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Championship 2012/13 Preview: Blackburn Rovers

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Club: Blackburn Rovers
Last season’s position: 19th (relegated from Premiership)

Recent history:

Famously, Blackburn are one of only five teams to have won the Premier League in its 20 year history, however the 16 years which have passed since Jack Walker’s funding helped them lift English football’s top trophy must feel like a long time ago for fans of the Lancashire club.

In the more recent history, Sam Allardyce led Rovers to the League Cup semi final and a 10th place finish in the top flight in the 2009-10 season. Despite this, new owners Venky’s sacked Allardyce shortly after purchasing the club in November 2010 replacing by first team coach Steve Kean. The eighteen months since have seen the clubs slide cemented in relegation, fan protests over both Venky and Kean’s continued roles at Blackburn and an ugly looking law suit filed by Allardyce over comments made by Kean in a foreign bar.

Manager profile:

It would be hard to describe Kean’s managerial career to date as anything other than a disaster. With a dire win percentage of just 25.7% the Scotsman has been the subject of fan unrest, with games at Ewood Park often culminating in protests after another crushing defeat. Despite this, Kean almost inexplicably has had the backing of the board up until now, inspiring unfounded conspiracy rumours as to the true circumstances surrounding his employment. It appears however Venky’s patience may have run out, with “Global Advisor” Shebby Singh insisting Kean could be sacked if he lost three games in a row in the up coming season (a bizarre tirade which also included describing long serving fans favourite Morten Gamst Pedersen a “pensioner”).

Despite the ongoing uncertainty Venkys have backed Kean this summer, with a “Transfers in” column that would make Addicks mouths water. In a wide open division the added quality which makes Blackburn’s squad look arguably their strongest in the last few seasons could indeed deliver promotion, perhaps in spite of Kean rather than because of him.

Summer transfer activity:

In: Colin Kazim-Richards (Galatasaray/loan), Dickson Etuhu (Fulham/£1.6m),Fabio Nunes (Portimonense/Undisc.),Nuno Gomes (Braga/Free),Leon Best (Newcastle/£3.4m),Danny Murphy (Fulham/Free),Paulo Jorge (Porto/Undisc.)

Out: Nick Blackman (Sheffield Utd/Undisc.),Matthew Pearson (Rochdale/Free),David Hoilett (QPR/Undisc.),Yakubu (Guangzhou/£1.2m),Herold Goulon, Vince Grella, Michel Salgado (all released)

Expected line-up:

Robinson, Orr, Olsson, Givet, Dann, Formica, Pedersen, Murphy, Etuhu, Best, Kazim-Richards

Expected Tactics/Formation

Thanks to the summer’s investment Kean now has a wealth of options at his disposal. The line up so far has seen the team generally follow a 4-4-2 formation in pre-season; however the addition of Best, Kazim-Richards and Gomes in forward positions could see Rovers easily switch to a 4-3-3. The strength of the squad means Blackburn have the depth to deal with the injuries and suspensions which will inevitably arrive over the long Championship season.

What are the fans saying?

Resentment at both Venkys and Kean continues to simmer at Ewood and you could bet that this again would spill over after the team suffer their first loss should it come early on. Despite the investment most Rovers fans grasp how difficult the Championship will be but are quietly confident that if the manager can finally get it right and see Blackburn return to the topflight at the first time of asking.

Odds: 10/1 (5th) champions, 4/1 promoted

Main Forum: http://boards.footymad.net/forum.php?tno=73

Verdict:
Blackburn’s biggest obstacle to promotion is likely to be themselves. A manager who can’t manage, a board that don’t seem to understand the basics and supporters who don’t support. The players are undoubtedly some of the most talented in the division; if they are allowed to do their work unhindered then Blackburn’s stay in the Championship could be a short one.

Compiled by: se9addick

How do you see Blackburn doing this season ?

Comments

  • You say he can't manage - and I can't argue against the stats, but I would say that the players do seem to want to play for him at least. He must have something about him.
  • Best being out injured is a blow considering they spent over 3m on him but they do have a more than decent team.
  • Supposedly after Maurone Chamakh from Arsenal now.
  • Bunny said:

    You say he can't manage - and I can't argue against the stats, but I would say that the players do seem to want to play for him at least. He must have something about him.

    They had a funny way of showing it !
  • With another manager Blackburn are Champions for me, I dont think Kean will last too long if he does not change the fortunes around quickly or he gets a series of poor results. It's difficult to call but I think this squad is so much better than anyone else I cantsee beyond a top two.

    Danny Murphy, he went to Tottenham Hotspur but they would'nt let him play! he'll hurt us again I can feel it.
  • That squad almost seems better than the one playing last season in the PL. But they aren't in the PL and they'll be a prize scalp. They could easily screw this up like we did. Think they will somehow avoid that and get the promotion at first time of asking with the money they've thrown around, more's the pity.
  • They really need to go up this season or I can see them plummeting down the football league very quickly. Also the players they've bought are good but old so who knows how long they've got left in their legs for a whole season.
  • Promotion possibles .. them and eight (at least) other clubs
  • They are going nowhere but down, they've got Pompey written all over them.
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Roland Out!