Yesterday’s man Dalglish can’t stop Liverpool slide

Jan 13, 2011
Jonathan Harwood

Blackpool make history but it is the Reds looking backwards as Dalglish oversees a second straight defeat

Blackpool 2 Liverpool 1. Had Roy Hodgson overseen the latest instalment of Liverpool's season horribilis - a 2-1 defeat to Blackpool at Bloomfield Road - it's safe to say there would have been uproar at Anfield.


As it was the despairing fans had no-one to blame for their side's capitulation as the man in the Liverpool dug out was Kenny Dalglish, the Kop's choice of manager, who must now have a clearer idea of the challenge facing him as he tries to resurrect the Reds.


Dalglish has been in charge for less than a week, but his record already reads played two, lost two, and Blackpool's win meant that the Seasiders recorded their first league double over Liverpool since 1947.


His next assignment is the small matter of the Merseyside derby on Sunday. If his side fail to win that, then Liverpool fans will have to accept that the club's ills cannot be solved simply by the return of Dalglish, and that they may end up fighting to stay in the Premier League.


The loss to Blackpool leaves the Reds just four points above the drop zone, but afterwards Dalglish tried to put a positive spin on events: "The encouraging sign is the attitude and desire of the players, which is quite pleasing, " he said.


"The only reason we will have a problem is if they don't show commitment to the club and I think they have shown that - we just need a result."


The club's new owner John W Henry will be in attendance for the game against Everton on Sunday and he will no doubt be talking to Dalglish about his plans for the January transfer window and beyond.


On the showing against Blackpool, Dalglish needs to pep up his squad. Although the Reds took an early lead through Fernando Torres, Blackpool refused to panic and were well on top by the time the final whistle came.


The home side clawed their way back into the game thanks to Gary Taylor-Fletcher's equalsier, and a 69th-minute winner from DJ Campbell earned them all three points.


Not only have they beaten Liverpool twice this season they are now three points above them in the table with a game in hand.


In Ian Holloway the Seasiders have a forward-thinking manager who is looking to the future rather than the past. That is something that Liverpool's owners might want to take notice of.


As James Olley, writing in the Evening Standard, argues, by turning to Dalglish, who last took charge of a Premier League match in 1998, Liverpool are looking backwards. He even claims that the Reds are in danger of becoming the new Newcastle.


"Dalglish's appointment at Liverpool smacks of sentimentality akin to Kevin Keegan's ill-fated return to St James' Park," he comments.

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