Blackburn Rovers blog: Common sense was what Rovers needed
AMONG the talents that Michael Appleton has brought to Blackburn Rovers since his arrival as manager, perhaps the most important was the simplest thing of all. Common sense.
It would not appear to be the most ground-breaking of attributes, indeed most managers worth their salt must possess it.
But at Rovers, such a commodity has become gold dust.
Common sense has been in short supply by the club’s key decision makers since Venky’s took over the club in November 2010.
Generally speaking, whatever the most sensible course of action has appeared to be, Rovers have done the opposite.
Sam Allardyce and John Williams possessed the sort of common sense that had seen them deliver success over a sustained period of time.
Sadly, for whatever reason, Venky’s decided they did not like the look of two people who had vast experience in football and seemed to know what they were doing.
Allardyce was sacked, and Williams soon felt he had no choice but to resign after being left out of the decision-making process at the club.
In the time since then, a number of figures at the club have delivered a series of statements that left fans increasingly bewildered.
Little that came from the mouths of the owners or Steve Kean did anything to calm supporters gravely concerned about the direction the club was taking.
Talk of marquee signings and the Champions League seemed to have little grasp on reality and the horror show unfolding in front of everyone’s eyes.
Key players were frozen out or sold without adequate replacements.
To seasoned observers, not a lot made sense.
Listening to Appleton speak, though, gives reason for hope.
It is still very early days for him and he will be judged on results, something that some fans had been concerned about after assessing his win percentage at previous clubs Portsmouth and Blackpool.
But three wins and two draws from his first six games is an encouraging start and importantly he seems to have the respect of the players. It is not hard to see why.
Pretty much everything he has done and said so far has made a lot of sense.
The squad was too big, he recognised. It was leaving too many players out of the team and making the group difficult to manage.
He had too many ‘number 10s’ and not enough players for a number of other positions – including natural wide players. Hard to argue.
He has worked on defensive organisation, something that has shown signs of improvement.
Appleton responds to questions with straight-forward answers and on the evidence so far he appears to have a clear grasp of what he needs to do to deliver success at Rovers.
Above all, it is based on common sense. It is a refreshing change.