The sacking of Kenny Dalglish was greeted with mixed emotions. The die-hard fans of Liverpool, the scousers and those who have been supporting the club since/before Kenny Dalglish joined the club as a player felt it is a very harsh decision despite admitting that the season was a dull campaign from his part.
There are other groups of supporters who are sad to see their beloved “King Kenny” go but understands the psychology of the owners. Gone are those days when time was not a factor for the wealthy benefactors. It is a result oriented world now and emotions hardly find a place in it. You perform, you stay. Living in a mundane world of crony capitalism of which football is an integral part one has to accept this grim reality that performance is the key and nothing else matter.
To replace an iconic man is not an easy job for any club. Liverpool owners who have shown great commitments so far in terms of involvement in the club must get their decisions right.
They are not football minded people. They are pure businessman. They made few mistakes, like every businessman do. Probably what went wrong from their part was lack of leadership when it mattered. They didn’t act smart enough in Luis Suarez-Evra racial saga and probably a chunk of blame can pass to them for some of the transfers made.
I take the example of Glazers' reign here for Manchester United. One of the main reasons for their success - not in terms of business though – is their lack of involvement with anything on pitch. Well, when you have an iconic figure like Sir Alex Ferguson at helm you can close your eyes and trust him blindly. The owners of Liverpool more or less walked the same road. They said from the very onset that they will do whatever it takes to help the manager. They appointed a football director to help the ex-Celtic hero in transfer dealings. They backed the manager with cash, even if it smacked of panic buys. They didn’t poke their nose and why should they? That much of a trust you should have for your manager, isn’t it?
The owners might not know what ‘Liverpool Way’ is. For that matter, many Liverpool fans probably don’t have any clue about that. They only know two ways – good or bad. Backing your manager with cash is a good way of doing things, that is what ultimately matters.
Now, they must look forward to re-vamp the entire boardroom and make sure that a proper structure is in place. They need to find a good manager first. They have few candidates in mind and they will interview many of them before taking the final decision.
Last night, news broke out that Liverpool are given green signal to have a word with Wigan boss Roberto Martinez.
The reaction from the fans was not only strange but knee-jerk to say the least. It was only permission for an interview but the fans have made it clear that they won’t accept the Spaniard.
To them, Liverpool is an iconic club and there is no place for a relegation saving manager. They should think big and act bigger. They should aim for the sky, even if don’t have the backbone to look upwards.
One Liverpool fan/journo/writer (won’t mention the name) said in twitter that Liverpool are an iconic club like many top clubs in Europe – Juventus, AC Milan, Barcelona, Ajax etc. If those clubs had any vacancy would they have approached a guy like Martinez?
That journo said those great clubs have gone through bad phases but they have opted for quality managers for recovery. Very true. But do recruiting quality managers mean hiring the high profile names?
OK, let me elucidate. Barcelona appointed Pep Guardiola, a manager from the reserve team to take charge of their first team squad. Was he a high profile manager when he took over? Nobody was aware of his managerial abilities except those who appointed him.
Take the example of Conte, the Juventus boss who guided the Old Lady to Scudetto in a remarkable fashion. They remained unbeaten throughout the season. Conte received huge praise from every corners of the world for transforming Juventus.
He was a manager of Siena in 2010 only guiding the club to promotion from the jaws of relegation. Juventus signed relegation – savior manager (just like Martinez) and look what he has done. Was he a high profile figure? Or the directors who appointed him are scatterbrained?
AC Milan signed Allegri, who was the manager of Cagliari two seasons back (a team finished 12th the league in 2010, equivalent to Swansea in Premier League). He guided the Rossoneri league title the season he joined and a second finish in the league this present campaign.
That shows many (that includes journalists/writers as well) are swayed by false emotions, eclipsing rationality. Or even if they are rational minded, they are making wrong comparisons. The best example is the above point.
Crux of the matter is you can do wonders with low profile names as well. Only thing matters is whether you posses the capability and mentality of handling the job or not.
‘Thing big, act bigger’ is a good message. Thinking big doesn't mean appointing high profile names. Thinking big means foreseeing a future, like what Barcelona, Juventus, AC Milan and Ajax have done. If all those great clubs have achieved success by placing a long term strategy, picking up unknown talents to fill the big boots why not Liverpool?
I am not endorsing Roberto Martinez here. My only point is a club can do miracles with low profile names as well, only if you trust him.
Follow Saikat Mandal on twitter @SMandal87
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