There was a very popular saying, spoken, sung and written during Rafa Benitez’s reign: In Rafa We Trust. Rafa is long gone, for better or worse; that debate is for another day but since his departure, we’ve seen old Roy come and go and be replaced by Kenny Dalglish. A legendary figure; our greatest player and last manager to win the league. Now, that mantra – at least in thought – has carried over and there is emerging a sense among a very vocal set of fans that Kenny can do no wrong. Not so much ‘In Kenny We Trust’ as in ‘In Kenny We Trust Absolutely’, almost blindly in some cases.
For the record, I think Kenny has done a fine job. He has turned us around – more so in performances – and we clawed our way out of a veritable mire in the last 3 months of last season, as much because of the elation at his appointment as from the managerial and tactical experience of him and his backroom team. But either way, he earned his permanent contract and I would never have anybody else say any different.
However, he can not be let off the hook regardless of the decision, particularly during this summers’ transfer window: perhaps the most important for any Liverpool side for the past few years. So far we have made a very questionable signing in Jordan Henderson. A promising young England midfielder, of that there is no doubt. But the fee we spent on him? Extortionate. Like most fans, though, I was prepared to let it slide, trust in the men at the top and keep my mouth shut. If it works out, we will have been vindicated, if it doesn’t, then isn’t that the whole point of potential, of promise? Like a rough diamond, you know there is something there, you just have to do what you can to make it shine.
What has transpired in the past week or so though, has raised some more questions from me than I am comfortable with. A prolonged attempt to sign Charlie Adam is fine by me, he seems a useful player. But to let Jonjo Shelvey go on a years loan, when – in his brief appearances so far – he’s appeared at least as good as Henderson? This makes no sense. Nor does allowing Blackpool to haggle us higher and higher from the initial £6 million bid (if you believe what you read). I believe in signing the players you want and need but not at any cost. And certainly not when that player has just been relegated and has 12 months left on his contract.