Look, we're all aware this season's results were horrendous. The denizens of the Andromeda Galaxy are aware of that. The fact remains it was one season, the season after Hicks and Gillett nearly destroyed the club and Hodgson helped dig the hole deeper.
Liverpool is not – well, was not – a club that changes managers by the minute. Especially not when the manager is the best player in club history and the last manager to deliver the league title. Hodgson was and remains a special case, for the dire football, brainless remarks, and complete lack of understanding of the club. Dalglish committed none of those sins. But this is increasingly a results-oriented business, with emphasis on the word business. Welcome to 21st-century sport.
Right now, I don't really care about how much Dalglish got to spend, whether gross or net. I don't care who was a Comolli signing and who was a Dalglish signing. FSG gave the club's greatest servant one year to rebuild from ground zero and then sacked him when the team failed to achieve the desired results immediately. I truly despair for the future.
This renders my mostly-written season review moot, but I guess I'll touch upon some of the "highlights" here. For all the bad we saw – and there was an incredible amount of bad – there were positives and are excuses. A trophy, any trophy. The emergence of a top shelf first-choice back four. Much better football, if not results, than we've seen for the majority of the previous two seasons. Liverpool's failure to win close games mostly thanks to an incredulous inability to score goals, finding it easier to hit the woodwork. Liverpool's most important player tearing his ACL in November, Liverpool's best player suspended for nine matches during the heart of the season, Liverpool's aging talisman struggling with injuries for the duration of the campaign.
Admittedly, by the end of the season, I was eminently frustrated by many things about the team and manager, most notably a lack of a cohesive tactical or transfer strategy to go along with questionable personnel decisions throughout the campaign. There were some positive signs and good matches, but Liverpool rarely looked like they knew what they were doing on and off the pitch. That is a very bad thing. I'm still not sure if it's a sackable offense given the above excuses, what (little) Liverpool had accomplished in the two previous seasons, and who said manager
Now, a new manager will start all over, wanting to spend a similar amount to that spent last summer to forge "his team." Liverpool will again (still) need to settle on a preferred plan, preferred formation, and preferred tactics – things which eluded the side for nearly an entire season. There is currently no Director of Football, no Head of Communications, no new stadium, and now, no manager.
Despite the horrific results, there was a foundation in place and good football played on occasion. Now, Liverpool are back to ground zero. And that ground zero is further and further behind the league's front-runners. City will be undoubtedly bolstered by their title victory; the first is always the hardest, and it's always easier to attract players to a winning project, especially with gobs of money. Manchester United is still Manchester United. Odds are that Chelsea again fails to secure Roman's much-desired Champions League (please!), which will give them further impetus to throw unlimited rubles at rebuilding an aging squad. Arsenal and probably Tottenham will have Champions League football and Champions League money to entice players.
This was always the danger of appointing Dalglish. He was not FSG's first choice, and only Hodgson's complete inability to do anything right forced their hand. It was always going to be harder to sack Dalglish if something went wrong, and yes, things went wrong. Still, most managers deserve better, deserve more time, and this man deserves much, much better.
I thought he merited another season if not for the few positives signs than because of who he is and what he's done for the club over the last four decades.
It goes without saying that FSG had better have a plan. And that plan had better work, and soon. This sets a very unwanted precedent. If Dalglish is sacked after one bad season, the next man will get even less time and far less patience.