Is Kean just Blackburn’s puppet?
Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean has had to deal with untold levels of criticism from pundits and fans since taking the reins at Ewood Park.
However, the latest revelation that global adviser Shebby Singh was the driving force behind Blackburn’s three deadline day signings Grzegorz Sandomierski, Diogo Rosado and Nuno Henrique is a sign that the Scotsman is now a puppet to his masters.
He admitted on Wednesday that he had yet to see the three live in action, effectively confirming that they were handed to him by Singh and the owners, without any thought or consideration to what he needed.
Kean said: “They're in the club now and we can have a real look at them. I've not seen them play live. Shebby Singh was very excited about them coming here and was telling me how good they were.
“We feel as though we can improve any player that comes to the club and also integrate them as quickly as possible.
"Shebby went to see Nuno Henrique play for Academica on the Friday before we played Leicester and told me he played very well.”
Should Singh be trusted though?
While his words may hold sway with Venky’s, they are unlikely to prove as effective on the current squad and fans.
In August he claimed that Kean would be sacked if the club lost their first three games of the new season, and while that prompted a cheer at the open forum organised by the Blackburn Rovers Action Group, his words aimed at Morten Gamst Pedersen produced a more muted response.
“Pedersen used to be a fantastic left winger,” said Singh. “Unfortunately he has not reinvented himself as a central midfielder.
“He has got a clean slate. He has lost his legs, he's not been contributing to the team. We want people who can run and run, and keep running for 90 minutes for the cause.
"We are not here to entertain big names, I am sorry, and this is why teams fail.”
It’s always a worrying sign when members of the board attempt to impose themselves on matters that should be left to the manager.
Despite being employed by Venky’s to help achieve promotion, Singh should have kept his personal views about one player to himself, instead of diverting more unnecessary and unwanted attention onto Kean and the club.
In the event, Pedersen and Blackburn have made a decent start to the season and are tipped to challenge for promotion.
That cannot hide the interference however that Singh feels obliged to indulge in.
By undermining the manager he has given more ammunition to the naysayers, who continue to vent their anger at the methods employed by the owners and coaching staff.
The signing of Jordan Rhodes for £8m shocked many, both for the price tag and the fact that Venky’s sanctioned such a purchase, but it has the impression of being the only piece of business where Kean’s needs came first.
Traditionally, English football fans do not take well to global advisers, directors of football and interference from owners.
It’s difficult to see how Kean can move forward, and how he can possibly create a relationship with the Ewood faithful when Venky’s are hanging him out to dry. To them, he is the perfect scapegoat.
If Singh’s trio succeed then all of the above misgivings will seem exaggerated, but there is something about the setup at Rovers that doesn’t make for comfortable viewing.
By Gary Peters