Blackburn has fallen a very long way from the heights of its English Premier League championship victory 22 years ago but one thinks that Rovers will rebound from their relegation to England’s third tier by winning English League One.
One was thinking about speculating on Blackburn taking out English League One when bookmakers opened for business on the competition a few weeks ago but one decided to see if Rovers would recruit new players and show some ambition. This week, Blackburn signed Gillingham midfielder Bradley Dack and Rovers are reportedly in the market for more of English League One’s proven performers. Dack, for example, has been Gillingham’s star man for a couple of seasons and, frankly, one is surprised that he has left the Gills to join another team in English League One. Obviously, Blackburn has agreed to increase Dack’s take-home pay and Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has sold the club to the talented attacker.
Blackburn has been portrayed as a crisis club ever since the Indian company VH Group, operating under the name of Venky’s London Limited, bought Rovers in November 2010. Blackburn’s English Premier League membership status was lost fewer than two years later and, by the time that Mowbray breezed into Ewood Park four months ago, Rovers were deep in relegation trouble at the foot of the English Championship ladder.
Mowbray’s managerial reputation has taken a hit since his early days as a boss in which he steered Hibernian to back-to-back Scottish Premier League top-four finishes and led West Bromwich to English Championship glory. Mowbray failed to keep West Bromwich in the English Premier League but that did not dissuade Celtic from headhunting him and he agreed to coach a Bhoys side for which he had played in the 1990s. Mowbray’s tenures in charge of Celtic, Middlesbrough and Coventry were either disappointing or mediocre but he did manage to save Boro and the Sky Blues from relegation after inheriting teams that were heading for the drop.
Blackburn represents an opportunity for Mowbray to revive his managerial career with a club that has a lot of upside and the former England B defender has grabbed it with both of his hands. Blackburn was short odds to be relegated from the English Championship when Mowbray succeeded Owen Coyle but, in the end, Rovers fell into English League One because their goal difference was two worse than Nottingham Forest.
Over the last 30 English Championship rounds, Blackburn had a 9-11-10 record to rank 15th. Over the last 25 English Championship rounds, Blackburn had a 7-10-8 record to rank 15th. Over the last 20 English Championship rounds, Blackburn had a 6-9-5 record to rank 11th. Over the last 15 English Championship rounds, Blackburn had a 5-7-3 record to rank 10th. And over the last 10 English Championship rounds, Blackburn had a 3-4-3 record to rank 14th. Blackburn ended the English Championship season as anything but a team in relegation form so Rovers should go very well in English League One, particularly in light of their new signings.
Blackburn’s English League One title odds are shrinking but +600 is available with Winner Sports, although one suspects that it will not be there for much longer. One would be not at all surprised if Blackburn was trading at odds of around +300 when the English League One kicks off on Saturday 5 August.
Blackburn Rovers to win the title
League One 2017/18