Jump to content


SINCE 1996
Proudly partnered with TheTerraceStore.com

[Archived] News Article -> 2011/12 Match Report: Rovers 0 Wigan Athletic 1

Recommended Posts

Blackburn Rovers (0) 0 – 1 (0) Wigan Athletic
Alcaraz 87
Referee: M. Clattenburg Attendance: 26,144

The chickens finally came home to roost, in more ways than one, on a wet and dismal Bank Holiday Monday at Ewood Park. What a stark contrast to that wonderful Victory at Ewood night on a Bank Holiday Monday in May 1995 when the heroics of Tim Flowers and a goal from Alan Shearer sent the Ewood faithful home happily singing songs of celebration long into the night. The Ewood faithful were again in full voice throughout the 90 minutes last night but this time it was songs of vitriolic hatred towards the clueless owners and manager which filled the air. The absentee owners and their puppet in the dugout have brought the club to its knees within eighteen short months and the Ewood faithful turned up in force to vent their spleen at those they hold responsible for the destruction of their club. Rarely has the ground resonated to the sound of all four stands singing in unison and demanding the removal of the manager and owners.

Once again, Madam Desai and the Brothers Grimm were nowhere to be seen as the club's eleven-year tenure in the Premier League came to an end. Over the past few months they have no doubt sat in the splendour of their complex in Pune, regaling their friends with tales about owning India's Premiership club and outlining their strategy for Champions League football, whilst the reality on the ground in Blackburn has been completely different. A successful, well-run club brought to its knees by incompetent owners and a clueless manager.

The game itself was, like much of the season, something of an irrelevance. Wigan, under the astute ownership of Dave Whelan and inspirational management of Roberto Martinez, arrived at Ewood in search of the win that would secure their Premier League status for another season. Although they didn't get the winning goal until late in the game, the truth is that they dominated much of the play and created the better chances as the Rovers, once again, proved lax in defence, lacklustre in midfield and timid in attack.

Steve Kean, in a last desperate throw of the dice, opted for a 4-3-3 formation which proved no more successful than any of the other formations which have been tried with equal ineptness during the course of the season. Sadly, formations are an irrelevance if the quality of the players on view is as poor as the squad that has been assembled by Desai and Kean. Make no mistake, these players would struggle in the Championship and have been completely out of their depth in the Premier League.

In his post-match interviews Kean complained about the lack of experienced players in the squad and the need to bring in such experience in the summer. However, it must be remembered that this was the manager, be it on the owners' behest or not, who was happy to show the door to El-Hadji Diouf, Brett Emerton, Jason Roberts, Keith Andrews, Ryan Nelsen and Chris Samba. This was the manager who opted to completely ignore Michel Salgado for over half a season and the same manager who kept Gael Givet out of the team for long periods at a crucial time in the season.

Kean bleated on about having too many young players in the team but, then again, who was the manager who replaced experienced players with inexperienced players? The finger of blame points to Kean and Desai.

Considering it was a must-win game, the Rovers proved rather conservative in terms of posing an attacking threat during the first half. Despite playing three up front, with Anthony Modeste operating on the right, Junior Hoilett on the left and Yakubu through the middle, the Rovers simply couldn't develop any sort of attacking rhythm.

With the cries of "Kean out", "Venky's out" and "There's only one Jack Walker" growing ever louder, the players looked completely bereft of ideas or inspiration. Victor Moses ought to have given the visitors the lead when he met a superb cross from Franco Di Santo, but his header went across goal instead of into the net.

Just before the break David Dunn, again the one player who seemed totally committed to the cause, limped off to be replaced by Marcus Olsson — quite why Steven Nzonzi wasn't introduced is another of the strange mysteries that surround the decision-making process of Steve Kean. Gael Givet was withdrawn at half-time due to injury and was replaced by Radosav Petrovic, which resulted in another reshuffle at the back.

Although the Rovers forced a couple of early corners, they rarely looked like making the breakthrough. There were a couple of goalmouth scrambles, but it seemed more a case of hope than expectation. At the other end the visitors continued to spurn opportunities to take the lead with Moses firing over the bar after being set up by Di Santo.

The Rovers had a decent claim for a penalty on 59 minutes when Emmerson Boyce appeared to kick Hoilett in attempting to clear the ball in a goalmouth scramble. However, Mark Clattenburg was unmoved and even the Ewood faithful only made half-hearted appeals.

Paul Robinson was called into action to make an excellent double save from Moses and James McCarthy, but he was helpless when Shaun Maloney squandered a glorious opportunity by heading over with the goal at his mercy. However, the visitors were not to be denied and with three minutes remaining they scored the goal that ensured their safety whilst condemning the Rovers to relegation. The ball was floated into the Rovers' penalty area and whilst Petrovic stood and watched, Alcaraz rose above him and headed into the net despite a valiant attempt by Robinson to keep the ball out.

The cries of protest grew ever louder as the Rovers' Premier League life ebbed away in the pouring rain.

In a game that had to be won there were two memorable moments. In the first half play had to be stopped because of a chicken walking around the penalty area in front of the Darwen End. Clearly, intent on trying to prevent banners getting into the ground, an aim in which the security proved every bit as inept as the rest of the management at Ewood Park, they overlooked the fact that a fan would enter the ground with a chicken tucked under his arm!

The other moment that will live in the memory is of the supporter marching over to Kean early in the second half and throwing his season ticket at him. It was a gesture that brought the fan in question a standing ovation from the rest of Ewood Park as he was led away by the police.

The fact that the two highlights had nothing to do with the game itself says it all really.

As for the players, Paul Robinson, Gael Givet and David Dunn gave everything they had as usual.

In defence, Bradley Orr was more effective giving interviews supporting the manager than stopping the Wigan attack. However, he did front up that the players had not been good enough and fair play to him for that admission. Scott Dann again looked grossly overrated at £6.5 million and one cannot believe than any other club is going to take him off our hands at anywhere near that valuation.

Sadly, Martin Olsson looks destined for the exit door while one suspects that brother Marcus is likely to still be around next season. Martin has too bright a future ahead of him to languish for any length of time outside of the top flight. Marcus, who has struggled to adjust to Premier League football, may well be more effective in the Championship.

In midfield, the lack of genuine quality has been there for all to see. Dunny remains our most creative player but is surely coming to the end of his career. Pedersen appears to be going through the motions and one suspects he has graced Ewood Park for the final time. Petrovic continues to struggle, while the fact that Steven Nzonzi has fallen out of favour points to his likely departure in the summer. In attack, Modeste will return to France, and Yakubu and Hoilett will both find new employers in the summer.

Eleven years of Premier League football has come to an end and the work of Jack Walker and the Walker Trust has been destroyed in eighteen months by owners who have never shown the slightest interest in the club or the town of Blackburn.

Who knows what the future holds? But if the future of Blackburn Rovers remains in the hands of Desai and Kean, the future is indeed bleak. The Rao family and their chosen manager have shown themselves to be inadequate at every level over the past eighteen months. The greatest irony of all was on the day that Sam Allardyce took West Ham United into the play-off final, Steve Kean took the Rovers into the Championship. Allardyce, the man who turned Ewood into a fortress and achieved a comfortable tenth place, was deemed not good enough for Desai, whilst Kean, the man who has overseen twelve home defeats this season and taken the club down, remains her favoured son. No wonder thousands are now turning their backs on the Venky's Circus at Ewood Park.


Blackburn Rovers

Paul Robinson; Bradley Orr (David Goodwillie 80), Scott Dann, Gael Givet (Radosav Petrovic 86), Martin Olsson; Jason Lowe, David Dunn (Marcus Olsson 44), Morten Gamst Pedersen; Anthony Modeste, Yakubu, David "Junior" Hoilett
Subs not used: Jake Kean (gk), Steven Nzonzi, Mauro Formica, Ruben Rochina
Manager: Steve Kean

Wigan Athletic

Ali Al Habsi; Antolin Alcaraz, Gary Caldwell, Maynor Figueroa; Emmerson Boyce, James McCarthy, James McArthur, Jean Beausejour; Victor Moses, Franco Di Santo (Conor Sammon 85), Shaun Maloney
Subs not used: Mike Pollitt (gk), Albert Crusat, Ben Watson, Jordi Gomez, Hugo Rodallega, Mohamed Diame
Manager: Roberto Martinez


Blackburn Rovers – Radosav Petrovic, Morten Gamst Pedersen

Wigan Athletic – Victor Moses

Join in the discussion on the forum here.

View full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.