Tag: Blackburn Rovers

The Venky’s Scattergun Approach Strikes Again At Blackburn

Farewell then, Michael Appleton. After sixty-seven days and fifteen matches, the former Portsmouth and Blackpool manager – and that’s just this season- became the third manager to leave Blackburn Rovers as the itchy trigger finger of the club’s owners, Venkys, got the better of them yet again. There was a time, roughly a year ago, when it seemed as if the owners of the club were almost swivel-eyed in their devotion to its then-manager, Steve Kean, but those days must seem like a long time ago for the supporters of a club that might yet be sliding towards a second successive relegation, this time from the Championship. Since Kean departed from the club at the end of September, Blackburn’s owners have been acting like lovers on the rebound. After a brief dalliance with Eric Black, former player Henning Berg lasted for just ten matches – winning just one of them – before, after another temporary manager in the form of Gary Bowyer, Appleton was appointed in January. Things might have been so different for Appleton. After bedding in at the club, we had a little run of three successive wins in the league and even took his team to The Emirates Stadium to beat Arsenal in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup. This result, however, turned out to be the end of the beginning and the beginning of...

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Blackburn May Prove A Tipping Point For Arsene Wenger

It was on the seventeenth of January 1996 that this last happened. Having been held at Highbury by Sheffield United, Bruce Rioch’s Arsenal team travelled north to Brammall Lane for a replay in Third Round of the FA Cup but were beaten by a goal mid-way through the second half, scored for the Division One club by Carl Veart. At the end of a season which saw Arsenal beaten over two legs in the semi-finals of the League Cup by Aston Villa and finishing in fifth place in the Premier League – a considerable improvement on the team’s twelfth-placed finish the season before under George Graham and the hapless Stuart Houston – Arsenal embarked upon a summer of discontent which culminated in Rioch leaving the club five days before the start of the new season after a dispute with the club’s vice-chairman David Dein (and, by proxy, its then-majority shareholder Danny Fiszman) over transfer funds. Rioch is now little more than a footnote in the history of this club, remembered for being little more than the man who brought Dennis Bergkamp to the club. His successor warrants a chapter of his own, but at The Emirates Stadium yesterday afternoon it started to feel as if a tipping point may have been reached in the increasingly fractured relationship between Arsene Wenger and the supporters of Arsenal Football Club. Already knocked...

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Blackburn’s Shebby Singh Faces The Nation

Frost/Nixon it wasn’t. Yet Blackburn Rovers global advisor, ex-player and TV pundit Shebby Singh was ‘interesting’ when interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live’s 6-0-6 phone-in programme last weekend. Rovers fans, though, might have found another word beginning with ‘I’ for Singh after his BBC Radio performances this week. Handing an important role to an ex-player and TV pundit is always of questionable wisdom. But the BBC persists with Robbie Savage on 6-0-6, “the UK’s biggest football phone-in,” so we’ll have to grin and bear it. And at least Savage had proper journalist Darren Fletcher alongside him, if matters got preposterous. Not that Singh spotted this, namechecking “Robbie” throughout his interview, and starting each answer with “well, Robbie, you know”, regardless of who had actually asked him the question. Singh’s mid-June appointment as the Rao’s representative at Ewood Park was ridiculed by anyone who had seen his “outspoken” punditry on ESPN Star’s EPL coverage over the past 11 years. That he was apparently appointed Rovers’ global football advisor in July 2011 because of that punditry (Robin Van Persie is “wasted as a striker” apparently) only invited more ridicule. Singh quickly lived down to that reputation for mindless out-speaking with crass summer comments about midfielder Morten Gamst-Pedersen and then-manager Steve Kean. But you have to hear him speak to realise how ridiculous he and his appointment really is. The 6-0-6 interview...

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Blackburn & Forest Draw First In The Championship’s Holiday Season Of The Long Knives

It hasn’t been a terribly happy Christmas break in the Football League Championship, with two sackings immediately after the festive period which can only be considered to be perfect summations of the insanity of the hair-trigger nature of modern football club ownership. At both Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest, managers have lost their jobs today for under somewhat different circumstances but with the same ultimate result, that of nationwide head-shaking at decisions which go against every instinct of what sound custodianship of a football club should be about. Though the timing of these two decisions means that they will be lumped together as one, though, there are clear differences between them – one of these dismissals has come at a club at which such behaviour has become something approaching the norm in recent years and the other at a club which was due to be ushering in a return to past glories with the arrival of a new owner during the summer. First of all, then, to Ewood Park and the ever-adorable Venkys, an organisation which has been managing to snatch defeat from the jaws of defeat – frequently, it has rather felt, with something almost approaching a degree of relish – ever since they first took Blackburn Rovers over. Last summer’s inevitable relegation from the Premier League was the opportunity for the owners to run a clean sweep...

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The Axe Fails To Fall On Steve Kean… For Now

It was a story that was completely in keeping with the entire way in which Blackburn Rovers Football Club has been run over the last couple of years or so that whether it was true or not was almost irrelevant. As a barometer of what most think of the owners of the club, that the story that Steve Kean had been sacked its manager and then decided to carry on anyway as if nothing had happened was so readily believed in itself spoke volumes about the respect – or the lack thereof – with which both are held amongst the clubs support and the wider world of football. When viewed through this prism, that he remains in charge of the club is the icing on the cake for all bar the beleaguered supporters of the club themselves, but how much longer he can remain in this position is still a matter for conjecture, even if the previous form of both the owners and the manager suggest a tendency to hang on until the bitter, bitter end. It was entirely in keeping with the chaotic nature of this football club that Keans future should be called into question in this respect at a time during which it may just about be able to state a case for saying that he has turned some sort of corner. Blackburn Rovers spent a...

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