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Kenny Dalglish's 2nd stint at his beloved Liverpool has come to a sad end after the Scotsman stepped down as manager today. The writing was on the wall after the 61 year old held crisis talks with the owners in America earlier this week and with little or no backing from the Fenway Sports Group the inevitable has occurred. John Henry and Tom Werner were less than enamoured with the club's disastrous showing in the Premier League and Dalglish has paid the ultimate price.
Liverpool finished a lowly 8th place, below their rivals Everton for the first time in seven years and the legendary striker also oversaw the club's worst league run in over 50 years. Although he did end their six year trophy drought by lifting the Carling Cup and took the team to the FA Cup final, where they lost to Chelsea, it was a scant return following a Â£120 m splurge on new recruits.
It has been a traumatic few years for the 18-time Champions as they have fallen further behind the Top Four in England. Rafa Benitez suffered a dramatic fall towards the end of his stint and his successor Roy Hodgson had an even tougher time, lasting just six months.
Dalglish, who had previously won 3 titles during his 1st stint between 1985 ad 1991, then swooped in 18 months ago to answer the club's SOS and he made an immediate impact as expected, lifting the spirit inside the beleaguered club. But results on the pitch have failed to match the rhetoric and spending. They finished 6th in the previous season and with January buys Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez being joined by Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson and Jose Enrique in the summer, the Merseyside giants were expected to challenge for a Champions League spot.
But instead they have fallen by the wayside, producing far too many incompetent performances, especially at home where they picked up a mere six victories all season. Dalglish and co have blamed luck, pointing to the record number of times they have been denied by the woodwork this season. But the owners have rightfully ignored such suggestions and taken an objective view of the club's state, sacking everybody from the manager to Director of Football Damien Comolli in a bid to cut the gap between them and the Manchester clubs, which stood at a whopping 37 points this season.
Speaking to Liverpool's official website, Dalglish said: "It has been an honour and a privilege to have had the chance to come back to Liverpool Football Club as Manager.I greatly appreciate the work that Steve, Kevin, the players and all of the staff put in during my time and feel proud that we delivered the Club's first trophy in six years winning the Carling Cup and came close to a second trophy in the FA Cup Final. Of course I am disappointed with results in the league, but I would not have swapped the Carling Cup win for anything as I know how much it meant to our fans and the Club to be back winning trophies." He also thanked the fans for their unwavering support and the owners for their handling of the whole situation.
The future continues to be uncertain for the club that ruled English football in the 70s and 80s. Dalglish was supposed to be the answer, their bridge back to the golden days but instead he has been reminder of the lack of progress made by the stumbling giant in the modern era.
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