x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Kenny Dalglish's excuses on Liverpool's poor show are tiresome

Premier League best and worst: Any comparison of a good or bad day pales when incidents such as Muamba's prove life is beyond football.

Kenny Dalglish cannot blame a lack of depth in his squad for Liverpool’s poor run.
Kenny Dalglish cannot blame a lack of depth in his squad for Liverpool’s poor run.

Worst excuse - Dalglish

Is it me or is the Liverpool manager losing credibility by the week?

Already this year Kenny Dalglish has described the abuse directed at Manchester United's Patrice Evra over the race row with Luis Suarez as "a bit of banter" and said it was "bang out of order" to suggest Suarez had done anything remotely wrong in not shaking the hand of Evra.

He managed to avoid another public relations gaffe on Saturday but the Scot was clearly not thinking rationally when he attempted to attribute the shock 2-1 defeat at home to relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic to injuries and tiredness.

If Liverpool had not also dropped points at home to Sunderland, Norwich City, Blackburn Rovers, Swansea City and Stoke City and lost at Bolton Wanderers this season then his argument may have had some substance.

But any manager who is given more than £80 million (Dh466m) to spend on players and blows most of it on signing Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing will elicit very little sympathy when it comes to bleating about the depth of his squad.


Best recovery - Muamba

Simply astonishing. To think the heart of the 23 year old stopped beating on its own for 12 minutes shy of a full game of football and yet he is showing early signs of recovery is testament to the incredible work of the cardiologists and doctors who saved his life.

Fabrice Muamba may not play football again but that will surely not bother his fiancee, Shauna, and young son, Joshua, one iota. When he slumped to the ground at Tottenham Hotspur everybody feared the worst.

It turns out that if you were to suffer the misfortune of a cardiac arrest then the unlikely venue of a Premier League football pitch probably gives you the best chance of survival.


Worst perspective - football

You might not have guessed it by the floral tributes, people talking in the past tense and the hyperbolic outpouring of emotion but Fabrice Muamba is actually alive.

A minute's silence, which has now morphed into a minute's applause, at football stadiums is usually reserved as a tribute for those who have passed away, like Gary Speed, who played more than 110 times for Bolton Wanderers.

At the Reebook Stadium on Saturday fans spent two minutes applauding Muamba.

While he has been undergoing an astonishing recovery in the hands of some best medical experts in the world, the families of seven people killed by a gunman in Toulouse have been mourning their loved ones; a 13 year old boy was shot dead in a protest in Egypt over the suspension of a football team while an Indian footballer died on his way to hospital in a three-wheel rickshaw.

The world does not orbit around the axis of football or the Premier League, although sometimes it does feel like it.


Best interception - Cahill

In most walks of life it is not favourable to be compared to John Terry, the England and Chelsea captain who has fielded allegations, in no particular order, of racism, infidelity, gambling and the criminal activities of his parents.

Yet when it comes to the art of defending being labelled as "Terry-esque" is generally considered a compliment.

Gary Cahill has taken a while to settle at Chelsea following his move from Bolton Wanderers but he is showing signs he might last longer than Andre-Villas Boas.

The desire and speed Cahill showed to manoeuvre himself into a position to perform a sliding, goal-saving block to deny Emmanuel Adebayor on Saturday was reminiscent of Terry at his peak, right down to the thrusting out of the chest in celebration of his point-clinching block.


Worst fixtures - Everton

We all know what a fine job David Moyes has performed at Goodison Park with apparent limited resources and how he deserves a chance at a "bigger club". We are reminded often enough.

So expect more platitudes to come the way of the Scotsman if Everton manage to navigate their way to the semi-final of the FA Cup and maintain their position in the top 10 in the league by the end of the month.

If they don't then Moyes has a ready-made excuse.

Saturday's fine win at Swansea City, who had previously been hailed as the Barcelona of the Premier League, was part of a sequence that will see Everton play seven matches in 21 days.

And people wonder why the England players are so fatigued when it comes to a major championship at the end of the season.


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