Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Kenny Could Have Built on KK's Legacy - Instead He Ripped It All to Pieces; Part Four of John Gibson's Look at Memorable Toon Managers - Today: Kenny Dalglish

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Kenny Could Have Built on KK's Legacy - Instead He Ripped It All to Pieces; Part Four of John Gibson's Look at Memorable Toon Managers - Today: Kenny Dalglish

Article excerpt

SHOULD you take nought but a cursory glance at the history books then Kenny Dalglish appears to be a most successful Magpie manager.

During a stay that was over in the blink of an eye, Dalglish piloted a team that finished runners-up in the Premier League and the following campaign reached the FA Cup final.

Heady heights indeed for a club who of recent times has never walked in the glint of silverware.

However, reality tells a rather different tale. The complexion takes on a less rosy hue.

Kevin Keegan's Entertainers had been runners-up in season 1995-96 when for a time the championship was theirs as they strode 12 points clear of the eventual winners Manchester United.

Keegan then brought in Alan Shearer as the final piece of his jigsaw and had United up and running again the following campaign until he took flight in January of 1997.

Dalglish merely completed the exercise for half a season with KK's squad but without getting anywhere near challenging for the title.

He inherited an incredible strike partnership of Shearer and Les Ferdinand which terrorised all who crossed its path yet inexplicably, but deliberately, broke it up after one campaign in battledress.

Thereby lay the root of the trouble. Dalglish sold off the crown jewels and replaced them with inferior goods.

He kicked out Sir Les, David Ginola, Peter Beardsley et al and recruited Dad's Army - Ian Rush, John Barnes and Stuart Pearce, all well beyond their sell-by date - and supplemented them with Jon Dahl Tomasson, Temuri Ketsbaia and Andreas Andersson, a striker unlikely to cause trepidation among defenders in his Alice band.

Good managers buy well, do sound business in the transfer market. Dalglish did not. A willingness to pay United a staggering PS35m for Andy Carroll later on revealed that King Kenny hadn't learned.

Tino Asprilla, who also fell victim to the slashing Dalglish blade, maintained: "Within months he had the team playing a style that was alien to most of us and he started to sell some of our star players.

"It was a team that could have gone on to win the league, having come so close in 1996. …

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