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[Archived] Bully Boys 3 Norwich 0


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We're still awaiting the preview for this weekends important game, so I'll start off.

Some people reckon it's a game we have to win, some suggested that if we lose, we'll go down. It's not that vital surely? huh.gif

It's a game we must not lose, that's the bottom line. Will Hughes go with the 4-5-1 formation again - I'd bet this weeks wages that he wont. Personally I'd go with Dickov and Stead. Stead hasn't really had a fair run of games. It's time to give him the chance. Bothroyd and Gallagher have both underperformed and what's happened to Jansen - is he injured? IMO, it's too much to ask Jemal Johnson to take on such a vital role. Stead has the movement that Gally hasn't and he has the workrate that Bothroyd doesn't.

Maybe Tugay will come back into the running and maybe Reid, who didn't do anything wrong will come back into the side. We will see.


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Personally, I would like to see a 4-4-1-1 formation with the following line up


Neil(no other option) Todd Nelson Nissa

Reid Savage Tugay Emerton (interchanging with Reid)



I feel we need to utilise MGP in a free role, similar to the Giggs role behind Nistlerooy last season......

We must beat Norwich as they will have a 2 game winning streak if not and this will give them the momentum they need and drag us right into the relegation fight.

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I would like to see Reid, Jansen/Stead, and McEveley given a chance, at the expense of Thompson, Neill, and Matteo.

We could line-up as the following (4 - 4 - 2 formation):












If we have been playing Thompson in the centre of midfield, I don't see why Reid cannot. He couldn't possibly have his first touch and passing any worse than Thompson.

We could use Thompson as a "super sub" for this match.

And I must say that I am very optimistic about this game. I believe we can take it by the scruff of the neck if we can play positively and with enthusiasm.

In light of this, a 3 - 0 win is my prediction, with goals from MGP, Savage, and Dickov.

If we lose, I expect we will be relegated back to Division One (or whatever its ridiculous new name is). Losing to Norwich would definitely see us deserving of relegation.

That's just my two cents, anyway.

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I'd like to see Dickov given a break. Or perhaps that should be "I'd like to be given a break from Dickov"!

Nothing personal against him. He certainly tries his hardest, but he is lacking in quality when it comes to finishing off chances. Give him the last 30 mins yeah, but I think a change could help us.

I think we'll draw against Norwich (again) and stay up by a whisker this season. But we desperately need new strikers, full-backs (both sides) and wingers worthy of the name. In other words, we only seem to have half a team at the minute.

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"I feel we need to utilise MGP in a free role, similar to the Giggs role behind Nistlerooy last season......"

Having followed MGP for years in my Norwegian club Tromsø, I have to say he is one of the most typical left-midfielders/left-wings I ever saw, and it would be a waste playing him in other positions. Look what happened in the Chelski-match when he and Emerton switched places, he totally disappeared. Tromsø and the Norw. national squad play 4-2-3-1, with the man behind the striker in a similar role as you suggest for Morten, but also responsible for setting up the wing players. As MGP and Emerton are excellent wings, I agree that we should try to find a creative player with good passing skills to play behind Dickov. And in my opinion we do have such a player: TUGAY!!!! rover.gif

Edited by berg
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I'll bet my weeks wages that the result will be either, 1-0, 0-0 or 0-1

Just to show the importance of this game. If we win we are eight points clear of Norwich, but if we lose they are two behind us! And since we dont play Liverpool the week after (Carling cup final) Norwich will go past us if they manage to beat ManC at home, which I think they will.

This is a huge 6 pointer imo, and a game we need to win, nothing else is good enough.. tinykit.gif

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I've got a good feeling about this game. I reckon it will be 3-0 to the Rovers.

A striker has to score for a change, so being that Dickov will be the only one on the pitch, he'll get one. Emerton another and maybe Thompson if he figures out how to kick the ball again.

Edited by Biddy
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  • Backroom

I think Thommo should be dropped for this one, and my mid-field would be :


With Stead and Gallagher up front

I would also like to see Nisa at Left Back instead of Matteo

Make the changes, I'll go for a 3-1 Rovers... stick with the crap 4-5-1 then we'll loose !

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This has all the hallmarks of when we last went down and Forest came to town - we are in a quandry with formations not knowing what to play and had no attacking nous of any use -just like then and I can see the same result with us going down 2-1 with Norwich now looking like they found the scoring boots -unless we do something about our atatcking formations.

442 -

Nelsen at RB instead of Neil

Nissa in middle to replace Nelsen

Emerton dropped for Gallagher

Tugay in for Moekwena

And either Jansen or Stead up front with Dickov

Some players need a kick up the arse

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This is certainly our biggest game of the season so far.

Win and we will have a buffer to protect us from the lack of points we will gain in our next few games against the top sides.

Lose and we will join the bottom four as genuine relegation fodder.

I think we may well draw 1-1 and just keep out of the drop zone for the rest of the season which will continue to be miserable and nerve testing, unless we change our side for this game.

We are at home and unlike most recent games when safety at the back has been foremost I would like to see us go for the jugular and attack one of the few teams below us.

I'd play a 4:4:2 with the midfield wide men pushing forward and staying on the wings. Let them worry about us attacking .

Brad - stick with him.

Nelsen - I would like to play an in form Neill at right back and get him to push forwards but he has been so poor of late it is time to drop him completely.

Todd - obvious choice.

Mokoena - still raw but I prefer him to the rest. Amoruso might give us an attacking boost but would be a huge risk and is often a liability.

Johansson - better in all aspects than Matteo. A problem position yet again.

Emerton - always looks better playing wide in a 4:4:2. MUST have a big game for us to win. He owes us one at least.

Savage - with Todd, Dickov and Brad the only guaranteed starter.

Tugay - this is the critical pick for this game. Who will Hughes pick ( bet he sticks with Thommo who has disappointed me). We need to open Norwich up frequently to give our powderpuff strike force plenty of chances. Savage was bought to play with that pathetic little scottish laddie. Tugay may be long in the tooth but on his day is still much better than hewhoicantbebotheredtoname and Savage will cover the gaps to allow Tugay the chance to show us his passing range.

Pedersen - not the game to be defensive in. He is probably the best finisher we have but looks much more comfortable wide in a 4:4:2 - what was that 4:5:1 all about??

Dickov - has to start all league games if fit until we sign a premiership level striker. I do not understand though why Hughes is so reluctant to sub him when he has run himself ragged with 15 minutes left. He does not look fully fit and we must all find that of real concern. Gally and Johnson look like good substitutes but neither should be starting for a top flight club - unless they are being prepared for next seasons chumpionship.

Stead - hard choice and has not looked good alongst Dickov but he is still working hard. When he gets a goal at last then his mental dam will break and he will start scoring every three or four games. The only way I can see us having a comfortable run in is for this to happen soon.

Hughes has sorted out what was the leagues most woeful defence but must show he has the right tactics in games when we should at least hope if not expect to win.

Crowd - ? around 19,000.

Pity - this is THE game we need to be supported in - not next weeks side show. It would be interesting to run a poll on which of our next two games would Rovers fans prefer to win if we could ONLY pick one.

I know which I would pick and I am already trembling in dread about this game.

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Excellent post tashor and sums up most of my feelings but I'd like to see Jansen given a go. When he played he looked more like scoring than the other possibilities for partnering Dickov.

We really should win but always be prepared for the worst as a Rovers supporter. Don't want to think about a loss though so will go for a draw this time.

Edited by FourLaneBlue
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Arguably Rovers biggest game so far under Hughes, a match which could conceivably have the biggest impact on Hughes' success during his time at Rovers. His tactics, formation and team selection will have not come under so much scrutiny as for this must win game.

Looking at our squad there's some pretty tough choices to be made and not the nice type of selection problems that they're having down at Chelsea:

The goalie situation is fairly settled. Brad's had a few blips this season but overall has been quite solid, and on several occassions has shown just how good a keeper he is. Regardless, this isn't the type of game you want to be throwing a different keeper into - high pressure is something of an understatement.

Defensively we've improved a huge amount yet despite this the selection still isn't clear cut. Our full backs seem to get beaten regularly every single game although there doesn't seem to be much alternative. Neill has had a poor season but lacks a replacement, Matteo is woefull but somehow has got Hughes' favour, Nissa didn't seem to do much wrong but if he's off at the end of the season is there much point in playing him, McEvelely isn't quite ready yet and Nelsen may be better off at, and required for, centre back duties. Fortuately Norwich don't have any class wingers of the likes of Robben, Duff and Downing who we've faced in the last couple of games.

At the centre of defence captain Todd, one of our most solid players and puts in a good performance every week. Todd's most likely to be partnered by either of the new boys Mokeana (sp)or Nelsen both of whom have looked encouraging. I believe that Todd's centre back partner will be dictated by who hughes wants to play other postions. Then there's Nissa. I thought he did quite well there, but Hughes seems to have given up on him, and a player who is leaving wouldn't help forge a solid centre back paring we've been missing since Short and Berg. Incidently Short if fit, could possibly be involved. Certainly his experience would be nice. Chaos theory dictates that Amo could also feature in some form. Norwich's biggest threat comes from the pace of their forwards Huckerby and Ashton which is Rovers biggest worry, and Hughes must bare this in mind when making his selection.

The midfield depends very much on the formation that is employed. Tugay is too much of a liability in a 2 man midfield, but Rovers have sorely lacked his killer passing (or any other form of accurate passing). In a must win game Hughes may gamble on adding some much needed creativity to Rovers offense by playing Tugay. Tommo is another hero of yesteryear underperforming. The guy's pass completion rate is dire but he does like to get stuck in and isn't afraid to shoot from distance. However after some poor performances surely it is time for him to be dropped. Flitty is a battler and always gives 100%. Sadly these days he doesn't give much more, but a Savage-Flitty partnership would certainly provide the defence with ample protection if not much else. Reid to me deserves a chance in the centre, and has impressed when he comes on. Nothing fancy but a dependable all rounder who is capable of making some powerful runs from midfield. However he seems to have fallen down the pecking order. Then there's Savage. Thank god we signed him. Ok he's not a Zidane or Viera but the guy is quality. He gets stuck in and also has more to his game then his defensive duties. Rovers really need a big game from Robbie.

The wings see arguably two of Roversmost talented players in Emerton and MGP. After an excellent start to the season Emerton has faded somewhat of late; if he could refind his form for this game it would be very welcome. MGP has a tendency to drift inside, which when playing a five man midfield means it gets rather crowded in the centre. He's scored a few which is nice since Rovers have decided that scoring isn't for them. The alternatives on the wing aren't great; an out of form tommo, or Reid who seems better suited to a more central role.

Norwich have nothing special at the back, and from what I've seen of them look shaky defensively. The good news for the Canaries is that rovers have nothing up front. Dickov works stunningly hard scores the odd cracker, but isn't the most reliable of shots in front of goal. However he could be just what we need to unsettle a jittery Norwich defence. As for the rest Gally's best contribution comes when dropping off to the midfield, Jemal has too little experience for such a big game and Stead has even less confidence. Anyone who saw the Bolton game would be disappointed if Boothroyd played for us again. Jansen has never been the same since his accident and injuries seem to have slowed him down even further. However he does seem the best of a bad bunch and the only one who seems likely to get a goal from open play. Anyone remember his stunner against Norwich during the promotion season? A repeat of that would be very nice.

Looking at the choices Hughes has to make is pretty depressing. Fortunately norwich ain't up to much either so I'll go for a 1-1 draw, Savage for us then a very late equaliser from a Norwich forward.

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Oh bugger it. I havnt a clue. How about this?

              Dickov    Gallagher

Pedersen      Savage            Emerton


  McEveley    Nelsen  Todd    Niell


8-0 Rovers.

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Apologies for the delay, been away this weekend and not had chance to read the e-mails!! laugh.gif

To say this match is a big match may well be seen as an understatement for many Rovers fans myself included. I believe victories against Norwich, Crystal Pal, Fulham and Southampton at home will be enough to see us safe, plus we have away games at West Bromwich Albion, so as yet the panic stations don't need manning.

Going into the game the form of both teams is poor despite Norwich's heroics against Middlesbrough, losing narrowly against Everton at Goodison and victory against West Bromwich Albion! However I imagine their confidence has taken an upturn after these performances.

Both teams lie towards the bottom of the Premier League form table with Rovers picking up 6 pts from their last 6 games with Norwich picking up 5pts from their last 6. However if you look at the last 3 games Rovers have 0 pts to Norwich’s 4pts.

Quotes taken from Talk Soccer Forums

Who is Norwich's best player so far this season? Francis

How good a manager is Nigel Worthington? V.Good

Who do you think will get relegated? Palace, Blackburn, West Brom

Who is your dangerman? Huckerby

Who is Rovers dangerman? Dickov

What do you think of Mark Hughes' job at Blackburn? Fair

Score prediction? 1-2 Canaries win

Who is Norwich's best player so far this season?greeno or hucks

How good a manager is Nigel Worthington? worthys amazing, we were about to get relegated from div 1 when he took over and now we're prem, and we havent even spent much money.

Who do you think will get relegated?wba, n then 1 of us palace n soton, tis a close call

Who is your dangerman? dangerman hucks or francis

Who is Rovers dangerman? im scared of pedersen and maybe brett emerton.

What do you think of Mark Hughes' job at Blackburn?hughes had a hard job but hes doing well.

Score prediction?1-1

Who is Norwich's best player so far this season? Green

How good a manager is Nigel Worthington? Hes quality but too nice, needs a mean streak about him!

Who do you think will get relegated? WBA, Rovers, Crystal Pal

Who is your dangerman? Ashton, back in the North West and will put one past ya

Who is Rovers dangerman? Jay Bothroyd, hope you've chained him up

What do you think of Mark Hughes' job at Blackburn? Doing well, will be judged at the end of next season

Score prediction? score draw

Memorable matches vs. Norwich City

August 26th 2000 –Jack Walker’s Final Farewell

Blackburn Rovers 3 Dunn (pen), Blake, Jansen

Norwich City 2

October 3rd 1992

Blackburn Rovers 7 Wegerle 2, Shearer 2, Sherwood, Cowans, Ripley

Norwich City 1

December 3rd 1938- First League Meeting

Blackburn Rovers 6 Clarke 2, Rogers, Langton 2, Weddle

Norwich City 0

Likely Lineups












Edited by rog of the rovers
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4-5-1: 1-1 draw or 2-1 defeat, Norwich are in pretty decent form and are good at scoring goals, they have a slight problem at the back but with a 4-5-1 I don't think we could trouble them that much.

4-4-2: 2-1 win, I think we're capable of out scoring them at home as long as we're positive. Norwich are quite attack minded, I'd hate to think we'd be the more defensive of the two sides at home.



Nelsen Mokoena Todd Johansson

Emerton Flitcroft Savage Pedersen

Jansen Dickov

Subs: Encks, Neill, Reid, Tugay, Stead

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