Wednesday, 21 December 2011

What Will Break the Chicken's Back?

 I'll admit, I have a lot of sympathy for Blackburn Rovers manager, Steve Kean.  He must feel like the guy that got a Porsche for Christmas, only to find out it was a cut and shut and his insurance won't cover the cost!  Because in no way could he have expected the job to go like this when he took over from Sam Allardyce, a year ago.  In fact no one in their right mind would take the job then, if they knew what was going to occur now.  And if you believe the rumours and the stories, things are only about to get worse.

Following the fans' weekly protests to get him the sack; player, Michel Salgado has come out in the press to say the club is refusing to play him as more appearances will trigger a one-year extension on his contract.  An action he suggested, that the club cannot afford.  To top it all off, the latest back page tale is that former Manchester City boss, Mark Hughes is now favourite to take Kean's job.

Salgado has long been a fan favourite and for a long time was one of the first names on the team sheet.  The right-back decided to speak up after coming through a reserve match and then being given five days off.  This follows the news that the player will be encouraged to move on in January.

Kean confirmed the statement was true, but said that Salgado was nowhere near the number of games needed to activate his contract renewal.  Apparently, he was given the time off to 'speak with his agency'.  Although, it seems bizarre not to use an experienced player who fit to play.  Nor can I recall a player needing a whole working week off to speak to his agent.  Not to mention they currently have four other defenders out with injury, with only Ryan Nelsen due to return before the end of January.

Again, this raises questions about the clubs finances and increases the anger of their loyal supporters.  They had said they wouldn't protest during the next two games, but this barely lasted the 90 minutes it took the team to lose against Bolton.  Reports said they refused to leave the stadium grounds until Kean was sacked!

The relationship between fans and owners has been strained since they dramatically took over and sacked Big Sam, a well respected manager with a wealth of experience, to replace him with Kean in his first managerial role.  Followed by their interesting decision to extend his contract while the club languished in the Premier League's bottom three.  With emotions already running high, things only got worse when the owners left the Fulham match at half-time because they found the temperature in the executive box, 'too cold'. 

While the players have publicly backed Kean, you couldn't blame the man for feeling like a stale bit of cheese in a month-old sandwich.  More importantly it is hard to see how anyone involved can carry on with things as they are.  Soon, something will have to give.

Regional newspaper, the Lancashire Telegraph went as far as to call for him to step down on Monday, Tuesday's Sky Sports cameras managed to catch some of the crowd waving said front page after Bolton scored their second goal.

It's not that the fans are happy with the owners but they are willing to be patient, right now they hope Kean leaves and Venky's start running the club in a more traditional manner.  One that doesn't involve the manager flying to India, to have a chat about results and possible transfers.  But there is no doubt they will turn on them too, if they continue to hemorrhage points as they are.  This group of people, who grew up watching their club being nurtured by Jack Walker family are nervous for Rovers' future and it's understandable to see why they feel distrustful of the new owners.

The club have lost four of their last six games and their next six games are against; Liverpool (A), Manchester United (A), Stoke City (H), Fulham (H), Everton (A) and Newcastle United (H).
They have played 17, won just two, drawn four and lost 11.  And as the dreaded Christmas Day table arrives, they sit four points from safety with ten points.

Unfortunately for Kean, the manager is always the scapegoat.  The way he has handled the protests against him, there will be many who feel a little sorry for the guy.  But if the club is still propping up the table come the end of those six matches, it's unlikely he'll last much longer than one of Venky's chickens!

1 comment:

  1. The treatment that Kean has got has been disgusting. Completely agree.

    On the subject of the Salgado contract, I have been having a look on wiki, (it must be true), and it says that he has played in 65 league games for Rovers. It doesn't seem very likely that the contract states that a future fee will be due after 66, 67, 68, or 69 league appearances, and even 70 is a little unlikely. I think that it's only league fixtures that count towards clauses such as this, but even if we include cup appearances, then he currently sits on 72 appearances. Again this doesn't seem likely to cause a trigger at 73 or 74 appearances. It just doesn't make sense to me.

    Having said that, there does seem to be a general feeling that all is not well within Ewood Park and while this particular incident might not be completely accurate, it wouldn't surprise me if there was some semblance of truth behind it.

    Despite all this, I just don't get the attitude of the Rovers fans. I get that they don't think he is good enough and they want him gone, (and I might feel the same in their position), but to boo him when they are still in contention in a game, (or even winning), as they did when Yakubu went goal crazy a few weeks ago is simply beyond me.

    I may not be a fan of Kean or the way his team plays, but give them their dues they bloomin well work for him. Until last night I couldn't say the same thing about the Bolton squad for example, (or Wigan for that matter). This Blackburn team have a little bit of something about them and have been very unlucky in quite a few games that I have followed this season. In Robinson, Samba, Hoilett & Yakubu they have players of the quality to get them out of trouble, and they just need a little bit of something, (whether it be luck or whatever), to turn the corner.

    This season is far from over but they do need their best players on the pitch. If that is Salgado, (really?) then he must play, but either way that's largely irrelevant. Proper fans support the club. Not just in the good times when your club has a very wealthy benefactor and you have the best striker in the Country banging in goals left right and centre, but also when things are not going quite so well. Rovers fans have had the good and now they are getting the other side of things. Perhaps if a few of them stopped chanting negatively during a game, (they can do what they want before and after), then perhaps the players performances might improve.

    I think Wigan & Bolton will go down this season. Part of me wants Rovers to also go down just to punish these disgustingly disloyal fans. Part of me hopes though that the Venkys just stick with him and that Yak bangs in enough goals to keep them up.

    Blackburn Rovers fans should be ashamed of themselves.