Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Kenny Dalglish should be King of Kop again, says Harry Gregg

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Ian Rush shares a joke with Kenny Dalglish (R) prior to the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match between Liverpool and Atletico Madrid at Anfield on April 29, 2010 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Northern Ireland goalkeeping great Harry Gregg believes Kenny Dalglish should be the manager of Liverpool and not Roy Hodgson.

Winning pair: Kenny Dalglish in the Anfield stand with old strike partner Ian Rush no doubt wishing for a return to former glory days

While Gregg has been keeping a close eye on recent stunning developments at his old team Manchester United, telling Wayne Rooney in yesterday’s Belfast Telegraph that “no one is bigger than the club”, another iconic side in the north west of England has also been occupying his thoughts.

And Gregg is appalled with events at Anfield on and off the pitch.

While Liverpool supporters have been cheering the departure of Tom Hicks and George Gillette and hailing the arrival of new owner John Henry, Gregg asks: “What association do the new people have with Liverpool Football Club? It’s only business for them. I have a feeling it may be a case of out of the pan and into the kettle.”

Liverpool were involved in Europa League action last night, but the major concern relates to their dreadful domestic form.

Embarrassingly knocked out of the Carling Cup by Northampton earlier in the season, the Anfield outfit now find themselves in 19th place in the Premier League.

Rather than fighting for the title or a Champions League spot, they are in the relegation zone with just one win from eight matches, the last of which was a dismal 2-0 defeat at derby rivals Everton last Sunday.

Reds manager Hodgson suggested that his side played well in that game. He was in a minority of one on that and is going through a difficult time persuading Liverpool fans that he is the man to take them onwards and more importantly upwards.

Gregg, forthright as ever, has never been convinced Hodgson, who is now dogged by rumours that he is about to be replaced by former Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard, would cut it at Anfield.

“People ask how long Roy Hodgson should get at Liverpool. I would say he’s had too long already,” says Harry, who has been distinctly unimpressed by the form and attitude of Kop hero Fernando Torres.

“I know Roy Hodgson did well at Fulham, but I didn’t think he was the right man for Liverpool when he was appointed. I’m not being wise after the event, I told people that in the summer when he took over. I've never been a big admirer.

“At the time when Rafa Benitez was being replaced I felt Kenny Dalglish should have been given the job and I still hold that view. They really should bring him back to manage the club.”

Although Gregg’s beloved United and Liverpool have been fierce rivals down the years, Northern Ireland’s 1958 World Cup hero says he takes no pleasure whatsoever from the troubles the Anfield outfit have encountered in recent times.

In fact, he says he is saddened by developments on the red half of Merseyside.

“I do feel sad about what has happened at Liverpool and have sympathy for their fans,” states Harry. “I remember Liverpool when they were playing in the old second division.

“I played against them when I was at Doncaster Rovers and even then the atmosphere at Anfield was special, though it has fallen away recently.

“The great Bill Shankly came along and the club took off and then flourished through dear friends of mine like Bob Paisley and Kenny Dalglish. It’s sad to see Liverpool where they are now.”

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