The fiery Scot, seemingly on the edge of his nerves at the best of times, appeared furious at the end of the Bolton vs Liverpool clash. Liverpool fans ought to see hope in this anger, after all, a weary look of resignation would have been the far worse sight at the final whistle. Kenny Dalglish, one suspects, knows that this Liverpool squad is underperforming and is struggling to meet expectations. He realises that they have potential to improve and with a couple of astute signings could probably mount a sustained and perhaps successful charge at one of the top four positions.
Kenny Dalglish also understands that his team needs Luis Suarez, currently suspended, but that even when the Uruguayan was playing the team were still struggling to defeat opponents. The current Liverpool team has a decent shape and despite the mishaps at Bolton on Saturday afternoon it is based on a relatively solid defence. Between Pepe Reina, Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel and Jose Enrique Liverpool have a back five that are capable of competing against the very best. In midfield it is quite obvious that the team is struggling. Stewart Downing is obviously a talented footballer, adept with both feet, pacy and decent intelligence. That, as any seasoned football fan will testify, is not enough. Stewart Downing lacks the aggression and inner motivation to win that others with less talent have in abundance. Charlie Adam, by comparison, has far inferior technique, although a superior engine, yet he can find no way to display his talent in this Liverpool set up. His quarterback style passing, so wonderful to watch at Blackpool, serves no outlet at Liverpool besides Craig Bellamy. It is not sufficient and so Charlie Adam often ends up a passenger meekly watching the game go by. The Scottish midfielder is definitely worthy of a place at Liverpool, but he should, if Liverpool wish to be a top 4 club, be a squad player and not a certain starter. Jordan Henderson has a stupendous engine, capable of running for hours it seems, and an obvious hunger to improve. He lacks experience and has, simply put, won far too few games as a professional football player. He only started featuring regularly for Sunderland a while ago and now finds himself at Liverpool. Total up all his victories between the two clubs and you will find a footballer more accustomed to defeat than to success. Jordan Henderson also ought to be a squad player, and nothing more just yet, but with such a hefty price tag, close to £20 million, is is no wonder he finds the pressure building. Maxi Rodriguez is inconsistent, but again a worthy squad player, likewise Dirk Kuyt, despite his horrendous campagin so far this year. Lucas Leiva is the pick of the bunch but he is injured and not going to return any time soon. Liverpool, just like a few seasons back, really on Steven Gerrard for control, which he infreuently offe, and penetration, which he frequently does. It is too big a burden for one man to carry. Liverpool are too big a club and Steven Gerrard, nobody for that matter, can do it alone. Liverpool need a central midfielder, ala Xabi Alonso, who is capable of controlling a match and dictating the tempo. In attack there is little to say that is not obvious. Andy Carrol is struggling to justify a £5 million price tag right now, let alone a £35 million one, and Kenny Dalglish must understand that right now that particular transfer is weighing a heavy tonne on the striker’s head as much as his own. How can Kenny Dalglish go to the board and ask for more transfer funds when his biggest signing to date has failed so miserably?
Kenny Dalglish was right to be angry after the defeat but the anger was, most likely, not just directed at his under performing squad but also at himself and his own mistakes.