Events at Ewood Park have oscillated between soap opera and farce since the arrival of the infamous Venkys. Following Blackburn’s 7-1 thumping at the Emirates last weekend we asked lifelong Rovers fan Joe Searson to offer his opinions on what’s gone wrong at a club that deserves better.
My frustrations? Where to start? I’ll start at the back.
Mark Bunn, who starred in our draw at Anfield (which kick-started a run of form that gave Kean one the most generous stays of execution in football management history) and then did nothing wrong in the following games, was replaced by Paul Robinson (who has one of, if not the, worst shot/save ratios in the league) at the first opportunity. The stats that show Arsenal only had 8 shots on target are hardly surprising.
Grant Hanley was dropped after putting in a string of solid performances, which coincided with our best run of the season that included a point at Anfield, a win at Old Trafford (in which Hanley got the winner) and only our second home win of the season. His replacement? Scott Dann. If its true that Arsenal had been looking at him before we signed him then Mr Wenger was certainly not left cursing ‘the one that got away’ after witnessing the performance he put in on Saturday. It’s the type of performance we’re used to now though, so why Kean persists in playing him only he knows.
Who on earth do we think we are giving Chris Samba the Tevez treatment?
Elsewhere, who on earth do we think we are giving Chris Samba the Tevez treatment? Granted, he’s been an unprofessional twat. But we quite simply don’t have the players or resources (despite Venkys’ promises) to let him rot in our reserves. It was crystal clear that he didn’t want to be here at the start of the transfer window (it’s been the case for a few seasons now in fact). So if we weren’t going to play an unhappy player, why the hell did we not cash in on him and bring in some much needed quality? I agree the £7million offer from QPR was embarrassing for a player of Samba’s quality, but we could have at least brought in a player or two that Mr Kean is willing to play. If he’s not straight back into the starting eleven for the next game I’ll give up.
It’s not all doom and gloom however.
As baffling as some of Kean’s decisions have been, it has been him who has got the team playing the way they’ve been playing (ignoring the Arsenal game). And we have looked very good at times. He’s clearly a good coach. And why wouldn’t he be? That’s what he’s made a career out of. But he’s certainly no manager. This is evidenced not only in the baffling decisions I’ve mentioned, but also in his comments to the media (particularly post-match), his handling of situations such as the Samba one, his transfer dealings and his hair-cut. How much of these issues are influenced by the Venkys I don’t know. But it comes as no surprise that our turnaround in form over the Christmas period came during Paul Clement’s spell as assistant manager. His departure to Paris St Germain coincided with the return to odd decisions on Mr Kean’s part, and a reversion to poor performances on the pitch.
So whilst I think Kean can still do a job at the club, I’d much rather it be as a coach than in a managerial position. And if Venkys are as adamant as they appear that he will not be removed from his post (whether they can’t afford to, or they feel it would be too humiliating to do after so long) then perhaps bringing in a director of football could be the way forward?