In an interview with the BBC ahead of his first match in charge against Charlton on Saturday, new Blackburn Rovers boss Michael Appleton praised both the infrastructure and the facilities at the club, as well as the ambition of the controversial owners, Venky’s.
Perhaps, the former West Brom midfielder is a little blindsided, considering his only other two jobs in full-time management were cash-strapped Portsmouth, and at Blackpool, where it’s considerably safe to say that the relationship between supporters and chairman Karl Oyston is somewhat frosty.
As the boos rang out at Ewood Park after Appleton lost his first match in charge, he must’ve realised the sheer weight of the task on his hands. Truth of the matter is, Rovers fans haven’t been contented throughout the entire Venky’s reign; even Sam Allardyce wasn’t totally susceptible to criticism from those watching from the stands.
On showings like these, Blackburn are a world from where the majority of fans believe they should be – lining up week in week out against the likes of the Manchester United’s and the Chelsea’s. The recent events at Ewood have been nothing short of a pantomime and with Appleton’s relative inexperience at the helm, it’s uncertain as to whether it shows any signs of stopping.
Matches at home against play-off chasing Brighton, are followed by further league encounters against Bristol City and Ipswich – two sides desperately looking to pick up points to pull them out of relegation trouble. It’s in these matches that we will really find out about the strength and solidarity of Appleton’s side – because in all honesty, consecutive trips away at automatic promotion contenders Leicester and Hull are not likely to be happy ones.
It’s difficult to lay blame at anyone’s feet in the entirety; you can pinpoint the initial sacking of Allardyce, perhaps the fact that Steve Kean was there for a little while too long, and especially the appointment of Henning Berg as manager who, despite a decent reputation amongst the fans, was never truly in control of things on the pitch and has led to a dramatic slide in form. All we know is, a lot of different factors have culminated in Blackburn’s demise and things need to change, and quickly.
Such is the relative tight nature of The Championship at the moment, Blackburn find themselves 10 points off of both the play-off places, as well as the bottom three. The die-hard Rovers fans who ripped into Steve Kean when third in the table may well be looking at themselves long and hard in the mirror.
What next for the Venky’s Corporation?