Kenny Dalglish with John Henry, LFC’s owner
This is as much the collective failure of a group of high priced players to deliver for their club. Only Luis Suarez justified his transfer fee. But King Kenny had to bear the brunt off a £120m giveaway which in these times is exceedingly tough to justify.
In the end the arrival of Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll, and Jordan Henderson to Liverpool coupled with the long standing injury to Steven Gerrard left all the creation at the feet of Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan almost single handedly kept the club going even as his personality disorder and racial animosities were revealed. Why Dalglish so concertedly decided to go English to replenish the midfield and attack, which proved the side’s undoing is hard to fathom given a lot of his success as manager in the late 80’s was down to the performances of Jan Molby, LFC’s Danish born midfield maestro.
Contrast and compare Newcastle’s overtures to foreign talent which brought in Cheik Tiote, Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba, Sylvain Marveaux, and Papiss Cisse in a rebuild that took a couple of seasons. The decision to look overseas received further impetus under Alan Pardew, a manager famously accused of xenophobia by Arsene Wenger and now it seems can’t get his fill of foreign born players.
The payoff has been immense for Newcastle who just about failed to land a Champions League spot. They were done in by Everton on the last day as Nikica Jelavic who had about as big an instant impact as any in the history of the sport stole the show from Papiss Cisse. However, Newcastle are in pole position to challenge the top four hierarchy with arguably the Premiership’s most attacking midfield and two lethal finishers.
John Henry is at fault too. The man impressed by Billy Bean’s Moneyball approach to baseball didn’t seem to follow that philosophy when it came to football. Now, the hunt for a new coach is on. All sorts of names from Andre Villa- Boas to Juergen Klopp is being bandied about. Who knows this might mean the return of Rafa Benitez?