Have Ewood Park outfit compounded an original error with an even bigger mistake?
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An air of confusion still lingers over Ewood Park following the past week’s events, despite the appointment of Steve Kean as manager until the end of the season, with a lot of questions still to be answered by the club’s new Indian owners.
The first issue being the way that Sam Allardyce’s sacking was handled only 2 and a half weeks after promising that his position as manager was safe. The club found itself in 13th position, 5 points from the relegation zone but only 3 points from 5th place, following the defeat to Bolton, and with the promise of funds to invest in the squad during January all looked to be going well. Admittedly the team was slightly off form, with 3 defeats from their last 5 games, including the 7-1 annihilation by Manchester United, but it was nothing a good transfer splurge wouldn’t have cured them of.
So if league position wasn’t the issue, then what was? Perhaps Anuradha Desai, chairman of the Venky’s Group that now owns Rovers, can explain? “We want good football, and Blackburn to be fifth or fourth in the league, or even better,” she is quoted as saying. In other words, the chairman of a company that made its money in poultry farming and pharmaceuticals has decided that Sam Allardyce’s style of football isn’t good enough. Now, my Mum always told me that a bowl of chicken soup is good for all that ails ye, but I find it hard to believe that it could tell me how to play better football. I fear the same may be the case for the likes of Chris Samba, Ryan Nelson and Stephen N’Zonzi, all of whom are totally no-nonsense players and are integral parts of the Blackburn team of Big Sam. Samba is reported to have already handed in a transfer request, while Nelson has also been a vocal critic of the way in which Allardyce left the club. If I were a Blackburn fan, I wouldn’t be too surprised if a few disgruntled players made swift exits during the upcoming window.
And so we move on to the man who has been brought in to encourage this new, beautiful, flowing style of football so craved by Mr and Mrs Tweedy in order to get their chicken farm sorry, football club playing the way they desire. Wild rumours were abound that Maradona had been offered the post, but in the end the job went to first team coach Steve Kean until the end of the season. Now, maybe I’m being naïve, but if I wanted to entirely change the way my club played football by appointing a new manager, my choice probably wouldn’t have been one of the coaches who was already on the club’s payroll.
But maybe the new owners are on to something. Maybe Big Sam wasn’t going to get them into the Champions League this year. Maybe Steve Kean has been holding back under Allardyce, and now with the club at his mercy he will unleash a team full of flair and creativity if he gets the chance to dabble in the transfer market. Heck, maybe with players like David Dunn and Morten Gamst Pedersen already at the club, Blackburn can afford to look to a new, innovative future with these two as examples of what could be.
On the other hand, maybe we have another case of new owners trying to mess with the status quo just because they can. Only time will tell whether or not they walk away from this experience with egg on their faces.
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