“This is for all fans – I am deeply saddened and shocked by the persecution of former players whose names have been linked as potential managers of this club. It is a culture shock for me as everywhere in the world, former players are lauded for their contributions and achievements. On the choice of a new manager, it is now time for contemplation as due process is carried out” – Shebby Singh, October 2012.
Persecution of former players linked as potential managers? Really? What a load of complete and utter claptrap. Yes, there’s been rumblings of discontent at some of the names being thrown around as possible new managers. It’s also fair to say the fans are entitled to that given how well the last managerial appointment worked out. But persecution? Wind your neck in a bit Shebby.
History shows the fans have a point when they question the wisdom of appointing someone with little or no track record to speak off. Dalglish, Souness, Hughes and Allardyce could all claim to have had a solid managerial grounding before taking over at Ewood. The likes of Kidd and Kean have shown decent coaches don’t necessarily make decent managers. So let’s have a look at these former players who everyone’s been “persecuting”.
Alan Shearer. Aside from a handful of games in charge of Newcastle, Shearer’s a managerial novice. Sure, he’s a legend in the eyes of many Rovers fans for helping the club to the title in 1995, but hands up everyone who wasn’t overly pleased at the manner of his departure to the Geordies. How about those of you who think he’s a bit of a self-absorbed fence sitter from his weekly appearances on Match of the Day? Saying that isn’t persecution. It’s merely pointing out Shearer might not be the best man for the job.
Tim Sherwood. Highly thought of as coach at Spurs but has no managerial experience. Sound familiar? Despite being captain of the title winning side, his status as a ‘Rovers legend’ is questionable at best. Anyone in any doubt should ask Blackburn End fans what they thought of Sherwood flashing the ‘V’ sign at them. Again, not persecution, simply pointing out reasons why he’s not exactly the ideal candidate.
Billy McKinlay. Unlike the other two there’s no question of McKinlay popping up on a Rovers Legends list. Like Sherwood, respected as a coach but has never held the top job. Plus he’s supposedly best mates with Kean. Hardly the greatest idea anyone’s ever had when it comes to winning round a disillusioned fan base. Not persecution, just a statement of fact.
What should have been a simple process has, yet again, been turned into a circus by a club seemingly hell-bent on making a fool of itself. In the spirit of trying to get the message through to what appear to be some very thick skulls – the fans don’t think it’s a good idea to appoint a new manager who hasn’t got any experience. Been there, done that, got the ‘T’ shirt. If Rovers can’t attract one of Solskjaer, Holloway or someone else with some managerial background, then it really is time to pack up and go home. How hard can it be?