Kenny Dalglish needs another year at Liverpool, says Gerard Houllier
League Cup success demonstrates Liverpool are back on track, claims former Anfield manager
Gérard Houllier has said that no amount of cup success will quell the "obsession" with the league championship at Anfield but insisted that Kenny Dalglish needs at least another year to make a success of his second tenure as Liverpool manager.
The Frenchman, Liverpool manager from 1998 to 2004, said there is "too much expectation" around Anfield but reflected also on the way that managers' reputations diminish too abruptly in football. "In football, you can go from the attic to the basement very quickly so one day he is the hero and the next day he is the zero," Houllier said. "You have to be careful. Liverpool need another year to kick in. They have had a lot of recruitment done and a lot of problems, so give him some time. There was a time when David Moyes was criticised and Arsène [Wenger] was criticised – see where they are now. It is a rollercoaster. They won the League Cup the same way we did in 2001. It is a good sign for the future. I think he is heading in the same direction, just give him some time."
Only Wolves have taken fewer Premier League points than Liverpool since 1 January and Dalglish's haul of eight from a possible 33 in 2012 is less than the total managed by predecessor Roy Hodgson in his last 11 games.
Rafael Benitez, who would consider an approach from Chelsea if one arrived this summer, did not rule out one day returning to Liverpool. "I'm professional and I am looking for a new job. At this time Kenny is the manager and I have a lot of respect for Liverpool," he said. "No rush. If Kenny retires in 10 years' time and I am available I would be really pleased."
Benitez said Liverpool's greater stability under Fenway Sports Group – something he lacked under Tom Hicks and George Gillett – would help Dalglish. "They have to carry on, keep going. He has the support of the owners and that is the key thing if they want to do things in the future," the Spaniard said. "The bad thing [at the end of Benitez's time at Liverpool] is that the owners were not the right owners. You could see things were changing and we had less money. But Kenny has the owners and that is really positive."
Houllier said he was not interested in the new Football Association technical director's role but claimed that whoever was appointed must be able to handle the difficult relationship with Premier League managers. He said that the new National Football Centre at Burton-upon-Trent, which opens for the start of next season, could enhance England's chances of competing for trophies. But he, Benitez and the England caretaker manager Stuart Pearce all pinpointed the lack of football for 18- to 20-year olds at the top of the English game as a real problem – with a reserve division being one solution.
"In England you lose a lot of players between 18 and 21. The two countries who are failing [in that respect] are England and Italy. I knew one or two players at Aston Villa who didn't have enough games to play at the top level. Between 18 and 20 there is nothing," Houllier said.
"In France when they don't play on a Saturday they can play for reserves the following day. If you want to be a successful technical director, you need to have the clubs with you. So going to see all the Premier League coaches is vital."
Latest in Sport
Sky Sports and BT Sport announce Premier League live matches for 2015/16 with Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in action
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Copa America 2015: When does it start, what channel is it on and who should I support?
Chelsea 2015/16 home shirt leaked again as new picture appears online
Wimbledon 2015: 'Heather Watson deserved to win the match,' concedes world No 1 Serena Williams after gruelling contest
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 San Francisco TV news crew attacked by armed robbers during live broadcast
- 4 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
- 5 Miami defendant sobs in court as he realises he and the judge attended the same school
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture