Is Kenny Dalglish sweating nervously yet? Perhaps, not. One man who would be heavily sweating soon, if he isn’t already, would beAi??Liverpool owner John W. Henry. If results don’t change soon at the club, he’ll have the toughest decision of his reign at Anfield. Legends don’t come bigger at a club than Kenny Dalglish is at Liverpool, so when Henry appointed him as Liverpool manager, he instantly earned the the backing of the supporters.

Resurrection, revival and revolution were just a few words associated with the homecoming of Liverpool’s undisputed king. But now, it seems that the club has gone through a full cycle. The 1-2 defeat at home to Wigan took Liverpool to new depths of misery.Ai??Here are five reasons from the Wigan game that reflect on why the Liverpool manager is the architect of his side’s current downfall.

1. Terrible starting formation

‘Rotation’ is widely used in football, but should be used wisely after taking into consideration the adequacy of the players on the bench. Stewart Downing’s exclusion, for example, at Sunderland was one of many random team changes that have hampered Liverpool’s and an individual’s rhythm throughout the season.

However, on seeing the team selection against Wigan, you would’ve felt a sense of relief. The front six of Gerrard, Spearing, Suarez, Downing, Kuyt and Henderson did represent a familiar feel to a Dalglish line-up. If you replace Gerrard with Adam, it would represent a line-up that played in an unfortunate home defeat to Arsenal, where the performance deserved a lot of credit. So, surely the performance would only improve and nothing could go wrong? Wrong.

Dalglish tinkered with his formation. Liverpool could’ve lined up in a straightforward 4-4-2, which utilizes the width provided by Downing on the left and also yields ample support to Suarez in the form of another striker.

Instead, Dalglish decided to line-up in a 4-1-4-1 with Dirk Kuyt bizarrely playing – or attempting to play – on the left for the first time this season. Stewart Downing started on the right, naturally cutting inside towards a midfield already packed with three central midfielders.Ai??And finally, in a home match against the bottom club in the League, Luis Suarez was playing as a lone man upfront.

The first twenty minutes were a staggering display of how far away from the tacticalAi??bulls-eyeAi??a manager could go, with his team cramping itself up in the centre of the park and his players lacking positional sense.

2. Stubbornness towards change

The Liverpool manager switched the wingers after twenty minutes. This meant both Stewart Downing and Dirk Kuyt were able to occupy more familiar positions. However, other defects of the formation remain untouched.

Jordan Henderson, Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez could be seen within a few yards of each other too often. Luis Suarez was still battling three Wigan defenders on his own upfront, forced to take pops at goal from outside the area. Wigan’s task was made easier by the lack of red shirts near the goal or in the penalty area and the away team snuffed out attacks easily by crowding the midfield. Liverpool’s formation seemed more like an ineffective 4-5-1 than the targeted 4-1-4-1.

Kenny Dalglish refused to switch to a more orthodox 4-4-2 in the first half even though he had the personnel to do so. Throughout the season, he could’ve easily taken off Henderson early in matches because the player was struggling in the correct tactical set-up. Instead, when he finally decided to take off Henderson early in a match, it was due to the player’s performance in an incorrect and confusing system itself.

3. Handling Of Andy Carroll

Dalglish’s handling of Carroll has been highly questionable. Just when it seemed that the club’s much-maligned record signing was gaining momentum from putting in decent performances and was striking a good partnership with Luis Suarez, he has been inexplicably kept out of recent starting line-ups. This is how Liverpool’s form reads when Andy Carroll has started: WWDWWWW.

After Liverpool thumped BrightonAi??in the FA Cup and beat Cardiff City in the Carling Cup final with both Suarez and Carroll getting starts, the big man was dropped for the game against Arsenal. He was also dropped away to Sunderland and was excluded from the line-up at Loftus Road following two decent individual performances against Everton and Stoke City.

Worse still, Carroll’s introduction from the bench leaves him with nothing but a mere jog on the pitch; having been subbed on in the 69th, 83rd and 90th minutes in recent league encounters.Ai??Now, it seems Andy Carroll is back to square one. His confidence has taken another huge hit and he’ll have to rebuild his partnership with Suarez.

4. Lack of learning curve – long term trouble?

Kenny Dalglish has a reputation of being a straight-talker, but his lack of accepting blame in press conferences is baffling and embarrassing. After consistently blaming luck in the previous months, Dalglish decided to blame ‘fatigue’ for his team’s failure on Saturday. Now, one could sympathize with him on grounds that the season is nearing its end, but if you take a closer look at the Liverpool line-up, fatigue definitely didn’t play a role. Only Pepe Reina, Jose Enrique, Martin Skrtel and Jordan Henderson could claim to be fatigued. The rest were either in and out of the team this season, injured for long periods or missing a full month due to a ban.

Another important aspect of Dalglish’s management is that his impact through substitutions has been virtually non-existent. In fact, Carroll’s half-time entry into the game represented a major positive move relative to Dalglish’s general trend. His substitutions, in general, have either been poor time wise (leaving it too late – most often, around the 70th minute mark or later) or poor personnelAi??wise (for example, substituting Downing for Carroll, thereby taking out crossing ability but bringing in an aerial threat).

Liverpool have been labeled as a ‘long term’ project, but people make a mistake in interpreting the rightful owner of this project. It isn’t Kenny Dalglish’s project and rightly so. It is FSG’s long-term project and they need the right man to steer it forward, but Dalglish doesn’t seem to show signs of learning from his mistakes and improving.

5. Lack of motivation

What stood out in the defeat against Wigan was the lack of effort in the last few minutes. It was disgraceful to see how Wigan were passing the ball around and red shirts were simply watching them. In fact, Andy Carroll looked like the only person in the end who was putting in any effort, flailing his arms at others to get a reaction out of them. It was almost as if a point at Anfield wasn’t worth their troubles. The players’ lack of motivation and efforts are a direct representation of the manager’s ability to handle them – take Sir Alex Ferguson’s team as an example, or David Moyes getting the best out of players. On Saturday, the players out there didn’t look as if they believed in the manager’s tactical set-up.

Liverpool have won only 2 out of their last 10 league matches, including a trio of defeats to relegation-battling Bolton, Queens Park Rangers and now, Wigan Athletic. It is simply a record not suitable for any sort of Liverpool team – whether a rebuilding one or not. The club is also only 6 points off the 14th placeAi??in the league table.

Alarmingly, if the league had started at the beginning of 2012, Liverpool would’ve been in the relegation zone.Ai??This is nothing short of disastrous for such an illustrious club. Of course, there is an FA Cup semi-final to look forward to but every manager who comes in boldly claims the League is the “bread and butter” for any club, the one that we should judge managers on.

So, with five defeats in the last six coupled with horrendous performances, would any manager other than the legendary King Kenny have survived at this club?

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13 Responses to “Liverpool’s Corner: Wigan Horror – 5 Reasons Why Dalglish Should Go To Trial”

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  1. Celtic Daft says:

    Being a Celtic fan Dalglish is viewed as a genius of a player who played for us before Liverpool. When Dalglish returned in a caretaker-management capacity he was a disaster. His press conferences were embarrasing & on one occasion he held a press conference in a pub! When he was our director of football it was him who got John Barnes in as our manager. Barnes was a disaster & after an embarrassing defeat, King Kenny who was playing golf in Spain, returned to a throng of reporters at Glasgow Airport. Fans were raging & the reporters asked Dalglish what he thought of the current situation at Celtic Park & he said only “Do ye like ma tan?”. * Then Barnes got sacked & Kenny stepped in & made an arse of it. Not surprised at all. Dalglish, Souness, great players, garbage managers.

    • phil says:

      absolutey spot on. Looks like a clear replication of what you experienced with Celtic. He’s not taking responsibility and accepting his errors. £113m on rubbish and he speaks to reporters with no respect which is not as a good ambassador for one of the worlds greatest clubs should behave. I believe he is attempting to show faith and support his expensive flops but playing Carroll from the bench just as hes developing some form is not good for the player. Playing Kuyt on the left (a ride sided player) and downing on the right (a left sided one) is ridiculous. There are a number of baffling decisions which are made by all managars, but fewer by the good ones and Dalglish’s poor choices are becoming numerous. His form makes Roy Hodgson’s look good .He is a great man, his playing days, early Liverpool management and the manner in which he supported fans and families during the Hillsborough tragedy is testament to that. Which is why its desaperately sad that this hero of the club should now be dragging the club down

    • Alex1967 says:

      I agree with Celtic Daft. He was given the reins at our club and made a complete mess of it! At Liverpool he has made poor deals in the transfer market and is a PR mans nightmare.His managerial style is 1980`s which just doesn`t work now. That`s what caused the furore with the Suarez incident! “Us against all the rest” even when you`re wrong! I am sure the American owners are not impressed with it all although they are wisely keeping their councel with season ticket renewal time coming up. I will be surprised if they allow him to spend much in the Summer Transfer window and suspect they will ease him out the door American style during this period to allow a new man to spend any funds wisely! The fans deserve Kenny though ,after their ,and his,treatment of Roy Hodgson. His sitting in the stand smirking when the fans were chanting for Hodgson to be sacked and KK to be given the job just about sum the guy up!

  2. interestingpoints says:

    had lucas not got injured i think we would be in a wholly different position (that is more so a complement to lucas then an excuse for the underwhelming performance of dalglish).

    i don’t watch post match interviews anymore; they are too annoying, i don’t want to hear about “effort and commitment [to this great club]”, said in an extremely defensive stance, over and over again, i can judge that for myself having watched the match, i want to hear tactics, where in his opinion we went wrong etc etc.

    carroll needs to start with suarez in a 442 formation untill the rest of the season, it may come down to goal difference.

    we are 4 points off the bottom half of the table, winning the fa cup would be somewhat redeemable, but if we finish any lower then 6th, then i think we should get someone else in.

    …some one spanish with a goatee beard that is slightly over weight

    • chris says:

      stop dreaming, manager is clueless and has lost respect of the team and supporters. its not just down to one or two players but tactics which KD has none. he should resign now and accept his limitations before we become a relegation side

    • chris says:

      MUORINHO, PLZ SO I CAN SEE THE CLUB WIN A TITLE IN MY REMAINING LIFE TIME INSTEAD OF ANOTHER SEASON FULL OF PROMISE THAT JUST FADES INTO OBLIVION BECAUSE OF KD

  3. badnews says:

    I fully agree. Losing to wigan at anfield.I couldn’t have foreseen that. We should be looking for a new manager. A young manager to with fresh ideas.

  4. Guest says:

    The league is gone and we’ve already qualified for europe so what do you guys want more now?? He’s tinkering with his team now. When he came he changed 9 players and trying to implement his own 80’s system. Firstly it is difficult to accomodate 9 players in a system immediately and secondly he’s been trying to implement his own system. I personally think that he should have used the benitez systems as the backbone of that team is still there thus the players would have helped the new ones in easily. That type of football that dalglish wants to implement is too energy consuming. Players like carrragher and gerrard will not be able to play in that system now because they are old now. There is a lot of ground covering to do, that is why they are left exposed, The two goals came from carragher’s side yesterday.

  5. mozo says:

    We don’t need to pamper this issue anymore. I think is time we say it just the way we are seeing it Dalglish is a flop and i don’t see him redeemimg LFC instead he is taking us down to hell. I believe is time JH shake is hand, tell him thank you for CC and let him walk away alone.

  6. gwgw says:

    Fact is – this happens all the time, we get chances, but we don’t convert it to goals. I just hate it when people say that we’re playing well like this – we’re not! if we were to get a few goals and actually convert our chances, then yes, we are playing well. But getting chances and not converting them, that’s not what football is about and that’s not how you win, hence we don’t get 3 points and puts the manager into more pressure. This was happening all season, not just a few matches. There has been rarely any case in which I thought we may have won a match comfortably, not even the CC final vs Cardiff we won comfy. Everyone wanted and was bidding for us to win after 90 min mark and it took until pens to win it – by then, Cardiff deserved to win. So even the CC win wasn’t that great and we were lucky to get it if you think about it.

    Fact is if you spent £100m, you expect them to shine immediately, not put them on the bench all day. These days Money doesn’t come for free – I am sure FSG spent their hard working time earning this £100m and most of it went to waste… how does that feel? I wouldn’t trust Kenny/Comoli if they are continuing to spend money on average players. I understand that you need CL to get top class players but if we are going to keep on buying average brits, we are not going to get CL, and we are therefore not improving. We can’t just call improvement if we keep on winning FA Cup/CC and be in Europa all season – this being next season and I don’t think we are improving anymore.

    Fact is, as I said earlier, there is a common problem all season and the manager should take note of that. I don’t think I heard Kenny say that the signings were terrible, I don’t think he is even telling them to get some improvements, he even had Jan to get a finisher, but he didn’t and I think its costing him. He recalled Shelvey back from Blackpool and he isn’t even playing much. He possibly sold Aqua [although maybe he wanted to leave?].

    I don’t think Rafa made these terrible signings in his first season, and despite with low funds, I think Rafa did the best he could. I don’t think we would have lost to QPR, and Wigan, and he wouldn’t have bought the likes of Adam, Downing, Hendo and Carroll.

    It seems that our players doesn’t really care anymore. We seem to have the best defence or the 2nd best in the league, but now we will possibly end up 5th best or something…

  7. Varun Khare says:

    The only positive from that game was Raheem Sterling. In those 10 mins, he did more than what Henderson and Kuyt did during the whole game and possibly the whole season. The confidence he showed to go past two defenders and take a shot was refreshing. Shelvey looked good too.Other than that, the performance was sickening.

  8. Aditya Sharma says:

    I don’t about everyone else, but when Daglish came in, I told myself that he should be given more than just one full season before a call is taken on him. I still believe that, and while the current state of affairs has me as infuriated as everyone else, I still think we need to have some patience.
    All Liverpool laughed when Chelsea sacked AVB.. sacking Daglish at the end of this season would not be too different.