When the Spaniard Rafa Banetez left as a Liverpool Manager, nearly every Liverpool supporter believed that he (Banetez) should have left earlier and he left Liverpool in a mess that probably not many expected it to be, specially after he successfully led Liverpool to the Champions League glory.
He had a relatively successful regime at Athletico Madrid, where he helped the club to become what they are today, or at least he provided them the belief that they (Athletico Madrid) can become one of the power houses in Spain, apart from Barcelona and Real Madrid.
He also produced or helped some player to become what they are today. Likes of Fernando Torres is one of the prime example of it.
However, some players like Michel Owen, Herry Kewel, Xabi Alonso, John Arne Risse, Jerzy Dudek, Luis Garcia, Morientes were the big guns to leave Liverpool in the regime of Rafa Banetez, which was one of the biggest setback the club suffered at the time of Benitez in charge.
To make things worse, Liverpool couldn’t replace the majority of the players with proportionate quality players, and that made the team a lot weaker than what it was.
The only 2 good replacements were of the players like Michel Owen, and Jerzy Dudek, who was replaced by 2 Spaniards in Torres and Reina.
In all fairness, Benitez became the hero at Liverpool within a first year as the Manager at Anfield, as he helped the Reds to become a European Champion after a wait of more than 2 decades & for the 5th time in the club’s history.
His tactics were proving a success, and there was a positive feeling around Anfield as people started to believe that Liverpool could become a force in the Premier League as well, but that was not the case.
As the time goes on, it became evident that Benitez was not the “Man Manager” that Liverpool as a club needed at that time, and his arrogance along with stubborn nature made some players leave the club before time.
Not only that, he was not a good learner as well as he failed to change his tactics even though they were not producing results on the field. It was evident that either he is not good enough to manage a club of a stature of Liverpool, or he was not good in communication with his players.
It was easy to observe that Rafa, as a manager, was too arrogant to accept his mistake and kept doing the same mistake over and over again. Liverpool’s dismal run in the later stages of Benitez in charge was not only down to Rafa, it was the hierarchy as well, who was to be blamed for keep giving funds to Rafa, even though he kept on spending on below par players.
Liverpool’s hierarchy knew that the club’s financial condition was not good, but that didn’t stop them from supporting Benitez instinct & knowledge in signing players.
Ultimately, when there was too much mess, Rafa had to pay the price, and Liverpool appointed Roy Hodgson.
Many were surprised to see Roy as a manager, not because of his managerial quality, which was something not any one would doubt about, but because of his experience at the big club level.
Even though he made Steven Gerrard, Torres & Reina sign a new contract at Liverpool, and also signed Joe Cole from Chelsea, yet those were some of the few achievements he made during his tenure at Liverpool.
He was not practically ready for a position in one of the biggest club in the Premier League, and that was shown when he publicly accepted that his squad is not as good as Chelsea or Manchester United (I mean who would do that?).
Even though it was clear on the paper that his squad might not be equal in strength with the big guns in EPL, but it was the lack of self-belief that made him accept that in the media.
He managed to get some good results in the first half of the season, including a draw against Arsenal and a shocking win against Chelsea, but it was not enough to keep Liverpool even in the top half of the league, due to defeat against the teams who were fighting for their survival.
They lost to Blackpool, Wolves and Wigan, and two out of those three teams were in the relegation zone at that time.
It was not only about results only, but it was the negative body language and the lack of self-belief in the team that was there to see on the playing pitch every time under Hodgson.
Hence the end result saw Hodgsen sacked as Liverpool manager as well, just after the first half of the season.
Now comes in Kenny Daglish, so called “King Kenny”, back to his home ground and looked all set to lead Liverpool back to their glory.
He is the crowd favorite, and the fans as well as the team looks united behind him, mainly because of his past record at Liverpool as the manager.
He was the manager 2 decades ago in 1990 when Liverpool FC last won the Premier League Title.
His first 3 matches as a Liverpool manager was not really great, but the self-belief was there to see.
Liverpool came from 2-1 down against Everten in the Merseyside Darby and that was one prime example of what King Kenny is capable of.
To conclude it all, the appointment of Kenny Daglish seems to be a step in the right direction.
His managerial qualities along with his past record with the club makes him a huge favorite to succeed at Liverpool.
Though he was away from the game for a long time, but the fans, the hierarchy and the team is looking up to him to be the “Savior” for Liverpool FC and turn their fortunes around.
He is not a Magician nor he has any Magic stick that he will turn the mess created first by Banetez & then by Hodgson in a few days or a few weeks.
It will come by time, but he have some major changes to do in his Liverpool lineup in order to become a power house in Premier League once again.