By Giuseppe Muro
One win in nine Premier League games has left Blackburn Rovers just one point above the relegation zone ahead of their visit to Emirates Stadium.
So how important is it for Steve Kean’s side to get something from the trip to north London on Saturday? We spoke to Chris Flanagan of the Lancashire Telegraph to get a Blackburn perspective on the game.
THE STORY SO FAR
They have slid down the table a little worryingly in recent weeks. They have certainly not been great on the road and have lost five or six away games on the spin. A lot of fans were hoping that they would win against Blackpool at Ewood Park in their last game. But that ended up 2-2 and was, in the end, regarded as a decent point because they were 2-0 down at half time. I think there was a lot of relief that they did get a point. At the same time, they still haven’t managed to end that winless run which is seven games now. They are really keen to end that run as soon as possible because the longer it goes on, the closer they are getting to that relegation zone.
They have had a lot of changes to the team in recent weeks and they have had one or two injuries. They are still bedding down with the new style under Steve Kean. Previously, under Sam Allardyce, there was a tried and tested way of playing and they have tried to change that over the last three months.
THE MAN IN CHARGE
I think the fans have concerns but it seems that the players are behind him. They all seem to stick up for him and there does seem to be a certain spirit that was shown in the Blackpool game. But I think the fans are still concerned. When Allardyce left it was a shock to a lot of people and some of the fans are still getting used to that. Results in recent times haven’t helped in that respect and I think a lot of fans still need to be convinced by Steve Kean.
BATTLE FOR SURVIVAL
They are certainly not safe, there’s no doubt about that. I’d like to think, looking at the squad they’ve got, that they should have enough to stay up. But it is about ending this winless run as soon as possible. The longer that goes on, the more chance they have of getting dragged into it.
THE EMIRATES EFFECT
Arsenal away from home is not the ideal fixture when trying to get a win on the board. In normal circumstances this would be a bonus fixture and you wouldn’t expect too much from a trip down to Emirates Stadium. But I think it’s come to the stage now where they need to get something out of the game. It’s not going to be easy but if they can get a point out of it that would be very important at this stage of the season. It’s become a more important game than they would have liked.