Kenny Dalglish is the right choice for Liverpool Football Club.
One smile from the man himself tells us why. It represents everything it is to be a Liverpool supporter – to be human.
Through spirit, heart and song you come together as a collective. You work and expect greatness, whilst recognising it and applauding it in others.
It is an equation of humility, most apparent in Kenny’s tone of voice – disarming and modest, but backed up by unquestionable pedigree. Few in the game have won or achieved more. You want to listen and you respect what you are hearing.
The words are also marked with spirit. He structures an argument that is on the one hand impressive but also connects with his total belief that it is an honour to play for Liverpool Football Club. Even as a manager there is a sense that he is ready to substitute himself and enter the fray. His boots are on and ready. He would expect no less from his players.
Dalglish is Liverpool through and through. He understands that the success of the club is based directly on those that surround it – the supporters, the boot room, the owners, the players and most importantly of all – The City. Football is not a financial business – something that has been lost in the last ten years of the game.
In keeping with the philosophy of John Henry, Dalglish will undoubtedly promote and look for greatness in the academies. On Martin Kelly, born in Merseyside, Dalglish said “he was as good as anyone on the pitch… It was a great bonus for us to see him play”. Win, Lose or Draw – if a Liverpool player has commitment – the Kop will sing.
Raw talent is revered also, and in Fernando Torres we see the genetic equivalent of the young Dalglish. There is an unquestionable respect between the two men, and it won’t take long before we see Torres back to doing what he does best.
With Dalglish in charge, the club is once again brought together as a collective. The family will now pull in one direction. This is the inspiration of the man. Family comes first and families are connected through the club.
Our greatest strengths however are often our greatest weaknesses and given Dalglish’s humanity he will need support. Everyone at Liverpool Football Club will need to help lessen the pressure on Dalglish. He should not feel weighed down with modern media, technology, rumour or gossip, but simply given the freedom to do what he does best – picking the team and hammering home how privileged the players are to be wearing the famous Red shirt.
It is important because this appointment is not just for Liverpool, but for the game as a whole. Football is about commitment from your local resources and your local supporters. You succeed and fail together. Money was and should never disrupt this natural order.
His appointment also goes against a world that gives reverence to bullying styles of leadership. Substance should come before ego. Humility before celebration, and family before work.
Dalglish is the right man for Liverpool Football Club and a breath of fresh air to what it means to be a manager, a leader and a man. Once again the club will walk on with hope its in heart.