A look back on the previous 3 weeks via a mixture of silliness, sarcasm, irony and down-right bitterness. It goes on a bit. You should try cramming all this in. It’s a bloody circus down there.
Not all of August. Just from August 11th. It’s been a while since I did one of these, let’s see what in the name of something blasphemous is going on at Blackburn Rovers.
Saturday August 11th – Shebby Singh meets 500 fans at King Georges Hall in a meeting organised by the Action Group. Absolutely nothing remarkable happens whatsoever other than Global Cultural Attaché Singh states that Morton Gamst Pedersen is a “pensioner” whose legs have gone and that if Kean Out loses 3 games on the spin he’ll be sacked.
One wag (or was it a bloke?) asked: “I know nothing about football management or tactics, I tell lies and I’m Scottish, can I have a job?” To which Shebby, using the quick witted thinking that has propelled him to the very top of Malaysian TV football punditry, replied: “I am sorry that job is already taken”.
It was all the run of the mill dull ultra professional stuff we’ve become accustomed to over the last 20 months. The sort of thing you’d expect from a multi-million pound football club run by chicken farmers who know nothing about football and are based 6,538 miles away.
Sunday August 12th – Cork City Under 16’s 1 – Blackburn Rovers 3.
Rovers’ last pre-season friendly before the big kick off saw Kean Out’s side travel to Ireland to face the international might of Cork City Under 16’s. Stepping up the quality of the opposition at this stage of the preparations was simply a master stroke, and their first team had a game the day afterwards anyway. After confidence-sapping defeats to Rochdale, Accy Stanley, Bromley Cross Under 7’s and Bamber Bridge Busy Bees B Team, this was a much needed morale boosting win.
Goals came from our new loan signing, the big Turk Colin Kazim-Richards (CKR), with a brace, and a free kick from Owd Grandpa Pedersen who celebrated by jumping out of his wheel chair and pretending to use an invisible zimmer frame.
Monday August 13th – Although the original comments were only said “in jest”, Global Cultural Attaché Shebby Singh issued an apology to Kean and Old Morton - for hurting their feelings.
Fortunately Kean Out doesn’t have feelings and Morton is that old he can barely remember all of his names let alone what happened two days earlier. No harm done and preparations continue in earnest, and Brockhall, for the big kick off.
Elsewhere on this day false rumours abound that if any fan is seen, or indeed heard, shouting “Kean Out!” about Kean Out at Ewood they will be removed from the premises by Storm Troopers and executed or hidden for a bit (whatever they can get away with).
Finally, on a typically uneventful day, it is reported that Man City turn down Rovers’ offer to bring one of their 27 strikers, John Guidetti, in on loan to Ewood. Reports suggest City want 6m, money that Rovers had of course already got ear marked for not buying Jordan Rhodes from Huddersfield Town.
Tuesday 14th August – Having been repeatedly told, “No, we’re not interested, please, please leave us alone for will you?” for the last two weeks, the LT report that someone or other at Rovers finally gets the message and the pursuit of Rhodes is over.
Somewhat put on the spot by this totally unexpected turn of events, under pressure Rovers blurt out the name of the first striker they can think of as their next unavailable target, Arsenal’s Marouane Chamakh fits that bill nicely.
Ten minutes after the news filters through to Chamakh, he says he isn’t interested.
Wednesday 15th August – Rovers are drawn with MK Dons away in the second round of the League (Capital One) Cup.
Thursday 16th August – The euphoria of the 3 -1 AWAY win against Cork City Under 16’s suddenly evaporates. Kean Out reveals that preparations for the big KO are not going well.
“It's (Singh’s comments) brought about a lot of disruption amongst the players in a vital week” said the big KO who also wanted a “proper apology”. How this tough guy, who was brought up on the means streets of Glasgow’s Cumbernauld district, got by in his early years beggars belief.
This isn’t good news, some of these guys are on well over 20k per week, the fact that Venky’s Cultural Global Attaché made some silly remarks and then promptly apologised really shouldn’t be putting them off their preparations. Still, there’s nothing like getting your excuses in early. Actually, yeah, you know.
New summer signing Danny Murphy commented: “Dwelling on negative situations for too long won't benefit us” – wise words Danny, wise words. It was a shame it was brought up again then really six days later? What a set of big girl’s blouses.
Also on this day, Kean Out’s Spin Team went into overdrive; The PFA voiced their concerns over Singh’s comments and Alan Nixon of The Mirror revealed how a massive football fan, a certain Mrs Desai of Pune (attendee of one entire game in 20 months lest we forget), was a bit upset regarding the comments made regarding our Morton.
First the Olympics ended and now this. Truly this once great nation of ours was on its arse. How could we go on after such a week?
Friday 17th August – But go on we did. For it was Friday, nearly the weekend and the day before a new football season. Waves of optimism crashed through the land and into every household; Expectation was in the air as Fantasy Football teams were being rearranged for the 200th time whilst fans reviewed travel route planners for that first away fixture, Sky’s advert for the new season showed fans from all over the country celebrating promotion, last minute goals, ecstasy and general euphoria! What will this season bring? Could this be our year? A cup run perhaps?
It rained a bit in Blackburn.
Saturday 18th August – Ipswich Town 1 Rovers 1.
Somewhat inevitably the football had to get in the way of the soap opera.
CKR scored in the first half on his debut after a Scott Dann flick on from Morton Gamst Pedersen (83 - his age not the minutes)’s corner. Rovers then sat back and waited for the final whistle. Jason Lowe had a low and scored an own goal (83 - minutes not his age). Givet blocked on the line with his beard with the last beard of the game.
Kean Out’s habit of just using words with no meaning or context inevitably came to the fore again in his post-match interview. "Spirited, organised and athletic" were the random words he used this time (he may as well have said “Wheelbarrow, dolphin and cupboard” and I’m sure the Press still wouldn’t have picked him up on it). Others, those pesky fans / eye witnesses, may tend to disagree. “Slow” seemed to be a common adjective used by those hardy fans who had made the long trip to Suffolk.
And that was that. One point taken, meaning that Kean needed to win five out of the next six to hit the alleged target of 16 points from the first seven games. Failure to do so would result in the long over-due and some would say totally deserved sack. Sorry, not sack, “review”.
Sunday 19th August – Jeremy Alexander puts his name next to a piece on the Guardian website which must surely become the new Oxford English Dictionary definition for the occasionally popular BRFCS word “BUNKUM”.
I can’t be bothered with a link, it’ll probably have been changed again by the time you read this but gems included:
1. “Venky’s do know what they are doing and will go on doing It”.
2. That “the entire family have fallen in love with the club. We cannot sell it” – no, not at that price you can’t, try breaking it a bit more, that should help.
3. “He (one of Desai's brothers) said in so many words that, when you have been confronted by 50,000 chicken farmers, what are 20,000 football fans? Those fans should be flattered that Venky's embrace Blackburn in a portfolio that includes the famous old Bombay Cricket Club and Sachin Tendulkar. Verbal terrorism will get them nowhere.” Sachin Tendulkar was unavailable for comment when I tried to contact him, he now lives in a cardboard box behind the boarded up Bombay Cricket Club pavilion.
4. The article also stated that season tickets are down from 15k to just 7k and corporate sponsorship is down from 250 to 8 (EIGHT. That’s 8.0. i.e. the number in-between 7 and 9) That’s a loss of 96.8% by my calculations. But hey! Not to worry. See point 1.
5. "We have one goal: promotion," Kean said, adding with Churchillian gravity: "It is our focus; it is our drive; it is our determination."
Feel free to laugh or punch a wall at this point. Unbelievable Jeff.
Monday 20th August – The LT mop up of the Ipswich game includes the Kean Out quote: “The stats will show it was a high intensity game and the fitness levels of both sides were very high”.
The back page of the LT had an interview with CKR: “I am not fit yet, I am nowhere near fit”.
Kean also confirmed that Rovers played too deep in the second half, due to the yellow cards picked up by Danny Murphy and Dixon of Etuhu. If only the club had bought some midfielders in the summer they could have made some subs.
The LT also report that Rovers are waiting to hear back from Huddersfield regarding an improved offer for Jordon Rhodes. Hang on a minute? I could have sworn we’d moved on from that one? Why the interest in Chamakh and Guidetti?
Tuesday 21st August - In quite unprecedented scenes at Ewood, nothing happened.
A full enquiry by the FA, The Football League, the Government, the FBI and the owner of Ribble Valley Shelving was expected to be launched to get to the very bottom of why nothing happened on this day. These were absolutely extraordinary scenes.
Wednesday 22nd August – Rovers 1 Hull City 0
A win and the Royal Mail confirmed that they would be issuing a stamp with Kean Out’s grinning face on it by way of commemorating the occasion.
That’s two wins from the last eleven league matches now and Rovers sat somewhat smugly in fourth place – or 24th in the English Leagues if that made Mad Dame “One Game” Desai even happier with Stevie baby.
Yeah, I know! Like she even cares!
The game was utter garbage but it was a good start and we’ve not even played well. CKR netted from 5 yards after some players fell over, presumably as they were trying to kick the ball. Who can tell?
New signing Bruno Riberio made his debut.
Kean Out was delighted with himself and possibly some of his players. He said of CKR “He has the power and the strength and the anticipation skills to score a lot of goals in this league”.
Thursday 23rd August – CKR was ruled out six weeks with a knee injury*
Also on this day, Global Cultural Attaché Shebby Singh went on red top radio station TalkSpite and Talkedshite. You know that thing about Rovers losing three games on the spin and Kean Out would lose his job? You know, yes you do, come on don’t mess me about, that one, that clip that was all over Sky Sports News, the one when the compere of the Action Group event even stopped proceedings and asked for clarification from Shebby. To which Shebby unequivocally and categorically said, “Yes!” and the fans all cheered.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Mama Mia, Mama Mia. That was merely a “general football point” - the Cultural Attaché was not speaking specifically about Rovers. Of course he wasn’t, how could we all have got this mixed up? How very silly of us all again.
Oh, before we all forget, Radosav Petrovic, signed for a fee in the region of 3 million pounds last summer, left Rovers to join Genclabirgi, Genclairebirdi, Genglerbridiji. Whoever. He went to Turkey.
He’ll be fondly remembered by many, possibly for as long as the next couple of paragraphs. Still, it’s Venky’s money isn’t it? And they’ve clearly loads of free money for Rovers! Yeah!
*This was actually announced on the Friday, but hey, cut me some slack, everyone else is making stuff up as they go along so why not? It also transpired that he might be back sooner which would be great news.
Friday 24th August – Rovers reiterate their interest in Jordan Rhodes from Huddersfield Town and Manchester City’s John Guidetti.
Guidetti, as you may well recall from this very shambolic rambling article, was first mentioned as a possible rejected target back on the 13th August. But Rovers were now looking to move “quickly” – something that they may well struggle to do all season.
Huddersfield meanwhile had already rejected three Rovers bids.
Rovers were also linked with Sunderland’s Connor Wickham by The Mirror who wasn’t spotted at Brockhall. Or was he?
Who knows anymore? One thing’s for sure, it was taking tedium to the very threshold of pain.
Elsewhere, this again courtesy of the Lancashire Telegraph (as are the majority of quotes), Kean Out said some more random words that came into his head: “not only have we added to the squad but we’ve managed to keep the majority of last year’s squad together as well”.
Indeed. With the exception of Emerton, Roberts, Salgado, Samba, Nelsen, Modeste, Grella, Petrovic, Slew, Blackman, Hoilett and Yakubu all leaving it’s been nothing but additions.
Saturday 25th August – In an amazing quirk of fate Rovers were drawn at home again for the second time in four days. Even more amazingly: Rovers 2 Leicester City 1.
Another win. Another poor performance in all honesty. Do we care? Of course we do, but win when playing badly and it’s nothing but good. Lose when playing badly and we’re struggling to take the positives, well most people would be anyway.
Nuno Gomes opened his account in the first half with a well taken finish at the Darren End low to the keeper’s right after a cut back from Jason Lowe. Rovers gave a debut to Nuno Portugeezer up front. We somehow went in 1-0 to the good at the break. Leicester equalled after an error from Dann following a hopeful punt up field that he really should have dealt with a bit better. Jamie Vardy became the first opposition player to find the net against us this season.
Paul Robinson kept us in it with some good saves throughout, paving the way for Owd Grandpa Pedersen to score the winner on 79 minutes. A lofted ball over the top, a fantastic first touch from the senile Norwegian allowed him the time and space to pick out the bottom right hand corner with as cool a finish as your likely to see, in off the post. Celebrations included Morton running over to the bench and the kit man, believing Morton was now tired, gave him his walking stick. Morton, obviously a bit excited, possibly let out a bit of wee, then he kicked his own stick away and just carried on playing. The crazy old fool.
It’s this sort of determination and inner strength that we’ll need this season in order to get out of this stinking hell hole of a division.
Owd MGP. Warming up prior to Rovers v Leicester City
So we win again, two on the bounce (that’s not happened often during Kean Out’s reign of terror), the Royal Mail redesigned their stamp and Rovers sat like a pig in swill in 3rd place (23rd) in the embryonic Championship table.
Sunday 26th August – Hungover. Nothing happened that I could tell.
Monday 27th August – It was back to the nitty gritty of the transfer window. Now presumably desperate to land a proven forward, Rovers gave a trial to Polish Goalkeeper Grzegorz Sandomierski (“Greg” to you and me) and also revealed that the next striking target we wouldn’t be able to land would be Southampton’s Ricky Lambert. There was also an apparent interest in Luke Moore from Swansea.
Rovers, short on something to say or do, decided to draw a line and admit defeat in their pursuit of Jordan Rhodes, again. They really did, it was in the paper.
Tuesday 28th August – Following the Bank Holiday, Rovers travelled to Milton Keynes for the second round of the League Cup. MK Dons 2 Rovers 1.
The ugly side of football showed its face as Luke Chadwick scored twice against a Rovers side that “were looking solid and looking clinical” according to you know who in that day’s Lancashire Telegraph. David Goodwillie, was left out in place of Fabio Nunos for some reason, then he came on and scored. It was to no avail.
Anyway, I’m not wasting any more words on trivialities like football matches, not this month. This was the end of the transfer window, some people’s favourite time of the year at Blackburn Rovers.
Also on this day Kean Out revealed, or rather the Lancashire Telegraph revealed, that in all probability Rovers would be buying two more Portugeezers in Nuno Rosado (Midfield) and Nuno Henrique (Defender). This would take the total to six with Fabio Nunos (Striker), Nuno Jorge (Midfield) Ed Nuno Junior (Striker) and Nuno Gomes (Striker) already signed earlier in the summer from somewhere or other, Portugal probably. It was bizarre to say the least. Who’d have thought it possible? Rovers actually bought a defender.
“Big Greg” was almost certain to sign as well. They did sign of course – all of them. We may possibly never hear or see some of them ever again of course, but they did sign.
The LT also revealed that Rovers had incredibly been rebuffed in their utterly futile attempts to sign Premier League new boys Southampton’s number one striker Ricky Lambert.
Wednesday 29th August – “Rovers won’t be held to ransom over Rhodes” screamed a small headline at the bottom of the back page of that day’s Lancashire Telegraph. I couldn’t believe it. We’re three games into the new season, a season which must end in be promotion for many reasons, and already Rovers are pricing up next year’s holiday. Couldn’t this wait?!?
Then I read on. It was Jordan Rhodes, the bloody Huddersfield Town striker. Town want 8 million whereas Rovers were prepared to offer 5 million, 27 unused Advertisement hoardings a sack full of random Portuguese nobodies, an OAP and a big WEC sign.
Rovers would not be panicked into paying over the odds for Rhodes but with Friday’s transfer deadline looming large now was probably a good time to think about it.
Elsewhere in said East Lancs publication, Kean had no excuses for last night’s dismal display, it was all the players fault.
Thursday 30th August - But wait, as I exclusively revealed several paragraphs ago, Rovers were always in the driving seat for the signature of Rhodes. It was never ever in doubt.
When competing with the negotiating / nagging power of Steve Kean Out, Shebby “The Shebinator” Singh, that Shelf bloke and 8m quid there really is only going to be one winner.
A lot of rumours, a lot of stone cold rumours, and a lot of whispers - suggested that this was going to happen. Hopes were high that the sack was strong enough and that the Portugooses, and the deal, wouldn’t fall through at the last minute.
It happened of course (come on, it was only yesterday, I don’t know why I’m bothering with this bit) Rovers matched their record transfer fee of 8m pounds to bring Jordan Rhodes to Ewood. Eight. Million. Quid. Where on earth did that come from? More to the point, where was it last January?
Anyway, should we dwell on such fiscal matters? Or should we just be momentarily happy? Surely the latter. I’ll tell you what though, that doesn’t sit easy after the last twenty months, I guess that’s why it’s “momentarily”.
Then at the death, two out-goings. N’Zonzi went to Stoke for £3.5m and Goodwillie to Palace, on loan, until January.
Blackburn Rovers 2012 (pictured above):
BRFC 2012: “Everyone can see what we’re trying to do here.”
The Press & Football Authorities ask: “OK. Any comment on the huge amount of debt you’re surely building up BRFC 2012? You know, with no shirt sponsor, no ground sponsors, season ticket sales have also dropped right off - and yet you’re making expensive signings left right and centre? Some of whom are on long term contracts? Who’s picking up the bill for all this and will your very future be in jeopardy should promotion not be achieved this year Blackburn Rovers?”
BRFC Answer: “Wheelbarrow, dolphin, cupboard. Wibble.”
The Press & Football Authorities: “That’s great. Thanks. No further questions. Sorry to have to ask.”
And that’s it. Next up, September. How predictable.
Source: August Review / Diary