EXCLUSIVE: Dalglish will never quit Liverpool - Spackman
Published 22:31 07/04/12 By Steve Stammers
Kenny Dalglish will not quit Liverpool – but complete the re-building job he has started at the club he loves.
That is the confident prediction of Nigel Spackman, who was signed by Dalglish during his first Anfield reign and knows the depth of his Anfield love affair.
Dalglish has walked out on the club before – in sensational style after a 4-4 draw with Everton in the FA Cup in 1991. He put the blame on pressure.
He also quit as Blackburn manager in 1995 after guiding the Lancastrians to the Premier League title.
But Spackman said: “This is a different kind of pressure.
“Back then, he not only had to keep Liverpool at the top, where they had been for so long. That is demanding in itself. But Kenny also had to deal with the terrible emotional fall-out from the tragedies at Heysel and Hillsborough and that took an awful lot out of him.
“This time, it is different. I am certain he will not be walking away.”
Dalglish leads Liverpool into an FA Cup semi-final with Everton at Wembley on Saturday, with silverware already on display after the win in the Carling Cup.
And Spackman reckons they have enough in their armoury to make it a double cup celebration.
“Everton go into the match as the form team on Merseyside, but I believe Liverpool have enough to win,” said Spackman.
“If they win the FA Cup, as well as the Carling Cup, that would make it a good season. Not a fantastic one, but a good one.
“It is the league form that is a concern. This has been an exciting Premier League, but one in which Liverpool had the chance to do so much better. Manchester United are not in the same class as other Old Trafford teams, Chelsea have been poor and Arsenal started atrociously. The chance was there for Liverpool to get into that top four and get into the Champions League.
“But that will not happen because the players have under-performed. Yes, Newcastle is a big club. So is Sunderland. So is Aston Villa.
“But Liverpool are huge and Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing, who came from those clubs, have yet to come to terms with that on a consistent basis. And the performances have prompted Kenny into a post-match reaction I have never seen before.
“If there are words to be said, he will keep them in the dressing room. Always. He would never publicly criticize his players.
“But that is exactly what he did after the defeat at Bolton. I was speaking to Alan Shearer the other week. He worked with Kenny at Newcastle and couldn’t remember that happening. That shows how upset he was. There were words said in a long inquest in the Liverpool dressing room after the defeat at Newcastle last Sunday. Kenny will not have been happy with that.
“He will have told the players how privileged they are to be at Liverpool, to be part of the club. And maybe one or two of the new players could do worse than go and talk to some of the fans. Then they will realize how important the club is to the people there.
“Liverpool will always be special to Kenny and there is a special link between him and the area.
“But what he will not tolerate is the kind of poor results that Liverpool have had – especially at home.
“But Kenny will be determined to get it right at Anfield. He can be ruthless and one or two players may discover that this summer.”
Nigel Spackman has dismissed suggestions that Liverpool’s slump is down to Kenny Dalglish’s long isolation from involvement in the game, writes Steve Stammers.
“I have heard it said that he has lost touch,” said Spackman. “Absolute rubbish ! They must be joking. I doubt very much if there are any managers or football people who see more games than him. He is always at games – and not just first-team ones.
“He will be watching the reserves, the youth team – and lower division ones.
“Very few people have better contacts than Kenny Dalglish in the game. If a player is recommended, he will go and watch him.
“Maybe he is not a great coach, but he is an excellent man-manager. He spots details in someone’s game that other people miss. He is very thorough.
“He will have pointed out adjustments to improve their game. If they listen, he will make them better.”
Nigel Spackman supports fund-raising for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London. Donations can be made by phone on 0207 239 3131 or through the hospital website on www.gosh.org/donate