Rovers must learn from past mistakes

Blackburn FanZoner Gareth Williams feels Rovers need to learn from their past mistakes and take their time in appointing a new manager.

Last Updated: 01/05/13 at 12:56 Post Comment

Gary Bowyer: Has had an impressive stint as caretaker boss

Gary Bowyer: Has had an impressive stint as caretaker boss

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Blackburn need to learn from past mistakes, resolve a feuding boardroom and take time over appointing a new manager this summer, rather than rushing to appoint Gary Bowyer on a permanent basis.

Bowyer has done a brilliant job in guiding Rovers to safety but the club should resist the immediate urge to name him as Michael Appleton's full-time successor.

Rovers draw a miserable season to a close on Saturday and, barring a 15-goal defeat at Birmingham, will then begin preparing for another season in the Championship. That is in no small part down to Bowyer's impressive display as caretaker boss, gaining 18 points from 11 league games in charge prior to the final game of the season. That is play-off form if replicated across the whole season.

Bowyer has taken everything in his stride and clearly has the respect of the supporters and, crucially, the players. He has been the calming influence the club has needed in a season of turmoil. When everything else at the club was going wrong, he was the one who steadied the ship and ensured that Rovers performed when it mattered on the pitch. He has a deep affection for Rovers and has rescued the club in its hour of need.

A large proportion of the Rovers support want Bowyer to be manager when the new season kicks off in August. Several senior players have also called for the Ewood Park board to hand Bowyer the reins. But after the shambles of having five managers this season, Rovers need to ensure they get the next appointment right. They need to take their time and interview all prospective candidates. If Bowyer applies and is the best candidate after that process, then his appointment would be welcomed - if he wants the job. That remains a big IF. Bowyer seems to be more comfortable in a coaching capacity and takes immense pride in developing young players, indicated by his recent comments about Manchester United's Phil Jones.

There is also the concern that Bowyer will be given the job, only to lose it again a few months later if results falter. Blackburn need people like Bowyer at the club. Better to have him as a coach for years to come than to get just a few months out of him as a manager. Rovers don't have the best record in promoting coaches to managers either (Harford and Kean immediately spring to mind). Is it a risk worth taking?

Before any of that can happen, Rovers need to sort out the on-going boardroom battle. Following the admission in court last week from the club's lawyers that Rovers are "out of control", it is clearer now than ever that the club is completely rudderless. Venkys are seemingly at war with the MD Derek Shaw, Global Advisor Shebby Singh spouts poisonous drivel before going into hiding for weeks on end and Paul Agnew talks a lot, without saying anything interesting or worthwhile.

Would you trust this lot to appoint the right manager? And who in their right mind would want to work for them?

Applications will of course come in for the managerial position - there are more managers than jobs (and they might fancy a pay off after 57 days in the hot seat) - but it will all be fruitless if the situation behind the scenes is preventing the manager from doing his job properly, which it clearly is.

The ideal scenario is Venkys finally admitting they do not know what they're doing with a football club and selling up, with Shaw, Agnew and Singh following them out of Ewood Park. In reality, that is very unlikely to happen.

I expect Rovers to begin next season with Venkys as owners, Singh still causing mayhem and without Shaw and Agnew in the boardroom. It is a sobering thought. The owners are so unpredictable and unreliable, it is anyone's guess who they will name as manager - and we shouldn't be surprised by rumours Danny Murphy is being considered as player manager.

A personal opinion is that Bowyer will remain at the club, but as a coach or assistant manager. Venkys will be convinced (probably by Singh and certain agents) to give the big job to someone else.

As a club, Rovers have some big decisions to make this summer. It's a crying shame those in charge seem incapable of making them and getting them right. Bowyer may be better off out of the firing line.

By Gaz Williams, FanZone's Blackburn Rovers blogger. Follow him on Twitter at @CircoW - and don't forget to follow @FanZone too!

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