Sunday, November 27, 2011

What if it had been Steve Kean instead of Gary Speed?

The most uncomfortable aspect of the current protests at Blackburn Rovers is the deepy personal nature of the attacks on Steve Kean. I was talking to David Conn about this recently. We both commented on the affect this must all be having on the mental state of a man who is the object of so much targetted hatred. We concluded that he will probably have some kind of breakdown eventually. Either when he is finally sacked, or if he just combusts and quits. Yesterday at Stoke he had to be escorted to the tunnel by two burly minders, as the swelling of anger in the away end was so ferocious.

On social media sites and on the messageboards you see the ludicrous and overblown exposition of hysteria boiling over into all kind of violent talk. I'm sure it's just that - talk - but it has highlighted a massive loss of perspective. At the heart of all of this is a man trying to manage a football team. He might be out of his depth, he may also be getting rather well paid for it, but it is just a game of football. I see this everywhere at the moment and it depresses me. I see it when a 12 year old boy writhes on the floor and opposing parents and coaches trade insults over the fairness of the challenge. It's just a game, guys, get a grip.

Anyone connected with football today is trying to make sense of the apparent suicide of Gary Speed. The eulogies to him have been forthright and coloured with a massive sense of shock. I share them. He always seemed to be a man who had it all. Thoughts from everywhere are with his wife and family. "It puts life into perspective," is one comment that keeps coming back, yet it will soon be forgotten.

What would people be saying today if it was Steve Kean who had been found dead? Seriously, before you burn an effigy, wave a banner with his face on it, or scream that you wish something unpleasant upon him, just think that there's a human being at the centre of all of this. And it is just a game.


Anonymous said...

If Kean had any feeling whatsoever he would have quit a while ago. If he didn't want to put up with the shouting and abuse he should resign. 25k is more than a lot of Rovers fans earn in a year never mind a week. He could retire and go off back where he came from.

Anonymous said...

Just because we hate Steve Kean, doesnt mean that we want him to commit suicide...
We just dont want him to kill our club!!!

patrick said...

excellent post - I read fans of my team talking about the manager in disparaging terms, and hear about booing fans at games - but nothing on the scale of Blackburn -
May they soon realise what is serious and what is not.

Toby Scott said...

Well said Mike. Kean is a disaster as a manager, but he is still a human being and we don't want him to end up injured or harmed in any way. We just want him out of Ewood Park.

Mellison24 said...

I find the comparison of Kean to Speed rather offensive, to be honest.

Gary Speed was, by all accounts, a professional and honourable man. He was a humble winner, but crucially, he was honest in his failures.

Steve Kean was initially wanted rid of because of his atrocious managerial record. He then showed his true colours by lying to a court of law and suggesting a fan spiked his drink. He constantly belittles Blackburn fans ('Away fans, THEY are proper fans') and has no perspective of what damage he is doing, not just to Blackburn Rovers, but to our humble little town!

I agree with many of your blog posts. But to put Gary Speed in the same league as Coco the Kean is disrespectful to his memory.

Gary was true gent in every way and attracted very little criticism in his job or in his life. Steve Kean has proven himself (over the last year) to be nothing of the sort and constantly invites the media into his presence with proclamations of brilliant football from bottom of the league.

And before I get slated, I would be devastated if Steve were to take his own life in the manner that Gary did. No man should have to cope with demons like that.

Anonymous said...

Garry Speed was a true professional and one of the gentlemen of football, it is tragic what has happened. Kean on the other hand is a liar and far from a gentlemen he is a deluded man feasting on the gulable nature of others, I don't wish death on Kean just for him to show he has an ounce of dignity and step down.

TSVDP said...

A manager who suffered from personal attacks was McLaren, eh, I'd never say Wally the Brolly let alone McClown. He's had a tough time. And no, personally, I'd stay away from saying these kinds of things.

TSVDP said...

You bring up a good point though on really what seems to often look like an irrational obsession for managers, look at the schtick Steve Bruce is getting from Sunderland fans, you what they've been saying. Even though Harry Redknapp is looked upon positively, there I heard it again, Craggy Face. I don't need to go on with further examples, it makes me wonder, what's the obsession?? McClown, whoaah!! now, I wouldn't want to be on the wrong side of that. And to think a few decades ago, so I've heard, Managers were often given more time to work things out.

Vinjay said...

What if a Rovers fan has a complete mental breakdown and kills himself/herself as venkys/kean continue to destroy the club? How about answering that question?

That's not likely but its more likely than what's being suggested here. Kean deserves all the abuse he's getting its got nothing to do with the death of someone people respected.

I doubt kean has even given speed a thought.

TheRovers said...

I'd question whether the attacks on Kean can be referred to as "deeply personal". All managers doing badly have to put up with a measure of personal stick but it could be argued Kean has got off fairly lightly. When Allardyce was doing a fantastic job for us his critics among our fans often referred to him as fat, arrogant, ugly, a slug, a walrus etc. Whats Kean had? Baldy?

I'd also debate your comment that football is just a game. Its clearly also a business, and relegation will shrink the business of Rovers to less than half its current size, likely taking other businesses in the Ewood area with it. Its also of huge importance to morale in the town of Blackburn, Rovers is evidently more important to some of our fans than it is to you. What if another 20-30 years in the football doldrums drives some of our fans to a state similar to one you're worried about for Kean?

I don't mean to be rude but fans like you really need to wake up if your priorities at any point are still to defend Kean. By christmas a source of immense pride, happiness and importance to Blackburn could be lost for a generation. Our club is DYING, write an article about that.

Michael Taylor said...

Sigh. Amazing how some people see things in such black and white terms. Read what I've said here and in other posts on Rovers if you think that was a defence of Steve Kean.

2ndYellow said...

Unbelievable. Yes, football is a business.

There's a word for what happens when business men, shareholders or investors (fans) tackle poor performance within their company through an orchestrated campaign of personal abuse and hatred.

It's "tribunal".

The point is, a man died yesterday when there was no need. As yet, we know not why. If that man had been Steve Kean and it had been because of your abuse, how would you feel about your behaviour? And before you dive into a load of irrelevant drivel about your club's future try actually giving some serious THOUGHT about the real answer to that question.

No matter how many relegations your club might suffer, it's still only a game. Or, alternatively, it's still only business.

Anonymous said...

I was astonished by the reaction your post has got, Michael. Surely the central point is that both are human beings. That Kean probably doeant match Speed in other areas is just irrelevant in the greater scheme of things. Not only Balotelli should be looking in a mirror!

Michael Taylor said...

There really is no point trying to get through to some people.

Savio Mathias said...

Michael I agree with most of your points on here no-one however bad he is should feel the need to take his own life no-one should be driven to this however the one thing I disagree with massively is putting Gary Speed and Steve Kean in the same breath as they are 2 totally different individuals ones is an honest likeable chap the other isn't and I need to ask you do you honestly believe if Gary Speed was struggling as a manager of a club side do you honestly believe he would go to his employees and say my assistant manager is to blame for the poor results as he picked the team & tactics? Also do you honestly if speed was caught drink driving do you think he would lie to police, pervert the course of justice in court and even blame the fans who pay his wages for spiking his drink or do you believe Speed if he made a mistake being an honest likeable chap would he not come clean admit his mistakes apologise to the fans and accept his punishment also do you honestly believe Speed would forfeit a game to concentrate on other comps then backtrack lie about what he meant just to save his own skin or do you believe Speed would admit his mistakes accept his punishment say sorry and move on or do you believe he would lie,deceive people to save his own skin?

I know what I believe