independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Worrying signs from Kenny

KING Kenny has been a breath of fresh air these past nine months. He's been funny, he's been insightful, he's been open. In other words he's been a marked contrast with Rafa Benitez or the hangdog Roy Hodgson.

That's why it was so disappointing to hear Dalglish go down the Alex Ferguson / Arsene Wenger route just four games into the new season.

"The first four games have had contentious decisions in them and every one has gone against us," he said after the match against Stoke at the weekend, which saw Liverpool lose out to a penalty goal for the home side.

Okay it was just after a match and emotions were running high, but still this predictable criticism of referees isn't necessary. Most managers do it and it doesn't seem to have done Ferguson any harm over the years, but still it's a little worrying that Dalglish's reaction to his side's first defeat of the season is to crib about the performance of the referee.

If he took it on the chin and accepted that not everything is going to go his or Liverpool's way then we'd all respect him a lot more.

The last thing we want to hear is Dalglish coming out week after week having a lash at the ref. Sometimes you'll get the rub of the green, sometimes you won't. There's no conspiracy here. Dalglish is clever enough to know this and nobody should be expecting to see him come over all José Mourinhio and start compiling some sort of poor refereeing dossier.

You might say that his criticism was fairly mild by the standards of a lot of Premier League managers, but that doesn't necessarilly speak well of the Scot. He couched his criticism by saying that he would first consult with the club's owners about what to say and how to say it.

That's just semantics. It was his way of saying the referee stunk without actually saying it. A hint, a sleight of hand. If you're convinced that you're right in what you believe in, and that you believe in it strongly enough to say something about it, then come on out and say it Kenny.

If he were totally in the emotion of the moment, he would have done. That suggests a certain amount of cold calculation on Dalglish's part. Disappointing for some of us to see, but Liverpool fans might actually be heartened by Dalglish's intervention.

The King is back and is willing to do whatever he has to get the Kop back on top.

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