Kenny Dalglish – The First Interview

8 01 2011
Ronnie Moran (left), manager Kenny Dalglish an...

Image by wekkuzipp via Flickr

Kenny Dalglish was unveiled as Roy Hodgson’s successor earlier today. The Liverpool legend will take charge of the team until the end of the season. Paul Eaton interviews Kenny.

Shortly after arriving at the team hotel in Manchester ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup showdown with Manchester United, Kenny Dalglish sat down with to give his first in-depth interview after being named Reds boss for the second time.

Firstly, Kenny, another dramatic day at Liverpool Football Club?

Obviously it’s a great honour for me to be back in charge of a football club which means so much to so many people. When somebody gets a bit of pleasure there’s always the disappointment of someone else, and it’s Roy. Roy is a very honourable guy with loads of integrity and I feel really sad for him. He came in at the start of the season when Rafa left, he tried his best but it just didn’t happen for him and the disappointing thing for me is that this opportunity has come along and he has lost out. If you ask any manager if they want to manage Liverpool Football Club there’s no way in the world they’re going to say no, so he came in and unfortunately for himself and everyone else it didn’t work out as we all hoped and I don’t think there’s anybody who supports the football club who will get any pleasure out of seeing it not work.

How does it feel to once again be the manager of Liverpool Football Club?

I’m a very lucky person. That’s twice I’ve been very fortunate. I came here as a 15-year-old boy when Shanks asked me to sign and I was a wee bit homesick thinking I was too young to leave home. Then I got back as a player and left the club in February 1991. I’m fortunate to come back, even if it’s only to the end of the season it makes no difference to me, this place is very special and all we can do is try our best to move the club forward a bit and try to win some more games.

What was your immediate reaction when you were asked to step in and help the club out?

Marina and I were away for a break, but I said at the start of the season that if they wanted me to help in any way, shape or form then I would do. My situation never changed. I was there to be of help to the football club and if John and Tom and Ian Ayre and Damien were happy to offer me the position then there was no way I could be disrespectful and not take it. I’ve been a very lucky boy to be asked to do this. All I would say is I’m going to do the best I possibly can to try and help the club, but everybody has to pull in the same direction. There’s no point not being a unified unit. If we pull in different directions we won’t get anywhere. I’m really looking forward to it and it’ll be a real pleasure for me to be in that dressing room again and on the bench.

What’s the reaction been like so far from your family, friends, ex-players and fans you’ve seen?

I was on the plane to come back from Dubai and it went out to take off and the news hadn’t broken. Then it came back in to repair something and everybody’s phone was going and people were coming up to me to say ‘Congratulations, all the best’. My family have been brought up here and know what the football club stands for and what it means to a lot of people, so they’re delighted. The excitement has to calm down a wee bit, we have to make sure we turn the excitement into some positivity for everybody and make sure we win games. That’s the most important thing we have to do and the best way for us to do it is to support each other and we’re very good at that. As someone once said, the closer we are and the harder we work then the luckier we’ll get. So we’ll work hard to get the luck we need.

You’ve spoken in the past about your desire to manage the club again, how confident are you that you can turn Liverpool’s fortunes around this season?

I always said I’d help but I also made it perfectly clear I wasn’t going to stand on anyone’s toes to help. I was happy to help in any way I could, the football club and Roy. I think people know what they’re getting and what’s in the package with Kenny Dalglish, they know they’ll get honesty and a great deal of commitment. I’ll take my chances and hopefully we’ll get more positive results than negative ones.

It has been a disappointing campaign so far but why do you think the results haven’t been what we’d like and will a big part of your job now be trying to lift the confidence of the players?

Some people may find it strange that you’re talking about some great players – Steven, Fernando, Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Raul Meireles – and you mention confidence. It doesn’t matter how good you are, if you’re not confident in what you’re doing and not believing that it’s going to turn for you then you’re not going to play as well. You can point them in the right direction and tell them how good they are, but they’ve got to believe in it. Our lads will admit themselves that they’ve not achieved this season and not maintained the standards that they’re very capable of reaching. I might be fortunate and I might come in and get the luck that Roy missed out on. I’m sure Roy will be sitting and watching and hoping that we do well, because when you read the statement he made when he left the club then that tells you how dignified the man is.

On Sunday you’ll walk out at Old Trafford to the sight and sound of 9,000 Liverpool fans singing your name – how do you think you’ll feel when you make that walk along the touchline?

I’ll feel very humble and probably a bit emotional. They know that they’re equally as important as what we are, not just for Sunday’s game but for every game. We might lose a game – not necessarily on Sunday – or we might not play too well and that’s when we’ll need their support. We also as a squad of players and as a management have to give them something to cheer about as well. I’m sure our people will respond if we go out there and they see that our lads are proud to play and that they’ll do their best for Liverpool Football Club. We’ll do our best to get the results that they all want, we won’t always be successful, and to be perfectly realistic I think we have to say ‘Let’s just start walking before we run’. Let’s not go crazy here and think the season changes and we’re going to sweep everything aside now and go undefeated from now to the end of the season. We’re perfectly capable of doing it but let’s be realistic, let’s just go out there and try our best and take things one game at a time.

Manchester United away in your first game back – exciting or daunting?

It’s the same for both clubs I think. I’m sure Fergie would have picked an easier game if he could have picked one. Old Trafford is a fantastic stage to go and play your football, it’s an FA Cup tie and the FA Cup has been devalued of late with people fielding weakened teams. United lost to Leeds last year after putting out a weakened side and I can’t see him doing that tomorrow. All we’ve got to do is concern ourselves with us. Sammy, Mike, Damien and Roy up to today have been getting the boys ready for the game so they’ll be the ones who are bigger players than me, but I’ll be there beside them on the bench and we’ll all be singing from the same hymn-sheet.

And have you thought about what you’ll say to the players in your first team talk?

Yes, but it’s changed 25 times on the flight home, so I’m sure it’ll change again before the morning.

Do you think you’ll feel nervous before kick off?

I felt nervous last night after I got the phone call, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with feeling that anticipation. I also feel a great sense of pride to try and help everybody get what they want, which is results.

You’ll be renewing past rivalries with Alex Ferguson as well, of course….

Yes, I don’t have a problem with that. You have to respect what Alex has done in the game and you don’t do it through gritted teeth. It’s a fantastic achievement what he’s done, his track record is fantastic, we respect him as a person and a football manager. It’s all well and good people disliking him or disliking Manchester United, but it doesn’t mean you don’t respect what other people have done in football.

Away from matters on the pitch, will you be having conversations with Damien Comolli and the owners with a view to bringing in new players during this transfer window?

I’m just in the door. I’m sure there will be conversations but honestly, I have had minimal conversations about what’s happening. I need to sit down and be told. I’ve got straight off the plane to do this interview and to try and get a message to the supporters and hope that I can repay the trust that John, Tom and the other footballing people, Ian and Damien, have put in me.

How excited are you by the challenge which lies ahead this season?

I’m really looking forward to it. You get nervous with anticipation but I’m looking forward to it. The games come up thick and fast, Sunday and then Wednesday at Blackpool and then the derby next Sunday. We’ve got to get on with it. It’s really exciting and something I’m looking forward to. There’s no fear, just a nervous anticipation about what’s going to happen.

What is your target for the rest of this season?

To get as many wins as we can muster and then take it from there.

And finally, what’s your message to Liverpool supporters as we all look forward to your second term as manager?

I’d just say if there’s excitement among the supporters then I can share in that excitement. I think we’ve got to be realistic and a little bit patient. It’s not going to turn overnight. I know there are lots of times when a manager leaves a football club and a new guy comes in and gives everyone a lift, well if the players get a bit of a lift then it has to last for more than one game. We’ve got to get it right between now and the end of the season and as I said earlier, there might be some disappointments but the biggest disappointment for me is if everyone who is involved in this football club doesn’t give everything they have to give. If we do that then we have a good chance of finishing the season well.

I’m sure everybody is right behind you Kenny and we all wish you the best of luck…

It’s a great pleasure to be back. We’re working for people we know we can trust and working for people who only want the best for us as well. Let’s just hope we can take this journey over the next five or six months together and have a successful time.



31/10/2010 – Sunday Paper Round-Up

31 10 2010

Spanish giants Barcelona could come in for Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric after losing patience in their bid to lure Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas to the Nou Camp.

Manchester United look set to make a move for Lille’s £12m-rated teenage midfielder Eden Hazard.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=david+de+gea&iid=8772029″ src=”″ width=”234″ height=”363″ /] Manchester United are also being linked with Athletico Madrid’s highly-rated teenage goalkeeper David de Gea (left), said to be worth £18m.

Manchester City have vowed to outbid any of their rivals when it comes to signing Spanish striker Fernando Torres from Liverpool next summer.

Meanwhile, City striker Roque Santa Cruz is on the verge of a sensational move to Sven-Goran Eriksson’s Leicester City.

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is planning a £9m January transfer window move for Wigan winger Charles N’Zogbia.

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson says he does not fear Kenny Dalglish as a rival for his job and has only praise for the Kop hero’s work as club ambassador and scout.

Sir Alex Ferguson has ruled out any transfer activity in the January window and says injured striker Wayne Rooney may have to wait until December before being recalled to Manchester United’s first team.

Striker Michael Owen could be sacrificed as Manchester United look to slash their wage bill following Wayne Rooney’s pay rise – while Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier is eager to take Owen on.

Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish is so keen to keep James McFadden he is set to offer him a contract extension even though the striker is on the long-term injury list.

Tottenham are prepared to offer their goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes a contract that would see the Brazilian shot-stopper remain a Spurs player until 2015.

Ipswich chiefs could be forced to choose between boss Roy Keane and 17-year-old striker Connor Wickham because the manager has fallen out with the teenage starlet.

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce says his England Under-21 midfielder Jordan Henderson is the best young player in Britain, and admits he may struggle to keep him at the Stadium of Light.

Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves will make a decision on his injury-ravaged career in the new year. The 29-year-old has been out since 2008 after surgery on both knees.

Former FA chief executive and Liverpool fan Brian Barwick is being lined up for a boardroom role by the new owners at Anfield, possibly as acting chief executive.

The billionaire owners of QPR insist there will be money to spend if Neil Warnock gets the team promoted to the Championship. Vice-chairman Amit Bhatia said: “the dream is to get into the Champions League.”

Former West Ham, Charlton and Southampton manager Alan Pardew is set to replace George Burley at Crystal Palace “within 10 days.” A former Palace player, Pardew scored the winner as they beat Liverpool 4-3 to reach the 1990 FA Cup Final.
Scores of Tottenham fans may not be able to watch their club entertain Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday after a ticketing error sold seats that were not available.

Chelsea defender Ashley Cole may have left Arsenal but he hasn’t forgotten the Gunners’ kit man Vic Akers, whom he rescued after a parking row at Stamford Bridge earlier this month.

Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger says his Manchester United-supporting brother keeps urging him to sign for the Red Devils. “Maybe they can swap me for Rooney,” he joked.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.


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Is Roy Hodgson the Right Manager for Liverpool?

17 10 2010

08/10/2010 – Friday’s Paper Round-Up

8 10 2010

Tottenham have made Real Madrid’s French striker Karim Benzema a January transfer target.

Barcelona have lined up a sensational swoop for Manchester City forward Carlos Tevez, who the Nou Camp management see as the ideal foil for star attacker Lionel Messi.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=carlos+tevez&iid=9851370″ src=”″ width=”234″ height=”281″ /] But Tevez (left) has said that he would return to his native Argentina if his daughters ever wanted him to.

Chelsea and Arsenal could be interested in Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who is thought to be unsettled at the club.

Edwin van der Sar’s hint that he may quit playing at the end of the season has led Manchester United to step up their search for a new goalkeeper. Norwegian club Aalesunds number one Anders Lindegaard and CSKA Moscow’s Igor Akinfeev are two potential targets.

And Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has left the door open to a move to Manchester United after describing reports that he had already agreed a move to Bayern Munich as “humbug”.

However, the agent of Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon has rubbished reports that his client will move to Old Trafford.

United have been linked again with a move for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, with Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport also claiming Juventus are keen on the Frenchman.

Liverpool’s prospective new owner New England Sports Ventures will seek face-to-face talks with midfielder Steven Gerrard, striker Fernando Torres and goalkeeper Pepe Reina as soon as it complete its purchase.

New Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier is weighing up an £8m bid for Tottenham midfielder Niko Kranjcar in the upcoming January transfer window, though Monaco could rival the Frenchman for the player’s signature.

Turkish side Galatasaray have made the first move to sign Aston Villa’s Nigel Reo-Coker on a free transfer. The midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season.

Aston Villa striker John Carew has indicated that he may leave the club when his contract expires next summer.

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson could be in competition with former club Fulham as he considers a bid for Bayer Leverkusen forward Stefan Kiessling.

Chelsea winger Florent Malouda wants to end his playing days in Brazil. The France international wants to end his European club career at Stamford Bridge, but would like to finish his playing days at Vasco da Gama or Flamengo.

Blackpool striker Jason Euell is being tracked by Hull and two other Championship sides.

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=daniele+bonera&iid=9479898″ src=”″ width=”234″ height=”324″ /] Tottenham have been linked with a move for £5m-rated defender Daniele Bonera (right) from AC Milan as manager Harry Redknapp looks to ease his defensive injury crisis.

England defender Rio Ferdinand has admitted that he is unsure if he will regain his place in Fabio Capello’s side, never mind the team captaincy.

The Football Association has so far failed to get in touch with highly rated youngster Eric Dier. The 16-year-old centre-back, who is already playing for Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon’s under-19 side, is qualified to represent England but could apply for dual nationality when he turns 18.

Wales caretaker manager Brian Flynn says that the prospect of managing the side against England is motivating him to succeed former boss John Toshack. Wales host England in a Euro 2012 qualifier in March next year before a return leg at Wembley in September.

Montenegro coach Zlatko Kranjcar believes that England’s superiority means they have already won Euro 2012 qualifying Group G and that the other sides are merely playing for second place.

Paul Dalglish believes that father Kenny, who offered to return to Liverpool’s managerial hot-seat before the appointment of Roy Hodgson, could still do a job at Anfield.

Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp says that Liverpool’s players cannot use the ongoing boardroom unrest at the club as an excuse for failure on the pitch.

Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton says that the club’s prospective new owners will not follow the same path as their equivalents at big spending Manchester City and will instead adopt a “rational” approach to achieving success at Anfield.

Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn fears that West Ham could put his club out of business if they move in to the Olympic Stadium after 2012. The venue is close to Orient’s Brisbane Road ground and Hearn is concerned they could attract supporters away from the League One club.

Birmingham midfielder Alexander Hleb says that moving to St Andrew’s from Barcelona this summer was a backwards step and has criticised the team’s long-ball style.

Manchester United striker Federico Macheda has moved to clarify comments he made about team-mate Wayne Rooney. The Italian referred to Rooney as a ‘coatto’, which has been translated by some English newspapers as ‘chav’, but in Friday’s Gazzetta dello Sport he said: “I like him and I have maximum respect for him. What I wanted to say is that for me he is a free spirit and genuine.”

Macheda’s United team-mate Michael Owen, who has represented England at World Cups and has played for Liverpool, Newcastle and Real Madrid, has revealed he suffered from nerves before a recent Carling Cup tie with Scunthorpe. However, he scored twice in a 5-2 win at Glanford Park.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.

03/10/2010 – Sunday’s Paper Round-Up

3 10 2010

Manchester City are preparing an astonishing £90m deal to take defender Gerard Pique from Barcelona, according to the Sunday People.

But City could lose striker Emmanuel Adebayor after he revealed he would be open to joining Juventus.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=michael+carrick&iid=8905893″ src=”″ width=”234″ height=”270″ /] Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier is determined to sign Michael Carrick (left) – even though the midfielder insists he wants to stay at Manchester United for life.

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has put Stoke City centre-half Ryan Shawcross on his wish list – if he can find some money for players in the transfer market.

Hodgson may be able to use funds from a possible sale of forward Milan Jovanovic, who is said to be contemplating leaving the club only two months into the season.

Everton boss David Moyes wants to land Manchester United striker Federico Macheda on loan.

Manchester United are pursuing Athletic Bilbao midfielder Javi Martinez and Atletico Madrid defender Alvaro Dominguez Soto.

Arsenal are ready to tempt Liverpool with a £19m bid for goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti is ready to offer goalkeeper Ross Turnbull to Stoke City in a swap deal for Asmir Begovic.

Manchester City will offer goalkeeper Shay Given a new contract in January in an effort to prevent the current second-choice stopper leaving the club.

England manager Fabio Capello is desperate to lure Emile Heskey out of retirement to play in the Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro. It is believed that the in-from Aston Villa striker will reject the chance.

Meanwhile, Capello fears the Premier League’s top stars are struggling to cope with their multi-millionaire lifestyles.

Also, Rio Ferdinand is likely to lose the England captaincy this week – with Capello refusing to confirm the Manchester United defender’s return to the squad will come with his reinstatement as skipper.

West Ham have dismissed the possibility of a ground share with Tottenham at the Olympic Stadium after their Premier League rivals joined them in submitting a bid to lease the arena after the 2012 Games.

Liverpool boss Hodgson has described himself as ‘one of the most respected coaches in Europe’ and said it is ‘insulting’ to suggest he cannot handle the club’s big-name stars.

However, Hodgson has confided in friends that he feels Liverpool are six players short of challenging at the top of the table.

Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh admits he has yet to taste a good English cup of tea.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.

Reds Consider Cole Appeal

16 08 2010

Liverpool midfielder Joe Cole was sent off on his home debut against Arsenal yesterday.

Referee Martin Atkinson needed little time to make up his mind and show a red card for Cole’s tackle on Arsenal debutant Laurent Koscielny (below). [picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=joe+cole&iid=9555456″ src=”″ width=”234″ height=”201″ /]

Roy Hodgson has gone on record saying that he will review the footage and then decide whether or not to appeal against the red card. He has also revealed how the decision left the England midfielder “devastated.”

“He is devastated,” said Hodgson. “It was his debut at Liverpool and a fantastic atmosphere. He was desperate to do well, not playing at the top of his game, but trying even harder to get to that level, and then suddenly he gets sent off.

“He was absolutely devastated and saddened by it all, not least because he’d put us in a difficult position. 0-0 with 10 men gives the advantage to the opposition.

“I’ve seen it on the video. At the time, from our position on the bench, I don’t think either myself or Arsene (Wenger) had a strong opinion on the incident.

“We now have the benefit of TV replays, and those replays suggest to me he was a little bit unlucky because I don’t think he actually dived to tackle the player.

“Joe Cole has got an unblemished record – he’d been previously never been sent off and had very few yellow cards. Everyone who has watched him play will agree he does not go in for ‘blood curdling tackles’, as I heard it described by a radio reporter.

“The fact the player wasn’t seriously injured means we might just be fortunate enough that an appeal might go in our favour.

“It will be a big loss if he is suspended. We will look at the video again and try in some way to find out from referees and experts whether we do have a case for an appeal.

“I don’t want a frivolous appeal, that’s for sure, but it’s a bit early in the day to ask me the question if we will appeal.”

Mark Jepson

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Hodgson Moves for Dangerous Bryan

6 07 2010

Roy Hodgson is looking to bolster his attacking options at Liverpool by lining up FC Twente’s Costa Rican hitman Bryan Ruiz. The 24-year-old netted 24 goals last season and was a crucial member of their league winning side. The striker has made 196 appearances at club level for three different sides and has scored 74 goals in the process, averaging a goal nearly every two and half games.

Hodgson sent scouts to watch him play whilst he was still the manager of Fulham last season but the £12.5million fee was deemed too steep for The Cottagers.

Ruiz was a €5million signing by Steve McClaren from Belgian side Ghent just a year ago but his impressive form in that debut season for the Dutch side has seen him linked with McClaren’s new club Wolfsburg as well as Sevilla and Villarreal.

Hodgson’s interest in Ruiz comes at a time when Fernando Torres’ own future on Merseyside appears to be in doubt, although Hodgson is keen to get Ruiz’s signature whether Torres leaves or not.

Mark Jepson

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