Premier League Preview - Liverpool
MANAGER: Brendan Rodgers
STADIUM: Anfield (45522)
LAST SEASON: 8TH
You don't need me to tell you that 'King Kenny' is a name that was more apt in years gone by, and indeed it was a title that weighed heavily as Dalglish lurched from one disaster to the next - taking breath to pluck the League Cup from a spirited Cardiff City side. It was a rare positive in a season blighted by underperforming stars.
The irony being is that his predecessor, Roy Hodgson, fared far better, but was ousted as Dalglish was the chosen 'in-house` appointment. The aforementioned League Cup win could not mask the club's worst club finish in 18 years. Stewart Downing was rather a fall guy, singled out as a winger with no assists - with maybe the exception of his boss' dismissal.
IN: Joe Allen (Swansea, £15m), Fabio Borini (Roma, £10m)
OUT: Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbache, £1m), Craig Bellamy (Cardiff, undisclosed), Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina, undisclosed), Maxi Rodriguez (Newell's Old Boys, undisclosed) Fabio Aurelio (Gremio, free), David Amoo (Preston North End, free), Stephen Darby (Bradford, free)
A new season; a new manager. Brendan Rodgers is a manager that divides opinion but one can not help but admire the job he completed at Swansea City. However will his appointment be a masterstroke or another white elephant in a turbulent recent history at Anfield - when the season begins in earnest all will unfold before our eyes.
Liverpool is a club with spadefuls of history, but this counts for very little in modern football when clubs are emerging all the time as potential forces. It has struck me that Liverpool have been behind the times for some time, a relic living in their rich history, unwilling to accept the changes that modern football presents and getting dragged into the mire of putting 'legends` at the helm. This latest step is a bold one, but to what extent with success be borne out?
KEY PLAYER: Steven Gerrard
Well this was a bit of a no brainer - Steven Gerrard has been loyal and rock-steady in the heart of Liverpool's midfield for some time. Whether times are good or indifferent, Gerrard has been consistent and by far and away the Reds' best performer. He has toyed with a move away in the past, but he is now looking like remaining at Anfield for the duration.
I think Liverpool will improve, but they must place faith in Rodgers now that he has been selected as the man to take them forward. Too many times clubs fall into the trap of panicking and ousting the newly-formed ideas in terms of the tried and tested. Swansea reaped the benefits from a style that Rodgers put forward - if he can perform Swansea writ large then there is no telling where he could take the Reds.