Heartache at the Ewood Park, when will it end?

When a team is in the relegation zone with just under a month before Christmas, they may think they have enough time to escape before the end of the season.

Well most Blackburn Rovers fans may be thinking that exact thought. With 10 games played Blackburn are currently 18th in the league table with six points with only one win to their name and that was against Arsenal, a team whose defence struggled to gel at the time.

In their recent game against newly promoted Norwich City, Blackburn went 1-0 up thanks to a superb solo effort by David ‘Junior’ Hoilett. His effort was equalled by Steve Morrison with his own excellent finish beating Blackburn keeper Paul Robinson. With the score tied up and the game looking like it could go either way, Blackburn took control of the game by scoring two goals in two minutes. The first came from Yakubu’s right boot thanks to the Norwich keeper being beat at his near post by a thumping drive, and the second from Chris Samba’s head after he connected to a Morten Gamst Pedersen free kick at the back post.

A team playing that well and 3-1 up with just 10 minutes to go usually would leave the game with all three points, but that’s where football is so unpredictable. Norwich’s Bradley Johnson made it a nervous last eight minutes for Blackburn fans thanks to a deflected shot that went over the Rovers keeper’s head. Then came the talking point in the game. In the last minutes of extra time Norwich were awarded with a penalty thanks to a debatable handball by Steven Nzonzi. The spot kick was converted by striker Grant Holt making it 3-3 at the full time whistle.

The Blackburn team that played on the weekend seemed like a side full of confidence, unity and a side that could see out a game with a 2 goal cushion, but when lady luck isn’t on your side things are never that easy. The reason why the penalty decision was debatable was because Nzonzi was pushed and sandwiched between two of the Canaries players inside of his own box. In outrage of not receiving the free-kick, the midfielder turned around and in mid motion the ball accidently hit his hand. Most pundits and commentators who had the chance to see the action thought the decision was harsh and unlucky.   

Fans are currently calling for the board to sack manager Steve Kean and have protested outside the ground to show how serious they are about the subject. Is it the right way to go? He did help his team avoid relegation last year and maybe he can do the same this year but he will need to invest in the squad and push them even harder in training.

Sacking him with just 10 games played could be too harsh as most of those premier league games have been against some of the toughest opposition the league has to offer. In the up and coming 5 games, apart from Chelsea, Blackburn will need to dig deep and see how many points they can get from Wigan Athletic, Stoke City, Swansea City, Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion and Bolton, all teams mid table or lower. The management and backroom staff needs to get the team use to winning ways and try get the players use to picking up as many points as possible against teams that are also struggling. 

Fans will need to get behind the manager and the team no matter how hard it seems to be at this moment in time. With quality players like Junior Hoilett, Yakubu, Paul Robinson, Morten Gamst Pedersen and Chris Samba just to name a few, it’s only a matter of time before the team gets it right and gets their second win of this season. The next question is will they be able to steal all three points against Chelsea? It’s set to be a cracker of a game and I can’t wait for the weekend.     

Jordan Brown @MediaJB

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