Kenny Dalglish: Graeme Souness had all that was required for a successful Scotland manager – but now we’ll never know

Scotland's Kenny Dalglish (left) passes the ball watched by Graeme Souness
Scotland's Kenny Dalglish (left) passes the ball watched by Graeme Souness

MY close friend, Graeme Souness, has just launched his new autobiography and it’s got people all over the UK talking about him.

Well, even more so than usual!

In Scotland, we all know there are two huge managerial jobs available just now – the Scotland national team and Glasgow Rangers.

Some have said they’d love to see Graeme in charge of our country as we try to qualify for the 2020 Euros.

Others, including Ally McCoist on national radio, want to see Graeme back in charge at Ibrox.

Well, I totally understand why they’d say that.

Graeme was my team-mate, and my room-mate, at Liverpool.

We enjoyed wonderful success at club level and enjoyed playing in World Cup Finals for Scotland.

Graeme was captain of club and country and led by example.

He was an exceptional footballer, a leader on the park and a guy who wanted to win at all costs.

In management, at the likes of Rangers and Liverpool, he enjoyed success.

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His last job at Newcastle United was the only club he would say there wasn’t a degree of success.

He was on the short-list for the Scotland job eight or nine years ago and was interviewed.

Graeme has since stated that the SFA wanted their manager to live in Scotland full-time, and that wasn’t an ideal scenario for Graeme at that time.

His name has popped up again, and he was asked directly a couple of weeks ago in an interview if he’d be interested in succeeding Gordon Strachan.

Graeme made it quite clear that his time as a manager is over.

We have to believe him, and now can only guess if he would have been a successful Scotland boss.

All I would say is that Graeme had all the credentials to deliver success.

His knowledge of the game would suggest he would have had more than a good chance of giving our country what it so badly wants.

He has charisma, presence and respect.

When you are in a dressing-room and players see all of that standing in front of them, and then leading them down the tunnel into action, they would feel they had a more than good chance of beating the opponents in front of them.

But, as I say, we’ll never know for sure.

What I do know is that Graeme is the best pundit in the media.

When he is on the television and analysing games, offering his opinion, he delivers it all with wonderful simplicity and outstanding accuracy.

He doesn’t try to reinvent the dictionary and use new words. He just calls it on the button and the viewer will relate to the point he is making.

He also doesn’t need to be controversial just for the sake of it.

Some pundits come across as though they are trying to be critical for the sake of it, and to raise their own profile.

Graeme doesn’t need to do that as he has the knowledge, expertise and success to back up his opinions.

He also calls it as someone who is totally impartial when he is doing his media work.

I always enjoy watching him on the television, just as I enjoyed being his team-mate and still enjoy being his friend.

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When we both joined Liverpool, we stayed at the Holiday Inn and our friendship blossomed from there. Alan Hansen was also at the club and the Jocks quickly took over.

Graeme enjoyed life. He was a sharp dresser, and really liked his clothes. I suppose you could say he was debonair!

That said, he never allowed anything to get in the way of his football. When it was time to turn to matters on the field, he was fully focused. That’s why he was so successful.

He’ll be remembered as a great Liverpool captain after the success we had with League titles and European Cups.

He got off to a great start when he scored a volley with his left foot against Manchester United.

Left foot? That was a collector’s item!

He then scored with a header against Manchester City. The hair products must have helped get the ball over the line!

Graeme went on to manage Liverpool and I’m glad he was given that opportunity because I know he loved the club.

He won the FA Cup and sat in the dugout not long after having his heart operation. I know he was proud to have won a major trophy with the club as their manager.

We’ll never see him in a dugout again. He is enjoying life too much to be tempted back in, and we all have to respect his wishes