James Corrigan: Carping at Kean is so gloriously predictable

The Way I See It: It wouldn't have mattered if he'd got a red card having flattened James O'Connor with a baseball bat

Misery loves company – but it is utterly besotted being in a stand containing 10,000. So it was proven once again at Blackburn on Saturday as the Ewood Park faithful refused to be moved from furious depression despite Yakubu becoming the first to score four goals for them in a Premier League game.

Indeed, Yakubu was like that student at the head of the anti-capitalist march who, just as they were approaching Westminster, whipped out an equation which provided ultimate proof that of all the economic systems the one which features people selling their labouring power to a buyer, not to satisfy the personal needs of the buyer, but to augment the buyer's capital, is in fact the best bet for humanity. The mob weren't listening. They'd come to abuse Steve Kean and abuse Steve Kean they would.

This was completed with a "Strict Observance" of the protest for which a Trappist would have mouthed "bravo". As Yakubu proceeded to mow down Swans like a machine-gunner on a duckshoot, it must have been tempting for the fans to pause their agenda awhile. They could even have covered themselves with a caveat, perhaps by updating "you're getting sacked in the morning" to "you're getting sacked three weeks on Tuesday (if we don't beat Sunderland, Bolton and West Brom and gain at least a point at Anfield)". But no, they pressed on regardless.

Two hundred of them even stayed behind after the final whistle to demonstrate against Venky's Limited, Blackburn's poultry-producing owners. They'd made their banners and it would have been a shame to waste them. Maybe there wasn't the time to work out that with some hasty redistribution of the letters "Kean Must Go" it could have become "Soak Nutmeg" and have been offered as some kindly culinary advice to the Indians on how best to marinate their chickens. Afterwards Kean announced himself baffled by the continuation of protest, which shows he doesn't know the cost of ply-wood and stickie letters nowadays and doesn't understand the psyche of the modern sports fan. No doubt there are plenty in Blackburn who feel Kean is not the right man for the job and no doubt their arguments are as convincing as their belligerence is commendable. But, in the main, the rest would be there for the convincing or, more to the point, for the brain-washing.

It's the herd mentality and in sport the herd is as regimented as the People's Army. They may well be described as fickle in the long term (remember how unconditionally they once worshipped Alan Pardew on Tyneside?) but in the short term they follow the gang's instructions. "It says here Kean should be sacked and until someone higher up in the herd decides his contract should be extended, sacked it shall remain."

Of course, it works two ways. Indeed, ecstasy loves company almost as much as misery. And to be in Cardiff on Saturday night was to experience euphoria which giggled itself silly in the face of demoralising defeat.

During the Rugby World Cup much was said, written and probably reworded into hymns about how this new Wales were professional to the core and were interested in one thing and one thing only – winning. In the aftermath of the semi-final agony to France, they didn't want to be depicted as the gallantly vanquished. "Show me a brave loser and I'll show you a loser," as Dai Lombardi was quoted.

Yet here they all were, dancing around the pitch with the scoreline reading 18-24 to Australia. It was bizarre, but then when you heard the roar of the crowd it was eminently understandable as well. More than 60,000 were in attendance and a good number had turned up to say goodbye to Shane Williams. And when he of the ickle boots and the huge sidestep dived over the line with the last touch of the game, this went way, way beyond consolation.

Later in the evening, I ventured across a head-scratching New Zealander, who couldn't fathom the reaction. "You lot have lost for the 14th time out of 15 to Tri-Nations opposition, to an Aussie team in the middle of their off-season without nine of their first-teamers after a World Cup in which you were supposed to have bridged the gap – and you're all celebrating," he said, before being led away by men in white coats emblazoned with red roses.

The fact was the Welsh were determined to bid farewell to Williams and the timing of his try meant the joy would flow unbounded. The truth is they were always going to come over all misty-eyed by the farewell of their twinkle-toed wizard and it wouldn't have mattered if he had departed the scene courtesy of a red card having flattened James O'Connor with a baseball bat. Tears for Shane was the order of the day.

And why shouldn't the fans troop along with an agenda already prepared? After all, that's what it's all about, isn't it? Knowing exactly what you'll be chanting and who you will be eulogising and who you will be barracking. Thank goodness for some certainty in these most uncertain of times. All hail the great predictability of sport.

Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
News
i100
Travel
Suite dreams: the JW Marriott in Venice
travelChic new hotels in 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect