The game’s up for Blackburn Rovers.
Since the start of the Premier League in 1992 just one team have avoided relegation – West Brom in 2005 – having been bottom at Christmas.
Even if Venky’s finally put Steve Kean out of his misery you need only take a look at Rovers’ remaining fixtures to see the size of the task awaiting his potential replacement.
Home: Stoke, Fulham, Newcastle, QPR, Villa, Sunderland, Man Utd, Liverpool, Norwich, Wigan
Away: Liverpool, Man Utd, Everton, Arsenal, Man City, Wolves, Bolton, WBA, Swansea, Spurs, Chelsea
Based on the well-worn theory you need 40 points to stay up, that leaves Rovers needing 10 wins. Unlikely at best.
A quick look at the squad shows the size of the task awaiting any new boss.
In goal you’ve Robinson but little in the way of adequate cover.
Defensively there’s a lack of quality in the full-back areas – Salgado – legs have gone, Olsson – can’t defend, Givet – always gives his all but too slow at full-back, Ribeiro and Anderson – why?
At centre-back it’s not much better with Samba a man alone. Dann hasn’t impressed, Nelsen’s forever injured and Hanley doesn’t look Premier League quality.
Midfield isn’t much better. Dunn spends more time injured than Nelsen and is a luxury the team simply can’t afford, N’Zonzi is steady but limited, while Pedersen is living on the memories of yesteryear. Petrovic has been a waste of money, Grella likewise and Vukcevic must be wondering what on earth he’s walked into.
As for up front – what a mess that is. There’s Yakubu who’ll never run around but at least knows where the back of the net is, Goodwillie – who Kean halied as the next Wayne Rooney – but is probably nearer Colleen and Roberts who’s a poor mans Emile Heskey. Then there’s the three performing seals – Rochina, Formica and Hoilett – fancy dans the three of them. All well and good when you’re winning games but Rovers aren’t.
On the plus side (there is a small one) there are a handful of reasonable youngsters in the squad like Lowe, Henley and Morris, who may well end up as regulars in the Championship next term should the inevitable happen.
Putting aside the doubts about whether Venky’s are the right owners for a moment – it’s clear whoever replaces Kean has a massive job on their hands.
Avoiding relegation with the squad and remaining fixtures they have looks nigh on impossible and a quick return to the top flight looks a mammoth task.
The current odds on Rovers being relegated are 1/3 which looks like buying money. Doomed? You bet.
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