One game into his latest tenure as Liverpool manager was sufficient for Kenny Dalglish to fire up his competitive and confrontational instincts. Liverpool lost to Manchester United, 1-0, in the FA Cup third round Sunday, with a first-minute penalty kick providing United with its only goal and a red card to Steven Gerrard before halftime greatly hampering Liverpool's efforts to reply. Neither decision by referee Howard Webb pleased Dalglish, who last managed Liverpool in 1991 and last sat in a dugout with Glasgow Celtic more than a decade ago.
"The penalty was a joke," said Dalglish, who took over for Roy Hodgson last Friday at the behest of John W. Henry, head of the team's ownership group, New England Sports Ventures. "I've seen the replay and unless they have changed the rules it is not a penalty. The other one, I can't see that as a red card either. In the dressing room before the game someone said to me the game hasn't changed that much and I said I thought it had become a non-contact sport. Maybe I was right."
Thirteen seasons of his playing career were spent with Liverpool, during which the club won seven league championships and three European Cups. As Liverpool manager (1985-1991) the club won three league titles and two FA Cups. Dalglish, 59, was on a cruise ship when Henry contacted him. "I was on a boat and I was happy when I got a phone call from John Henry to say he had spoken to Roy and would I like to come and look after the team until the end of the season," he said.
"I would not have insulted the club by saying no. I have to say the cruise people were fantastic. They got us off at Bahrain and got us on to a plane and I was home [Saturday] night."