Apologies for the lack of anything yesterday. Was helping someone important move house, and you know how that can get.
Before we delve into various "...Of The Season" candidates and before we go through the squad one by one to figure out where Liverpool are, I wanted to do a general impression post. But now, with the rumors starting to bubble about managerial change, that probably has to be addressed first.
As you've probably seen by now, there's an eerie silence from the men upstairs about the future of Kenny Dalglish. This is peculiar, because at a few points this season someone has stepped up to claim Kenny is the manager, be it Tom Werner or John Henry coming down from their castle to do so. This time, with two days after the season, we haven't heard anything. This could be because they're insulated back in Boston instead of Blighty where the press can get at them. Could be something more, no one seems to know.
The name that keeps popping up to replace Kenny is Roberto Martinez. While acknowledging Kenny's place at the club and all he's done for it and the supporters, and the uproar it might create among supporters and players, I have to say I would be all about this.
I know the concerns. He's only ever kept Wigan just barely hanging on in the Premier League. Last time Liverpool tried that is partly how we ended up in this mess with Roy Hodgson. But Martinez's preferred method of play would fit far more into what Liverpool want to do than Ol' Roy's did. I doubt Martinez would tell Daniel Agger to not play out of defense. I know some would complain he's never had a big time job before. That's valid, though these days it might have to be debated just how big-time the Liverpool job is now. It has no Champions League to offer, and limited cash though by no means barren. The leading names of Europe simply aren't coming to Anfield, no matter how much we dream. It may just be that Liverpool have to take a chance on someone from a "lower" club and hope he's up to it. Kind of worked out long ago at that club down the M62, didn't it?
Martinez has earned himself a shot at bigger job. What he's done with Wigan, and Swansea before that, is hard to argue with. He has barely any money and support at Wigan, and he's kept them up, and usually with entertaining football. Maybe it's time to take that chance.
As for Kenny, it's hard to dislodge a legend. And he doesn't want to go, making any exit an ugly one indeed. But results are results, aren't they? 52 points. Lowest since 1954. If the argument is the squad is being built for the future, than the lack of development of those who might bring it is scary. Jordan Henderson, Martin Kelly, Jay Spearing, the only recent flashes from Andy Carroll come to mind. And some of the transfer policy, which Kenny claims he directed, fly in the face of "transition". Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing aren't young, and they certainly didn't take a step forward when given a chance at a "big club".
And maybe, just maybe FSG thinks that this clinging to history is part of the problem. While Dalglish provided relief in the previous season that could have ended up uglier than this one, for a club that needs to take steps forward and do things in a new way, he simply may be too out of touch to do so. While Liverpool should never forget who they are and what they've accomplished, the clinging to "the way it was" might not be healthy for anyone. It is time to realize where Liverpool are now, and that's handicapped by simply not having the funds of most of their competitors. The name will carry less and less caches among people across Europe the longer dominance is not found at Anfield. Liverpool, now, are not United, or City, or Madrid, or Barcelona, or Milan, or Munich. They are more aligned with the Dortmunds, Valencias, Fiorentinas or Romas. Maybe it's time to start acting like them. After all, Dortmund has back to back Bundesliga titles, and they didn't do it by trying to be Munich.