SOMEWHERE in a darkened television studio, one suspects the pundits are already preparing their speeches.
Their assessment of Blackburn Rovers will be simple.
It will involve looking at the league table now, and vaguely recalling Rovers’ position back in late September.
‘Look at that! Rovers were higher in the table then,’ they will conclude.
‘The fans must be regretting calling for Steve Kean to go now.’ If some have not said it already, you can guarantee they will say it if Rovers remain outside the top six for too much longer.
It is an all too easy conclusion to make for the casual pundit, who will pay a second’s attention to events at Ewood Park before moving on to such ground-breaking opinions as ‘Arry will definitely turn things round at QPR’ and ‘Isn’t Fernando Torres rubbish these days?’.
And yet of course any such statement about Kean would be nonsense.
Very few fans would ever want Kean back as manager, even if Rovers failed in their quest for promotion this season.
Yes, Rovers were third in the table when the Scot left the club, saying he had been ‘forced to resign’. But things could not go on as they were.
Ewood Park had become a miserable place of divides and protests.
Although things are not exactly back to normal right now, the situation has improved at least.
Fans are no longer faced with the choice of whether they want their team to win, or actually lose in the hope that it hastened Kean’s exit.
It was often taboo to admit such a dilemma, but in the stands it was not an uncommon debate by the end of Kean’s tenure.
When it reaches that farcical stage, change has to happen.
It was no longer enjoyable for anyone, and football is supposed to be enjoyable.
So Rovers must start to gain results quickly now not just for their obvious important promotion hopes, but to stop the fans from receiving yet another barrage of criticism from the national media.
Henning Berg will be given every support and we cannot expect miracles overnight, even if he would admit himself that one win from his first seven games has not been the most ideal start.
Within Blackburn, the verdict on Kean’s reign at Ewood Park was made long ago.
But outside of the town, it is still being formulated.
Succeed under Berg and the Rovers fans were right all along.
Fail to gain promotion, or even reach the play-offs this term, and the national media will be quick to remind the supporters for years to come about their protests against Kean.
They might even suggest that the Scot was a better manager than he was given credit for.
Does it really matter what those outside Blackburn think? Maybe not.
But for those who love Rovers, any further criticism would irk them all the same.