The Lead

Title race? Pshaw. She might be the popular girl, but everyone really wants the hot librarian that is the relegation battle. And now it’s all up to Bolton/QPR to sort themselves out at the foot of the table. Perhaps not the sexiest of SURVIVAL SUNDAYS for Fox and Friends, but enough to garner a few glances at the points table this weekend.

But that’s not what I want to talk about. Let’s talk about Steve Kean, baby. Let’s talk about you, the person who patronizingly backed Kean to stay at Blackburn over the course of a season, and me, the guy who thought Blackburn fans were well within their rights to challenge both the manager and Blackburn’s aloof owners, Venky’s chicken. Let’s talk about all the bad things that will almost certainly be, as they’ve been relegated to the Championship.

A journalistic narrative emerged soon after it appeared Terry Connor would not be able to salvage Wolverhampton’s season following the sacking of Mick McCarthy, and when Steve Kean’s Blackburn strung a few good results together for a (very) brief period in March. It detailed how Venky’s were right all along to stick with Kean while gaffers were sacked all around him.

In the past few weeks however—perhaps to salvage that narrative when it appeared all-but-certain Blackburn would go down—a revisionist view emerged that it wouldn’t have mattered who was manager of Blackburn this season, they would have been relegated anyway.

Possibly, although that takes a fairly confident bit of reverse engineering to argue, and it’s been challenged along detailed lines by some involved fans before the loss of key players like Chris Samba in the transfer window. Moreover, Kean himself was more than happy to push the lunatic narrative supplied by the Venky’s after they sacked Sam Allardyce back in December of 2010, little less than a month after the Indian group bought the club—that Blackburn would play entertaining football, and that Europe was in the horizon within three or four years. He said it at the start of this season: Champions League football in four years (a month after that he was convicted on drunk driving charges, but I digress).

Kean could have been honest with the fans about the club’s dire situation in January and could have taken personal responsibility for the state of the club and take pressure of his players, but instead resorted to enfeebled pleas to support him no matter what. Perhaps his few remaining supporters are right (mostly pundits and Sir Alex Ferguson) and Blackburn would have gone down one way or another. But the fact is Kean made his bed with the Venky’s (who some suspect (based on David Gill’s remarks at an analytics conference in February) did not even know about promotion and relegation when they bought the club), made unrealistic promises, and refused to accept responsibility for the consequences.

England

Alright Wenger, buy Junior Hoilett so he can cap with one nation or another, because we’re all getting a bit tired of waiting. You hear that, Hoilett Senior?

It was Venky’s fault.

It’s Torres’ turn to face Liverpool at Anfield tonight.

Kean wants to stay to help Blackburn bounce “right back up,” another cheque his butt can’t cash.

Mark Hughes maintains his dignity, bless ‘im!

Spain

No Puyol for Euros?

Good day, bad day.

Valencia appoint Pelegrino.

Canada

Toronto FC’s troubles coming to a head.

TFC set records for being shit.

Signs of tactical dissent within the club.

The Whitecaps’ total team effort.

Montreal Impact surveys the Voyageur’s Cup scenery.

Germany

Preliminary Germany Euro squad announced.

Pranjic set to leave Bayern for China.

Bits and bobs

Letter reveals “crisis and torment” at Ewood Park.

Iain Macintosh on Liverpool’s tactical long game.

Football tears us apart, again.

Missed yesterday’s Vod?