|photo by Muffet||via PhotoRee|
While “yeesh” is not a word recognized by Dictionary.com, it has been a common word around our house of late, along with those words that have letters substituted, in polite company, by a combination of ampersands, asterisks and exclamation points. Capitulating to Queen’s Park Rangers at Loftus Road last week surely slapped the Champions League hopes out of even the most ardent Liverpool supporter. But losing to lowly Wigan at Anfield this weekend, after inducing a torrent of the aforementioned password tricksters, produced a general malaise through which I have been unable to navigate and to which I have only been able to say “Yeesh!”
Speaking of appropriate words, “depose” and “abdicate” come to mind when thinking of King Kenny. In fact, I see three possible scenarios: 1) the Reds turn it around and Dalglish retains his crown; 2) they continue to underperform and Dalglish abdicates his throne preemptively, or upon coming to a “mutual agreement” with management, potentially over the summer ,or certainly if they start the next campaign poorly; or 3) not much has improved in Camelot by mid next season and the King is deposed. Legendary status will buy him extra, but not unlimited, time. I, for one, am rooting for him.
They have been called the “Gruesome Foursome” signings: Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson. In the case of Henderson, I agree with the moniker - he has been wildly inconsistent, even detrimental at times, with his rare flashes of brilliance a bit like catching a glimpse of the aurora borealis at a temperate latitude. Still, he is young and may develop, vindicating Dalglish. Although, I have to say that starting him as much as he has seems excessive, given his contributions to date.
As for the other three members of the quartet, they had all enjoyed recent success in the BPL prior to arriving at Anfield. But, criticism can be directed correctly at Dalglish for spending such amounts on three midfielders while putting Raul Meireles out to pasture and benching Maxi Rodriguez. Meireles and Maxi were two big reasons for Liverpool’s late-season success last year, and now one wears blue and the other rides pine. Not to mention Dirk Kuyt, who is none too pleased that, despite being one of the most consistent players in the squad, keeps finding himself coming off the bench (and thank goodness he did in the Carling Cup final). And let’s not forget the spunky Craig Bellamy, whose ability to be impactful during his brief appearances on the pitch would make him a valuable acquisition even if he didn’t arrive on a free transfer.
Luis Suarez and Bellamy aside, misteps in acquisitions must be acknowledged. Now, to see what can be done about it.... With hints from Dalglish that he wants more purchasing power over the summer, Fenway Sports Group must be screwing their faces up and raising their eyebrows all at the same time. I can’t realistically see a major acquisition without first selling someone. And who to sell...? To sell any of the newest players, including any of the “Gruesome Fourson” would be to admit having made a mistake. But selling any other player, for whom serious compensation could be procured, would be to make yet another mistep.
In the end, there are two ways for King Kenny to retain his kingdom: 1) figure out how to make the current players work (i.e., actually win the games where they outplay the competition and not phone in other games). The talent is there but must be orchestrated; or, 2) bite the bullet and sell a new acquisition at a loss. Eight more games to figure it out....
This is farlieonfootie for March 30.