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Blackburn Rovers blog: Arsenal result will be so crucial now
IF Saturday’s home game against Arsenal was not important enough already, this week’s events have given it an altogether greater significance.
Whatever your thoughts on Steve Kean and the job he has done since he took over as boss last December, a section of fans have undoubtedly become more vocal in their criticism of the Scot in recent days.
First there was the open letter to the club’s owners, now plans for a protest march on Saturday morning ahead of the Arsenal game and even a petition for Kean’s removal.
Such events are not the norm at Blackburn Rovers.
We have seen similar scenes at the likes of Leeds, even Manchester United, mostly protesting against club owners. But rarely do such things happen at Ewood Park.
That is perhaps the biggest indication of the level of concern among some fans about the club’s future in the Premier League.
Such concern is understandable.
Some supporters have never been convinced by Kean ever since his surprise appointment last December, so seeing the club bottom of the table with one point from their first four games has set alarm bells ringing.
The Lancashire Telegraph has been contacted by a number of supporters in recent days and well over 100 comments were posted on our website yesterday after our story on Saturday’s protest march.
Many have backed the march, although it must be said that others believe it is not the right time – pointing to the fact that Rovers secured their first point of the season at Fulham on Sunday and insisting any such protest could affect Rovers’ chances of a result against Arsenal.
“I cannot see any greater good,” said one fan in an e-mail.
“The players need us. Blackburn Rovers Football Club needs us.
“We need to stand tall and be counted – but not like this.”
Perhaps the most important thing of all is that the march does not cause divisions within the club’s support, the bedrock on which Rovers are built.
But, no matter what opinion you hold, the fact that it is happening seems to place further importance on the Arsenal match.
Three points would most likely be viewed as a moral victory for Kean against his detractors, halting the momentum against him in the national press at least.
It would be a sign that the players are still capable of getting results amid an unsettled atmosphere among the club’s support.
Defeat and fans’ discontent could strengthen significantly.
The spotlight on his position would increase, even if at no point have Venky’s indicated that they have any doubts over his future – in fact Kean insisted they had been as supportive as ever at a recent meeting in India.
Right now, much of the attention is on the pre-match activities.
The game itself could possibly tell us most of all.
Read the Blackburn Rovers jury only in today's Lancashire Telegraph newspaper.
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