My Liverpool Home, By Kenny Dalglish

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The Independent Culture

Is Kenny Dalglish a better football manager than Roy Hodgson? In terms of domestic trophies won there's no contest, but set against that is Hodgson's success abroad and at international level.

What is indisputable is that King Kenny is better suited to manage Liverpool, which has less to do with superior managerial acumen than with his godlike status among the Anfield faithful, overjoyed at a return to "the Liverpool way". The earlier part of this book, dealing with Dalglish's playing career, is a sugar rush of nostalgia, full of tales of the dressing-room banter and boozy high-jinks that accompanied Liverpool's exhilaratingly successful football. The squad were a tightly knit band of brothers, and Dalglish reveals a larkier, more humorous side to his personality than his public appearances would suggest.

In 1985 the tale turns darker, as Dalglish's first managership was bookended by the twin disasters of Heysel and Hillsborough; appointed the day after the former, four years later he resigned in the aftermath of the latter, burnt out. After a fortnight's rest he wanted to return, but by then the club had appointed Graeme Souness. The sense of pain and exile leaps off the page; even during the 1994-95 season, in which he led Blackburn Rovers to the Premiership title, when asked by Liverpool to come for talks he leapt at the chance, and burned with anger when they changed their minds. He was bitter, too, when not appointed ahead of Hodgson. He has little to say about the recent ownership shenanigans, everything to say about the club he loves. Whether at 60 he can lead them to glory again remains to be seen, but this book explains exactly why he wants to.