It was with a degree of amusement that football fans the world over viewed yesterday’s headline gossip. Like when the scrawny kid with premature pimples valiantly attempts to share the bully’s swing set, Blackburn’s move for Raul seems both audacious and daft.
The Ewood Park faithful are accustomed to good strikers, Alan Shearer and the pre Manchester City version of Roque Santa Cruz are both cast from a high quality footballing mold; it takes more than a penchant for pottery though, to lure players like Raul.
The partially informed football fan, and Venkys only barely scrape into that category, might point to the Spaniard’s willingness to sacrifice the glamor of Madrid for the grit of Gelsenkirchen, as reason for hopefulness. But like that pimpled boy who suddenly finds more than just his loose teeth are missing, there was never any way Blackburn would be allowed to swing.
Upon submitting a bid for Raul, only embarrassment was in store for Rovers, a club whose personal reflection seems to have been airbrushed by the gods of hubris.
Like Raul, last January Ronaldinho’s samba drum wasn’t willing to join up with Rovers’ marching band, one led by a drunkard who is tooting his club’s horn a little too loudly.
“The owners and the fans should be excited about what we’re doing here.” said Kean last month. “Trying to deliver European football in three or four years for this club is achievable. We’re not going to say we’ll get it next year but, if we can get a foothold in the top half of the table, that’s a realistic goal.”
Just an attempt to butter up to his bosses, perhaps with a free bucket of chicken nuggets in mind, or maybe the after effects of another night of shameless drinking, whatever the cause, the result was stupefyingly ludicrous. In an occupation which has driven some to stress born illness, Kean’s cocky attitude undermines the fight that he and his team are set to partake in.
In the battle for the drop, even the arrogant eventually meet their match, and while Rovers have won more Premier League titles than both Leeds and Newcastle, the fate which befell them remains a more likely proposition than European qualification in four years time.
The ‘project’ under construction at Ewood Park is fast becoming the laughing stock of the league, resembling more the lazy, sloppy work of a kindergartner, than the fine architectural craftsmanship of a fellow kindergartner’s unscrupulous parents.
Blackburn’s search for “a name” is almost depressingly desperate, you get the feeling that even a crocked and overweight Ronaldo would be valued more than a potentially available marksman like Robbie Keane or Peter Crouch.
An ownership duo that knows little about football, presiding over a manager who seems increasingly to be equally ignorant, was a combination always set to roll towards disaster, though the scale of Rovers’ inevitable fall has yet to be gauged. The failed pursuit of Raul has poured more shame on a once humble and hard working club, one who knew what it was like to be the City of their day, yet remained stoic and resolute in the face of a new era of financial madness.
The path to comfortable mid table status was nearly completely paved at the time of Venkys arrival last season, only for the Indians to quickly purge the club of their chief bricklayer. The decision to sack Sam Allardyce has resulted in consequences that even a credibility seeking clairvoyant wouldn’t boasted of seeing; what was startlingly obvious to us never reached the minds of India’s finest chicken salesman though.
A trail of broken promises is destined to replace Blackburn’s once healthy road to survival – negligent owners have forced the 1994 Premier League champions to the brink of catastrophe. Unattainable targets remain the focus of Venkys’ attention, after all, David Beckham’s face on a parcel of chicken is so much more appealing than Peter Crouch’s.
The vehicle for self promotion which Blackburn Rovers has fast become is veering towards a crash, and in the drivers seat is Steve Kean, probably with a flask of whiskey in his hand. He and his owners are distracting themselves with visions of the future, attempting to sign players that would only consider Ewood Park if that unrealistic four year plan was already achieved.
All the while, the drop looms closer, and as key squad members prepare for departure, their potential replacements remain the subject of only a drunkard’s fantasy.