Thursday, June 8, 2023

The madness continues as Steve Kean is given the impossible job at Blackburn

Graham Fisher in Editorial, English Premier League 23 Dec 2010


A man with an impossible job

Steve Kean may be an absolutely lovely bloke for all I know. He might also be a fantastic coach and go on to have a very long and very successful managerial career. That is all a real possibility.

Top five

What bothers me is that he is quoted as saying that if he is given five million pounds to spend in January and his squad can avoid injuries, he thinks a top five finish for Blackburn is a realistic aim. There are three things of interest about that statement. Firstly, the owners have said they want the club to be in the top five. Is Keane being a puppet, or just saying what the owners want to hear? Secondly, the owners have talked about making five million pounds available. Is Kean being a puppet, or just saying what the owners want to hear? The third thing that stands out about the statement is that it is absolute rubbish!

Blackburn would have to finish above at least one of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, or Tottenham. That is simply not going to happen. Making ridiculous promises and predictions that are close to impossible to achieve is not a great way to start any job.


Although Sam Allardyce is not everyone’s cup of tea and was far from being universally liked by Blackburn fans, there was universal shock at the way he was dismissed. He had done a pretty good job at the club and with a realistic ambition for Blackburn of keeping them in the top flight, he was a very suitable man for the job.

If the new owners are going to throw money at the club, which seems increasingly unlikely, do they really think that Steve Kean would spend it more wisely than Big Sam or be able to attract better players to the club? If they do, they are even more clueless about Premier League football than I thought they were.


Big Sam has been there and done it. His style of football is about as far away from the way I like it to be played as it could be but I have huge respect for him as a manager. He is a very safe pair of hands at a mid-table Premier League club.

Steve Keen was a coach at Reading, Chris Coleman’s assistant at Fulham, Coventry and very briefly at Real Sociedad. Allardyce took him to Ewood Park as a coach in the Summer of 2009.


Things will not be easy for Kean as defender Ryan Nelson has been vocal about his shock at the events and their best player this season, Chris Samba, is believed to now want to get away from the club. Add to that a crowd who are distinctly under whelmed with his appointment and a team who are only six points clear of the drop zone and you see that his chances of success are very small indeed.

This may be very unfair, but there is a feeling that Allardyce gave Kean a chance when his career was going nowhere in particular and Keen has now stabbed his former boss in the back. It seems pretty clear that as Kean is a client of the company who advised the new owners there has been a huge conflict of interest and the situation is one that cannot be made to look above board. Whether Kean himself played any role in helping Big Sam get the sack or not will probably never be known, but it is obvious that people representing him did.


I can’t work out why the new owners want to commit footballing suicide at their club but from a neutral and outsider point of view that is exactly what it looks as though they have done.

I feel sorry for Sam Allardyce and I feel sorry for the Blackburn fans. However, the person I feel most sorry for is Steve Kean. If he hasn’t caused any of this, then he doesn’t deserve the nightmare few weeks and months ahead that he is almost certain to face. I wish him well.


Graham Fisher



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