Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Appleton sacked by Blackburn

Too often in football - much like the telegraphed ending in a by the number Hollywood thriller - you are left open mouthed by a footballing development.

This afternoon, Blackburn Rovers took the decision to sack their newest manager Michael Appleton from his post as manager after only 67 days.

Appleton leaves with a grand record of 15 games, winning four, drawing five and losing six.  His last match was Sunday's derby encounter versus Burnley when an injury-time equaliser by home-town boy David Dunn secured a valuable point in the battle to avoid relegation.  Blackburn sit in 18th position on 46 points, four points clear of 22nd placed Peterborough on 42.  Owing to a prolonged FA Cup run to the quarter-finals, Blackburn have one game in hand.

Yet the decision to sack a third manager in a season, smacks of the knee-jerkism becoming more and more associated with the owners, the Venky family from India.  The lack of stability and cohesion from the ownership downwards makes a mockery of the legendary side and the history enstilled in it by Jack Walker and Kenny Dalglish.

Blackburn might have bought the Premier League title in 1995, but they would not be able to buy a coffin from an undertaker.  The name is being dragged through the mud by these owners who are deluded to think that a new manager will save a sinking ship.  Nevermind the unbelievable season this has been for Appleton himself who leaves his third team of the season having started with floundering Portsmouth, leaving for Blackpool and only lasting two months before jumping at the chance to lead Blackburn.

The players will find it hard to adapt to a new managerial style in little or no time - it might be wise to just go with the talent and hope they can salvage the season.

The worry for Blackburn is that they are currently in an awful run of form - garnering only 10 points from the last 10 games.  Whereas relegation rivals, Barnsley (20) and Peterborough (16) are playing with a new found belief and vigour.

Nine games remain to save Blackburn from the dreaded double drop down into League One.  Many fans believe the drop will force the Venkys to sell the club and leave, yet will the fanbase remain if they play in a lower division.

The games remaining are tough, in England's toughest division - unfortunately they play three teams chasing promotion in Cardiff (a), Watford (a) and Crystal Palace (h) and also games against Sheff Wed (a), Blackpool (h) and Huddersfield (h) all teams not safe yet.

They can survive but this sort of change six weeks from the end of the season is not just plain barmy but an insult to the football club's history and supporters.

Follow me on twitter @JamieGarwood

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