Sir Kenny Dalglish says that Bob Paisley’s incredible record of 20 trophies in nine seasons at Anfield means he deserves to be regarded as one of the best British managers of all time.
Dalglish, who was recently announced as FansBet’s new Giving Back Ambassador joined Liverpool from Celtic in 1977 and would win six league titles and three European Cups in a glittering 10-year playing career.
Speaking exclusively to FansBet, he said “Do the maths,” when asked about Paisley’s incredible trophy record at Anfield, both domestically and in Europe.
“He was quiet but he was hugely intelligent as well. He never said a lot but when he did say something it was very poignant,” said the former Reds’ player and manager.
“The thing with management is, you can talk as much as you want the reason why you get success is if you get more decisions right than you get wrong – and he got an awful lot right.”
Asked if Paisley would have been as successful in the modern game Dalglish explained, “Whether you’re a manager coach or player, if you’re good at your job then you’d be good at it now, so I don’t see any reason why not.”
Paisley took over at Anfield in 1974, replacing the outgoing Bill Shankly, who had transformed Liverpool from Second Division outfit to champions of England – making him one of the most revered managers in the club’s history.
He went on to lead Liverpool through a period of domestic and European dominance, winning twenty honours in nine seasons and is one of just two men to claim a trio of European Cups.
His haul included six League Championships, three League Cups, six Charity Shields, three European Cups, one UEFA Cup and one UEFA Super Cup.
“If you equate what he did, he won six championships in nine years, do the maths, even with just the championships, that’s a better percentage than anybody – six out of nine I don’t see anybody being any better,” says Dalglish, a man who won four league titles and two European Cups under Paisley.
Paisley was already a club legend before hanging up his boots, but it was from the dugout that he really earned his place amongst football’s elite.
As Shankly’s number two, the County Durham-born Red was an integral component as Liverpool became a major player in English football. The Shankly years would bring three league titles, a Second Division title, two FA Cups, and a UEFA Cup.
When Shankly retired, Liverpool fans would have been forgiven for having their fears, but with Paisley in the top role, the club became an even more dominant force than ever, enjoying their greatest ever period.
Despite his quiet public persona, his authority and emphasis on strict discipline, along with coaching techniques that were well ahead of his time, would provide the ideal qualities to shepherd in an era of domestic and continental dominance.
Paisley spent less than a decade in the manager’s hot seat, but his overall stint on the Anfield touchline lasted for nearly a quarter of a century; there can be absolutely no doubts about his influence on both Liverpool and English football as a whole.
He eventually retired at the end of the 1982/83 season after guiding Liverpool to yet another league title and handed the reins to a fellow graduate of the Anfield boot room, Joe Fagan, after 44 years with the club in various roles.
To this day the debate still rages when it comes to just who is the greatest ever British manager, but what’s certain is that his incredible trophy haul does little to harm Bob Paisley’s claim when it comes to that particular accolade.
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