Comolli: Kenny is like Arsene

Comolli: Kenny is like Arsene

Published May. 13, 2011 11:28 a.m. ET

Damien Comolli has likened Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish to Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger in terms of their philosophies on football.

Liverpool's director of football Comolli worked for Wenger for seven years as a European scout but already in just over four months alongside Dalglish he has seen similarities.

"The first thing is the quality of the football. Kenny insists on quality of passing and movement on the pitch," said the Frenchman.

"Secondly, when you are talking about individual players they both like intelligent players who can see things.


"When Kenny talks about players, he talks about whether they can see a pass in the final third. What about their vision? That's something Arsene talks about.

"They both have a massive ability to give confidence to the team and to the players. They bring self-belief into the young players by saying 'You are good so that is why you are playing'. That gives fantastic confidence to young players.

"The other thing they say is 'Don't do anything different to what you have been doing. It doesn't matter that you're at Anfield or the Emirates, just play your normal game. If I pick you it's because you are good enough'. That's a fantastic approach Kenny has got with young players.

"His man-management of the squad has been tremendous. He has this ability to breed confidence in the senior players and to relax the young players and make them feel comfortable when they are playing the biggest game of their lives.

"That's been the most impressive thing for me."

Dalglish is very familiar with the younger players at the club as, prior to his appointment in January, he was an ambassador for the academy and watched hours of youth team games and training sessions.

He has integrated the likes of John Flanagan (18) and Jack Robinson (17) as well as pushing the merits of midfielder Jonjo Shelvey (18) and Martin Kelly (21).

And with owners Fenway Sports Group keen to lower the average age of the squad and start finding greater value for money in signings, Dalglish's influence has not gone unnoticed.

"If you take the 20 youngest players who have played in the Premier League this season we have three - Jonjo, Jack Robinson and John Flanagan and that is all credit to Kenny," said Comolli.

Dalglish stressed that although confirmation of his appointment had taken a while coming, it had not been a concern as all he was focused on was improving matters on the pitch.

Now it has been sorted he has no plans to change the way he has been working alongside assistant Sammy Lee and coach Steve Clark, who has also signed a three-year contract having arrived with Dalglish in January.

"The fact it has only happened now does not take away from our devotion or dedication to get results," said the Reds boss.

"The place is much more stable now than it was before, the supporters have smiles on their faces and it is up to us to keep them there as long as we can.

"But we are not going to sit here and shout our mouth off about what we are going to do."