16 December ~ News of Sam Allardyce's sacking generated just about every different emotion in Blackburn supporters from ecstasy to despair. But in my house it's been one big bloody party ever since the news broke. OK, he might have turned around a team seemingly destined for relegation in just a handful of games. Yes, he worked wonders on a minuscule budget to reach a very respectable tenth-place finish and he certainly brought through a crop of talented youngsters. There's also no denying he's had a hand in reconnecting the club to supporters grown cynical from watching overpaid, under-talented millionaires flaunting their supercars around one of the most deprived parts of the country.
So why, you may ask, if all of the above is true (and it is), does this Blackburn fan feel quite so happy about Sam's departure? Well, having to sit through the turgid tripe dished up every other week at Ewood had frankly become too much to bear for me and a good number of season-ticket holders. We were tired of seeing Morten Gamst Pedersen chuck balls into the penalty area, exhausted by Paul Robinson punting every free-kick aimlessly towards the opposition box and a defence exhorted to bypass midfield, lumping it towards an attack unable to utilise agricultural Charles Hughes tactics to any good effect.
I don't agree with the way he's been treated by the club's new owners and, if they really don't have a new manager lined up, it's a move that matches Mike Ashley's latest decision for stupidity. I'm not a fan who desires change for change's sake – I crave long-term stability as the only sensible option and I'm realistic about what can be achieved at Blackburn no matter how much money is filtered from the Indian chicken farming industry. A managerless mid-season freefall could put the very future of the club in jeopardy with relegation the start of terminal decline. But if the media commentators who griped about Allardyce's departure are so convinced he's a great coach I'm sure they'll be happy we've opened the way for him to take over the England job at the earliest opportunity. Bruce Wilkinson