Ah yes, September. It was summer, now it’s autumn; I don’t know what to say, you don’t care anyway. Or perhaps you do? One thing’s for sure, it’s an emotional rollercoaster supporting this club, isn’t it?
September, that cruellest of months. We were now well and truly in the midst of mother nature’s icy, disgusting, smelly grip. Short days and dark nights (darker than normal – black even). Cracked lips and raw skin. The winter of our discontent was well and truly upon us.
August and happier times, winning twice in a row (!(?!)), unbeaten (*cough, MK Dons, cough*), but playing poorly, now all but a distant faded memory.
So welcome back to what must surely be another rejected script from Sky’s DreamTeam. First up, what better place to start…
Saturday 1st September – Leeds United 3 Rovers 3. (Diouf, McCormack, Becchio / The other Olsson, Nuno (G), Rochina)
Leeds. United. The Damned United. The bloodless rose. Dirty Leeds. “Sophistication? Sophistication!? Don’t talk to me about sophistication! I’ve been to Leeds!”
Thanks to IDEAL HEATING I was fortunate enough to sample Leeds’ corporate hospitality, and very nice it was, too, thank you. Gaby’s dad Terry was there along with John Hendrie, “playing the room” I think they call it, though quite what an ex-Lebanon manager and ex-‘Boro player have to do with Leeds is anyone’s guess.
Gaby’s dad, Terry, was asked some questions by John. Terry said that should Rovers win today they’re practically promoted. “Fat chance,” I thought. He also said that he wasn’t sure how Kean Out got the manager’s job in the first place, or indeed how he still had it. Yes, it does make you think, doesn’t it Terry? He also described Kean Out as “two faced.” Just the two Mr Yorath?
Tellingly the Leeds programme notes also commented: “Rovers have made a decent start to life in the Championship, although the attendances at their two home games will cause concern for their owners. Then again – maybe it won’t!”
On to the game, first half we was brilliant Brian. Well, for much of it, well OK, maybe we weren’t but we were two nil up thanks to a well taken first goal for the club from the other Olsson twin and another from one of the plethora of Nuno’s we have gathered: Nuno Gomes.
Leeds struck back after some shoddy defending, Diouf scored against his old club, then McCormack drew Leeds level after our defence fell asleep. Becchio put them ahead, again with our guys snoring their heads off. It was left to “£5m” Rueben Rochina to come off the bench and score with a cracking back heel to even the scores up.
In truth we should have seen the game off at 2-0 up but we just haven’t got a clue how to defend a lead (or indeed how to defend at all come to think of it), a constant throughout the last 21 months of utter buffoonery from those paid handsomely to run the club.
We were now second (aka “22nd in the whole of England and Wales and everything” for those in Pune) on eight points. Second. Incredible and if the standard of the Championship remains this way I thought we might even have a chance.
Tuesday 4th September – Good news, despite Rovers foolishly including Givet’s beard as part of the Jordan Rhodes transfer from Huddersfield Town, his special Gallic powers remained intact; he hadn’t broken his foot.
In addition Scott Dann was also expected to be fit for the Bristol City game along with CKR (hamstrings and knees respectively and stuff).
Wednesday 5th September – In a moment of sheer managerial genius Kean Out admits that he has never seen the three deadline day signings play “live” (i.e. Big Greg, and a couple of the Nunos) these were all the work of our Global Cultural Attaché, apparently.
This was quite incredible, almost an admission that the club doesn’t know its arse from its elbow or the right hand doesn’t know what the left is up to (you can take your pick).
Call it what you will but I’m going to call it someone playing irrelevant silly buggers. Who cares Kean Out? What do you want? Sympathy? You’re a (multi?) millionaire now for doing a job you’re incompetent at, if you don’t like it, walk away. It’s quite simple, you’ll not be missed.
Then again www.goal.com (thanks to BRFCS John for the link) had a different slant on it: “Or you could buy into the wacky conspiracy theory of Kean staging a hilarious play-fight with Singh while comprehensively assassinating the club's future for motives unknown. Yeah, on second thoughts, let's just go with that.”
Goal.com also came up with this absolute gem, they stated that Kean Out is "not so much a yes man as a yes potato".
Just to rub salt into the wound and pour vinegar in my eyes Kean stated "I would like to work with them (the three “unknown” signings) really intensely over the next couple of weeks". (I bet Big Greg is looking forward to learning a lot from you KO about goalkeeping). Oh well, that’s torn it, better get another batch of unknowns ready for January then Venky’s. How’s about looking to Outer Mongolia; that really is an “untapped” market.
Friday 7th September – Yet more bunkum, this time regarding Martin Olsson. Kean Out said: “We were getting mixed signals” about Martin wanting to leave. Apparently agents, football agents that is (not entertainment, estate or special), aka “Mr 5%”, or in the case of the Rochina transfer “Mr 300%”, were at work, who’d have thought that possible at a Venky’s run Blackburn Rovers?
As Kean Out clearly explained: “Then you have agents or agents on behalf of other agents saying his agent had told them he was desperate to get away.” That’s a lot of agents, possibly enough for a herd? A gaggle? Maybe a murder? I like that. “A murder of football agents”, it sounds about right. Anyway, certainly enough to negotiate Bruno Ribiero’s transfer last summer you’d hope.
Olsson, meanwhile, twenty four hours earlier, told the Swedish press: “I wanted to leave, I wanted to continue to play in the Premier League, there were offers but the club rejected them. Even if we had managed to stay in the Premier League I would have liked to have tried something new.”
It ’s really difficult to know who to believe here, Martin Olsson or a serial liar.
By the way, surely trying “something new” would indeed be to play in the Championship rather than the Premier League Martin? But there you go.
Elsewhere in the Lancashire Telegraph, Kean Out revealed his disappointment that Olsson was made to travel to Sweden to sit and watch a football match. Kean Out felt the need to comment: “We were very frustrated that Martin went away to Sweden. We contacted them and said we did not think he was in a physical state”. Oh, that’s just great. Fantastic. Well done everybody. Rovers had turned Martin Olsson into a gas.
What do they do in training?
That did go some way however to explain why we hardly see him on the pitch.
Saturday 8th September – I sometimes wonder why I do this. Is there any point? Will there be enough to comment on? The reality, as I’m sure you’ve realised, is that it practically writes itself.
We already had Mickey Mouse / 8Ace / Mr Yes Potato (Kean Out), Alan Partridge (Agnew), Roy Chubby Brown (Shelf Bloke) and Groucho Marx (Global Cultural Attaché Singh), when the Telegraph went and revealed that the new kit man, who joined in the summer, is Pudsey Bear.
When we won the Premier League the kit was looked after by a guy called Alan from Harrod. Now, following relegation, we’re relocating bears from London.
I look forward to hearing news on our next assistant manager (it’s only a matter of time surely?). At the time of writing Yogi Bear is evens at Corals amid rumours that Rovers are negotiating with Boo Boo over the compensation package.
Boo Boo: “To go and work with Kean, Yogi? You must be off your tits.”
Wednesday 12th September – After what can only be described as a period of calm, possibly due to the break for the internationals, Kean Out decided to pinpoint the other Olsson’s best position: “I don't think he knew what his best position was. We feel as though he can play wide left or left back and are impressed at how he learns". Just the clarity Markus needed. Thanks Kean Out.
Thursday 13th September – Kean Out is nominated for manager of the year, sorry, manager of the month. Surely a no brainer for the panel if the criteria includes a team picking up points whilst playing badly, losing to lower league opposition in the League Cup and outspending the competition.
Friday 14th September – Kean Out criminally loses out on the manager of the month award. Criteria possibly included “playing with a semblance of a plan”.
Saturday 15th September – Bristol City 3 Rovers 5 (Adomah, Pearson, Baldrick / Rhodes x2, Nuno (G), Rochina, Dann)
In a typically uneventful yawn fest, defences were on top throughout.
The other Olsson and Givet (beard issues clearly playing havoc now) were substituted early on, injured. With no other cheap beards available, Rovers are expected to put a bid in to Huddersfield for 5 million pounds in January to get the beard back (no doubt a Murder of Agents will be required. Hopefully they’ll be no third party beard ownership involved. Last thing we want is to buy a beard and not be able to use it for twelve months or so).
Olsson was replaced by his brother, now converted back into a physical state. Good news. Grant Hanley replaced the French, beardless, warrior.
Bristol took the lead after 0.3 seconds when Rovers failed to run about and stuff. Then Rhodes ran through somehow or other from a through ball by somebody and slotted in the equaliser. The Nuno who plays then scored with another well taken goal. Then there were some more goals. They took the lead. Rochina ran 800 yards beating everyone twice, looked to have messed it all up, slipped, fell over and then shot high into the roof of the net. Then they scored again. With the game tied at 3-3, possibly, fans favourite Scott Dann raced into the box and unleashed an unstoppable volley through a crowd of players. That made it 4-3. Job done? No. The icing on the cake was delivered, with some candles, when Jordan Rhodes simply walked into the area, his defender had backed off that far he was just exiting the M5 at Junction 4. Rhodes, with a certain amount of time on his hands therefore, coolly curled the ball into the bottom corner. 5 – 3.
Rovers were top of the league – 1st place in the Championship (or 21st in England. Or 1st in the Champions League, who knows what our owners are told and believe) on 11 points. If we can just cling on up there for the next available 123 points Kean Out would surely be Knighted.
Monday 17th September - Again Kean Out writes this thing for me. From the Lancashire Telegraph:
“I thought overall we deserved the points even though we were pulling our hair out because our defending has to improve."
Cast your mind back, it’s been a while. For those who can’t recall, here’s a picture of Kean in more “happier go lucky” days when his main concern was collecting balls, bibs and cones, whilst in his spare time he also had that uncanny knack of unearthing multi-million pound footballers who just happened to be walking aimlessly around Brockhall. This was taken just before he was “unexpectedly” presented with the Rovers job on a plate in December 2010.
Oh how we laugh.
Tuesday 19th September – Rovers 2 Barnsley 1 (Rhodes, Nuno (G) / R. Mellie)
So it was back to fortress Ewood.
It was another fantastically mediocre performance by Kean Out’s men. Truly underwhelming. Apparently 12,000 turned up to witness the game.
Barnsley took the lead in the first half by scoring. Rovers equalised through Jordan Rhodes on the stroke of half time with a pirouette swivelly thing and a well-placed shot into the roof of the net while two defenders stood nearby watching.
Second half, not much happened, Kean Out did a lot of standing around in his coat, hands in pockets, in his “technical” area. Incredibly the standing around with hands in pockets (Football Manager Cliché Number 7 – nearly as popular with Kean Out as Football Manager Cliché Number 4: throwing chewing gum to the ground in disgust at conceding another goal) did little to inspire his team.
Fed up of standing around with his hands in his pockets, Kean Out decided to bring on a couple of Nunos. Gomes and Fab. Sure enough, with a bit of width, something obvious to most I suspect after about thirty minutes, a cross * came in from Fab Nuno and Nuno (G) scored the winner on 85 minutes.
Rovers were top of the hit parade and taking the Champions(hip) League by storm. Like what they said we would and everything. Four wins and two draws from six. I should be delighted.
* From Wikipedia: “In football, a cross is a delivery of a ball from either side of the field across to the front of the goal by applying various kicking techniques. A cross is there to provide a goal-scoring opportunity. Crosses are generally airborne but a ball along the ground from a crossing position may be a low cross or a pass. Normally delivered by wingers or over lapping full backs, this technique will put most Championship defences to the sword and will enable managers to get the very best from expensive signings like that Jordan Rhodes. Failure to provide “crosses” for the likes of Rhodes and Gomes is akin to buying a Ferrari and driving it at 30mph on the motorway – or having Steve Kean as your manager.”
Thursday 20th September – Kean Out spoke to the press about it only being two blokes who have stopped coming to Ewood since relegation (and they were on holiday) and that he still receives 500 letters of support a day. Blah blah blah.
Friday 21st September – Rovers 1 Boro 2 (Hanley / Jutkiewicz x2)
Utter rubbish. No change there then. Only this time we lost. The points target - was it sixteen of seventeen? - hadn’t been met. Oh dear.
I’ve not much to say about this game at all. Take a look at Parsonblue’s brilliant match report on the home page of this very site. That pretty much sums it all up.
However for me, it’s simply not worth wasting any time on. It’s just not good enough.
Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd – Something was definitely afoot. Too many people, too many sources, and possibly too many sauces, were claiming that Kean Out could, finally, be sacked.
It was unclear as to the reasons for this, apart from the rubbish football, the relegation, the law suit, the lies and deceit, the massive fall in crowds, the lack of advertising around the ground, the lack of sponsorship, the lack of a shirt sponsor and his blatant lack of ability. Other than that it had all been one unequivocal success under Kean Out.
Rumours started to build, to the point where I was actually expecting an announcement Sunday evening. How daft am I?
Monday 24th September – On hearing the paper boy delivering what he should I raced, well OK, made my way steadily downstairs at 6.55 a.m. and turned straight to the back page of the Lancashire Telegraph – “KEAN IS ON THE DRINK” was the headline. Oh no, not again, I thought. What the hell has he done now? But no. My eyes were playing early Monday morning tricks on me. “KEAN IS ON THE BRINK” was the actual headline. An easy mistake to make and after thinking about it the former headline wasn’t exactly newsworthy.
Nothing happened. Kean took training as usual – whatever that consists of – chemistry? Certainly not “team shape” or “defending”.
There was no decision expected until Tuesday.
Tuesday 25th September – There was no decision.
Over the last 22 months if there is anything that “Team Kean Out” doesn’t like or wants changing, then decisions are made, sometimes with undue haste:
Remove Paul Hunt? “No problem, done in under 24 hours Kean Out, we can’t have any nasty men saying the truth about you can we?”
Remove John Williams, Tom Finn, three assistant managers and an experienced Premier League Manager? “Certainly Mr Kean Out, it’ll be done before you know it.”
Get rid, one way or another, of half the first team Premiership quality squad and replace with inferior players? “All over it Kean Out, not a problem.”
How’s about half the Board (twice) and the Scouting Network? “Leave that with us Steve!”
Putting your friends on the Board (a man who spells “football” as “footiball” on his company’s “PR” website and another who specialises in shelves)? “No problemo wee man. Looks a great idea, despite them being Preston fans.”
Losing half the supporters and 90% of the sponsors? “No worries Stevie baby, if that’s what you want, although in all fairness you’ve done a lot of that yourself.”
“You just try and win some football matches or getting some shots on goal occasionally. We’ll worry about the huge amount of debt that’s being run up later.”
Bizarre rumours were also rife that this latest 11th hour reprieve followed a phone call from Mrs Kean Out to Mrs Kean-In (aka Desai). Neither of them attend football matches involving Blackburn Rovers you’ll note, they’re not stupid (Mrs Kean-In saw one of Kean’s managerial footballing master classes once and hasn’t been back since). Although one has of course lost millions of pounds (you have to presume this at this stage) by employing him, whilst the other is now probably a millionaire – so maybe one of them is slightly stupider than the other.
Dress it up anyway you like but, as was pointed out on this very website, surely the definition of a dignified man is not getting your wife to ring up your employer in tears and begging for you not to be sacked? Anyway, it’s just a good job that hens don’t have the ability to speak, use mobiles or have Mrs Desai’s telephone number. Venky’s would have gone bust years ago.
Graham Jones, MP, also stated on that Twitter that he had heard from a very reliable source that Kean Out had actually been sacked on Sunday evening, but that he had turned up anyway to take training on the Monday morning. It wasn’t denied.
Wednesday 26th September – more rumours, Kean-Out has told friends his time is up... blah de blah de blah. Yadda yadda.
Thursday 27th September – more rumours included: Kean Out won’t travel to India for a meeting. Balaji would be returning to the UK after attending the Lord Ganesha festival in India. Perhaps he would be the one capable of removing Kean? Or giving him a 300% wage rise and a ten year rolling contract.
Who knew anymore? Having said that, Lord Ganesha, aka Elephant heed, is according to Wikipedia (so it must be right), known as “the Remover of Obstacles”.
Well wadda you know? Good work Ganesha.
Friday 28th September – “The Mutha of all Pressers”. “The Presser’s Presser”.
If there’s one guy out there in world football who you’d put money on to give a good Presser at a time like this then Kean Out is your boy.
Dealers stopped dealin’, thieves stopped thievin’, whores stopped whorin’ and junkies stopped scorin’. The players at the Ryder Cup stopped practisin’ (that was probably because it was the middle of the night in Chicago in all fairness). Anyway, it felt like the world stopped turnin’ as its human population gathered around radios, televisions, computers, and other stuff, to see just what Kean’s Reality Distortion Field had to say for itself.
Agnew was on fire, he built it all up superbly for the waiting media. After an incredibly long painstakingly tedious introduction he at last introduced Kean Out.
Agnew stood there, eyes shut, one fist raised, head back, straining every sinew in his Partridge-esque body, and shouted the immortal words…….“Let’s get ready to RUMMMMMBBBBLLLLLEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!”. It was just the start to the Presser most had expected.
Kean Out walked on…..
One bloke clapped…..
It was Agnew.
Anyway, it was all “positive and constructive” and business as usual. The usual nonsense we have all come to loathe and expect.
Then, later that day www.sportingintelligence.com (Nick Harris) confirmed the rumour to be true. That the latest “stay of execution” for Kean Out was down to a phone call from Margaret Kean Out to Desai.
There. Are. No. Words.
Saturday 29th September – Charlton Athletic Rovers
I didn’t go. I can barely muster the energy to type. Not because I’m ill.
I write this on the 28th September. Right now I couldn’t care less if we win, lose or draw. This utter farce of a football club. Utterly ruined. Bereft of any pride, any sense of dignity. A (presumably) rich person’s play thing, employing 10th rate people for no other reason other than the owner is friends with the manager’s wife. ******* hell.
At this point you’ll be thinking I made the above in italics up for effect. Please yourselves, I really didn’t.
It was written shortly before this happened… oh yes!!!
Friday 28th September – 19.07 – www.BRFCS.com – a fine upstanding gentleman of the community proclaims…
“HES BEEN FORCED TO RESIGN!”
And you just know it’s true ‘cause it’s Booth who's posted it! And the world, in that split second, at that very moment in time when I read that, could not get any better than that!
One day I will calm down. Not now.
Apparently Shelf Bloke didn’t even know. He may have to go back to stacking shelves, or even worse, go back to being on the Board of his beloved PNE. As for Agnew? Oh dear me. Get yourself a Swiss Agent, get yourself on Sky Sports, get yourself on TalkSport, be quick though – ‘cause your bringing nothing to the party in terms of passion for this club and talent. Taxi!
A great weight was lifted from our shoulders. We can go to the match, we can be happy, we can look in the direction of the dug-out and not feel the need to swear or throw up.
Saturday 29th September Charlton Athletic 1 Rovers 1 (Jackson / Etuhu)
I suppose you’d take that under the circumstances. With the man of great “dignity” walking out on his team on the eve of a game and everything.
Rovers didn’t play well by all accounts, at least we’re consistent.
Just before kick-off Sky Sports Soccer Saturday allowed a bunch of failed managers to stick up for another failed manager. Paul Merson in particular talked out of his back side and said that Rovers were now in the division we deserved to be in. Yes, that’s right Merson, 18 years out of 20 in the Premier League, 9th best points record in in Premier League history, former Premier League Champions and Runners Up. Is it ignorance, or just stupidity? You’d think he’d want to distance himself from someone like Kean. Then again they have a lot in common.
So our attentions now turn to who will be the next manager. Sherwood, Shearer, Redknapp (H), some German bloke? Or perhaps the cheaper alternative of Flitcroft, Jansen and Short? Or maybe the even cheaper alternative of Diamond, Curry and Dewhurst? Or maybe they just won’t bother with a manager? That would be really cheap. Who knows what goes through their heads.
In conclusion: (or should that be In confusion?)
September: Won two, drawn two, lost one. Kean has gone! He would probably have won manager of the month if he hadn’t quit. What a sickener for the “yes potato”. Maybe that was it? Success doesn’t sit well with him?
Next up, it’s just got to be October. We should have a new manager in place, but you can’t rule anything out at Ewood these days.
Goal Difference +4 (For 16, Against 12)
Position 4th (1 point from top)
Gomes (N) – 4
Rhodes – 3
Rochina & CKR – 2
Lowe, Morton, Markus O, Dann, Etuhu and Hanley – 1
Finally, I leave you with this picture. Nuff said.
Source: September Review