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MOTM?  

100 members have voted

  1. 1. MOTM?

    • Friedel
      63
    • Emerton
      0
    • Samba
      2
    • Nelsen
      5
    • Warnock
      1
    • Betnley
      3
    • Tugay
      11
    • Mokoena
      1
    • Pedersen
      6
    • McCarthy
      7
    • Santa Cruz
      1
    • Dunn
      0


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Well the home game with Sunderland marks the first game of 2008 and what will the New Year bring? For Rovers hopefully another late season surge up the table and automatic European qualification, for Sunderland success is surely survival and the chance to build in the summer.

The Mackems early season form seems a distant memory now and confidence looks low. At the start of the season some of the fans where looking at Europe, but most will settle on not having to play at the dingledome.

For me this is a match that means a little more than usual as I went to Uni up in Sund’land (as the locals pronounce it) and have many happy memory's of the place, and am a regular visitor back up there.

Strangely we are playing our only home game of the festive period the day after New Year, and again out of sync with the rest of the fixtures, so thank you Mr Sky for this, to be fair I feel sorry for Boro fans – their fixtures where Big Club and Pompey away – a couple of local Derbies then!

Rovers despite seemingly able to give the first goal away in every game we play – 11 in a row I think now, are comfortable in mid-table now with 29 points from the first 20 games of the season, and within 3 points of European places. 4 points away from home is a decent return for 2 away games, but we seem to have been in the 20+ point’s zone of the league for far too long, ever since that manager of the month award for Sparky.

Sunderland

The City of Sunderland has a population of 280,000 and a catchment area for the club of much more with no league clubs in County Durham. That is nearly 3 times that of 105,000 in Blackburn. The official nickname of the club is now the Black Cats – voted for once they had left Roker Park and the Rokerites behind. Famous worldwide for its once massive ship-building industry Sunderland now relies on service industry work with a lot of call centers for large banks and mobile phone companies located in the area, althought there is a huge Nissan factory on the outskirt of town.

Roy Keane is the current “world-class” (according to Niall Quinn) manager at the Stadium of Light and seemingly employs anyone who can claim Irish heritage. Famous for his tough-tackling no-nonsense football, and constant harrassing of referees he was always a figure of hate for opposition fans. He seems to have brought the same mould of play to his side – tough to beat, hard working but unlike Roy, lacking in class. They like to pressure from the front and play long balls in behind the full-backs and swing crosses in for Kenwyne Jones.

The huge outlay by the club in the summer hasn’t brought much success – c. £5m apiece for Michael Chopra, Greg Halford or Kieran Richardson anyone? £9m for a goalie? This to improve a side that would have beaten either Rovers or Chelski in the FA cup semi last season, according to Roy. :wacko: Only 5 goal Kenwyne Jones seems to be doing particularly well.

Previous Rovers players in their current squad include Andy Cole, and workaholic now defensive midfielder Dwight Yorke – other recent moves between the clubs include Micky Gray and Jason McAteer.

One to look out for is Grant Leadbitter, a local lad who has come through the ranks at the club and been capped at youth levels for England, he is a tough-tackler, mobile and has a good eye for goal too. Still a little inconsistent, but on his day looks the part.

Sunderland are in my opinion one of the “massive” clubs, similar in many ways to Citeh, Barcodes and Big Club that have won nowt for decades but still think they are a cut above clubs such as Rovers.

Rovers

Rovers have the full squad to pick from but the absence of Savage and Roberts looks set to continue, with little coming from the club it could well be that they have played their last games in blue and white halves.

Hopefully Bentley and Roque will continue their magnificent recent form although Benni looks like he is starting to get more involved in games more recently, and has come close – a glut of goals from Benni can really help us realise the European hopes, and who wouldn’t want another away trip to Leverkusen or Amsterdam?

The Game

The game on paper looks like a home banker but I'm sure it will be a little tougher than that. A good result will set us up and hopefully move us back up the table a little, however, as always these are the games Rovers always seem to struggle with. Recent form shows 2 wins and a draw in the last 6 games for both sides, although Sunderland have picked up just 2 points away from home this season.

My Prediction - 3-1 to the Rovers. :rover:

Happy New Year to one and all !!! - (Except Sunderland fans who are only granted this from Jan 3rd onwards)

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This is a critical game for us to win. This will show us whether we are "truly" out of the slump or not.

Beating a Derby side who went up Championship and is going down Championship, does not inspire

me with complete confidence yet.

Like you I predict a 3-1 win.

I would really like us to keep a clean sheet though.

We are on 30 points only 3 points off Everton in 6th.

Not too bad for a team on a 10 match slump.

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Nice preview with personal touches.

Sunderland are the embodiment of why Premiership clubs should not buy players from the Championship or non-Big Firm SPL. £36m wasted sadly as it would be so much healthier for the game if the gulf in quality of players were not so great.

Desperately hope that Rovers kick on from beating Derby. Wouldn't it be so nice to score first and see Benni and MGP on the score sheet? If we can put a winning run together now, the clubs around us have fixtures which will see them dropping points so we should rise back up the table quite quickly.

Rovers to win 2-1 but not without quite a few scares. Would have been close to a full house had we played them on NY Day but we'll be happy to see 22,000 on.

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i agree with winner in taht this is a critical game for us, because we really must follow up the good win at derby by taking another 3 points on wednesday. another win and the confidence will come back even more...which i am confident we can achieve. for me i think a professional job will see us win 2 or 3 nil.

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why? there have been our best players of late and surely mr hughes see's what sort of squad we have every day in training?

Yes, they are head and shoulders above the rest but i want to test the rest of the players see if they can cope without these lads in the team. Relying on Cruz and Bents every game cant continue the rest have got to start producing and pretty soon.

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Perhaps a case for resting Santa for Coventry (though that is risky) if his knees are giving him gip - I was worried when Santa crumpled early in the second half at Derby when he had been shoved putting pressure on his knees.

Bents had a rest recently courtesy of five yellows didn't he?

As for the experiment of seeing if the rest can cope, that is daft. The answer at the moment would be 3 points needlessly sacrificed. Might as well pick a team of kids and see if they could cope whilst we are experimenting. Who needs £700K per EPL place or UEFA Cup qualification?

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Looks like Reid will be over his calf problem and will join big daddy Samba on the available for selection list.

Official site is saying Dunn was heavilly bruised from the City game which is why he was on the bench and that Roque is cut and bruised from yesterday. Both players are a possible doubt for Wednesday.

Rob Styles is the ref.

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A nice 1-0 win would be good, or at least keep a clean sheet. To our credit, I don't see any way we can come out of this match without scoring a goal..

Santa Cruz, Dunn, Reid and Samba possibly out? Looks like Private Nelsen will play again alongside Zura, and in midfield hopefully one of the two midfielders can return - Derbyshire and McCarthy upfront perhaps? Keep Santa Cruz on the bench, and play him if we need to?

Friedel

Emerton, Zura, Nelsen, Warnock

Bentley, Tugay, Reid, Gamst Pedersen

McCarthy, Derbyshire

Santa Cruz, Dunn, Olsson, Brown, Treacy

1-0 (McCarthy 8')

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(to the tune of 'blue moon')

KEANO, YOU`RE GOING DOWN KEANO,

YOU`RE GOING DOWN KEANO,

YOU`RE GOING DOWN KEANO

2-0 to Rovers.

Let`s help send them down.

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Looks like Reid will be over his calf problem and will join big daddy Samba on the available for selection list.

Official site is saying Dunn was heavilly bruised from the City game which is why he was on the bench and that Roque is cut and bruised from yesterday. Both players are a possible doubt for Wednesday.

Rob Styles is the ref.

We're doomed!!

Also whilst agreeing with most of Herbergeehh's post above, the pedantic side of me (and the ex-RN side) forces me to point out that there are no Privates in the RN. The Naval equivalent being the rate (not rank) of Ordinary Seaman.

Also one further small difference of opinion: I think the score will be 2-1 with Benni and Gamst netting for us.

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We're doomed!!

Also whilst agreeing with most of Herberghee's post above, the pedantic side of me (and the ex-RN side) forces me to point out that there are no Privates in the RN. The Naval equivalent being the rate (not rank) of Ordinary Seaman.

Also one further small difference of opinion: I think the score will be 2-1 with Benni and Gamst netting for us.

When did he mention the Navy?

If Sunderland come and get stuck in then I can see us losing by the odd goal however if they let us play football we should/could win by a few goals.

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When did he mention the Navy?

If Sunderland come and get stuck in then I can see us losing by the odd goal however if they let us play football we should/could win by a few goals.

I took his reference to Private Nelsen as meaning the demotion of Nelsen from Admiral to Private; hence my comments. Perhaps I was wrong and this was not his intended meaning, but it does seem to be the obvious one.

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I took his reference to Private Nelsen as meaning the demotion of Nelsen from Admiral to Private; hence my comments. Perhaps I was wrong and this was not his intended meaning, but it does seem to be the obvious one.

Ahh I see what he has done now....very clever. Just me been slow I think.

Is this the first time which Dwight Yorke is returning to Ewood after the incident against Birmingham? I wonder what the reception will be like.

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We're doomed!!

Also whilst agreeing with most of Herbergeehh's post above, the pedantic side of me (and the ex-RN side) forces me to point out that there are no Privates in the RN. The Naval equivalent being the rate (not rank) of Ordinary Seaman.

Also one further small difference of opinion: I think the score will be 2-1 with Benni and Gamst netting for us.

As he isn't English, let my pedantic side point out that they have no Ordinary Seaman. He would be a Rating, if I'm reading the below link correctly, in the Royal New Zealand Navy.

http://www.navy.mil.nz/know-your-navy/rank...ure/default.htm

As for this match, I always have trepidation facing Sunderland after what happened during the 2002-2003 season. I'd still like to see us stick it to Keane for his comments before our Semi last season.

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As he isn't English, let my pedantic side point out that they have no Ordinary Seaman. He would be a Rating, if I'm reading the below link correctly, in the Royal New Zealand Navy.

http://www.navy.mil.nz/know-your-navy/rank...ure/default.htm

As for this match, I always have trepidation facing Sunderland after what happened during the 2002-2003 season. I'd still like to see us stick it to Keane for his comments before our Semi last season.

RN Rating is now Ordinary Rating as well instead of Ordinary Seaman (as in my day). This is because they now allow women in the RN and the RNZN as fully active Ratings. In my day the WRNS was a completely separate service and did not get involved in any sea-going duties. Also if, and whilst, we are both being pedantic, there is no possibility that any comissioned officer could ever be reduced in rank to become a rating. All officers to be punished at all had to be court martialled first. If found guilty the worst that could happen would be to be cashired and struck off the Navy List. This would virtually never happen to an Admiral; he would simply be forced to retire with or without his pension.

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