QPR striker Jamie Mackie wheels away in celebration having netted an extraordinary 90th minute winner against the hapless Reds on Wednesday.

What’s the biggest joke in football right now? I’ll give you a clue. It plays in red and is based on Merseyside. Congratulations lucky guessers, it is indeed Liverpool Football Club. The Andy Carroll debate has been, at local, national and international level, covered to the point where no new ground could possibly emerge, so next in the firing line is the team’s massive underachieving this year. Liverpool supporters appear to reside in a state of semi-trance, barely batting an eyelid as their once great club slides further and further down the table, and revels in glories so minor and insignificant you’d imagine the city’s mayor might organise a parade for yet another unplanned teenage pregnancy.

So why does the complacency of those on the Kop annoy so much? Because, quite simply, Roy Hodgson was unfairly hounded out of Liverpool in favour of the incumbent, the returning hero, Kenny Dalglish. Widely revered as a saviour, nay, some sort of god, Dalglish is supposedly the answer to years of underachievement and the “new big four” of Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

Where Hodgson was starved of cash, Dalglish was veritably over-furnished with all the money at the owners’ disposal, to carve a new team capable of competing with the best the Premier League had to offer. As mentioned before, £30m was shamelessly squandered on hopeless flop Carroll, but what of the remaining Red waste? Jordan Henderson is one of the most underwhelming footballers currently plying their trade in the top flight. Likewise, the one-dimensional Stewart Downing is awful at distribution, can rarely pick out a decent cross, and attempts to beat a player by merely knocking the ball past him and hoping for the best.

So, Dalglish’s brave boys have won the Carling Cup, and could yet be in line for FA Cup triumph. And, as a commentator rightly pointed out, Arsenal fans would long for a trophy, or indeed two, despite residing above Liverpool in the table. However, what is most irksome of all is that Dalglish’s position appears safe. The owners are clearly satisfied with successive defeats to two of the worst teams to have plied their trade in the “best league in the world” for some years. Losing away to Queens Park Rangers was careless, and beyond humiliating, but a defeat at home to lowly Wigan Athletic, whose resources pale in comparison to the Reds’? Unacceptable, and deep down, beyond the cloying, pervasive Dalglish myth, every Liverpool fan knows this.

There are plenty of positives to Liverpool in 2012. Despite his antics, Luis Suarez is a truly magnificent footballer, and a splendid acquisition for the club. Likewise, Jose Reina is one of the most capable goalkeepers in the division, and Liverpool have set an example other clubs would do well to follow in blooding young players so early on, and aggrandising them to the point that they can make it professionally, in a league whose youth ranks are traditionally, and lamentably, filled by players from overseas. It would actually be quite refreshing, and cathartic, for Liverpool fans to face the truth, and admit that Dalglish is nothing special, and the Reds are not a side to be feared, or respected, anymore. They are mediocre, like so many other teams in the Premier League, and as this last week has shown, more human and vulnerable than they would ever care to acknowledge.

Back to Football

Follow the Armchair Pundits on Twitter (@armchairpundit2) or like us on Facebook!

Advertisements