If anybody out there doubted the superb job that Big Sam did whilst at the helm of Blackburn Rovers then recent results will surely make them think again.
The results have been shambolic, a word that worryingly for all concerned at Ewood Park can be used to describe the performances too.
They appear to have lost all momentum and all guidance and now with suspended skipper Ryan Nelsen heading home to be with his family in crisis-hit Christchurch they’ve lost all leadership on the park as well.
For most of that, blame the ridiculous decision-making of the Venky family – owners who have managed to turn a well-respected and well-run football club into one that now has most of us shaking our heads in disbelief.
I’m sure the circles that owner Anuradha Desai moves in – being the president of the World Poultry Science Association – earns respect, but it hardly prepares you for a critical boardroom role at Premier League level.
And don’t Blackburn fans know it with a January transfer window that promised much yet delivered nothing barring the return of the brittle Roque Santa Cruz and a couple of foreign unknowns in Mauro Formica and Ruben Rochina who even now haven’t tasted the action as a result of lack of match fitness.
Woeful doesn’t even begin to describe the situation and Saturday’s hammering at Villa Park, where the Rovers fans left early in their droves and where the club mascot got their side’s man-of-the-match, epitomised everything that is wrong at the moment.
The million dollar question, though, is whether unknown new gaffer Steve Kean will be able to do anything about it.
Doubtful I’d say because it’s gone too far with only four points separating Blackburn from the relegation places and apart from possibly Birmingham and Blackpool at home they face a tough run-in from which it’s hard to see where they’ll pick up the necessary victories to earn themselves another year in the top flight.
Certainly they won’t get any change out of a Fulham side on Saturday who have sprung into life since the turn of the year.
They’ll out-battle, out-smart and out-play opposition who haven’t been at the races for a while now and that’s probably the reason why the even money on first show a few days back has swiftly been clipped into 4/5 and 8/11.
Anybody wanting a quick-hit would be advised to grab a piece of that action – indeed the 7/4 on Fulham winning by more than a goal is also well worth smashing into. But the real value comes in the longer term relegation market where you can get 6/1 on Rovers going down this season.
That’s right 6/1 – a whopping price when you consider that they have looked shaky at the back, abject most of the time in the middle of the park and up front need one of their long list of mediocre strikers to do something special quickly to turn things around.
It’s a good punt that will get better by the week!
Something for the Weekend
3 homes: Man City, Norwich & Burnley (5/2).
3 aways: MK Dons, Huddersfield & Shrewsbury (16/1).
Steer clear of: Man Utd (11/8 away at Liverpool).
● Odds supplied by Taylor’s Bookmakers and Exchange Shop, LS28 6PA and may vary. For inquiries telephone 01132 568268 during office hours.