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The Fleming Report - January


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January Review by Bob Fleming

In case you missed it, January went something like this….

Saturday December 31 – New Years Eve (you knew that). Messageboard celebrity and all round good guy Vinjay makes his last ever post “Anybody bothering to read those links?” he asks cryptically. He’s banned from BRFCS.com immediately for the unheard of crime of persistently staying on topic. Unfortunately though this is in every topic apart from the one titled “I hate the Walkers and their £600 milli…. Aarrghh!!! £680 million fortune, It’s so unfair, I hate them. I can’t sleep.”.

Rovers beat Wigan Athletic away 3-0. Pedersen, Reid and Bellamy doing the damage. Reid scores one of the goals of the season and ensures that at least one Rovers fan sees the New Year in properly, rather than from the comfort of a hospital bed, by getting a shot on target for once.

Monday January 2 – Rovers 2 Portsmouth 1. Four Minutes gone and Matt Taylor scuffs a free kick in for Pompey when we’re clearly not ready. We respond with a beauty of a MGP free kick from 40 yards, and a splendid Dickov header. 2nd half, held on, didn’t play well. Another three points and we’re up to eighth.

Mark ‘Lawro’ Lawrenson almost implodes as Gary ‘my old club Leicester City’ Lineker asks him a closed question on MOTD and he has no option but to give us some credit for once. The ‘Preston Rentb….’ steady… The ‘Preston Hairdresser’ completely loses his mind after this little episode and actually predicts that we won’t lose every game we play in January.

Wednesday January 4 - Rovers announce in the LET that that they’ll announce on Tuesday 10 that they’ve agreed to let Matt Jansen leave. A sad end to a sad story. Sure he’s made for life but every Rovers fan, and Matt, must be left wondering as to what could have been had he not got on that ruddy moped.

For example: July 2003 LET: “Chelsea Swoop For £10m Jansen”. LET two days later “Souey Delight! Rovers Swoop For Unknown £10m Serie G Striker”.

Good luck Matt and thanks for the memories.

Following an in-depth investigation into the cancellation of the Sunderland match at Christmas, Rovers also announce on this day that this was “due to a leek appearing in one of the pipes”. Clearly the Welsh contingent within the back room coaching staff (i.e. all the back room coaching staff) are to blame for planting the ruddy thing there in the first place. Whatever next? Daffodils in the goal mouths? A dragon living under the Riverside? The Blackburn End drummer replaced by Max Boyce? (actually, that’s maybe not such a bad idea… Nah.. out of the frying pan and into an even bigger frying pan).

Saturday January 7 – ‘FA Cup fever’ hits Blackburn with a wet fish as 9,000 home fans turn up to watch Rovers dispense with QPR with a minimum of fuss. Bellamy scores two beautifully taken goals after a bullet like Todd header from 20 yards opens the scoring. His celebration is something to behold, one camera angle on MOTD actually shows a slight smile. Or was it just wind? German youthlet Sergio Peter makes an extremely efficient debut and efficiently creates all three goals with clinical precision and a complete lack of a sense of humour.

Monday January 9 – The romance and utter magic of the FA Cup now stinks like a wet fish. Rovers draw West Ham United away.

Wednesday January 11 – Rovers confirm that Matt Jansen has left Rovers.

Rovers 1 Manchester United 1. Saha scored for them. Pedersen equalises with yet another great goal, smashing the ball home on the volley from 3 furlongs. Kuqi puts his boots on the wrong feet again. Alan Smith should have been sent off for doing a rubbish Eddie Izzard impersonation and a two footed lunge on Savage’s legs, which leaves our player writhing in agony on the ground holding his face.

Thursday January 12 – Another one of the old guard leaves Ewood. Garry “Shagger” Flitcroft departs for Sheffield United. All the best Garry.

Friday The 13th – Matt Jansen, in search of regular first team football, signs for Bolton Wanderers, presumably as cover for Spit the Diouf who is away with Bob Carolgees touring Africa for a few weeks.

Saturday 14 January. Rovers 0 Bolton Wanderers 0. T’was a terrible game as has come to be expected from the Premier Leagues ‘entertainers’. The Wanderers fans lived up to their name though and tried to walk down the front of the Riverside towards the Darwen End with some sort of flag. Fortunately, tragedy was averted. If they had left it to 10 minutes before the end they’d have been trampled to death in the rush to leave.

Tuesday 15 January – South Korean striker Ahn Jung-Hwan is due to arrive at Ewood for a trial opening up, apparently, unlimited marketing opportunities in the Far East. This for a club that doesn’t even have an official club shop at Ewood. “Yes but, no but, yes it’s Sports World International now you know, it has nothing to do with the club anymore does it, stewwpid.” Was how it could have been explained to me once by customer services manager Vicky Pollard or maybe I just imagined that.

Wednesday 16 January – Ahn declines the offer of a trial. The whole episode was getting too “intricate and complicated”. Indeed the concept of “we’ll have a look at you in training and if we like what we see we’ll offer you a contract” would baffle almost anyone who wasn’t good enough and was just coming for the money.

Thursday 17 January – Yet another departure, little David Thompson departs for Wigan. All the best David. On the possible incoming side of things Rovers reveal that they are taking a look at de los Santos. Fans of Brazilian football will recall that this is the team where Edson Arantes Do Nascimento made his name. Unfortunately, they don’t have one decent player in their entire squad and we send them all back on the same plane as Ahn (which was probably a geographical mistake on Rovers part but who cares?)

Saturday 21 January – Newcastle United 0 – Rovers 1. A superbly crafted goal from “Gamst” (as he now wants to be known) earns us the points at St James’. Kuqi rises like a dirty great big eagle on helium to majestically power a header towards goal on 75 minutes, although the ball is clearly destined for the top corner anyway Pedders makes sure and leaps well over 40 hands into the air, like a salmon with one of those jet pack thingy’s, to power an unstoppable hand volley into the empty net. Pick that out.

Ex-Rovers manager Graeme Souness, now in charge of the Sky Sports News sponsored North Eastern sit-com that is Newcastle United, just can’t believe his luck, again. Incredibly, despite only spending £50 million on injured players, some Newcastle fans actually demand that Souness is sacked. Well at least he can look himself in the mirror… blah de blah de blah.

Dean Saunders waits patiently in the wings.

Rovers move quietly back up to eighth.

Tuesday 24 January – Ex-Rovers Ex-non trialist Ahn joins some German pub side.

Wednesday 25 January – Manchester United 2 Rovers 1. My first trip to United for over ten years. I can’t stand the place. I’ll not be rushing back. 60 odd thousand there and I only recall them singing about three or four times, you have to feel really sorry for all those day trippers who don’t know the words.

There was quite a large police presence I thought and no lager at half time – Pah!. Anyway, we lost, Reid scored to give us hope. There was nowt up front for us though. Clearly it’s a Mickey Mouse cup, certainly not as prestigious as it was when it was sponsored by a bitter rather than a weak lager.

Hughes comes up with the quote of the season, to Gary Neville “You’ve always got a lot to say for yourself haven’t you? What don’t you f*** off?” Too true. Concise and to the point.

Saturday 29 January – The wet fish that is this seasons FA Cup bites like a rabid piranha and we lose 4-2 at West Ham. A stunning 25 millimetre strike from Bentley and a curler from just inside his own half from Lucas Neill into Ludo Miklosko’s top right hand corner prove to be the highlights. Zurab Khizanishvilli has an absolute Yogi.

Tuesday 31 January – For those who have stuck with it, we’re nearly there now you’ll be pleased to know. At last, after well over a month of hot air and bulls*** (and that’s just this post) the transfer window is about to be slammed shut, which is just as well as it’s bloody freezing. Speculation on this messageboard reaches fever pitch. We clearly need a striker with Dickov’s shoulder falling off and Bellamy doing a Paul Warhurst. Two names have sprung to the fore over the last few days, Franny “Massive Question Mark” Jeffers and Florent “Unit4” Pongolle.

Wednesday 1 February, early doors: - You know the what happened. We got Pongolle, Bentley & some kid called Ollsen. Which was nice.... Hopefully.

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