Is it too late for Liverpool to mount a top four offensive?

Last night really showed how much football can change in a week. It also highlighted the importance of the man at the helm of any club. Just yesterday morning, it was publicly announced that Fenway Sports Group were in discussions to offer Kenny Dalglish a long-term deal with the club. The players, clearly ecstatic, showed their commitment and backing of the manager with a comprehensive 3-0 rout of top four hopefuls Manchester City.

A Dirk Kuyt strike sandwiched between Andy Carroll’s first and second goals for the club in the first half were enough for Liverpool to pick up the three points last night. It signifies a mass turnaround of the club that was massively underperforming under Roy Hodgson earlier in the season. Yet, under the stewardship of Dalglish, the club now find themselves five points behind fifth placed Tottenham Hotspur and eight behind the top four.

However, could it be possible for Liverpool to gatecrash the party at the summit of the Premier League? Assuring performances in recent months have given hope to the Liverpool fans while the signings of Luis Suarez and Carroll have covered, if not eclipsed, the loss of Fernando Torres. Director of Football Damien Comolli has conceded that money will be available for ‘King’ Kenny in the summer to strengthen key areas of the squad that have proven weak this season.

Yet, for this season I feel to make a late surge for the Champions League spot is a gulf that Liverpool don’t have the ability to cross. With only six games remaining, including two against North London sides Arsenal and Tottenham, the chance to re-emerge as a Champions League side has been and gone.

It could have been a different story had Gillet and Hicks hired Dalglish instead of Hodgson when Rafa Benitez left for Inter Milan and I was convinced that Liverpool would mount a serious challenge to break into the top four at the beginning of the season. It was only when Fenway took control of the club that the ambitions of owner John Henry could be seen.

Hodgson was sacked at the beginning of January and, with Dalglish installed as manager, the players and fans began to believe they could compete for honours on a domestic and European stage again. They may not have the chance to play Champions League football at Anfield again next season yet the potential is there for everyone to see. Dalglish’s winning mentality is breeding through the players and they are performing with the confidence of a team at the top, it won’t be long before they are there again. 

Ben McAleer

Follow Ben on Twitter @BenMcAleer1



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