moment of pure brilliance by Robin Van Persie marked the beginning of the end for Liverpool, their season, and ultimately their greatest ever Red, Kenny.

Looking at the stats which I’m sure were popping off the page at Henry and Warner this past week:

  • 37 points behind Manchester City, and another 17 points behind Tottenham for the 4th place Champions League spot
  • 14 losses this year – same number of wins (14)
  • Starting back to the 2005/06 season, Liverpool had 4 seasons in a row with 20+ wins, compared to last three it’s gone down each season (18 in 09/10; 17 in 10/11; and just 14 in 11/12)
  •  47 goals scored versus 40 allowed
  • A +7 goal difference this year, compared to +15 last year, +26 in 09/10, +50 in 08/09 (which was the best in EPL that year), +39 in 07/08 and +30 in 06/07

Since January, Liverpool had only done better in the league than Aston Villa, Blackburn, and Wolves – and Bolton, Blackburn, and Wolves got relegated. If the league started on January 1st, Liverpool would have been in 17th place. Dalglish had a win percentage of just 26% in the league over the past 5 months. That was simply not good enough – this would have been more apparent to everyone if Liverpool didn’t win the Carling Cup or didn’t reached the FA Cup Final, both of which distracted fans from just how dismal Liverpool really were in 2012. The numbers don’t lie:

Liverpool were 10 points clear of Everton at the start of the year only for Everton to be the 5th best team in 2012 and finish 4 points above Liverpool. Wigan, who finished with the 9th most points earned since Jan. 1st, good for them – that’s legit but they’re always hovering near or around the relegation zone each season and Liverpool are looking to bring in their manager? Doesn’t this look familiar? Didn’t the same thing happen with Hodgson with Fulham two seasons ago where a mid-table finish coupled with a historic – some would argue – lucky run to the Europa Cup final, Liverpool fans were told Roy was the answer? Again, it’s all well and good when you’re a good manager at a mid-table, mediocre club like a Fulham or a Wigan but it takes a great manager to step into a club as big as Liverpool. Some have tried and failed, which could be said for most clubs, but Liverpool is not most clubs – the fans are the club. Personally, I’d go after Pepe Guardiola or Jose Mourinho or David Moyes (that will never happen though) but definitely not André Villas-Boas, or Roberto Martinez, and not even Rafa Benitez

As a fan of Liverpool and Kenny Dalglish one thing stood out about him – for all his medals, trophies, and honors he’s achieved both as a player and as a manager, it’s the manner in which he conducts himself in the trying times, the worst of times, and on two unforgettable occasions, the absolutely nightmarish of times. Yet, through it all, it was his class that shined through. He led by example through those difficult stages for not only the team and its supporters, but to the people of Liverpool and so many more people across the country, and the rest of the world. That class was shown again in the words he said about his dismissal and in the way he parted ways with the club he loves so much for the second time.

Yet, it’s actually Kenny himself who more than anyone else in our storied history who was come to embody what Liverpool Football Club is; loyal, passionate, resilient, honor and pride. To many, he is the heart and soul of this club – and he always will be. All he has ever wanted was for the good of the club, that’s been apparent since day one when he first graced Anfield so many years ago as a young boy from Scotland. And while it’s been said by others including the King himself, no one is bigger than the club… but if anyone was close, who would argue it would be him… other than maybe Kenny himself of course.

Niall Fahy is from Cork, Ireland and moved to Boston with my family in 1985. One of the original founding members of LFC Boston, he acts as liaison between LFC Boston and the Phoenix Landing.

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