It is a public display of humiliation for a player when he sees fans leaving in droves before the end of a game, almost always because of an embarrassing performance from a team, resulting in a shocking loss of immense proportions.
We’ve seen it everywhere. Sometimes warranted, sometimes premature, sometimes for selfish reasons. A fine example of it backfiring being from earlier in the season, as Wolverhampton Wanderers found themselves 2v0 down to Swansea City, but came back to salvage a point, scoring two in 2 minutes to level it up and split the points. So what sort of a statement does a clubs owners leaving the game at half time send to anyone affiliated with the club?
For the neutral, a football match will usually be caught by the eye if it’s between two of Europe’s premier clubs. Very seldom does a game like Wigan vs. Blackburn Rovers ever get the juices flowing like a match involving Manchester United or Chelsea, yet entertainment has been the perfect way to describe the events at the DW Stadium between the two over the past 9 months.
Many followers of the Premier League will remember the weekend beginning February 5th as the weekend that produced the most goals in any Premier League game weekend. Wigan vs. Blackburn Rovers, a seven-goal thriller, did more than contribute to that weekend’s record-breaking extravagance, but who would have expected another exciting game at the DW on November 19th, as the two would again meet in another relegation dog-fight?
Wigan went into the game on the back of an incredible 8-game losing streak, leaking goals like the proverbial tap. Blackburn, on the other hand, while inconsistent, had enjoyed impressive performances, aggrieved by a lack of luck in front of goal as well as some perplexing refereeing. Any fan would be forgiven for waking up that Saturday morning and thinking Blackburn were going to spank Wigan over and over for 90 minutes, even under the guidance of the much-talked-about Steve Kean. But that couldn’t be far from the truth. Blackburn were, once again, toothless, average, and an embarrassment to the 4,000 strong that had made the 23 mile trip to Wigan for the game.
Again, refereeing played a huge part in their result, as Andrei Marriner continued the trend of amazingly poor refereeing in Blackburn games. First with a clearly offside 7th minute equaliser for Wigan, as Sammon blocks the sight of Paul Robinson, interfering with play as the ball just slides past his left. Then the much-discussed corner kick from Morten Gamst Pedersen who, to be fair to him, took advantage of the referee not looking at him as he lined the ball up, to dribble into the box, cross across the face of goal and for Hoilett to header into the corner. The final talking point being Paul Robinson, who had previously let in an awful toe-poked effort (from a free kick that many believe to have taken while the ball was rolling) squirm under him, bolting up to the Wigan penalty area as Blackburn prepared to put a corner in, receiving a boot to the head as he bravely put his health on the line to salvage something for Blackburn. Marriner saw the danger, and awarded Blackburn the penalty well after the previously allotted six minutes of injury time had been played, which Yakubu confidently placed into the bottom corner to leave Wigan fans, players and management in total devastation.
Statistics showed after the game that Blackburn had had 9 shots on goal, with just 3 being on target. Wigan’s 59% possession, along with 26 shots on goal, should have seen them through to three points, but their inability to take advantage of so many shots, just 6 of which were on target, shows why they are rooted to the bottom of the league.
Worryingly, it’s the same sort of inconsistent, toothless football that shows why Blackburn deserve to be down there too. And maybe it’s that inconsistent, toothless football that the Rao brothers had had enough of seeing come 15:46 on Saturday, as they left their private box at the DW Stadium, never to return.
Depending on who you believe and what you read, Venky’s are not happy with the situation Blackburn Rovers, last week referred to as their “baby”, are in. Some sat around the Venky’s box, confronting the Rao’s at half time, before they cleared off, to responses of “everyone will be happy soon.” Yet, at the time of writing, Steve Kean is still employed. A quandary the footballing world is still trying to figure out.
Did they leave? Did they move for the second half? Right now, nobody seems to know, but the cowardly way that they have slithered off somewhere else while their “baby” gets pummeled by a team that is, according to the league table, worse than they are, is not only an embarrassment, but shows a lack of positive character and commitment, and that’s shameful.
Finally, can I offer my complete support to Blackburn fan Glen Mullan, who recently received threats on himself and his family for showing passion for our football club. While I have not partook in an organised protest of his, it’s this sort of passion that I like to see from a fan of Blackburn Rovers, and he does not deserve the sort of abuse that has been sent his way as of late, and that includes at the Wigan game.
Each person is entitled to their own opinion, and they can go whichever way they want to to express it, but not if it is going to result in violence to fellow fans. Blackburn Rovers is not a violent club. It never has been, and the culprit in this scenario will NOT succeed in tainting that image.