Disastrous Start for Blackburn Rovers as the 2015 – 2016 Championship Season Settles In
Could the Blackburn Rovers get relegated down to the third tier of English football this season? The club hasn’t suffered that unsavory fate since finishing 22nd in Division Two all the way back in 1979, and even then, they only spent one season in Division Three before earning promotion once more. In total, the Rovers have spent just five seasons in the third tier in their entire 140 years of existence. However, this season it looks like Division Three (also known now as the Football League One) could be Blackburn’s punishment if they don’t pick things up soon. It’s been a disastrous start for Blackburn Rovers in the 2015 – 2016 Championship campaign; they have only managed a single victory in their first nine games.
Blackburn’s Complicated History
Though some fans of English football might forget it, the Blackburn Rovers are one of just five soccer clubs that have held the Premier League title. Indeed, since the league was established in 1992, only Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, and the Blackburn Rovers have won the trophy.
Clearly, Blackburn’s presence on that list is a “one of these things is not like the others” case. Man United, Manchester City, Arsenal, and Chelsea remain strong Premier League contenders to this day—Chelsea’s own poor 2015 – 2016 start excepted. Blackburn, meanwhile, haven’t played in the top-flight since being relegated after the 2011 – 2012 season.
Blackburn’s complicated history has continued since. The 2011 – 2012 campaign saw the Rovers bottoming out in the Premier League, losing 23 of their 38 matches and finishing in 19th place. The next season was arguably even worse, with Blackburn tumbling to 17th place in the Football League Championship—despite competing against weaker teams. The Rovers still avoided further relegation, thanks to the larger size of the second tier (24 clubs compete in the Football League Championship), but were also nowhere close to getting back into the Premier League.
The 2015 – 2016 Season
So far, Blackburn’s 2015 – 2016 campaign has been just as dire as their 2012 – 2013 season. The soccer club kicked off the campaign back in early August with a 1-2 loss against the Wolverhampton Wanderers, and things haven’t improved since.
Indeed, the lone bright spot in the 2015 – 2016 season for the Rovers was a 3-0 win against Charlton Athletic in week eight. For the match, players donned the Blackburn Rovers home jersey 2015 – 2016 and finally used the home field advantage to their favor. Taking the lead just before halftime, with a goal from Manchester-born attacker Jordan Rhodes, Blackburn took control of the match and never let it go.
Rhodes, who scored a second goal in the second half of the Charlton Athletic match, is absolutely Blackburn’s saving grace this year. He’s been playing for the soccer club for three seasons now, and has almost singlehandedly kept the team alive. In 2013 – 2014, for instance, the Rovers leaped from 17th place to eighth place on the league standings table, thanks in part to Rhodes’ 25-goal performance. Rhodes was the second most prolific goalscorer in the division that season, outscored only by Leeds United’s Ross McCormack (28 goals).
Last season, meanwhile, the Rovers settled for a ninth-place finish, but would have been much farther back had it not been for Rhodes and fellow striker Rudy Gestede. The two Blackburn teammates finished the season as the third and fourth most prolific scorers, with 21 and 20 goals, respectively. No other club even had two scorers in the top 10—let alone the top five.
This year, Rhodes is still doing well—he’s scored five goals in Blackburn’s first five matches—but the Rovers are hurting without Gestede. The 26-year-old Frenchman transferred to Aston Villa this season, and his absence has been clearly felt. No other Blackburn player has scored more than one goal all season and Rhodes can’t carry the team himself.
Do you think the Rovers can turn things around, or do you think the absence of Rudy Gestede this season is going to leave them fighting to avoid relegation? Pick up a new Blackburn Rovers jersey 2015 – 2016 from Soccer Box to root for the squad. Be sure to enter the coupon code “BLOG2015” to save 12.5% on your order!