Steward Downing has stated that former manager Kenny Dalglish deserved more time at the club, per BBC Tees (via the Liverpool Echo).
The 31-year-old was one of a number of signings brought in by Dalglish during his sole season in charge of the club back in 2011.
Downing was joined by the likes of Andy Carroll, Craig Bellamy, Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson as the new faces around Anfield in the summer of 2011.
Dalglish, however, was sacked after just one term despite having led the Reds to two cup finals. They won the Capital One Cup but lost out to Chelsea in the FA Cup, however, his demise was because of the disappointing eighth-place finish in the Premier League.
It was a finish which was the club’s lowest since 1994 and the third consecutive season in which they had failed to qualify for the Champions League.
The winger-cum-midfielder said that it was ‘strange’ to see the Scot ousted, believing that the sizeable investment of £100 million on players in the summer would need time to gel, time that just wasn’t given to the manager.
“I played for a very good manager in Kenny Dalglish, he was very good to me. I’ll never forget what he did to get me to that club.
“When I was speaking to Kenny, I was thinking ‘this is mad, £20m for me to go there’, but it put a lot of pressure on Kenny because he spent big that summer. I went to Aston Villa and said to them ‘this is Kenny Dalglish and Liverpool football club, you have to let me go’ and they were okay about it.
“I just didn’t think we got time to gel.
“It was strange to see him sacked, they spent a lot of money on players. It’s not going to happen overnight but they sacked him after one year.
“He’s like God at Liverpool, we could be losing but they would be singing his name. That’s how it was at Liverpool, normally the manager would get the flack but he would get his name sang and the players would get the flack!
“He was very good to play for, you could always speak to him and his door was always open. He was just a nice man in general. I was very proud that he signed me to play for Liverpool.”
For Downing, he remained at the club for just one more season after Dalglish’s sacking, before being sold to West Ham United in the summer of 2013.
He now finds himself playing for former boyhood club Middlesbrough, who he will be hoping can push their way back into the Premier League.