Ronaldinho to Blackburn More Fantasy Than Reality

by Sam Wheatley

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Blackburn Rovers are fast becoming one of the most ludicrous stories in world football. A few short weeks after firing their manager who was doing quite well, they’re planning to sign a player with a huge reputation (and ego), who plays football the way they want to be playing it. Still managerless, Venky’s London Ltd (a chicken farm company, it is suggested) that owns the club is making a right hash of it.

The person that sacked Allardyce admitted to only having seen a football match on TV. But rest assured, she enjoyed the games so much that she started to sharpen her knife. Desai has been defending her role at the club and the potential signings of Ronaldinho and David Beckham are touching token gestures that will, naturally, come to nought.

Blackburn were trundling along quite nicely, actually, not playing great stuff but sitting happily in mid-table. Unambitious, certainly, but cause for concern? Never. The proposed Venky’s overhaul of the club is getting increasingly absurd. The one firm reality that has pervaded the daft mystique surrounding the club is that they have sacked their manager who was doing alright.

Even if they do sign Ronaldinho, that would still make one flair player in the Rovers camp, unless you count Morten Gamst Pedersen and his medium-to-long throw or Keith Andrews. An overhaul like this requires a manager with a big vision, brought in with his own staff, his own ideas and most importantly, a plan to implement. Players he wants to bring in, a formation, a style. Steve Kean has merely inherited Allardyce’s side – chucking Ronaldinho into the mix isn’t going to help matters too much.

The truth is that rather than sign a player that could upset what must already be a very fragile balance at the club, time would perhaps be better spent organising the backroom, bringing sustainability to the club and finding an identity, rather than negotiating huge deals for players that may not work in the current system and have a history of dodgy behaviour.

Who the owners would like to see pull on the shirt of their new club has very little to do with achieving actual, palpable success. Whilst I, as much as anyone, would like to see Ronaldinho in the Premier League, I’d prefer to see him at a club that has stability and plays his way, otherwise both the player and the team could be in for a very rough ride.

Ronaldinho has allegedly expressed a desire to play in the Premier League, and given the lofty reputation and considerable ability of the Brazilian, it would be hard to believe that one of the top eight or so clubs aren’t interested in him – and if he does come to England, I would predict it will be one of them, even if they offer a little less money. If this attempt to purchase Ronaldinho is indeed a fairly hollow statement of intent from the new Blackburn board, it’s a misguided one. Promising the earth and delivering nothing has never gone down too well with fans.

Perhaps this is symptomatic of a clear lack of understanding of how football works that had been suggested of Venky’s before – this is the pessimistic perspective. Perhaps, optimistically, they have a new manager, coaching staff, training facilities, youth programme, and several other big names set to arrive in the next month, but it would be fair to say that I along with the other 99% of football followers would doubt that very much.

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  • shaunbluenwhite

    I agree with some of your comments and did not agree with the way Sam Allardyce was removed,I do not think Ronaldinho would be the right player for Blackburn even if they could get him , but before printing statements about a football club please do your home work .Blackburn already have a successful youth academy in place ( see Phil Jones , Grant Hanley, Josh Morris etc ) youth programme ( see Martin Olsson , Steven Nzonzi and Junior Hoillet, Sam Allardyce stated many times before he parted company with Blackburn that he was excited by the youth players coming through )Along with training facilities at Brockhall Academy set up by Jack Walker that are above or equal to most premiership clubs and the training facilities for the youth Academy was started with a donation from Alan Shearer for around the sum of £100,000 back when he was just finished playing for Blackburn . Many players that came and signed after the Walker ere stated the facilities being an important factor in helping them making their choice ( Roque Santa Cruz for one ) from training , the gymn to the physio , hydrotherapy, dietician the list goes on . My point is you make the club sound as though it is not up to date and not professional and this is simply not the case as with any club managing to survive so long in top flight for so long they would soon be found out. It is a small town club with a small intake area and this makes Blackburn an easy target to lazy journalists anyway , coupled with ‘Venkys’ inappropriate style of handling the club and the new manager ( supposed to be offered a 2 to 3 year contract at the end of the season ) Steve keans’ uncomfortable look in front of cameras , the club has never looked so vulnerable

  • Sam Wheatley

    I was merely suggesting that the Venky’s won’t upgrade on the infrastructure that already exists to improve the club, not that what is in place is a load of old rubbish. I went up to Blackburn and had a look around in the late 90s and was impressed by what I saw even then, and am aware that it has continued to improve.

    Like you, I am just concerned about the current ownership and think that the Ronaldinho story is a big example of how not to run a club.

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