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Managers Talking, Talking About Managers, and Other Monday Notes

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dayum shame spacesuit cat
Couldn't agree more, spacesuit cat.
Couldn't agree more.

We briefly interrupt Monday's Liverpool news and notes with news and notes of a rather bluer1 hue, as everybody's favourite Spanish striker who defected to a London club during the January transfer window finally broke his increasingly impressive goaless streak. Yeah, I know. Dayum shame. Still, it was fun while it lasted. For 732 minutes. Or over 12 hours of match-time.

Fifty million pounds just doesn't get you what it used to...

* Another match, another post-match press conference, and with it another performance to match a more than solid display on the pitch. Wrapping up Birmingham, Dalglish took the time to praise Maxi, Cole, the young fullbacks, and that everybody just generally played some good football. He also took the time to talk about the chances of Andy Carroll being fit to face his old club Newcastle next weekend:


Andy is not too bad but we will just have to wait and see how he is.

It's a big game for him next week but it's an even bigger game for the football club. It's Liverpool versus Newcastle not Andy versus Newcastle.

If he's fit he will be considered but if he's not then someone else will get a chance--but he's not too bad.

As long as whoever it is that gets the chance--be it Carroll or somebody else--doesn't become a target for aimless hoofs, I think everybody will be feeling fairly positive about Liverpool's chances. Also, as long as the payers remember not to pass it to the opposition. That always helps, too, according to Dalglish:

"The fact we are playing with players who know how to pass it to the same colour jersey helps."

Right. Now imagine Dalglish saying that with a bit of a cheeky grin. That's better.

* And speaking of the manager, Paul Tomkins takes a look at Dalglish, Hodgson, Villas Boas, and getting the right man for the right club at the right time:

Players can sense lame duck managers, just as dogs can smell fear. They will exploit any weakness. Equally, they can respect those whose records demand it, and run through brick walls for them. Perhaps the most charismatic and authoritative manager is Jose Mourinho, yet his time at Chelsea faltered rapidly once he fell out with Roman Abramovich. It doesn’t take much to lose that authority. Players will blame a manager before taking a good hard look at themselves. Rafa Benítez had a lot of authority at Liverpool between 2004 and 2009, but by 2010 a lot of it had evanesced...

The fact that Kenny could sell the star player–even if the decision may have been made for him (due to Torres wanting away, and FSG not wanting to keep unhappy assets)–and not suffer dissent shows the authority he holds in the eyes of the fans. And as the fans are less likely to get on his back, his authority is less likely to be diminished in the eyes of the players, who can tell from the crowd reaction how the boss is viewed. And none of the players need telling who Dalglish is, or what he means to the club.

In the end it doesn't say anything revelatory or unexpected, and you get the sense that as with most,Tomkins assumes that at this point confirming Dalglish's long-term role as manager with the club is little but a formality, but it's a thorough and well measured overview of both Kenny Dalglish and the job of managing Liverpool Football Club as it currently stands. And, you know, perspective good, two legs bad. Or something. I may not have that quite right.

Amusingly, there's also room found to offer up a bit of Hodgson trivia: During the time he spent managing Liverpool, a stretch when he had 35 years of experience he was always quick to point to, he managed to win 35% of the time. Dalglish, for the record, is on the same 57% since his return that Rafa managed over his time with the club.

* Elsewhere in percentages, last week's poll about United and their march to number nineteen saw 75% say United could go do one, while 23% were glad Arsenal's continuing choke-job made it easier to just worry about Liverpool doing the best they could for themselves, and 2% would have still rather lost just in case it could have somehow helped. Those few outliers may have been Arsenal fans who decided to have their say, or they may just be people who believe that the world ends somewhere in the Pacific, millions upon millions of liters of water plummeting into the void daily along with schools of fish and the occasional cruise ship. And that may be meant as a comment on the foolishness of believing Arsenal ever actually had it in them to challenge for the title. Or it might not. I didn't really give it much thought ahead of time, so whatever works for you.

Though frivolities and waterfalls aside, a big part of that post was always meant to be about taking the chance to break down the top of the table (and the Europa League qualification rules), and though United comes out of the weekend still looking fairly comfortable on the top, Tottenham's grasp on fifth is growing ever more tenuous and keeping hopes for continuing Liverpool's European qualification streak alive.

Well, there you go, then. And I suppose that it may or may not still be Easter wherever you are, and that regardless of that you may or may not particularly care. So in the meantime, have a video of a peeps dying...

1 Yeah, that sounds wrong to me, too, but I'm going with it anyhow.