KENNY DALGLISH has voiced his concerns over the opening day of the Premier League coming just days after a round of international fixtures.
Liverpool welcome Sunderland to Anfield for the season’s curtain raiser on August 13, making new signing Jordan Henderson’s full debut bitter sweet as it comes against his boyhood club.
Dalglish’s men then make the trip to Arsenal the following weekend and the manager is disappointed that league chiefs have not pushed the first day of the campaign back to accommodate the return of players from international duty.
England face Holland at Wembley on Wednesday, August 10 and other friendly matches take place on the same night with a handful of games potentially involving Liverpool players - much to the worry of Dalglish.
“There’s not a lot you can say about the fixture list really but I would ask why the season is starting on a Saturday when there are international friendlies the midweek before,” said Dalglish.
“Clubs are doing their best to bring in good players and that usually means they are international players.
“There is a free week after the first weekend so I don’t understand why we can’t start the season on a Sunday to prevent players having to travel back on a Wednesday night in time for a Saturday start.
"If you are going to have international games then have them but surely it makes sense to put the league games back a day if it’s possible. To me it’s common sense.”
Despite the anxiety over Liverpool suffering from tired legs, Dalglish still admits to being excited the new season is drawing ever closer.
But where the fixture list is out of the manager’s hands, the recruitment of new players to stir the supporters’ interest, remains something he can help shape.
“It doesn't matter who you are playing,” added Dalglish.
“It is all about another step towards the start of the season when supporters get excited because the fixtures are out.
“Over the summer there are various trigger points towards the start of the new season. First of all fans get excited when they see new players coming in - players who are going to excite them - and it's our obligation to do that for them as soon as possible.
“Then there are players who leave the club and that's not a reflection on them, it's just something that happens.
“When the fixtures come out it makes everyone that bit more excited and start looking forward to the start of the season.
“We've got Sunderland first - which will be a poignant day for Jordan Henderson I'm sure with him being a Sunderland boy and a former player - and then we go to Arsenal. But it doesn't matter what order the games come in. We have to play everyone home and away.”
Meanwhile, captain Steven Gerrard admits Liverpool have been handed a tough opening fixture against Steve Bruce’s men.
But the 31-year-old reckons with more top signings following Henderson through the doors at Melwood, then the Reds can head into the game against the Black Cats confident.
“It is a massive test early on,” said the skipper.
“It's nice to have a home game first, the fans will be right up for it.
“Hopefully we will have a few new signings in and we can start the season with three points which would give us the confidence to then go and get a good result at Arsenal. That is a difficult place to go and we haven't won there for a while.
“It's important to hit the ground running if you want to compete for the title. You can't afford any slip-ups early on.
“It's a tough first two games but I'm really looking forward to them and I think we can get two positive results.”