It's a mad world: Ryan Nelsen has a potshot at Blackburn Rovers' new chiefs

If West Ham really are serious about sacking Avram Grant, they might want to take a look at Blackburn Rovers for a lesson in how not to do it.

Sam Allardyce’s departure from Ewood Park at the behest of new Indian owners Venky’s has been nothing short of farcical.

From the timing of the decision, with Blackburn in 13th place, to comments from outspoken chairwoman Anuradha Desai regarding Allardyce’s tactics and record in the transfer market, a turbulent week could hardly have been handled worse.

Show time: Junior Stanislas fires past Paul Robinson for West ham's equaliser

Show time: Junior Stanislas fires past Paul Robinson for West ham's equaliser

It brought a withering response after this 1-1 draw with West Ham from club captain Ryan Nelsen, who accused the owners of not knowing what they are talking about.

Asked if Allardyce had been stung by the criticism from Mrs Desai, Nelsen said: ‘In all honesty I don’t really think so, do you?

'It would have hurt him if someone who knows the Premier League had said it. The criticism has come from people who have never played under him, never been in his position or have never played in the Premier League.

How long? Blackburn's new man Steve Kean and West Ham's Avram Grant

How long? Blackburn's new man Steve Kean and West Ham's Avram Grant

‘People who really know realise what a top manager he is. I don’t think he’ll be losing any sleep over it.

'I’ve spoken to Sam and he’s as bewildered as anyone. We all are here. I think the whole country is, to be honest.’

Nelsen also criticised Venky’s for axeing Allardyce without having a permanent replacement lined up.

‘Listen, I have no problem with any owners doing anything, it’s their club,’ he added.

‘But when you make a monumental decision like that — and it’s the biggest decision any club can make — you like to think there’s a back-up plan.

'We as players know nothing about what’s going on. The staff know nothing.

‘The Premier League isn’t easy — it’s as tough as it gets in any sport. And it would be nice when you’re down in the trenches fighting to get a bit of communication.

'We’ve had other managers at this club but it’s always been handled professionally and smoothly. But this was out of left field.’

Nelsen scored the first goal of the post-Allardyce era, a scrambled effort past West Ham’s third-choice goalkeeper Ruud Boffin in the second half before substitute Junior Stanislas earned Grant a point with his equaliser 12 minutes from time.

Ironically, Allardyce is one of the favourites to step in if West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold decide to sack Grant just four months into his first season in charge at Upton Park.

The former Chelsea and Portsmouth boss appealed for more time as he admitted the world of football management has become detached from reality.

‘It’s a mad job but we knew that from the beginning,’ said Grant.

‘It’s not a good job all the time because in normal business they don’t make decisions like this.

‘Since the big money came in, since people came in who didn’t have a football background, they think they can push a button and everything will come good.

‘We need to respect David Dein and Arsenal. Despite the first year with Arsene Wenger, they gave him a chance and things changed. The same with Alex Ferguson.’

The statistics are not in Grant’s favour. Only one team in Premier League history has survived after being bottom at Christmas.

And if that isn’t bad enough, the Portsmouth team he failed to save from relegation last season were one point better off at this stage.

Grant insists Pompey’s demise was down to off-the-field issues, including a nine-point deduction and transfer embargo, and believes he will keep West Ham up.

The bottom half

‘You can’t compare because at Portsmouth the decisions were off the pitch. At West Ham the decisions will be taken on the pitch and I’m confident we can do it.’

Blackburn caretaker Steve Kean is new to management and it is hard not to sympathise with the 43-year-old Scot.

A highly-rated coach, Kean has the players’ support but has been pitched into a difficult situation which became a lot worse when Blackburn’s £15million-rated youngster Phil Jones suffered a serious knee injury that is likely to rule him out for the rest of the season.

Chris Samba and Jason Roberts were also injured, and Kean heads into the transfer window with a £5m kitty from owners who believe that should be enough to turn Blackburn into a top-five team.

He also has to contend with rather unjust rumours that his links to sports agency SEM, a business partner of Venky’s football advisors Kentaro, means he would be little more than a doorman if a string of SEM players arrive at Ewood Park in January.

How West Ham could do with a few more Scott Parkers. He was all over Ewood Park, breaking up Blackburn moves and driving the Hammers forward. The same could not be said for his midfield colleague Kieron Dyer

How West Ham could do with a few more Scott Parkers. He was all over Ewood Park, breaking up Blackburn moves and driving the Hammers forward. The same could not be said for his midfield colleague Kieron Dyer

Sir Alex Ferguson hit out over the situation yesterday, claiming SEM chief Jerome Anderson ‘couldn’t pick his nose’.

Kean said: ‘Anybody who knows me knows I wouldn’t just roll over and do what people say.

'With the years of experience I have, I would hope I’d be respected and be able to shape the things to come.’

How long Kean remains in charge is uncertain.

But one of the leading candidates for the job, former Blackburn striker Alan Shearer, has already ruled himself out of contention.

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