After last week’s FA shenanigans left us wondering at which point exactly a club’s powers-that-be can rightfully go over a manager’s head, Liverpool coach Kenny Dalglish this weekend provided us with an answer.
Saying he failed to see the problem with Luis Suarez refusing to shake Patrice Evra’s hand, the fiery Scot took the process of standing by his player a tad too far. Particularly since nerves are still raw over a seven-day FA hearing near the end of last year that found Suarez guilty of racially abusing Evra during a Liverpool v Manchester United match in October.
Dalglish’s big problem now is that his bosses think he overstepped the mark.
Liverpool FC’s American owners, Fenway Sports Group, appear to have castigated Dalglish for his comments and – concerned with how the whole mess has damaged Brand Liverpool – look to be moving a planned trip to Merseyside forward so they could kick some Limey ass.
My way or the Fenway
Dalglish had, correctly, stood by his man throughout the FA trial. But the club and its manager had pointedly not issued any apology for Suarez’s actions even in the wake of the guilty verdict.
Still, it can be hard to punish someone for not doing something.
Acting coy in the face of the Handshake That Never Was and even going as far as to shift the blame on to the TV media, was undoubtedly an act of doing something. And something that stinks pretty badly, to boot.
Contrast that with the view of Dalglish’s opposite number in Saturday’s ill-starred match, Sir Alex Ferguson. He said that Suarez should never play for Liverpool again.
Granted, he would be unlikely to say such a thing if the player concerned was wearing a United shirt, but can you imagine Ferguson letting his player off, or trying to weasel out of responsibility ala Kenny? Highly unlikely.
In fact, Sir Alex even doled out a mild telling-off for Evra for celebrating somewhat provocatively at the end of the match. But on balance, maybe he should have let that one go…
MANAGEMENT UPS AND DOWNS
Who else? After leaving his day in court with this reputation in good shape, ‘Arry jumped right to the top of the list of prospective managers. The tax allegations first surfaced at the time of the last England manager search, with Redknapp suspicious of the timing. This time around the Tottenham manager was acquitted just hours before Fabio Capello resigned.
Both Rangers and Portsmouth have applied to be put into administration. Portsmouth, of course, have been here before. But for Rangers fans, and supporters of other big clubs, the announcement must come as both a surprise and a wake-up call. One more club that “lived the dream”, to quote Peter Kenyon, wakes up to find itself in a nightmare.