Damien Comolli leaves his post as Liverpool’s Director of Football by mutal consent. It is widely reported that he was in charge of overseeing transfers since September 2010. Dalglish speaks of a “fantastic working and personal relationship” and sends him on his way will “best wishes” and hopes they will meet again soon.
This departure will also be the departure of the Dalglish’s culpability for an extravagent overspend on mediocre footballers. In the above quoted interview King Kenny also explains the way he identified the transfer targets and Comolli went away and “did his best” to sign them. Reading between the lines (not always a useful pass-time) you can’t help but come to the conclusion that although these are the players Dalglish wanted, it wasn’t he who decided to part with the millions. Just when we sensed a weakness Kenny Dalglish is again confirmed as being untouchable/unsackable.
This season Dalglish has applied his overhauled Liverpool side to the rigours of the Premier League and been found seriously wanting. Yet because of who he is he is still in the job and Comolli takes a hit for Team Kenny. Liverpool have won a Carling Cup but that alone does not constitute a successful season. In the table that never really lies they are effectively on equal mid-table footing with Stoke, Fulham, Sunderland, Norwich and Everton, and when you think about their budgets (nevermind their aspirations) there should be no competition.
Given the tone of the article so far it may come as a surprise that I am glad that Liverpool are standing by their manager (it is a trait that, although perhaps improving, is still quite unusual in the Premiership). But I wish they would do so without making scapegoats and excuses. That is the ‘Kop-out’. It has been a poor league season and Kenny should take the rap (not the sack). He has failed to get the best (which they displayed at previous clubs) out of his expensive signings. He coped poorly with the Suarez saga. But he won them a cup.
I also wish that they had given Roy Hodgson the same time to prove himself in the job. In order to be a success he had to rebuild. Torres was on the wane, Gerrard was injured on ineffectual, Carragher was getting old and slow, Macherano wanted to play for Barca and Alonso had left.
Hodgson was given 31 games in total – next to no time to rebuild a fractured squad. In that time Liverpool won 13, drew 9 and lost 9. A quick look at the current league table and you will see Liverpool have played 33, won 12, draw 10 and lost 11. This is after Dalglish has been given almost unprecedented backing and funds to rebuild. Two seasons down the line Liverpool are little better off – had they stuck by Hodgson it is possible they could have rebuilt, consolidated and be in an improved position by now.
I hope Liverpool have noticed this and stick by Dalglish, admit his faults and let him learn from them. If they do I believe they will see the benefit of loyalty. In much the same way I hope Wigan and Blackburn are rewarded for their loyalty to their managers this season (Wolves are clearly proving that sacking the boss is not a quick fix).
Dalglish is not Sir Alex Ferguson, Comolli is not the reason Liverpool’s league form is so poor, but if Liverpool show a bit of faith, loyalty and commitment (much like Man Utd did all those years ago, and like Arsenal, Wigan and Blackburn are doing right now) they will in time, in my humble opinion, make postitive steps up the league.