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[Archived] Blackburn Rovers - Manchester United


Daremz

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Blackburn Rovers FC vs. Manchester United

blackburn-rovers-crest.jpgvs. Manchester_United_FC.png

Before you all start reading this preview, I want to start with something symbolical.

Why symbolical? I will explain, during my preview..

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The facts:

This Saturday, something special is going to happen. Even if we lose 0-5, something special will happen. Ewood Park is sold out. In reality that won’t mean all seats are taken, but probably about 95% of them. And the atmosphere will probably be electric! Therefore, Blackburn Rovers vs. Manchester United will be a match to remember. Before I continue with the tactical part, let’s take a look at the match statistics…

Date: Saturday, April 19th 2008

Venue: Ewood Park, Blackburn Lancashire

The visitors are Manchester United, Premier league leaders, 80 points, five points clear of number two, Chelsea. Manchester United have scored 72 goals so far, conceding 18. Manchester United haven’t lost in their last 8 league games

Blackburn Rovers are 9th in the table, 29 points behind Manchester United with 51 points. Blackburn have scored 44 goals, conceding 42.

Last weekend, Rovers visited Liverpool. There was no creativity, no fighting spirit and no real desire. The result was a 3-1 loss to Merseyside Red.

Manchester United hosted Arsenal. Let’s take a look at some quotes by Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United coach, after the 2-1 victory:

"If we win at Blackburn and at Chelsea we're champions. We've got over a nervous day."

"I thought it was a fantastic game, absolutely outstanding. You won't see a better game anywhere this season."

Sir Alex looks pretty confident, but I don’t think it’s ‘Sirrish’ to already say this was the best game of the season, as there are quite a few matches coming up.

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Tactics!

What can we say about their starting 11 (wild guess, they can play 8 different players too...)?

Van der Sar – Can’t let my countryman down here. Best goalie in the English Premier League after Brad Friedel.

Brown – To be honest, I don’t really fancy Wes Brown. I think he looks too arrogant for such a mediocore player. He lacks speed, he lacks power and he lacks vision. Opportunity no. 1!

Ferdinand - As arrogant as Mr. Brown, but a classy-defender. Still though, Opportunity no. 2!

Pique – Can’t say much about this guy, ‘Mr. unknown’. Hasn’t much of experience, but plays rather solid next to Mr. Ferdinand in the absence of Nemanja Vidic. Opportunity no. 3!

Evra – Speedy lad at the left who really surprised me with his display against Arsenal. Opportunity no. 4!

Cristiano Ronaldo – Unstoppable. We can try all sort of things, but we can’t stop him. He’s an absolute beast. And I think we should have respect for such an amazing player. Which doesn’t mean we should try E-VE-RY-THING to stop him.

Carrick – Decent defensive midfield who has a bit of all, but lacks speed. In central midfield we lack real quality to hurt Carrick and co. though…

Hargreaves – Keeps on running around, winning tackles and giving the ball to that number 7 and 10. Can score free-kicks too. We should have one of those.

Scholes – Not at his best anymore, but always good against the Rovers. The little ginger man could be one of their match-winners, but in midfield he’s our only opportunity. Opportunity no. 5!

Tevez – I predict Carlitos to play at Ewood. And I think Carlitos is a good player, who doesn’t needs much space to create something. Watch him, potential game-winner.

Rooney – On fire. Will give our defence a difficult time, running and fighting around. Only power, vision and speed can stop him. Hmmm, a genetic experience…breeding Samba, Nelsen, Ooijer and Walcott (wtf?) anyone?

Opportunity 1 – We should play an intelligent attacker with great positioning for the moments we have the ball upfront to drive Brown crazy. Wes has no vision, and if plan no.2 works out, he hasn’t got Ferdinand to help him out, because Ferdinand needs to work out his own problems! Roque could be vital, although he has problems with matches at Ewood…still though, dead ball training should absolutely be the main-focus on the training ground this week. If we can create anything, it will be from dead balls

Opportunity 2 – Why shouldn’t we play Matty alongside Roque? He’s pacey, wants to prove himself and probably will have the holy fire when playing Manchester United. I’d rather see a player working and fighting 90 minutes than Benni McCarthy lurching around trying backheels from 65 yards out. I think Ferdinand is at his ‘weakest’ against a pacey attacker. Matty for the start.

Opportunity 3 – See point 1.

Opportunity 4 – Speedy and attacking. If we can stop him, and try to hit them on the break by using our right side, David Bentley could definitely hurt Manchester at their left-hand side.

Opportunity 5 – If Scholes hasn’t his day this Saturday, that could mean we have a bit more breathing space in midfield and we might even have time to watch Ronaldo.

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The twist...

Well, that's it for tactics. As a Dutchman I had a great idea to give this preview a little twist. I grabbed the car, drove to The Hague and visited the head quarters of the Dutch Mancunian Branch. It was this Sunday, so all of them were sitting there in their Sharp/Vodafone/AIG-outfits, watching Manchester playing L’Arse. The atmosphere was tense, but as soon as the final whistle was blown, I got my time to speak Mr. Ron Snellen (translated: Rapid Ronny, lol!) and take a look at this Saturday’s match…

Daremz: “Who the hell are the Dutch Mancunians?”

RR: “I started the branche in 1995 with 2 friends, now we have about 600 members and yes..I'm very aware that among those fans are some gloryhunters!! My first visit to Old Trafford was in 1977. Grewing up in the '70's and '80's my youth ware spoiled by those scousers who kept winning everything!!”

Daremz: “Why Manchester United, while Blackburn is only 26,4 mile away...?”

RR: (Stares the sky in disbelief)… “Well don't know really. But my love for United came at the FA Cup final in 1977 when United met Liverp**l. For as the others we're playing the EC I finals againt Borrusia Monchen Gladbach I thought ‘let's support the other team’.”

Daremz: “Do you rather win the Champions League or the English Premier League. Before you trying to be smart: ‘both' is not an option.”

RR: “Premier League!”

Daremz: “Upcoming saturday you'll visit Ewood. Have you ever been at our ground and what do you think about it?”

RR: “I've visited your ground once and I must say I liked ot very much. Good atmosphere but then again with about 7000 Mancs on the terraces....”

Daremz: “More important...what are your views on Blackburn Rovers, pride of Lancashire?”

RR: “I like your manager ofcourse. I met him some times when he was playing for United in the 90's. To be honrest I do like your club. You might win all the other games except against us!”

Daremz: Which of our players would you like to have in your squad, and why?

RR: “Sorry mate. I'm not able to name 3 players of your squad!”

*At this point, I reached boiling point. This guy was acting like an arrogant prick!*

Daremz: If you were in a dark alley with Christopher Samba, would you be scared?

RR: “Chistopher who?”

Daremz: “Are you kidding me?”

Daremz: (Sight…)…”Let’s continue: How do we stop Ronaldo and Rooney?”

RR: “Don't even bother...”

Daremz: “Besides the 2 R's, who'd you predict to shine at Ewood?”

RR: “Saha...hahahaha. Watch out for Giggs...hahahaha, I am funny!! Tevez is brilliant though!”

Daremz: “Where are our opportunities in Saturdays match?”

RR: “In the pub??”

Daremz: “Mate, you’re killing me; let’s finish this off: A prediction for the match...?"

RR: “0-3 Ronaldo 2 times and Rooney”

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The Conclusion

And so the interview ended. And to be honest, I think it’s symbolical. Symbolical, just like the youtube-scene with which I started my preview. Manchester try to act a little arrogant, they feel like being ‘upper class’, just like human feel upper class over nature/animals. This saturday, we need to do two things. Act bold, just like I did in the interview. Don’t give them a chance to play arrogant. We need to surprise them, just like Killer Whale in the Youtube-scene. We need to surprise them, act bold and brutal, and crush them. They won’t sink (still become Premier League Champions, especially after Chelsea lost points yesterday), just like the canoe-guy comes back up again. But just like the canoe-guy won’t forget the huge killer whale for the rest of his life, we need to make sure Manchester United will never forget ‘Ewood Park, April 19th, 2008’.

To all that will be at Ewood this Saturday: Make me jealous (for not being there, as usual), make me proud!

Arte et Labore!

(Sorry for grammatical errors. I gave my very best in writing this preview, and hope you enjoyed reading it!)

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Great preview Daremz, this game is the last game were the team can really lift the Rovers fans with a good performance and victory.

It last chance saloon for this season as far as the team is concerned hopefully United will be relaxed too relaxed in fact that the we are abale to seize the opportunity.

Heres to hoping and wishful thinking come on ye blue and whites!!!!!!

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A different type of preview which was very pleasant, well done.

I am afraid of this game. Some of our older members will recall a home game against Huddersfield many moons ago when we were on our way down, they came to Ewood and battered us. Although over the years we have seen a couple of 4-0 defeats for Rovers, Boro and Villa spring to mind, I really fear a United stroll as they power towards yet another Premiership title.

Ronaldo a beast ? The only way to stop a beast is to shoot it :rolleyes: I wonder just how Mark Hughes and co think they can stop him. Rooney aka shrek is another player along with Tevez who can score at will. Add Park, Giggs and our nemesis in Scholes and we have some problems coming our way. I even mention Saha as we all saw last year that his lucky touches always bring him goals especially at Ewood.

I suppose though there is hope. Manure have to face the mighty Barcelona in the following week away from their awful stadium so there is hope that they may not play "all" of their superstars. I wonder if RFW fancies giving Ronaldo a rest before he gets the kicking that he really deserves for his fanciful footwork !

So what formation/team ? I cannot see any team stopping them as they have so much power and pace going forward. They are not a team that can be out footballed and they play fantastic counter attacking football if they get under the cosh. For me, Rovers should adopt the Bolton approach for this game and revert to Rovers type survival football.

Across the back they need 4 strong players to turn out. Samba and Nelsen owe Rovers fans a lot and Saturday is the time to pay up. Both Emerton and Warnock will have to keep a reign on the wingers and not get caught out wondering too far forward.

Across the midfield, it has to be a five man effort, leaving RSC up front on his own. For me, MGP, Reid, Dunn or McCarthy, Tugay and Bentley, gives Rovers an option for attacking football with McCarthy taking up the second slot up front. 4-4-2 at home against this lot will se Rovers destroyed UNLESS manure have a bad day at the office.

I dont know who the referee is but whoever he is he needs to be strong enough not to be bullied by fergies and his red shirted puffs.

I am sad to be missing the game, I havent the heart to let anyone use my ticket let alone sell it to some manc scumbag but from my heart I would love to see Rovers win 1-0 but the reality is that Rovers will lose handsomely.

0-4 redscum :(

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I'll also be missing this game, but will have to find a bar in Washington DC although I am dreading it....I can see manure putting a hat full past our dreadful defence.

I've had Mancs constantly on the phone after my 2 ST's; they went to a Rover of course. However I can see us having the red ratbags all over the ground which will be a recipe for trouble.

I pray for a miracle.

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Great preview.

Nothing annoys me more than a Darwen end full of ManUres. Still, at least they bother to come to a match rather than just swan about in the shirt proclaiming their 'love and support' for all things MU.

Funnily enough, I support MU. Mothers' Union that is, whose colours are, in a strange twist of fate, blue and white. Hmmmmmmmmm. I well remember, on a Sunday following a certain day in 1995, in our church, the Bishop suggesting a minute's silence. We all stood piously, heads bowed, and at the end of the silence he announced 'That was for Manchester United'! Even Bishops have their moments.

I digress. Blackburn Rovers have had their moments against Manchester United and of course two great matches in particular in recent times, season 2006/7, the first when Pedersen scored those two wonderful goals at Old Trafford and the second at Ewood involving Bentley's hat-trick. Hopefully Mr Ferdinand will be suitably anxious, afraid even, as Roque bears down on him.

Recent times appear to show that our squad have already departed on their summer holidays and so I am not filled with any feelings of certain success, rather hope that it doesn't turn into a rout for Manchester United.

1-3 to United. Roque for us. Scholes, Rooney and Ronaldo. Red card for Tevez, probably for diving, possibly for being an ugly little twerp. 6 yellows for Rovers, Warnock, Samba, Nelsen, Pedersen, Hughes and the ball-boy who sits in front of the Blackburn End.

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Nice preview.

Glimer of hope, Rovers record at Ewood since returning to the Premier League.

2001/2002 - Rovers 2-2 Man Utd (The one with the Gillespie wonder goal, and Beckham's quick thinking)

2002/2003 - Rovers 1-0 Man Utd (The one with Gaz Flitcroft tap in at the Darwen End)

2003/2004 - Rovers 1-0 Man Utd (The one with Jon Stead's goal to ensure survival)

2004/2005 - Rovers 1-1 Man Utd (The one with Dickov and Saha's hand ball)

2005/2006 - Rovers 4-3 Man Utd (The one with the Bentley hat-trick and Rio)

2006/2007 - Rovers 0-1 Man Utd (The one with Saha's goal)

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I just can't see how we can hurt Man Utd. They have a near perfect team at the moment much as I hate me to say it. If we attack them they will murder us on the break. If we sit back (which we will have to considering the pace of their forward line) we will get passed to death.

The only option for us i think is to play RSC and Roberts up front and try to use Roberts pace to worry them. Also use Bentley in an advanced position on the right and let Cruz come a little deeper.

I would also seriously consider starting Dunn on the left for MGP. It will leave us more exposed on the counter but really we need to create options and MGP is just not doing that.

In a way I would actually stick with Samba. We need him to refind his form and, apart from a few (very) shaky moments against Liverpool, he did do quite well. On his day he can be sensational and that is what we need.

---------------------Roberts

-------------Cruz

Dunn---------------------------Bentley

-----------------------Reid

---------------Vogel

Warnock---Nelsen----Samba---Emerton

-------------------Freidel

We have little hope really unless we play to our maximum.

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Boro showed the way a few weeks back: all out attack. Unfortunately we lack the personnel and (IMO since Arsenal handed us our asses on a plate last season) the inclination to do so.

I predict we'll get a humbling, with pleny of moaning and scapegoating to follow on this MB.

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