Early last summer, new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was given the task of tracking down his predecessor and club legend Kenny Dalglish. The following records are all that remain of his journey.
Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool, September 1, 2012-
“shit… I’m still in Liverpool. Every time I think I’m gonna wake up back in the north, up the Mersey. When I was in Swansea, it was worse. I’d wake up and there’d be Wales. I hardly said a word to my chairman, until I said “I’d like to go to Liverpool.” When I was in Liverpool, I wanted to be back in Wales; when I was in Wales, all I could think about was getting back to the Kop and singing about things that happened 40 years ago. Its been a summer now … waiting for success … getting softer; every minute I walk alone, I get weaker and every minute Andre Villas Boas squats on the sidelines, the Sky Six gets stronger. Each time I looked around, the “Rodgers for England” chants get louder.”
Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool, June 12, 2012-
“I was going crazy. Going back to Wales was starting to seem like a good idea. I needed to do something, anything. Or I was gonna start thinking if maybe Andy Carroll would work as a center back and that train of thought would only end with a bullet in my brain. Then the Fenway group gave me a mission.
Brendan Rodgers, Scotland, June 13, 2012-
“I was going to the worst place in the world: Glasgow. And I didn’t even know it yet. Weeks away and hundreds of miles of Mersey and the A1 that snaked through football like a circuit- plugged straight into King Kenny. It was no accident that I got to be the caretaker of Kenny Dalglish’s memory – any more than Liverpool being midtable was an accident. There is no way to tell his story without telling my own. And if his story really had unrealistic expectations, then so did mine.
Brendan Rodgers, Glasgow, July 1, 2012-
“Everything I saw told me that Kenny had gone insane. Gameplans with Carroll up top, long screeds comparing Suarez to Martin Luther King, pictures of Chelsea’s European Cup winning side with Martin Skrtel’s face pasted on top of every single player… If I was still alive, it was because he wanted me that way.
Brendan Rodgers, Glasgow, July 3, 2012
“On the A1, I thought that the minute I looked at Kenny, I’d know what to do, but it didn’t happen. I was in that flat with him for days, surrounded by red kits and worn out VHS tapes featuring Liverpool’s European achievements. He’d created a life sized replica of the European Cup out of his own bodily excretions and native Glaswegians waited on him hand and foot, wearing nothing but Rafa Benetiz masks. I was free, but he knew I wasn’t going anywhere. He knew more about the midtable position I was going to finish in than I did. If the Chairman back in Boston could see what I saw, would they still want me to kill him? More than ever, probably. And what would the Kop back home want if they ever learned just how far from them he’d really gone? Of course they would, until he actually came back. He broke from them, and then he broke from himself. I’d never seen a man so broken up and ripped apart.
His writings were insane. I didn’t know if they were a sign of genius, madness, or the result of a too much talkSport. I have to call Keyes and Gray to find out. Yes, I’ll hold.
Kenny Dalglish, Glasgow, July 4, 2012-
I watched Andy Carroll heading a straight razor. That’s my dream. It’s my nightmare. Jumping, fumbling, all along the edge of a straight razor … and surviving.
Kenny Dalglish, Glasgow, July 5, 2012-
We must buy the British players. We must purchase them. Pig after pig. Cow after cow. Geordie after geordie. Lower league side after lower league side. And they call me a spendthrift. What do you call it when the money wasters accuse the money wasters? They lie. They lie, and we have to be merciful, for those who lie. Those Americans. I hate them. I do hate them.
Kenny Dalglish, Glasgow, July 6, 2012-
I’ve seen horrors, horrors that you’ve seen. Carroll up top. Charlie Adam going in for a tackle. Suarez’s dives. Downing on the left. But you have no right to call me a dinosaur. You have a right to hate me. You have a right to do that, but you have no right to judge me.
Kenny Dalglish, Glasgow, July 8, 2012
It’s impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what getting stuck in means. STUCK IN! Stuck in has a face, and you must make a friend of getting stuck in. Getting stuck in is your friend. If it is not, then it is an enemy to be feared.
Kenny Dalglish, Glasgow, July 10, 2012
The Carroll. The Carroll.
Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool, August 20, 2012-
Kenny is gone. I don’t know if I’ll ever get out of Liverpool. I used to think if I died in the middle of the table, then my soul wouldn’t make it to heaven. But now, fuck. I don’t care where it goes as long it isn’t here.