Wednesday 13 November 2019

Dalglish consigns 'two-man team' tag to the past

Kenny Dalglish. Photo: Reuters
Kenny Dalglish. Photo: Reuters

Rory Smith

Kenny Dalglish believes Liverpool's revival from mid-table mediocrity to the cusp of a European place since his appointment in January has laid to rest the idea that the Anfield side had become a two-man team.

Dalglish's revitalised side face Fulham tonight knowing that a victory would take them above Tottenham into fifth place, just four points shy of Manchester City in the final Champions League slot.

Though catching Roberto Mancini's team is highly unlikely, such proximity to rejoining Europe's elite was unthinkable when Dalglish replaced Roy Hodgson, with Liverpool languishing in 13th place.

That Liverpool's fortunes have improved so markedly in the past five months is all the more impressive given that the team's two totems have been either wholly or largely absent.

Fernando Torres was sold to Chelsea on transfer deadline day for £50m, while captain Steven Gerrard has not played since March because of a groin injury. In their stead, Liverpool have looked to a host of sources of attacking inspiration, from Raul Meireles, Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll to the consistent Dirk Kuyt and even Maxi Rodriguez, who has now scored four goals in his past two games.

As he plans for a summer overhaul, Dalglish knows his side are in a much stronger position than in previous years, when the perception was that if either Gerrard or Torres did not play, neither did Liverpool.

"The more options you have, the better it is for everyone," Dalglish said. "In any team, you are going to have players who shine more than others.

"Successful teams are the ones with the greatest number of options going forward.

"Everyone has come on. It is great credit to them and the confidence and belief they have in themselves. The more choices you have, the stronger you are going to be." (© Daily Telegraph, Liverpool)

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