Dalglish to implement passing style
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is keen for the club to rediscover the style of their glory days - as it is the only way he knows how to play football.
The success of the late 1970s and through the 1980s was built on the pass-and-move doctrines instigated by Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley. Dalglish flourished as a player in those teams and tried to continue the legacy in his first spell as manager.
The game may have moved on since the last time he was Reds manager nearly 20 years ago but, particularly in the last couple of years, Liverpool's playing style became more structured and solid with less focus on attack and flair. In the three matches Dalglish has been in charge since taking over from Roy Hodgson there has been a noticeable difference within the team of a move towards a more upbeat, positive approach.
Not all of that is just down just to the mere presence of a club legend in the dugout, it is a conscious decision by Dalglish to fill his players with the knowledge and expertise he learned when he wore the Reds' famous No7 shirt.
Asked if it was important to rediscover the attitude Shankly introduced at the club, the 59-year-old Scot said: "Well it has never gone for me. It would be nice if we could get back to that, on the pitch especially. Pass and move isn't old fashioned, it's the Liverpool way. That's the way I was brought up and I don't think I could change. I think that's the way the players would like to play as well.
"It's great for the fans to watch and you can't underestimate their role in it as well. If the players know that the fans are behind them it doesn't half help them. Everyone has to play their role. We have to lift the fans. If the staff, the owners and everyone else sing from the same hymn sheet, which we are doing, then I'm sure we have happier days ahead of us.
"The sooner we start winning games the sooner we can look forward and upwards. I've really enjoyed being back. If other people are getting the same satisfaction out of it, then fine but I'm sure we'll all be happier once we start winning games."
Dalglish has been given the job on an initial six-month basis after taking over from Hodgson but chairman Tom Werner, currently on Merseyside with principal owner John Henry, has said he is a contender to assume the role on a full-time basis. "I think he has many of the qualities that we have articulated will be what we are looking for and he is going to be a candidate," said the American.
Henry and Werner met with Dalglish yesterday and the subject of transfers understandably cropped up as the manager would welcome the chance to bring in reinforcements. Those discussions were "positive" according to the Reds manager, who stressed the need for "responsible" spending.
"There is no problem with transfers as long as we are responsible," he said. "We can go and look for players and try to sign them and bring them in. Any time I have been in a transfer market it has been responsible so I will continue to do that and try to spend the club's money as diligently as my own."
Liverpool have been linked with a host of players, with Ajax forward Luis Suarez believed to be their top target. "We are not going to give names or talk about sums of money," added Dalglish. "We don't intend to mislead people but we have a huge responsibility to do our business in a way that has been done since I've known the club and that is in private."
Ryan Babel's potential departure has not moved on any further despite the club accepting a bid from Hoffenheim on Tuesday. "Ryan is considering what he wants to do, that's his right," said Dalglish. "A transfer only goes through if three parties agree. He trained yesterday as if the conversation had not happened. There's no problem for us. If he's here there won't be any sulking, he'll be treated the same as everyone else."