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Why I Feel Sorry For Blackburn Rovers Manager Steve Kean

Before The Venky’s bought Blackburn, the word relegation was hardly a topic that entered the minds of soccer fans when discussing Rovers. Just in the last several years, the club had reached the semi-finals of the League Cup and FA Cup, finished as high as sixth in the league, and had qualified for Europe three times in the space of five years.

Then, just a few weeks after The Venky’s took charge of Blackburn, they sacked manager Sam Allardyce even though the team was in thirteenth place in the league. One year later, the club is bottom of the league and in complete disarray.

Watching Bolton’s victory on Blackburn’s home turf Tuesday night, I felt sorry for Blackburn manager Steve Kean. It’s easy for pundits and soccer fans who haven’t watched Blackburn much this season to criticize them as a poor team. But the fact of the matter is that they’ve played far better than their position in the table hints at. Unfortunately, when Kean needed his Blackburn side to play at a level that they’re completely capable of, they failed to turn up, giving their worst performance of the season against their Lancashire neighbors. Bolton played like the home side Tuesday night and completely deserved the win. Blackburn played better in the second half, but Kean left his substitutions too little too late to have an impact on this game. Having said that, Christopher Samba almost nabbed an equalizer in injury time, but when it sailed past the post, the miss seemed deserved based on Blackburn’s lack of fight during the entire 90 minutes.

The reason why I feel sorry for Kean is that he’s doing the best he can with the resources he has at his disposal. If anyone is to blame, it’s Blackburn’s owners. But since they’re so removed from the club, Steve Kean is the easy target. He’s no hero and isn’t the best man for the job, but the shortsighted decision to sack Allardyce and put Kean in charge wasn’t Kean’s decision. The Venky’s were the ones who decided to pull the trigger. And, as a result, it should be the Indian owners who are to blame.

Blackburn’s Ewood Park was not a place for the faint-hearted on Tuesday. Immediately after the final whistle blew, throngs of Blackburn supporters showed their outrage as they tried to run up to manager Steve Kean. Security was able to keep the supporters at a safe distance from Kean, but the negative atmosphere hung over Ewood Park like a dark cloud. After all, this is the same club who won the Premier League title in 1994-95. And it was this small town in Europe who played in the Champions League.

Sacking Steve Kean seems inevitable, but whoever replaces the Scotsman will find it tough to keep Blackburn up this season. The two men who could do the job are Mark Hughes and Allardyce. Big Sam, I’m sure, wouldn’t touch Blackburn with a ten foot pole while The Venky’s are still in charge, and I don’t think Hughes would be interested in taking a step backwards to manage Blackburn once again especially after the way he left Fulham. If neither of those managers take the job at Ewood Park, is there anyone out there who could save Blackburn this season?

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  1. Harold

    December 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I felt sorry for Steve Kean last night, but it is obvious that he is not up to the job and cannot motivate the players. As soon as Bolton scored early on the players heads dropped and didn’t look like they were going to put any kind of fight for the rest of the half.

    The crowd have to take their share of the blame – booing the team and unfurling “Kean Out” banners as early as the 5th minute on a night when they should have been getting behind their team and making it intimidating for Bolton. Have your protests before and after the game if you disagree with the owners and management, but for 90 minutes you should always get behind your team – with fans like that Blackburn deserve to get relegated

  2. Geoff

    December 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Venky’s might be to blame but I agree with the report above which places Kean out of his depth and yet happy to take the money. If he had any moral scruples he would quit all the bullsh*t he is so good at and fall on his sword. He could always take to the bottle for comfort, I believe he’s got honours for that!!!

    The team remain loyal because he’s conning them as well. He was bad from the moment he took over. Oh I admit that anything other than the big boot upfield would be fantastic after big Sam but to be fair to Sam we did not look like getting relegated. He did know what he was doing, this guy hasn’t a clue. However if he were as good as a manager as he is at bullshit he would be surely next in line for Fergie’s job.

    I make a suggestion to all fans. Stay away until Kean is replaced as manager. Perhaps that would give the Chicken farmers an idea of what championship crowds are like. We are not making any impression, as fans, in any other area, so lets withdraw our support until he goes.

    Until Kean goes I’m not going back to Rovers and I have pre-paid my ticket.


  3. Harry

    December 21, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    When the majority of fans are against you it’s difficult to manage. Just ask Roy Hodgson about his time at Liverpool.

    Kean hasn’t been able to get the players to perform and that’s why he should be fired. Blackburn have some decent players and should not be bottom of the table. The players should also take responsibility for their poor performances. It’s the players who are out on the field not the manager.

    The best thing for Blackburn is for new owners are a new manager. The owners will have to promise funds to a new manager for the January transfer window if they expect to attract a better manager. I think they will and I would not be surprised if Mark Hughes or Alan Shearer is the new manager by week’s end.

  4. Thomas

    December 21, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Think its a bit ridiculous for you to say the team failed to show up for the Bolton game. Now I have only seen Blackburn play a few times this season, once against my club Aston Villa, but they have been very poor, and immediately after the Villa games I told all of my friends that Blackburn would definitely be going down.

    Obviously the first half against Bolton was poor, but they came out and played very hard for their manager in the 2nd half and I will concede that they were unlucky to not get atleast a point out of the game.

    • The Gaffer

      December 21, 2011 at 11:49 am

      Blackburn played much better in the second half, but they only had one shot on target in the last 45 minutes and that was the goal that Yakubu scored. I don’t agree that they were unlucky not to at least get a point.

      The Gaffer

  5. Lee

    December 21, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Although most of the people on this site will agree with you Gaffer, the people of Lancashire have made their decision. If things don’t get drastically better in the near future, i see a bleak future for Kean at Rovers.

    Especially with them facing Liverpool next. If they can beat them, it would be a massive lift to the fans spirits.

    If he does get sacked, I’m sure he will find a nice championship side that fits him better.

  6. James

    December 21, 2011 at 10:01 am

    It starts with Venky’s giving Kean a contract. They’ve been their own PR problem by being too open with the press in the beginning and that hurt them cause now anything they say or don’t say will bite them.

    Kean can’t organize a defense at all. There have been times where the squad has played really well and deserved something but just as many if not more where they’ve looked clueless. Rovers have been a budget team for quite some time and have managed with the right manager. Steve Kean’s not it.

    This is a guy who I was willing to give a shot after he kept Rovers up last year, but no more.

  7. NoOneLikesUsWeDon'tCare

    December 21, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Kean is bad, Venky’s are worse

  8. will

    December 21, 2011 at 7:34 am

    im sorry but you obviously havent been watching the same Blackburn Rovers i watch every game, home and away as a season ticket holder for the past 20 years.

    Yes you are right, the owners are shocking, the FA should be ashamed of themselves to pass these bufoons fit to run a club. I hope Channel 4 ‘s Dispatches investigates this takeover as it was almost certainly corrupt in some shape or form.


    You sympathise with a smug, greedy selfish unexperienced non manager who stabbed his former boss in the back, who knows hes not up to the job, who is only holding out for a payoff through his greed, who calls his fans donuts, who laughs fans opinions off week in week out. Your sympathy is best kept to yourself because one day this tragic set of circumstances may occur at your own club.

    We are completely inept in games, the worst we have been since i started watching them, and that is down to Steve Keans abysmal tactics, starting lineups and incomprehensible changes. The two games we have won this season were extremely fortunate. How many times does Arsenal score two own goals and how many times does Yak score 4 in a game?

    You are quite honestly insulting Rovers fans who have had to endure this shambles for 12 months and have finally had enough. Fair play to them all for voicing their discontent. You would too with your own team.

    We actually have a good team on paper, now Venkys – – do the right thing for once and get in a real manager such as Sparky and see the lads play some decent football for a change.

    • The Gaffer

      December 21, 2011 at 8:27 am

      Will, I disagree. I’m a Swansea City supporter, so I know what it feels like to be a whisker away from going out of existence.

      Also, I still believe that Rovers have played well this season. They completely outplayed Swansea earlier this season and deserved the three points against a team that Liverpool and Newcastle United couldn’t beat.

      I agree that Kean deserves the sack, but the issue is The Venkys. When Kean gets the sack, this Rovers team is not going to bounce back unless there are several players brought in during the January transfer window. The Venky’s are a joke. The sooner the club gets new owners, the sooner they’ll be able to get back up on its feet again.

      The Gaffer

  9. Ben

    December 21, 2011 at 7:23 am

    nobody is saying venkys are not the main problem, its just the fans have to go route one and ask for the managers head, results dont lie, have all these pro kean but anti venkys idiots got a spare 30 mill plus to buy these fools out? if not then wee have to put up with them and go for the obvious. you also go on about resources? we had far less resources under the walker trust and with experinced managers like souness, hughes and allardyce have done well with little or no resources. so speak to the football fan with accurate argument than apposed to personal drivle. kean has failed as did kidd and ince, a proper manager may not save us but could at least give us a fighting chance in the championship. venkys are to blame but the ammount of time it would take them to sell or even greater time to get someone to buy we would be in the league 1 by the time that happens. the buck stops in the short term with the manager, who ever is at fault. so gain a little bit of common sense and dont insult the intelligence of fans who pay good money over the years to support OUR team

  10. Rick

    December 21, 2011 at 7:05 am

    You’re totally right that it should be the owners to blame. However, it is long past time to fire Steve Kean. It’s nothing against him, but they need to change something.

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