Liverpool dropping Kuyt is re-Dirkulous

by Spurs Fanatic

Dirk Kuyt starting on the substitutes bench was one of the more eyebrow-raising moments of the weekend.

Thirteen goals and eight assists in the Premier League last year saw another solid season from the Dutchman. He is a player who does pretty much what the gaffer asks of him and will run himself in to the ground doing it, which should make him one of the first names on the team sheet. So why did Jordan Henderson get the nod over Dirk Kuyt against Sunderland?

Kenny Dalglish has reinvigorated Dirk Kuyt and the Reds

Kenny Dalglish has done wonders to reinvigorate Liverpool football club since taking over from Roy Hodgson, but his decision to drop Dirk Kuyt and play Jordan Henderson is one of his more curious ones.

The team under King Kenny showed a marked improvement when the Scot took over last season, compared to when Woy was in charge:

Liverpool form:

W

D

L

Avg Goals Scored

Average Goals Conceded

Avg Pts per game

Under Hodgson

8

4

10

1.1

1.3

1.3

Under Dalglish

9

3

4

2.1

0.9

1.9

Liverpool took 30 points from just 16 games with Kenny Dalglish in charge and Dirk Kuyt was a big part of that. He started every game under Dalglish, playing both up front and out wide. His improvement in form also happened to coincide with when Kenny too over:

Dirk Kuyt form:

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Under Hodgson

17

3

2

Under Dalglish

16

10

6

Kuyt not only stepped up his goal scoring, but also his assists, as his form really blossomed in the run-in. He scored what Liverpool fans refer to as the ‘7-yard hat-trick’ against Manchester United, and followed this up with five goals in five games, which included strikes against Manchester City and Arsenal. So why was he dropped for the opening game of the season?

Age is nothing but a number

Dirk Kuyt is now 31, which by no means that he is past it, but maybe Kenny Dalglish is thinking longer term. Jordan Henderson is just 21 and has a bright future, but that doesn’t mean that he should be getting the nod over an experienced player who is still performing at the top level.

Who’s right?

Jordan Henderson is not a naturally right-sided player, he prefers to play more in the centre and against Sunderland cut inside far too often. With Glen Johnson behind Henderson, this is less of a problem for Liverpool as Johnson likes to get down the flank. However, with the more defensively minded Flanagan at right-back, Liverpool needed someone who was going to play out wide to compliment Stuart Downing on the other side. Ironically Liverpool’s best moment from the right side came when Downing switched flanks and went on a driving run, unleashing a shot which hit the crossbar.

While Jordan Henderson is a project for the future, right now, Dirk Kuyt should be starting for Liverpool. His energy and effectiveness from the right flank gives the Reds a lift, which was lacking from the team in the second half against Sunderland.

Henderson may have been given the start against his former team, but I for one will be looking to see if he does away to Arsenal this weekend, when the experience of Dirk Kuyt will be needed – especially if there is a penalty in the 102nd minute.

2 Responses

  1. sai says:

    where aquilani? he is much more better than useless chick henderson! play aquaman rather than that chick! are listening dalglish!

    1. Mark Redford says:

      Thanks for your comment Sai, my personnal opinion is that Aquilani is better suited to playing in the middle of the park. Kuyt made the position on the right flank his own over the last few seasons, and although Henderson is the heir apparent for the role, Kuyt has to be the choice at the minute

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply