Blackburn Rovers need a contingency plan. What for ? A replacement manager for Owen Coyle, that is what for. We must not be caught out once again like we were this Summer when Lambert departed an we scrapped about for over a month trying to get some one to take the job. Until along came Coyle. England were caught out in similar circumstances with Hodgson's departure. No plan B. Rovers need a plan B. Why? Because it is an un escapable fact that Coyle is a very unpopular appointment amongst Rovers fans, even before a ball is kicked. His Burnley and alleged Jerome Anderson ties do him no favours. So he has to hit the ground running, like no previous manager. A poor August/September and the fans will be calling for his head. It will be Steve Kean all over again. Mike Cheston and Ian Silvester's positions will become untenable and Venky's will sack them . The club will be in turmoil So we need a contingency plan. Add to the mix that Coyle could do a runner. It only needs a better job to come along, Coyle has no allegiance to Blackburn, believe me.
He has been known for that before. Just ask Burnley, when he left them high and dry for "bigger club Bolton". Unbelievable, but he did and that is what he said. So plan B needed. Enter Michael O' Neill,(pic above), coach of Northern Ireland. He has done an extraordinary job, given the resources at his disposal. They won their qualifying group, scrapped their way out Germany's pool in France and were eliminated in the last 16 by a single goal from Wales. Northern Ireland do not have a player near Bale's class, but they have spirit , good organisation and O'Neill gets the best out of his squads in a way no England manager has in 20 years. Just the type of manager Rovers may need if everything goes belly up with Coyle. If I were Cheston and the Rover's owners I would be making friends with O'Neill's agent, pretty soon.
We haven't time for another major inquiry into the ills of English football and, anyway it isn't necessary. The success of Wales has exposed a lot of the red herrings that pass as mitigations for English failure . England's footballers arrive tired because there is no winter break, do they? Well how is it that Wales , with only Gareth Bale putting his feet up in January , are still bouncing off the walls as we enter July? The academy system is failing England's footballers , is it making them soft and pampered ? So why is it not failing the Welsh ? Enough of the excuses. The English public are sick of them. EX Rover Chris Colman and his team have humiliated the hapless Hodgson and his players. And it is another ex Rover who could be England's Colman and ignite the England team. Step forward Sam Allardyce. Big Sam is the man for the job. No doubt about that. Foreign manager ? No. That will not sit well with the fans. England enjoy massive support. The FA must not take that for granted. In these days of brexit and exiting the E.U. the pubic are not in the mood for a foreign manager. If Klinsman wants a job in England, great, give him the Hull or Sunderland one, see what he wins there. The same goes for Blanc, Scolari or any of the front running foreign managers. Let them come and do stints at Blackpool , Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn, West Ham as Big Sam has done, and left them all in better shape than when he arrived. Then they can be considered for England. The same applies to Steve Bruce, who would be another excellent choice. Why are the F.A. taking so long. It is not rocket science. They are asking everyone's opinion, including the players. Big mistake. The players are the last people who you should ask. They are even asking opinions of people from other sports. Amazing ! You could not make it up. Wise heads like Sir Alex Ferguson and Kenny Dalgleish maybe. Although scots, both the most successful modern day managers in our game, British and made their home in England, their opinions carry weight. But players and failed rugby union coaches ! Is that a joke ? I wrote on this site, that Hodgson should have gone after the 2014 World Cup debacle. That keeping him on would only end in tears. I rest my case. The first World Cup qualifier v Slovakia , is looming in early September. We can not afford a poor start. Appoint Big Sam now. Do not delay. He fits the criteria. Experienced , both as a player and a manager, well respected, will have a plan and style of play(unlike Hodgson) , the right age and the right man. My top three candidates-- 1) Allardyce 2) Bruce 3) Hoddle. All have a case. But Big Sam for me.
Rovers search for a new manager continues. Six weeks and counting since Paul Lambert announced his pending departure from Ewood Park. Having sacked the Venky's and told us to stick our crap club up our backsides. Not his exact words, but that is what he meant. Various names have been banded about, to replace the hapless Lambert. We are told interviews have taken place. So far nothing, zilch. The club and fans are in limbo. Does no one want the job ? Is it a poisoned chalice ? The owners, when they bought the club, in November 2010, talked the talk. They talked big time. European football, big name players, big name managers. Big Sam was not good enough for them, so they sacked him. It has been down hill ever since. Apart from a brief ray of light provided by Gary Bowyer. So why do the owners not now take the bull firmly by the horns ? With the recent changes at Man Utd , why do they not approach Ryan Giggs to become Rovers new manager ? What is their to lose ? You can not get more high profile the Giggs. Just think about it. More national and world wide coverage. Surge in international press and TV coverage. Attendances into the 20,000's. Increased club shop sales. Massive increase in revenue. What's not to like ? Giggs would cost big money, but as they say in business, speculate to accumulate . Would the Rao family take the gamble ? Would Giggs take the job ? Probably not. But we can all but dream. Would Giggs be a success ? Who knows, but with his attack, attack style of play it would be a exiting time at the very least. If you don't ask you don't get. Pick up the phone and dial Ryan Giggs. You never know !
When Owen Coyle was appointed Blackburn Rovers manager on 2nd June 2016, to succeed the hapless Paul Lambert, who had succeeded in dividing the club and causing general mayhem , there was not possibly one Rovers supporter who thought the appointment a good one. Social media went into meltdown in protest, at what appeared ,such a crass appointment. After the turmoil of Lambert and the brutal and unnecessary sacking of Gary Bowyer, it was not the appointment Rovers fans were looking for. Whilst the likes of Gary Monk went to Leeds, Jaap Stam to Reading, Alan Stubbs to Rotherham, Nigel Pearson to Derby, Dimatteo to Viila, Benitez to Newcastle, Russell Slade to Charlton , Gary Bowyer to Blackpool and Ryan Giggs future in limbo, to name but a few. Rovers fans were given the failed Owen Coyle. To say they were not happy is an understatement. The sale of season tickets came to a shuddering halt, the Ewood Park switchboard was put into meltdown by furious fans venting their anger , some vowing never to set foot inside Ewood again . Even the national press and radio picked up on the supporters anger, whilst club secretary Ian Silvester and Director Mike Cheston were men under siege. After over a month of drawing up a , so called short list, of possible suitable candidates and conducting interviews, the appointment of Coyle came swift and sudden. According to Coyle, approached on Monday 30th May and appointed on Thursday 2nd June. Rovers fans and the football world were stunned. What happened to the short list ? What happened to the candidates interviewed ? The general consensus of opinion was that the club had been turned down by their preferred choices, although it was never made public who had been interviewed . Maybe the poison spread by Lambert about the clubs owners, the lack of ambition, the lack of funds, had an effect on prospective candidates. Maybe , unlike Coyle , they were not prepared to work under such restrictive guidelines. Now almost a month has passed since Coyle( pic above) was appointed, and opinions are slowly changing. Coye, against the odds, has signed fans favourite, Danny Graham, from Sunderland on a free transfer on a 3 year contract. But Graham will not have come cheap. A signing on fee will have had to have been paid, possibly in the region of £1.5m . His wages will be high, but not in the region of the £32 ,000 pw he earned at Sunderland. Coyle has also signed striker Antony Stokes from Celtic on free transfer. Again a signing on fee will have had to have been paid, how much ? who knows ? But with 135 appearances and 58 goals for Celtic, plus 54 appearances and 27 goals for Hibs, Stokes will not have come cheap, his wages, like Grahams , will have stretched the club. Add to those two the further free transfer signings of Stephen Hendrie , Liam Feeney and Jack Byrne, the mood to Coyle is softening a little. Although the real test will be performances and results. If they do not go well for him the crowd will very quickly turn on him, for this is not a popular appointment by any means. But Coyle's activity in the transfer market begs a question. Given that both Graham and Stokes are, in the long term, expensive and costly acquisitions , were does that leave Lamberts claims that the owners were not prepared to spend any substantial money on the team ? Me thinks there is more to Lamberts departure than meets the eye. Unless Coyle has to recoup the expense by selling one of our assets for big money. Bye, bye Hanley , maybe ? Time will tell.
Many Rovers fans are hurt and angry. The club in it's wisdom has shut the Blackburn End Top Tier, and moved the Family section to the Jack Walker Stand Lower Tier. This has caused distress amongst those who have used that area for many years. Me amongst them. We are no longer allowed in that area of the ground, it is Family's only. Why ? Has the club lost it's marbles completely ? What are they trying to do ? Drive everyone away ? I have spoken to the club, I am told it is the new Family Stand. I am told to use the Darwen side. I have never used the Darwen side, and do not intend to start now. I and others, have no desire to be near the away section or near the visitors dug out, we want the Blackburn End. This scheme has been badly thought out. I do not think the manager/coaches/play
ers in the home dug out , will be to pleased being surrounded by a unruly, noisy 'creche' . Lots of stewards will be needed. And what of disabled supporters ? Are they now expected to be at the Darwen side, subject to taunts from the away support ? I and others, have no intention of going into the Blackburn end either. Some of us used to stand on the JW lower tier when it was the Nuttall Street Enclosure. The whole scheme needs a re think. At least allow seniors and disabled into the Family section. The Family section would be better placed on the Riverside side stand. Why was there no consultation with the fans before this scheme was implemented ? Another own goal !