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The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FOOTBALL - Re­view by NANTHA KU­MAR

Foot­ball greats with a man­age­rial legacy on their re­sume are a rare breed. at club level, it has be­come a im­pos­si­ble to chal­lenge Johan Cruyff’s sta­tus as le­gendary foot­baller and man­ager. the feats that the Dutch­man ac­com­plished at ajax am­s­ter­dam and es­pe­cially barcelona re­served his name in the an­nals of these in­sti­tu­tions. If Ri­nus Michels had mapped out the ge­net­ics of los blau­grana, Cruyff en­sured that they re­mained as their rai­son d’etreI, in its guise as tiki-taka, for eter­nity.

the cur­rent barca coach Josep “Pep” Guardi­ola has posted lofty achieve­ments in the last two sea­sons but the bench­mark, as Guardi­ola him­self agrees, is Cruyff’s Dream team. In their com­po­si­tion, tac­ti­cal au­dac­ity and tech­ni­cal abil­ity, the Dream team of the early 1990s to 1994 has passed into foot­ball fa­ble while Cruyff, de­spite the po­lit­i­cal di­vide of present day Camp Nou, still re­tains sub­stan­tial sway over mat­ters con­cern­ing the club and their man­age­ment.

the near­est a club fig­ure comes to the su­perla­tive player and man­ager like Cruyff is Kenny Dal­glish, the most re­gal of the liver­pool FC roy­alty. While Cruyff dragged barca into mod­ern renown through his sheer force of will and a pro­found con­vic­tion of his foot­ball phi­los­o­phy, there is a rather unique set of cir­cum­stances and grounds that un­der­line Dal­glish’s iconic height at an­field.

Un­like the Dutch­man, Dal­glish did not re­de­fine the Reds’ psy­che with a set of val­ues that has been passed on through the decades. the liver­pool way, at least on the pitch, re­volved around the sim­plic­ity of the pas­sand-move ethics that have been in­grained into the team from the bill Shankly era to that in­her­ited by Dal­glish in the mid-1980s. but like Cruyff, the Scot was part of a team and later the builder of an­other that en­thralled foot­ball en­thu­si­asts and stabbed fright in the heart of their ri­vals.

these ex­ploits earned Daglish ev­er­last­ing adu­la­tion from liver­pool loy­al­ists, who tend to en­joy un­bro­ken re­la­tion­ships with their club stal­warts and for­mer man­agers. though this view risks reignit­ing the feud on why liver­pool sup­port­ers are seen as sin­gu­larly unique in their rev­er­ence of their club he­roes, a voy­age through Dal­glish’s new book My Liver­pool Home per­haps ex­pounds the rea­sons for such a rap­port.

My Liver­pool Home – Dal­glish’s sec­ond lit­er­ary ef­fort af­ter Dal­glish: My Au­to­bi­og­ra­phy in 1996 – be­gins with his first visit to an­field as a tri­al­ist on the in­vi­ta­tion of Shankly and pro­gresses to the trans­for­ma­tion of his awe into a full-blown fond­ness for the Reds as a player and later man­ager. through his rec­ol­lec­tions – di­vided into 20 chap­ters that in­clude mem­o­ries of his wife and chil­dren –

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