Blackburn’s Steve Kean and Worrying Similarities to Sammy Lee

blackburn rovers Blackburn’s Steve Kean and Worrying Similarities to Sammy Lee

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.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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5 Responses to Blackburn’s Steve Kean and Worrying Similarities to Sammy Lee

  1. Jake says:

    Keane will get a reprieve on Wednesday as Blackburn play Liverpool who have a terrible away record. Liverpool are still struggling with Hodgson in charge and even though they beat Bolton they could easily have drawn that game. Blackburn can beat Liverpool if they play attacking soccer.

    How long Keane can survive as manager will be down to how well he does after the January transfer window closes. They will probably lose Samba and it will be interesting to see who they bring in as his replacement. Blackburn has also bid for Ronaldinho which doesn’t make sense from a soccer standpoint as he is over the hill and will find the EPL tough to play in. They have reportedly offered him 20 million pounds over three years which is ridiculous. Maybe they think they’ll be able to sell lots of shirts to make up the money.

  2. WalesAndy says:

    Sadly, I think the appointment of Kean was a stupid one. It’s a well known fact that number two’s don’t make good number one’s. The Sammy Lee example is a good one, and with Venky’s declaring that they are willing to spend up to 21 million quid which includes wages on Ronaldinho, I think that’s another stupid decision. They could get 3 – good premier league players that could keep them up this season, for 21 million quid. I have a really bad feeling that Blackburn will be going down, simply because the owners have no idea what they are doing, and that’s shown both in their ridiculous interview’s with sky sports, and their sacking of England’s second best manager – Sam Allerdyce.

    • The Gaffer says:

      I agree Andy. I don’t have a lot of faith in the Venky’s. So far, it’s been very much of a carnival atmosphere at Ewood Park since they bought the club. Sacking Big Sam, talking about selling the naming rights to Ewood Park, mentioning their interest in Beckham and Ronaldinho even though I don’t believe neither player would even consider it, and giving Kean a long-term contract despite the fact that he’s only managed the club for a few games. A recipe for disaster (excuse the pun).

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  3. Jake says:

    Told you so, Blackburn 3 – Liverpool 1. Keane gets his reprieve and may just hang on to the job till the end of the season.

    Now it’s going to be all about when will Hodgson get fired. I think it will be after the spanking Liverpool get at Old Trafford on Sunday. Hodgson has to be the worst manager in the EPL when it comes to away records. Serves the ‘Pool right for thinking he was going to be a decent manager when his overall record said it wasn’t. They thought getting an English manager with lots of EPL experience was the right tonic. Oh, how wrong they were.

  4. Carolyn says:

    Wrong. Hodgson will be out in the morning.

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