Robson Report: Chelsea, now Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers, conjure managerial mayhem

Jeremy Robson

A Forest fan on the radio expressed the hope that Roy Keane’s presence at the 4-2 defeat of Leeds did not mean he was about to be named manager. More rang in to register disgust at the treatment of Sean O’Driscoll. Meanwhile, Henning Berg’s reign at Ewood Park also ends, in his case after fiftysomething days. Jeremy Robson is aghast at a creeping tendency within football …

“For reasons that I cannot discuss on legal advice, it is with deep regret, given my hard work and service for the club for a number of years, that I have been forced to resign as manager of Blackburn Rovers Football Club with immediate effect, due to my position as team manager becoming untenable. I wish to thank all the players and coaching staff for their great support and the majority of the fans, who now see their club heading towards an automatic promotion position back to the Premiership. I wish the club all the very best for the future.”

These were the words of Steve Kean when he resigned as Rovers manager back in September.

His successor Henning Berg has today been sacked despite the fact that he was only appointed to the job on October 31. Berg’s downfall came just one day after Nottingham Forest’s chairman, Fawaz Al Hasawi, sacked Sean O’Driscoll who had been in charge since as long ago as July 19.

Berg’s “accomplishments” at Ewood Park do not compare well with O’Driscoll’s with Blackburn lying in 17th place in the Championship table.

But Forest lie a point away from the play off places and had just thumped Leeds 4-2 to give them their first win on Boxing Day for six years.

According to the BBC’s Colin Fray, one of the other owners, Abdulaziz Al Hasawi, appeared at the City Ground for the first time yesterday, and was suggesting that the decision to sack the manager had already been taken.

Imagine being embarrassed by your team winning 4-2. We can only assume (and hope – ed) that Forest’s owners feel some sense of embarrassment. It’s a difficult notion to grasp that one in the face of uncompromising evidence for the absence of common sense.

These two seemingly unconnected events almost make Roberto Di Matteo’s dismissal at Chelsea seem reasonable as one ridiculous decision by a foreign owner is trumped by something even more outlandish almost immediately.

There is no control that I am aware of to prevent part of our heritage being taken over by wealthy individuals and corporations from overseas, some of whom seem ready to treat their employees in such an undignified fashion.

In stark contrast to the likes of Randy Lerner, or Ellis Short there’s a bus load of barrow boys prepared to make a mockery of responsibilities of ownership. I’m now firmly expecting to see some manager in the top two divisions dismissed in the half time interval, and the news being announced to the crowd over the tannoy system.

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15 thoughts on “Robson Report: Chelsea, now Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers, conjure managerial mayhem”

  1. Goldy said “Following on from my point about not condoning the fans’ protests last season. A spokesperson for some sort of fan club or something has welcomed the decision on Sky today. It’s a shame the Blackburn fans aren’t as proactive when it comes to supporting their side. Very, very ordinary fan base.”

    Inexperience and stupidity and the persistence with Kean were what led to Berg getting the job in the first place. Former player from the good old days = good move. Inexperienced manager with a bad track record = bad move. They were better off with Kean at Championship level. Kevin McDonald is the favourite for the manager’s job. He mustn’t be able to get a job on the bins.

  2. Forest trying to emulate County perhaps? Remember Sven and Sol Campbell. Still not our problem. I am just hoping we can get a result against Spurs on Saturday.

  3. Following on from my point about not condoning the fans’ protests last season. A spokesperson for some sort of fan club or something has welcomed the decision on Sky today. It’s a shame the Blackburn fans aren’t as proactive when it comes to supporting their side. Very, very ordinary fan base.

  4. Owen Coyle must be in the frame for the Blackburn job. They hate Burnley over there and are not too keen on Bolton either. He must be a shoo in at Ewood Park. You heard it here first folks.

  5. Goldy and Ken. This is comically funny. I just saw the article on the BBC website. The man who will be most puzzled by all of this will be poor Sean O’Driscoll who is arguably far better equipped to take Forest forward than McLeish. If I was a Forest fan I would be tearing my hair out at what has happened here in the last 24 hrs.

    This is arguably even madder than Venkys decisions. I can’t wait to see who they get. We probably won’t have to wait too long.

  6. It’s Alex McLeish apparently.Can’t follow the logic behind this but increasingly after 50 odd years of loving the game I’m convinced I’m a dinosaur.Can we be surprised by anything which happens in the world of football?

  7. Ludicrous. Blackburn showed too much faith in Steve Keane when it was obvious he’d get them relegated (not that I, in any way, condone the fans’ counter productive protests). They then sack a guy after less than two months in charge. The owners are in danger of doing some real damage at that club.

    • I forgot to add that they stuck with Keane when they were poor, yet sacked him when they were second in the league.

    • The biggest mistake they made was sacking Allardyce – Blackburn were in the top half of the PL at that time.

  8. I don’t see how the management situation we’ve got bears any comparison to blokes getting their cards after a matter of weeks. Especially at Nott’m Forest. The team has been winning and is just off the play offs.These people shouldn’t be running a football club.

  9. I’m not embarrassed at all Phil. It was a good result yesterday and I’m delighted with that. We beat Reading and Southampton to end a horrible run. So what? He still has a lot to prove. Euphoria and relief are close cousins and I don’t want to put a wet blanket on yesterday, that’s the first time our home crowd has seen a decent game in a long long time, so no I am not embarrassed in the slightest.

    In fact Phil, if you care to look at some of my responses, even prior to the recent three wins you will see that I was advocating that he be given more time (in response to comments from Bill and Goldy in particular).

    We’ve won 3 out of 4 (two against sides which will be relegated). From the start of the season we had won 1 in 10 until we managed to beat the 9/10 men of Fulham which was extended to 1 win in 14 until we got 3 points against Reading.

    If anyone thinks that those stats are an indication that he is doing a good job, or that we are out of the woods then they need to put a lock on the drinks cabinet.

    • “If anyone thinks that those stats are an indication that he is doing a good job, or that we are out of the woods then they need to put a lock on the drinks cabinet.”

      There, quite clearly, is still more work to be done and I think that we will get a much clearer indication of what the future holds by the end of the January transfer window, once another 2 or 3 pieces have been inserted into the jigsaw.

      My own impression is that since the beginning of this season MO’N has set his team out to try and get them used to playing the way he wants in the longer term, rather than (as when he first arrived) to just pick up the points to guarantee safety – if that makes sense.

      Certainly, it seems to have taken longer than we would have wished but (IMHO) the pattern and balance became quite clear in the second half of the defeat at Norwich and has been visible since.

      So, to return to the two points in the quote.

      1) I think that he still has a lot to prove BUT I think that he would appear to have a plan for the medium/longer term which would appear to offer, genuine hope for a successful future.

      As a club we have suffered for far too long from managers appearing to only being interested in the short term.

      2) Of course, we are not out of the woods yet BUT my belief is that we are heading in the right direction.

      So, in conclusion, I would expect someone who has supported SAFC for as many years as you have to not act like a “Johnny come lately” Sky boy and knee jerk as you have been doing!

  10. Some disgraceful dealings here Jeremy and if you remember Forest also summarily dismissed Steve Cotterill after he had turned their whole season around.Thank goodness for Ellis Short or there but for the grace of God…..

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