Kenny Dalglish enjoyed success with a basic 4-4-2 formation at Liverpool and Blackburn, but are his methods outdated now?
At Liverpool, Dalglish was the last in the great dynasty of the boot-room, his job to an extent merely to keep the flame alive. Tactically Kenny Dalglish's system essentially followed the same model established by Bob Paisley: a basic 4-4-2 with a genuine winger (John Barnes) on one flank and a more tucked-in midfielder on the other (Ray Houghton), and a deep-lying forward (Peter Beardsley in the role Dalglish himself once occupied) off a hard-working front man who worked across the line. Both full-backs were encouraged to push on, and at least one of the centre‑backs had licence to stride out with the ball into midfield. In 1987-88, when it produced 87 goals in 40 league games, and to a lesser extent 1988-89, their football was majestically fluent.