About a year ago, the most successful club in English soccer history restored one of their greatest managers ever back to his old post as Kenny Dalglish was appointed manager after former boss Roy Hodgson failed to impress in Merseyside. Since “King Kenny’s” return, he has galvanized the club into competing in all fixtures and fighting for every 50-50. His most recent success gives evidence of the turnaround, as he led the Reds to success in an epic Carling Cup Final, and gave Liverpool its first trophy in six years.
Many believe this success will rouse the Reds into competing for fourth place and a UEFA Champions League spot. If the the potential shown in the final can be put forth in every league match, then there is no reason why Champions League qualification cannot be a realistic aspiration.
Not only did Liverpool win the Carling Cup, but their newcomers are also coming to life and back to the form that brought them to Anfield. Stewart Downing put forth his best performance for the club in the final, and the Luis Suarez-Andy Carroll partnership showed renewed promise. Though inconsistent, Jordan Henderson has showed flashes of the talent and potential that caught Liverpool’s eye when they bought him over the summer. One of the most impressive newcomers, Charlie Adam also looked comfortable in his midfield tandem with Steven Gerrard during the final and distributed the ball excellently like he did during his time at Blackpool.
With the combination of the old guard and the vanguard, Kenny Dalglish has surely put together a squad that can compete for fourth place and no doubt will, but the real question is whether he can return them to their former glory of league titles and knock off the dynasty that is Manchester United.
Kenny said after the game that, “We should enjoy what we’ve done but know that we’ve got to look forward. Everybody loved it, but when you like something and you’ve enjoyed the taste, it makes you that little bit more anxious to get back there.”
As great of an accomplishment that this is, he is the first to acknowledge that there is still much work to be done and that they must continue on their quest for further glory.