Sir Kenny Dalglish: “I’d rather see a rookie get a chance than a sacked manager getting another go”

Steven Gerrard, Emile Heskey, Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry of England line up in a wall during the 2010 FIFA World Cup (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Steven Gerrard, Emile Heskey, Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry of England line up in a wall during the 2010 FIFA World Cup (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

I applaud the hierarchy at any football club in the UK for giving young British talent their first job in the dugout.

So many players nowadays make substantial earnings when they have their boots on, and never have to work again to make sure the bills get paid.

There is also the attraction of going into media work, and there can be lovely salaries on offer – and more job security – compared to being a manager or coach.

The days of our top players needing to work after they’ve hung up their boots have gone.

Retiring players 30, 40 or 50 years ago would try to get into management or open a pub.

That’s no longer necessary for so many former pros, who are financially secure for the rest of their days.

Therefore there needs to be encouragement for the guys in their mid-to-late 30s to stay in the game.

They should be wooed and enticed to stay in the game, and I’m glad to see that has happened at a few clubs over the summer.

In the Scottish top flight, Rangers have appointed Steven Gerrard, and Kenny Miller is now player-manager of newly-promoted Livingston.

In England, Frank Lampard has been handed the task of getting ambitious Derby County promoted to the Premier League.

In the league below, Joey Barton is in at Fleetwood Town.

I’m all for seeing a freshness, and making sure there is a pathway for some of our best footballers to go into management.

Let’s hope there is a degree of success for Gerrard, Lampard, Miller, Barton and any others.

The last thing we should want to see is any of them not win enough games and be sacked.

In the past few years, there’s been success for Alan Stubbs after Hibs appointed him.

Derek Adams has had good success and has continued that at Plymouth Argyle.

Jack Ross served an apprenticeship at Hearts, Dumbarton and Alloa and then got success at St Mirren.

That resulted in him landing the Sunderland job.

When I came back to Celtic in a senior role back in 1999, I had faith in John Barnes.

I thought he had good ideas on the game, and that his teams would produce attractive and entertaining football.

He was doing lots of things right, but unfortunately, he just didn’t win enough games of football.

That will eventually cost any manager, at any level, his job.

The Liverpool board were good enough to offer me the Liverpool job towards the end of my playing career, and I replaced Joe Fagan.

I was player-manager. But to this day, I still don’t know why they thought I was the right man!

I’m grateful they believed in me, and that I managed to do not too badly in my first spell.

That said, I’m not for one minute saying that managers with experience should be discounted and given a pair of slippers and gardening gloves for the rest of their days.

It would be hypocritical of me to suggest that when I was given the chance to manage Liverpool for the second time when I was 59.

So there is room for guys in their 60s, that’s for sure.

But sometimes I would rather see the powerbrokers give a rookie an opportunity, rather than someone who has been in management for 12 or 15 years and been sacked three or four times.

Remember, having experience in management doesn’t guarantee knowledge and expertise.

Young or old, however, you need to have good people beside you and good people upstairs.

The men in the boardroom must allow you to get on with your job, and the supporters also play an important part.

Unite staff, players and supporters, and it will give you a far greater of success for a football club.

I had that at Liverpool, thankfully.

When I managed, I always held on to one maxim; ‘Your greatest strength is identifying your weaknesses’.

If the likes of the new breed can take that on board then it will increase their chances.

I expect Steven Gerrard to do well at Rangers. It’s a great job for him and great for the club to have such an iconic figure in charge.

The same applies to Frank and Derby County.

Frank, like Steven, can call on a number of excellent people within the game to help them.

And they will need it – more often than they might think.

That said, having too many people in your ear can also be harmful.

Management is an unforgiving job and, as well as being talented, they will have to be thick-skinned.