Yesterday saw the corresponding fixture of the 214th Merseyside derby but with a twist. Roy Hodgson had been dismissed and Anfield legend Kenny Dalglish returned to the hot seat. Having failed in both of his previous attempts to get the ball rolling as Liverpool manager he was seeking to get one over on a bewildered Everton side. Portuguese star Raul Meireles had given the Red’s the lead but two goals in quick succession saw Liverpool gobsmacked. A late penalty from Dirk Kuyt provided a tense finish but it ended up a 2-2 draw, a fair result for both teams.
When Dalglish had taken over, he was unknowingly inheriting a poisoned chalice and was given the notorious task of trying to piece the Red’s season back together. Two opening losses did nothing for his confidence but yesterdays result, although disappointing, seems things are finally being figured out at Anfield. Dalglish has been in charge for just over two weeks now and has implemented his style of football on the error ridden Merseyside club to good effect. Liverpool have played some astounding football under Dalglish and it was again on display during yesterday’s derby affair.
What Hodgson had failed to do, Dalglish has succeeded in bringing that world renown ‘pass and move’ ethos back to Anfield. Hodgon’s ‘hoof and hope’ method was erratic and was, in the end, what got him dismissed at Anfield.
Dalglish’s appointment was reacted to well by the Liverpool faithful and it seems Dalglish is going to be the one with a hell of a lot of tidying up to do. Dalglish, with 16 games remaining, has been chosen in order to resurrect Liverpool’s season and could drive them to the European spots, with anything up for grabs in this season’s Premier League’s predictable unpredictability. Liverpool have become a shadow of the team that was under the helm of Spaniard Rafael Benitez and losing Xabi Alonso has left them tumbling down the Premier League. It’s unclear whether or not the appointment will work in King Kenny’s favour but it could, in fact, go arseways, replicating Kevin Keegan’s heavily publicised return to St. James Park for a brief spell, only to end in disaster leaving an unrehersed Newcastle side in the hands of Alan Shearer, who were doomed to fail.
The future does indeed look bleak for Liverpool but it could pay dividends if Kenny can get Liverpool’s season up and running, following a disastrous first half to the season. The next three games will inevitably provide us with an insight into how Liverpool will end the season with crucial must win games coming up against the likes of Wolves, Fulham and high-flying Stoke. Time will tell if John Henry and Co. have made a wise investment in Dalglish and hopefully, he will deliver.