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Tuesday, 08 January 2013

Who will be the next Blackburn Rovers manager?

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So who wants to be next into the Blackburn Rovers hot seat? Which manager wants to operate with 'global adviser' Shebby Singh in the background and Venky's based in India and seemingly detached from the day to day realities of the Premier League.

Well actually quite a lot of managers would take the role. This is a profession where coaches can't afford to be out of the limelight for long, as so many competitors are jostling for posts. And even if it goes wrong there's usually sizeable compensation to sweeten the departure.

An awful lot of names have been bandied about since Henning Berg received the boot after 57 days. Some names have been pure fantasy and among the real possibles there seems to be no clear opinion in the media, fans or bookies about who's favourite.

Blackburn badgeVery strong rumours were coming out of East Lancashire last week that Peter Taylor would be the man. The ex-England caretaker certainly needs a club after his career has somewhat hit the buffers after the heights of being England caretaker and his sterling work at Hull City and for England under-21s.

His efforts at other league clubs haven't matched the performance at Hull and he was recently sacked from the Bahrain national job. He certainly needs a new opportunity and it can be argued that a reasonably well placed Championship side is the best that Taylor could hope for at present.

The Blackburn fans are lukewarm about his appointment but Venky's have shown that public opinion doesn't bother them - in fact, supporter opposition might swing it for Taylor, so perverse have been some of the Rao family's decisions since they took over.

High on the bookies' lists is a man with massive Championship experience - Billy Davies. The Scot got a raw deal from Derby County after performing miracles to get them to the Premier League via the play-offs. A few years later, Nottingham Forest also gave him short shrift after he missed out in the play-offs two seasons in a row.

Neither East Midlands club is significantly better off since Davies was ejected. He has a reputation for toughness and getting the absolute maximum from his resources, but also for being a bit abrasive. Venky's might turn to him for his knowledge of the division, but whether he would get a fair shake in the Premier League is doubtful.

Talking of abrasive, diminutive Scots, there has been a groundswell of opinion in favour of Paul Dickov who has cut an impressive figure at nearby Oldham. The striker never gave any less than 100% on the park, but while he still has the passion, his managerial style has been tempered with realism and imagination on meagre resources.

He's an ex-Blackburn player and he was in the running for the role when Steve Kean left. It could be argued that Dickov is still learning his trade and a better opening might come his way soon enough. The Scot gives the distinct impression that he holds clear views on how a club should be run.

Mark Hughes had much success at Ewood Park and since leaving there his stock has definitely fallen. But it's surely unlikely that the Welshman thinks that the middle of the Championship should be his next career move. Then again, it's not very far in terms of league places from QPR and Hughes needs to rebuild his reputation.

Whenever Sven-Goran Eriksson is out of work, the Swede always gets linked with any vacancy at a sizeable English club - and he's shown in the past that he isn't put off with becoming associated with owners who have an unusual approach. If the money is right and there's cash to spend on players, Eriksson is usually game for a punt.

Venky's and Sven is one of those pairings that seems all too plausible. The Swede pulls out his extensive contact book, Venky's get the buzz of an ex-international manager and suddenly in come the loanees and ex-internationals looking for a fresh start.

And then of course there's the man in post - Gary Bowyer who will stay in charge for January. He hasn't done his credentials any harm - three games played, three won, one of them being a three goal dismissal of Nottingham Forest, which is none too shabby. Venky's went internal before and shocked everyone - would they do it again?

If Shebby Singh wants to stay influential behind the scenes he may feel that backing an inexperienced appointee like Bowyer could be the way forward.

Calling all Blackburn Rovers fans: Who would you like to see in the dugout at Ewood Park? Is Sven the man to get your campaign back on track or would Davies give the fans the lift in performances they crave? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.


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Hugh Larkin



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