The Big Decision: Blackburn Rovers’ New Manager
October 21, 2012 in Championship
I never got to write the blog entitled ‘Steve Kean sacked’ – it was the last cruel injustice of the Scotsman’s prolonged, painful and devastating spell as manager of my beloved Rovers. A so-called ‘forced resignation’ happened on a jubilant Friday night over three weeks ago, but Venky’s have still not appointed his successor, Kean’s heir apparent has not yet materialised. You’d like to think that anyone would be better than Kean, but that isn’t quite the case.
So let’s have a look at the candidates and weigh up their pros and cons:
The current caretaker – Eric Black
Given Venky’s previous decision to appoint the first-team coach to the position of manager, it could be conceivable that Black is actually too experienced for the post. He has managed before (with Coventry and Motherwell), but hasn’t won a league game since 2004. Many have come to the assumption that Rovers owners are merely waiting for the Scot to win a game before handing him the reigns of the club, but I believe they’d be foolish to appoint Black. He is too close to the Kean era, and could end up as a Steve Kean mark II; if this appointment were to happen then it could be the end of the line for many Rovers fans.
The up and comer – Henrik Larsson
Shebby Singh, Rovers Global Advisor, has made it well known that he is looking for a young manager to take the role at the club. Larsson fits that mould, like Hughes did back in 2004. Landskrona BoIS has been the Swede’s first managerial appointment and he’s held the job since 2009, but will a lack of experience hold him back or will it endear him towards a disgruntled fan base? I don’t think that Larsson is the way forward for the club, as his tactics are suspect and his personal Championship level experience is hardly vast, and remember for every Mark Hughes, there is a Paul Ince waiting to rip the club apart.
The sensible choice – Ian Holloway
A man who knows the division very well. A man whose press conferences are worth watching (unlike Steve Kean), and a man who has seen through a promotion-winning season at Blackpool. Holloway endeared himself to the world in his solitary year in the Premier League, and many Rovers fans will be hoping he is able to bring back top class football to Ewood Park. The Bristolian would have to walk out on a very good job though, and a side he has hand crafted over many years. I would love to see him at Blackburn, but will be come? I don’t think so…
The no.1 target – Tim Sherwood
The returning Rover who can inspire the fans to once more get behind the club, or so that is the story sold to the Ewood faithful. The question is, will he enticed back to the club where he won his only Premier League title? He may have fond memories of the club and shared experiences with fans, but the club has changed a lot since he left in 1999. The management decision isn’t all about appeasement of the Ewood regulars though, it has to be about talent; and if Spurs’ constant refusal to let Sherwood speak to Singh is anything to go by, then this guy must have it in spades. Fans will surely give Sherwood time in the hotseat, but he would need to get some results earlier on in the campaign.
My choice – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Rovers need to gain some credibility back, and there are few people I respect more in the game than the baby-faced assassin from Norway. Ole has to be considered as a future Manchester United manager (as Mark Hughes once was…) and he wouldn’t stay with Rovers for the next 20 years, but he should be able to put the club back on the right track.
Whoever gets the job will need to engage with the fans and the players. The key rule is don’t freeze out anyone from the team who could be a full-timer and respect the fanbase.
The job is actually quite-easy, just be an Anti-Steve Kean…
…Oh and P.S don’t be Roy Keane either.