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Zenden: Reds have declined since I left

Former Liverpool midfielder Bolo Zenden has highlighted his departure from Anfield as the moment when the Reds' decline took hold, though he feels Kenny Dalglish has already begun to bring the good times back to Anfield.

The Dutchman exited the club four years ago after two injury-blighted seasons, having started the 2007 Champions League final against AC Milan, which Liverpool lost 2-1.

The Merseysiders have subsequently fallen from grace dramatically, with a series of boardroom wrangles harming their pursuit of both a 19th league title and a new stadium.

"When I was at Liverpool, I played in a Champions League final, we were in the top four, there was no instability and everything was fine," Zenden told the Daily Star. "Then because I left everything collapsed!"

Zenden's comments on his own impact may have been tongue-in-cheek but there is no denying that - aside from a title-challenging season in 2008-09 - Liverpool have been on a downward slide.

But the former PSV and Barcelona midfielder, who will face the Reds as a Sunderland player this weekend, believes there are signs of recovery under Kenny Dalglish.

"In Rafa's last years and then when Roy Hodgson came in, everything went a bit wrong," he said. "One week there was meant ot be a takeover, the next it was all off. As for a new stadium, the first stone should have been laid two or three years ago.

"It was turmoil and that is why results suffered. But King Kenny has come back and Liverpool are playing again. There is a really positive vibe about the club. There is still a long way to go, but at the moment Liverpool are only going in one direction."

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