Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has flown to the United States to deliver his end-of-season review and have talks with the club’s owners.
As is the usual practice following the end of a campaign, which finished with a 14th league defeat at Swansea yesterday, the Reds boss had been required to prepare a report detailing the past 10 months.
But with all Fenway Sports Group’s senior figures based in Boston Dalglish has flown over to speak with principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner, it is understood.
The move will no doubt intensify speculation about the 61-year-old’s future after a disappointing season, although the significance of his trip has been played down in some quarters as just another part of the review process.
Dalglish’s report, which has had input from other backroom staff, will make interesting reading for the club’s owners Fenway Sports.
But it remains to be seen how much they are inclined to agree with the Scot’s assessment of his reign since January 2011, which three months ago brought a first trophy for six years, as being “not too bad” considering the significant investment the Americans have made during that time.
In the last month FSG’s restructuring of the club has led to the departures of director of football Damien Comolli, head of sports science Peter Brukner and, on Friday, director of communications Ian Cotton.
Yesterday reports suggested Dalglish’s future was up in the air with FSG casting admiring glances towards Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, following the relative success the Spaniard has had with one of the smallest squads and budgets in the Premier League.
And while Dalglish is looking forward to some time off over the summer he will be hoping he does not get more than he bargained for.
“I think everyone needs a break, no matter what job you do – everyone needs a holiday,” he said.
“You look forward to the games when you’re working and you look forward to having a bit of respite when you’re not working.
“But it’s very seldom, even during the summer, you get a day off any way. You’re normally on the phone doing something.
“I’ll get away but the phone is never switched off and there are very few days when you don’t answer some calls – that is a fact of life.”
Defeat at Swansea meant Liverpool recorded their lowest total of top-flight league victories (14) and lowest points tally (52) since 1953/54.
They also scored the fewest league goals (47) for 20 years and an eighth-placed finish was their worst for 18 years.
In terms of points Liverpool finished closer to the relegation zone than the top four, which was FSG’s supposed minimum requirement at the start of the campaign.
On the plus side February’s Carling Cup win ended a six-year trophy drought and they also were runners-up in the FA Cup.
Dalglish believes there is enough encouragement in some of the team’s displays, if not necessarily the results, to engender optimism for next season.
“There have been some positive things but there has been the disappointment of performances not being matched by results – but we will just carry on,” he added.
“When you consider the season before when we were out of both cups in January and when I came in we were only four points away from relegation it’s not been too bad.
“In the league they have not got what they deserved for their performance and in the cup ties we’ve only lost one so that’s not bad.”
Apart from a couple of occasions Dalglish has steadfastly stuck by his players and although there will have to be some strengthening in the summer he will be relying on the same core group to produce better results.
Throughout he has praised their commitment to the cause and he sees no reason to deviate from that even though the season ended with another defeat.
“We have to keep – and have kept – believing what they are doing is correct and the passing and moving has been excellent at times,” he said.
“It’s a credit with the way with they have continued to believe that the way we are playing is the right way.
“I don’t know what is going to happen next season. We can’t take any points from this year to next year so everyone starts afresh.
“Confidence and belief comes with getting results.
“Eventually it will drop for us but we need to wait until August to get it out of our system.
“It’s a long time to August but the pleasing thing for us was that they did play really well (during the season) and they are capable of playing well.”