In the first of a five part series looking at out of work managers, we examine whether Steve Kean will ever work in football management again?
Would he have turned it around and won promotion this season? We will never know. The signs were good, he bought well, and had some positive results- But Rovers are Henning Berg's side now and Kean is reduced to being a spectator, not that he will be welcome in the crowd at Ewood Park.
The Scot's problems started almost the day he was appointed.
Blackburn's owners - the Venky's made a ridiculous decision in getting rid of Sam Allardyce, illustrated by the fact he now sits in the top half of the Premier League table with West Ham and they battle it out in the Championship.
Allardyce was an acquired taste with his direct brand of football, but his sacking was bizarre. If he had been replaced with a more experienced, wiser head, a proven winner, then it may have made sense - But Steve Kean?
Most football fans drew a breath and said 'Who?' and watched on as the dour Scot struggled to stamp his authority on the squad from the get go.
It was his first ever appointment in a football management role, a real baptism of fire, and the perception was that he was simply a patsy for the owners.
After presiding over Rovers going from mid-table security to relegation fodder in the space of a season, narrowly avoiding the drop in 2010/11, the following season was about to get worse.
Fans protested and made their feelings clear that Kean should go, he was clearly a man out of his depth, unable to inspire and cajole the talented players he did have into any sort of consistent level of performance.
When he departed this season, his overall win ratio was just 28.8 per cent, with 21 wins from 76 games; narrowly above statistically Rovers' worst ever manager Paul Ince (28.6 per cent) - But at least Ince can argue he only managed 21 matches (winning six).
So is Steve Kean employable going forward?
The answer is despite the above probably, yes- But not at Premier League level that's for certain.
He can at least argue he has Premier League experience, which he didn't have before, and has wins over Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson under his belt, not many bosses can say that.
But Kean must find his level. Whether that is in the Championship is a question we may find out later this year, and depends just how desperate some chairman get.
Kean's name carries a stigma of unpopularity, and he needs a job where he can turn that around with quick wins, however he likely to have to go into any post in a fire-fighting role.
Football is renowned for giving people second chances, and Kean should be hopeful of that. Rovers won't mind, so long as it is not with them.
And can you imagine the reception he would get leading another team into Ewood Park? He would be one of the most unpopular men in recent football history; In fact he may as well top it off by going to manager Rovers' bitter rivals Burnley.
Where will Steve Kean go next? What do you think about his future prospects?
image: © joncandy