Tag: Blackburn Rovers

Wigan, Bolton & Blackburn Labour Under Grey Lancastrian Skies

The absence of the top five or six clubs from much of the schedule for yesterday’s Premier League fixtures may have meant that the eyes of many may have drifted towards the bottom of the table instead. As has been the case for the previous couple of seasons, the bottom half of the Premier League table is starting to look rather congested, with just six points separating the team in tenth place in the table from the relegation places. With the half-way point in the season starting to come into view there is, therefore, all to play for, yet the bottom three places in the table are currently inhabited by three clubs of broadly similar proportions. Wigan Athletic, Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers are all Lancastrian clubs, living in the perpetually long shadow of their more glamorous rivals, but these three clubs have not reacted in the same way to their currently straitened circumstances. Many of the headlines concerning the foot of the table have concerned the ongoing supporter protests at Blackburn Rovers against their manager, Steve Kean. Yesterday afternoon, Rovers up slipped again in the Premier League, when a late goal from Peter Odemwingie gave West Bromwich Albion a win at Ewood Park. Kean would have the air of being a dead man walking about him were it not for one highly significant matter: he seems to have...

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Match Of The Week: Blackburn Rovers 4-3 Arsenal

For the second time this season, the heavens opened on a Saturday lunchtime for Arsenal in more senses than one today, and this time around they contrived to be more defensively profligate than on the previous occasion, last month against Liverpool. For all the hysteria in the immediate aftermath of that match, it was plausible to chalk down that loss as having had a element of the freak about it. An own goal and a second on the break with only seconds left to play gave Arsenal’s supporters something to cling to and, while the thrashing at the hands of Manchester United managed to speak for itself, results since then – a scrambled and slightly fortuitous win against Swansea City followed by an honorable draw at Dortmund in the Champions League – offered a fig leaf of respectability to a season that has has largely, thus far, been one of massive disappointment. Today, though, the fig leaf was washed away in the Lancashire rain. Prior to kick-off, it was the supporters of Blackburn Rovers that were actively demonstrating, calling for the head of their most peculiar choice of manager, Steve Kean. They may even reflect this evening that their team didn’t even play particularly brilliantly this afternoon – rather, they took advantage of the chances that they had, showed a little character in overturning a two goal deficit and...

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The Twohundredpercent Premier League Previews: Blackburn Rovers

Although the close season seems to be getting shorter and shorter, the summer is a chance for football clubs to regroup and rebuild, and it goes without saying that some clubs need more rebuilding during this break than others. Comment assent seems to have it that, in the summer of 2011, one of the Premier League clubs that is in the most drastic need for surgery is Blackburn Rovers. Last season came close to being a nightmare season for the club. Its take-over by the Venky’s London Group in November of last year was greeted by supporters with a combination of excitement and apprehension. This was another new group of people choosing to dip their toe into the water of the Premier League, and they did so for the arguably reasonable price of £23m. Nine months on, the jury is still out on the club’s owners. Their first significant move was one that arguably affected the rest of the club’s season. Sam Allardyce may be some way from being everybody’s taste, but he had at least led the club to the relative comfort of a mid-table position the year before and a considerable amount of experience at managing in the Premier League. He lasted, however, barely three and a half weeks in the job under Venkys’ ownership. His replacement, Steve Kean, was lowered into the position very slowly. Some...

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How Literal Will The Premier League’s Survival Sunday Be?

In an August 2009 Radio 5 Live programme on the Premier League’s financial troubles, Supporters Direct Chief Executive Dave Boyle addressed the issue of the “chasm” between Premier League and Football League finances. “Once upon a time,” he said to a gathering of football people including the then-Birmingham chairman David Gold, who wasn’t ‘sitting comfortably’, “relegation meant you’d not had a good season. Now it seems to be this existential ‘it’s the end of the club, it’s the end of the world as we know it.’” Boyle’s theory was tested to an extent by that season’s relegation of Hull City and Portsmouth. But it was difficult to gauge how much of Hull’s traumas were down to the gap between the leagues, or the gap between owner Russell Bartlett’s financial strategies and sanity. And Portsmouth, of course, was a test of a different set of theories entirely, largely connected with the wisdom of allowing convicted Russian/Israeli gun-runners to try out a Premier League club’s bank account for size. Allegedly. Some of this season’s bottom six might put Boyle’s theory to a more pertinent test. The bottom six has mostly been the three ‘Bs’ – Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool – nestling uncomfortably on top of the three ‘Ws’ – West Ham United, Wigan Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers (the five ‘Ws’, if you have a certain view of the Hammers’...

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Living Colour: Ince as a Cult of Personality

In what appears to be incredibly bad timing, on the same week Professional Footballers Association Chief Executive Gordon Taylor called for the hiring of more minority managers in English football, League One club Notts County sacked one of the two with a job. Earlier in the week, Taylor marked Paul Ince as one to be fast-tracked for future Premiership managerial vacancies, and along with Chris Powell of Charlton, one who might benefit from institutionally-imposed pressure on clubs to interview and hire more black British managers. Then, the Ince-led Notts County continued a five match beaten streak in which no goals have been scored to begin its month of April. County now sit perilously close to relegation back to League Two. Regardless of skin colour, form like that threatens any gaffer with the sack. Having only previously managed at the League Two level with Macclesfield Town and the Franchise, Ince was thrust into the spotlight perhaps a touch too early when special dispensation was granted to allow him the managerial leap three divisions up to the Premiership in 2008. That experience in the top flight was rather short-lived, however, as after Blackburn endured a six match beaten streak by December, Rovers chair John Williams sacked Ince six months into the job. Ince climbed back down the ladder, this time settling in League One with the club he had led to promotion–the club formerly known as Wimbledon FC. One has to wonder if the fast-tracking of...

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