This is what I wrote about it when people began calling for Kenny's head two months ago:The Death of the Liverpool Way
I love tattoos, but I don’t have any bodyart myself. I think the main reason for
reaching the age of 36 and not getting a tattoo, while nearly all my mates have
at least one, is that I was scared I’d wake up one day, ten or twenty years down
the line and regret getting it.
I’ve considered getting one in the past. Once I toyed with the idea of getting a
wu-bat on my arm, thankfully I couldn’t afford it at the time and while I still
very much like the Wu-tang Clan, I know getting a band’s insignia on my arm
would have been a bad choice. My point is that life changes, tastes change and
even ideologies can change, so if I were to get a tattoo it would have to be
something I was certain I’d never regret. For a long time I thought that would
be the Liverpool F.C crest but now I’m not so sure.
Liverpool Football Club is an institution, a love for which I thought could never die, and
in many respects it never will, never can. My love for this club is not down to
the number of trophies we’ve racked up, or our stature in world football. It is
not down to the ridiculously talented players, managers and coaches that have
come and gone through our illustrious 120 year history. It is not down to the
wit of the Kop or engaging tales told by reds all over the world. It is of
course all of the above, but more than all that my love for this club is borne
out of a deep affinity with the core values it represents, what I think of as
The Liverpool Way.
Brian Reade in his must-read book Epic Swindle infers the Liverpool Way has been an
Albatross around the clubs neck, and a barrier to progress. I disagree, but only
because I think the sentiment of ‘The Liverpool Way’ is often misinterpreted. Of
course it will be argued that the Liverpool Way is subjective, but again I’d beg
to differ. For me The Liverpool Way is pretty clear cut; it is simply about
dignity, respect, integrity, patience, loyalty and humour.
These values have been tested over the years and collectively we’ve passed with flying
colours, but over two-decades of not winning the league hurts, and it has
inevitably seen some fans, and players lose sight of the Liverpool Way and what
it means. There is no doubting that every one of these people love Liverpool
Football Club, and they all believe they are doing what is in its best interests
but sometimes we hurt the ones we love, even unintentionally and by hacking away
at those values they are hacking away at the very fabric of the club we love,
and at what makes us the best fans in the world.
Best fans in the world? That phrase rings a little hollow at this moment in time.
Liverpool have just been beaten 3-2 after Mark Hughes’ QPR mounted an unlikely
comeback after being two goals behind with just 13 minutes to spare at Loftus
Road. Now I’ve always believed in the psychological advantage of keeping a
player on the pitch who terrifies defences, which is why at times I couldn’t
understand why Rafael Benitez would substitute Torres in tight games. So I was
similarly perplexed when Dalglish decided to give Suarez a rest when there was
only a goal in it, and QPR were on a high after scoring, it just seems logical
that keeping a player of Suarez ability out there, even if he just stood on the
halfway line like a scarecrow would keep the QPR players on edge but I’m not a
manager and as with Rafael Benitez before him, I’ll bow down to the current
Liverpool Manager’s knowledge over mine every day of the week.
In hindsight Dalglish made a big mistake in substituting Luis Suarez, but hindsight
is 20/20 and what manager doesn’t make mistakes? It was an horrific capitulation
and I am probably as angry as everyone else is about throwing away a two-goal
lead but lets keep one thing clear; Kenny Dalglish is a legend at this
I’ll admit I was a bit worried when Kenny first took over, I like most reds wanted
him to return to the job every day from the day he quit in 1991 until the moment
Rafael Benitez walked into Melwood in 2004. It wasn’t that I was worried he
wasn’t good enough or that he had been out of the game too long, but rather I
feared for his reputation in this climate where the demand for instant success
is so great. It’s sad to say given the insults and calls for the managers head
on Twitter, Facebook and various Liverpool forums after the QPR match it appears
I may have been right, but someone pointed out to me recently that he’ll never
lose his legendary status to those who matter.
It shocked me when Rafael Benitez was being called a Fat Spanish Waiter by our own
fans, and that was one of the nicer names I heard used. Don’t get me wrong it is
fine to have an opinion and to want a change in management but when two
Liverpool managers, and two of the nicest men the game has produced in Rafael
Benitez and Kenny Dalglish receive abuse from their own fans, after all they
have done for this club then it really has to be addressed. These two men,
barring some catastrophic decision like writing for the S*n or managing
Manchester United will forever have my love, admiration and respect. If we go on
the worst run in LFC’s history and get relegated to the championship and then
down to league 1 then my opinion won’t alter one iota, and why?
- Football League First Division (7): 1978–79, 1979–80, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1985–86, 1987–88
- FA Cup (2): 1985–86, 1988–89
- Football League Cup (4): 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84
- Charity Shield (7): 1977 (Shared)1979, 1980, 1982, 1986 (Shared), 1988, 1989
- European Cup (3): 1977–78, 1980–81, 1983–84
- European Super Cup (1): 1977
Liverpool (1985–1991, 2011– )
- Football League First Division (3): 1985–86, 1987–88, 1989–90
- FA Cup (2): 1985–86, 1988–89
- Football League Cup (1): 2011–12
- Charity Shield (4): 1986 (Shared) 1988, 1989, 1990 (Shared)
If that’s not enough then attending the funerals in 1989 of many of the victims of
the Hillsborough Disaster should be.
The fact is Kenny Dalglish loves this club as much as any fan, there is nothing he
would love more than to build Liverpool Football Club up into a bastion of
invincibility again. If he can’t do it then it won't be through a lack of
trying. What makes this abuse even more confusing is that we’ve already got a
trophy in the cabinet this season, and potentially another, two F.A Cup ties
away. Anyone that has vented their feelings in the form of verbal abuse towards
our current manager should feel very ashamed today, you’re just another death
knell in the Liverpool Way.