It’s early days, but I’m beginning to see a lot of worrying parallels between Blackburn manager Steve Kean and Sammy Lee, assistant manager at Liverpool.
Lee was assistant manager at Bolton Wanderers for two years under Sam Allardyce. When Lee stepped up to become manager after Sam Allardyce left to join Newcastle United, Lee finally had a chance to make his name as a football manager. Lee took Bolton’s brand of football under Allardyce and changed it. Instead of floating long balls up to the front men, Lee tried to get his Bolton side playing more of a passing game. His goal was to bring a more entertaining and exciting brand of football to Bolton. He dropped Kevin Nolan and Gary Speed. However, the new brand of football didn’t produce results and Lee was sacked after winning three games in fourteen, a winning percentage of 21.
Steve Kean’s winning percentage at Blackburn is 25 after winning one game out of four. This past weekend in Blackburn’s 3-0 loss against Sunderland, Kean employed an attacking style of football that allowed David Hoilett and David Dunn more room to be creative in midfield. While Blackburn were hampered with injuries to nine players, most importantly being without Christopher Samba, Paul Robinson, Phil Jones and Steven Nzonzi, Rovers still created chances in front of goal and were unfortunate not to pull at least a goal back.
Whether Kean’s attacking football will flourish depends a lot on the promises made by The Venky’s regarding the January transfer window. If Kean can get the type of players he needs to execute his brand of football, then anything is possible. But after Sammy Lee lived in Allardyce’s shadows for two years but ultimately failed, I have the same fear for Steve Kean who was the first team coach under Allardyce for 18 months before Big Sam was sacked.
I really hope Kean can do a better job in terms of points at Blackburn than Lee did at Bolton. Soccer fans around the globe would be appreciative if Blackburn could play a more appealing brand of football such as the way that Owen Coyle turned Bolton around and got them where they are today. Bolton has exorcised the ghosts of Allardyce. It’s now time for Kean to do the same at Blackburn.