It is difficult to understand the ins and outs at a football club unless you actually live and breath that club and go to matches every week. It is also difficult to understand fan opinion and the reasons behind those opinions unless you are a fan yourself or spend a vast amount of time with fans of the club in question. This is why at Football Rascal we got a Blackburn fan to tell us from the inside what fans thought of Steve Kean, the Venky’s and the general situation at Blackburn Rovers. Several weeks on from that article (dare I say) things are looking slightly more positive for Blackburn as Steve Kean has started to get some of the performances he wanted from his team.
A win tonight for Blackburn (vs Sunderland) will put the club 5 points clear of 17th placed Bolton Wanderers and 6 points clear of the bottom 3 – not that this means Blackburn would be safe, but they are at least heading in the right direction. Steve Kean has managed to get his Blackburn side fighting and is getting some small reward after keeping his dressing room largely together this season, despite all the issues everyone connected with the club have faced.
Regardless of what happens in Blackburn’s game against Sunderland, I fancy them to stay up. Blackburn score a lot of goals, the seventh most in the Premier League, which is something the other teams at the bottom are struggling with. But what happens if Blackburn do survive?
It would put the fans between a rock and a hard place when it comes to Steve Kean. For example, if Steve Kean keeps the club up then he should keep his job as he clearly has the confidence of the owners, but the majority of fans will probably still oppose him which will no favours for anyone next season. If Blackburn are eventually relegated, then Kean will no doubt be out on his ear much to the joy of many fans, but the team will be in the Championship with no guarantee that they will get out anytime soon. As a Blackburn fan, which is the lesser of two evils?
Premier League survival needs to be any team and any fans number one priority – so what will that mean for Steve Kean? The fans can continue to hate him, but should they really if he does keep them up? Maybe opinions need to change.
To be an advocate of a movement that fundamentally opposes the roles of Steve Kean and also the Venky’s at Blackburn means it will be very difficult for fans to change their minds on Kean even if they wanted to. To stand up and support the manager as a Blackburn fan would take a big man in the face of such hatred, but maybe Kean has earned his chance the hard way.
Being Steve Kean cannot be very pleasant; he has to have an almost 24/7 bodyguard for his own safety, he must be constantly worried about his wife and kids well-being, whilst he also has to put up with constant abuse and threats which would be enough to make any human being crumble…oh yeah and he has to deal with the stress of managing a Premier League team. To put up with all of this and not walk away from his position is very admirable, it shows desire and commitment to bring success to a club that he has no real affinity to.
Most of the football world condemns the treatment Celtic manager Neil Lennon has received, but Steve Kean’s treatment at Blackburn hasn’t been so different to that of Lennon’s. As the football world was once again given a reality check after what happened to Fabrice Muamba, is it time for fans to back Kean?
I understand the opposition towards the Venky’s with things so up in the air, who doesn’t, but maybe it is time to cut Steve Kean some slack. Kean is somehow managing to keep a inexperienced Blackburn team from being relegated – if you look at the experience of the 1998/99 Blackburn side that was relegated, being fifth from bottom with the current squad is quite a feat. Yes, Kean has over-promised and under-delivered, but so have the Venky’s in regards to backing Kean. Blackburn fans need to ask themselves ‘is it time to back the manager?’ as he could be there for the long haul.