Robbie and Big Sam and The Volcano

7 min readJan 1, 2022


In 2010, Eyjafjallajökull, an Icelandic volcano, erupted several times, throwing the world into a jot of chaos.

One element of the chaos was disrupted flights.
The ash in the air was thicker than a Monday night mascara and provided a blanket that proved unpenetrable to commercial airlines, stranding passengers and relegating them to boring old land travel.

Deep inside this one element of chaos was one passenger who was supposed to be on one flight from Warsaw to Manchester. That passenger’s name?

Robert Lewandowski.

This chap.

The 22-year old Lech Poznań striker was coming off two wonderful seasons with the Polish side and was entertaining offers from other European clubs. One of the clubs that came in for this one passenger was Blackburn Rovers of the English Premier League, then managed by Sam Allardyce.

Big Sam and his entourage were ready to meet Rob at Manchester Airport, but, of course, the flight was cancelled and the golden boy never made his trip. Just a few weeks later, Lewa would sign for Borussia Dortmund, and the rest, as they say, is the past.

But what if Robbie had made the journey? I’m not gonna do a ‘what if Eyjafjallajökull hadn’t erupted?’ ‘cos that’d just be talking about how much Sandra and Ray from Macclesfield enjoyed their ten days in Benidorm, so just Lewandowski.

Hmm… Let’s ponder.

Club: Blackburn Rovers
Season: 2010/11

Let’s just get right into it. Blackburn sign Lewandowski for an £8,000,000 fee (as was being discussed at the time) and he’s unveiled and everyone’s like ‘cool’ because they have little to no idea who the feck this guy is.

Off the bat, the only thing this affects is Rovers’ real-life incoming striker transfers. They signed Mame Biram Diouf on-loan, and so wouldn’t need that anymore, so him and his three league goals and three League Cup goals are gone.

Essentially all I’m gonna do is replace Diouf’s goals with Lewandowski’s from the same season.
Lewandowski scored eight league goals in his debut Dortmund season, being the joint second highest scorer with Shinji Kagawa and Kevin Großkreutz. Whichever matchday he scored on in the Bundesliga, I will convert to the Premier League, got it? Good.

Let’s see how Blackburn would have fared with Robbie’s goals in the side. And just for some extra fun good times, let’s transfer Diouf’s goals over to Dortmund to see how they fare.

Premier League — Match Day 3
Blackburn Rovers 0–2 Arsenal
Originally a 1–2 scoreline, Diouf’s goal is chalked off. The result stays the same, but Blackburn get a -1 on their goal difference.
Transferring Diouf’s goal to Dortmund’s season sees their Match Day 3 result become…
Borussia Dortmund 3–0 VfL Wolfsburg
Same result, +1 on the GD for BVB.

Bundesliga — Match Day 4
Schalke 04 1–2 Borussia Dortmund
With Lewa’s goal removed, Dortmund still secure victory in the Revierderby, suffering only a -1 to the goal difference. Heading over to the Prem…
Manchester City 1–2 Blackburn Rovers
Rob’s goal turns one point into three and garners them a +1 in the GD column.

Bundesliga — Match Day 5
Borussia Dortmund 4–0 1. FC Kaiserslautern
Same result without the sole Lewandowski goal means just a -1. For Rovers…
Blackburn Rovers 2–1 Fulham
His goal does it again, proving the difference between one point and three, as well as a +1. Coming in clutch so far.

Bundesliga — Match Day 11
Hannover 96 0–3 Borussia Dortmund
Another -1 in the GD as the result remains the same. At Ewood Park…
Blackburn Rovers 3–1 Wigan Athletic
Just makes a game already won more secure and adds a further +1 to the GD.

Bundesliga — Match Day 13
SC Freiburg 1–1 Borussia Dortmund
The first result effected. Without Lewa’s goal, BVB drop two points and garner a -1 in a game of two own-goals.
Tottenham Hotspur 4–3 Blackburn Rovers
His transferred goal can’t help the Lancashire outfit to change the result, but their goal difference goes up by one.

Bundesliga — Match Day 15
1. FC Nürnberg 0–1 Borussia Dortmund
A lucky escape as only Dortmund’s goal difference takes a -1 hit.
Manchester United 7–2 Blackburn Rovers
Well, this becomes a slightly more high-scoring affair if nothing else. +1 to the GD, Robbo would have needed a double hat-trick here.

Premier League — Match Day 17
Bolton Wanderers 2–0 Blackburn Rovers
A classic match loses one of its goals, but the result remains the same. -1 in the GD column. But, for a change…
Eintracht Frankfurt 1–1 Borussia Dortmund
Diouf manages to rescue a point for BVB, instead of seeing them suffer what would have been only their second defeat of the season. Bonus point and bonus one in for the goal difference.

Premier League — Match Day 20
West Bromwich Albion 1–2 Blackburn Rovers
Losing Diouf’s final league goal doesn’t prove too damaging, only causing a -1 for Rovers’ goal difference.
Vfl Wolfsburg 0–4 Borussia Dortmund
And Mame adds to a bumper win, improving their GD by one.

Bundesliga — Match Day 25
Borussia Dortmund 0–0 1. FC Köln
Two points and one goal difference dropped as Lewa’s decider heads to England, where it…
Blackburn Rovers 1–1 Tottenham Hotspur
Turns no points into one! Magic! And it adds one to the difference as well.

Bundesliga — Match Day 30
Borussia Dortmund 2–0 SC Freiburg
Result goes unchanged, -1 for the goal difference. Speaking of difference…
Blackburn Rovers 3–2 Blackpool
One point to three, an extra +1 for the GD, this Polish bloke is doing a job at Ewood Park.

Bundesliga — Match Day 32
Borussia Dortmund 1–0 1. FC Nürnberg
A second one goal victory over this side, with only a -1 for the GD spoiling the party.
Blackburn Rovers 2–1 Birmingham City
But this lad comes in clutch again! Winner against Brum, one point to three, +1 to the GD.

— —

Now that’s quite a routine way to do things. Just swapping them right over. Before we have a think about the different scenarious that could’ve taken hold, we’ll apply these scenarious above.

First, the Bundesliga.

Dortmund would have dropped a single point as well as a -5 for the goal difference. Yeah, they’d still be champions by a good distance.

As for the Premier League…

Blackburn’s changed results don’t affect anybody else apart from the teams they climb above. With their extra nine points and +5 in goal difference, Blackburn go from 15th to 8th! With their goal difference coming to a more respectable -8. And they did it all with Big Sam in charge ‘cos he never would’ve been sacked and replaced by Steve Kean if all this was happening.

If we keep on like that, Lewa gets 22 the next season, which I’m assuming would’ve kept them from being relegated, while Dortmund would have had to defend their title with the goals of Yakubu.

— —

But aye, there’s more to it, in’t there?

Would Robbie the player he is today without having been managed by Klopp? Without the confidence of a few Bundesliga titles?
Being managed by Big Sam would do wonders for many a talent, I’ve no doubt, but would Lewa reach the heights he has being a fish in the Premier League pond? Being roughed up a bit by Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth on a Tuesday night?
Blackburn to Bayern no longer makes a lot of sense either.

And if the management carousel did stop off at Ewood to pick up Sam in December 2010, Steve Kean would have been managing Robert Lewandowski. I don’t want to live in that world.
Allardyce was sacked with Rovers sitting 13th, 21 points on the board as Venky’s came in and took over, replacing Sam with Kean, who was repped by the same agent who oversaw Venky’s takeover. HOWEVER, if we add those four extra points that Lewa would have hypothetically added, that lifts Blackburn from 13th to 7th. Big stuff.
They looked set on sacking Sam regardless of where they sat, mind. Venky’s was determinted to come in and feck shite up.
And so, what of Robbie? It’s quite easy to see him becoming one of those players who just drifted into the ether, becoming part of an anonymous Rovers squad before moving back to Europe unnoticed before you remember a clip of him from Match of the Day and wonder what he’s up to now, so you look up his Wiki and see he’s got an atrocious goals-to-game ratio for a second division Romanian side.

Granted, it can be difficult to know when you’ve got someone who’s capable of footballing greatness. Every baby that’s born has the potential of it, and it’s every life choice along the way that dictates whether that will be achieved. If that child takes up smoking and drinking and stamp collection at age five, maybe a Ballon d’Or isn’t for them, but then it wouldn’t be too late to turn it round…

Once you’re managed by Steve Kean, however, you can kiss the Champions League goodbye.

Robbie liked Big Sam though.

What if Robert Lewandowski signed for Blackburn Rovers in 2010?

He didn’t.

Keep it streets ahead,





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