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[Archived] You Are Paul Ince, Blackburn Rovers Manager


Stuart

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August 2008

You are Paul Ince, you've had some modest success as a fledgling football manager and have been handed the keys to the big time. You were as shocked as the Rovers fans when you got the job but you've never shirked a challenge in your life. Nor have you cared how hated you are.

Once the adrenalin has worn off following the initial press conference, and you wish you'd kept your big gob shut (for once) and not made the off-the-cuff remark that will haunt you for the rest of your Ewood tenure :blush: , you sit back and take stock.

$h1t! Now what?

You realise you have very few if anyone on side, apart from JW; the club's legendary keeper and current star player have already told you they are leaving. :blink: There are rumblings from the fans already and you need people around you that you can trust. You bring in your trusted confidant, Ray. Okay he's no Peter Taylor but you know him, he knows you. He will back you and won't stick the knife in if things aren't going well. But he's a bit old and the players might not respect him because of his lack of achievement in the game. Step forward Bob Fowler. He'll get the players on side - besides he owes me a favour. We're getting there now, just need someone who know's my methods in training, someone you know isn't going to turn against you. Keith will fit in well here nice family club, plenty of Irish connections down the years. Besides you promised him you'd make a Prem player of him one day; never gone against your word yet.

You do a nice bit of business to bring in Robbo and make the best of a bad situation. Well, JW does. Nice guy, Mr. Williams, level headed - you think he'll back you in a crisis: although he's still not best pleased about that slip-up. Damn you've got a big mouth sometimes. (Could be worse, you could be called Allardyce - hehe). Money's really tight but you manage to bring in a couple of coups. Some young lad from South America - looks great on YouTube - and a solid midfielder Vincent Grella (sic).

Despite best efforts, both your first choice targets for right wing fall through. Jokers some of these young lads today, Keano's right. <_<

Well we are where we are and we get on with it.

A good result, albeit last minute, against Moyes and we're on our way. Easy this management lark. It'll be the Dons all over again... :tu:

December 2008

Fast Forward four months and things couldn't have gone much worse - apart from the League Cup. You've not had a settled midfield since you've been here following injuries to Vince, Dunn, Reid and Emo. Carlos can't yet cut it and you've had to play Keith just about every game when he's a squadie at best. Bob doesn't look like scoring. Your defence is leaking like the roof in the JW stand and you don't know why you are paying Nige. The forwards couldn't hit the side of a bus from the penalty spot - even Ricky isn't firing. (Note to self: stop calling Santa Cruz Ricky, it's Roque, not that it'll matter come January). The one bright spark has been Robbo but even he's dropping the odd clanger. Everytime we make a mistake it costs us, we aren't getting the rub of the green.

(Ring, ring) "Knoxy, if that's Winterburn, tell him to get his ass up to Brockhall pronto! Hmm, Black-burn? Winter-burn? Maybe there's something in that. Second thoughts tell him not to bother, his final cheque is in the post."

The fans that don't hate you are running out of patience and some would even prefer Allardyce! You just know you can get it right, we just need that one bit of luck, if we can just hang on til Dunny gets back in the side in a couple of weeks. Get to January and you can do some serious arm twisting. You've never passed up on a challenge in your life and you are not about to give up now just because things are looking a bit iffy. The league is till tight and a few points will change everything.

Ok, I guess we're talking tactics, backroom staff, personnel changes, or something else to turn it around. And let's see if we can create a positive vibe on here so try to avoid the 'bog off' comments in response to the title. Rather than complain, let's be constructive. It's a stretch but Leeds once sacked Brian Clough. :D

Assuming you are Ince and you're not about to quit, you need to restore your reputation and get Blackburn back up the league.

What do you do?

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OK, I'll try to think here.............

1. Get rid of Winterburn, Mathias and bring in a real assistant manager, or a more experienced character. Hell maybe even Brian Kidd if pushed! Get in a full time coach who can do the business with the defence too.

2. Drop Nelsen and make Andre captain

3. Give Judge a go in his favoured position.

4. DO NOT GIVE FOWLER AN EXTENSION TO HIS CONTRACT

5. Change my tactics, so the emphasis is not on playing pretty, but in being hard to beat. Make the midfielders help ot the defence more.

6. Give Vogel another chance to prove himself, and try to encourage him.

7. Harrass the board for proper funds.

8. Send Simpson back to Man U.

Everyone is going to disagree, but that's what I'd do.

Re Jan: Are you thinking a sort of deal Boro had when they brought in Terry Vegetables there?

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1) Bring Ryan Nelsen, Chris Samba and Morten Gamst Pedersen in my office and tell them their services are no longer required.

2) Find the youngsters with the most passion to play for the club and integrate them into the team.

3) Tell the fans the hard truth - that there is absolutely no money to spend, the players aren't good enough, but if we're gonna go down, we're gonna go down fighting.

If by some miracle we get a respectable transfer kitty in January though, all energy must be concentrated on finding the right people.

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1) Bring Ryan Nelsen, Chris Samba and Morten Gamst Pedersen in my office and tell them their services are no longer required.

2) Find the youngsters with the most passion to play for the club and integrate them into the team.

3) Tell the fans the hard truth - that there is absolutely no money to spend, the players aren't good enough, but if we're gonna go down, we're gonna go down fighting.

If by some miracle we get a respectable transfer kitty in January though, all energy must be concentrated on finding the right people.

Mr E your continued assertions that our players aren't good enough to stay up are rubbish. On paper we're definitely better than the three promoted teams, and better than Wigan, Bolton and Fulham. Definitely.

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1. Get in some quality experienced coaches around me - especially for the assistant manager and defensive coach role.

2. Work the team hard in all the basics. Defending - marking, tackling, tracking back, defending as a unit - all that revolutionary stuff.

3. Continue to work on the basics - pass and move.

4. Continue to work on the basics - shooting - target practice.

5. Get the team playing in an aggressive, hard to beat, fight for every ball, way.

6. Show the rovers season review from 2 years ago and tell the lads that they can still play like that.

7. Buy a right midfielder.

Actually on reflection before any of that I'd hold up my hands, admit I'd made a few (!) mistakes, and tell everyone I'm gutted at the position we're in, and that it is a big problem and that we'll be working our damndest and do whatever it takes, blood, sweat and tears, to get out of the situation.

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1) Bring Ryan Nelsen, Chris Samba and Morten Gamst Pedersen in my office and tell them their services are no longer required.

Thank God we have Paul Ince as manager and not YOU!!

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Mr E your continued assertions that our players aren't good enough to stay up are rubbish. On paper we're definitely better than the three promoted teams, and better than Wigan, Bolton and Fulham. Definitely.

The difference is, our players don't want to play for us.

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Jisty, I note the day you became a member of this site was July 2008.

I'm just wondering if you're Paul Ince in hiding and this thread is a genuine call for help and ideas! Rather embarassingly, I wouldnt be overly surprised if that actually was the case, I can just see him on his laptop next to his golf simulator frantically writing down posts on tactics from this site. Then watching himself train on the 4 TVs in his home gym.

Every passing moment that I see our manager on the telly I like him just that little bit less.

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For starters

Get rid of Fowler - this episode has done his standing more harm than anything.

Sort things out with Vogel and use him.

Replace Nelsen with Ooijer.

So far as possible pick a consistent strike force.

Get rid of Winterburn. Sorting our defence out is not a part time job at the moment.

Pray for three points very soon.

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Agree with Billy Castell about changing Mathias Winterburn etc.,

Drop Nelsen but as Revidge Blue says bring in another centre half .

Bring in a proven premiership central midfielder cant think of anyone out there better than Joey Barton.

Bring in a full back left or right or possibly both.

Bring in a attack minded right sided midfielder.

Bring in possibly another striker.

Offload Roberts, MaCarthy and a few more to bring in the funds.

Stretch the debt of the club and try to earn the respect and trust of the board and fans.

Easy :o

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I'm going to say what i would do. Not what Ince would do...

I for a start would get a new assistant manager someone with some real successfull experience. Maybe someone coming to the end of their footballing management career? (Not Terry V). Sack the fitness staff as they are obviously doing a pants job, and hire some decent Premier League quality ones.

Playing staff wise i would:

Offer: André Ooijer a new 2 year contract, and promise him i would not play him at RB or LB again if possible.

- Tell Robbie Fowler he does not have a future at the club, and can leave.

- Tell Steven Reid that he has had his contract terminated due to his injuries. Harsh i know. But it has to be done.

- Tell Danny Simpson he can go back to Manchester United as he is quite frankly too lightweight.

- Tell Carlos the truth, that he hasn't shown enough to warrant a bid, but he will have till the end of the season to earn a deal.

- Put the following players up for sale, Ryan Nelsen (£2-4 m), Benni McCarthy (£5-6 m), Morten Gamst Pedersen (£5-6 m), Aaron Mokoena (£2 m) and Jason Roberts (£3-4 m). So say £18 (transfers recouped) + £10 million left over from Bentley and summer transfer funds = £28 million.

I would then work out the possible formations and squads remaining with the players left with notes for possible replacements and requirements (*denotes primary position) & ({i}denotes history of injury problems in the last 2-3 years):

GK - Paul Robinson

CB - André Ooijer

LB - Stephen Warnock

CB - Christopher Samba

CM (sub) - Tugay Kerimoğlu

RB*/RM - Brett Emerton

CM{i} - David Dunn (vice-captain)

CF - Roque Santa Cruz

CM{i} - Vince Grella

CB (sub) - Zurab Khizanishvili

CM - Johann Vogel

CM (sub) - Keith Andrews

CM - Carlos Villanueva (loan)

LM (sub) - Keith Treacy

CF (sub) - Matt Derbyshire

LB (sub) - Martin Olsson

GK (sub) - Jason Brown

GK (res sub) - Mark Bunn

Leaves us with 3 GK's, 2 LB's, 1 RB, 3 CB's, 1 (sub) LM, 0 RM's, 6 CM's (2 x {i}) and 2 CF's.

This leaves us needing idealy 1 RB, 1 CB, 1 LM, 2 RM's, 1 or 2 CM's and 2 CF's...

£27 from above.

Sign:

- Vasilis Torosidis (£3 m) RB

- Tore Reginiussen (2 m) CB & Roland Juhász (1 m)

- Arda Turan (7 m) LM

- Michael Kightly (6 m) & Jermaine Pennant (1 m) or Ahmed Al-Muhammadi (1 m?) 2 RM's

- Stephen Appiah (Free) & Prince Buaben (2 m) CM's

- Marc Janko (£3 m) & Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (3-4 m) 2 CF's

= around £28 million...

I can dream... ;)

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Remove Fowler

Play 4-5-1 with three defensive/central midfielders

Bring Vogel into the first team

Bring in Avram Grant as assistant

Bring in Dieter Eilts as defensive coach

If all else fails...

Step aside and give the job to Armin Veh

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OK, I'll try to think here.............

1. Get rid of Winterburn, Mathias and bring in a real assistant manager, or a more experienced character. Hell maybe even Brian Kidd if pushed! Get in a full time coach who can do the business with the defence too.

2. Drop Nelsen and make Andre captain

3. Give Judge a go in his favoured position.

4. DO NOT GIVE FOWLER AN EXTENSION TO HIS CONTRACT

5. Change my tactics, so the emphasis is not on playing pretty, but in being hard to beat. Make the midfielders help ot the defence more.[/b]

6. Give Vogel another chance to prove himself, and try to encourage him.

7. Harrass the board for proper funds.

8. Send Simpson back to Man U.

Everyone is going to disagree, but that's what I'd do.

Re Jan: Are you thinking a sort of deal Boro had when they brought in Terry Vegetables there?

Half of these are on the cards. Ince wants a clearout!

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1. Drop Samba, and Nelsen play Andre and Zurab.

2. Put Warnock back at left back.

3. Start grinding results with defensive tactics, instead of playing pretty football.

4. Ask Robbie Fowler if he wants to buy the club.

5. Stop playing long balls to Roque when hes a lone striker.

6. Lose Knox and Matthias, and appoint someone with Premiership experience.

7. Buy a right sided midfield player.

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1. Drop Samba, and Nelsen play Andre and Zurab.

2. Put Warnock back at left back.

3. Start grinding results with defensive tactics, instead of playing pretty football.

4. Ask Robbie Fowler if he wants to buy the club.

5. Stop playing long balls to Roque when hes a lone striker.

6. Lose Knox and Matthias, and appoint someone with Premiership experience.

7. Buy a right sided midfield player.

Absolutely spot on with 1,2,3,5 & 7.

No need for elaboration and fancy tactics. Stop giving daft goals away, play a no nonsence midfield with some testicular fortitude to bite into tackles and get the ball wide and then flood the box with crosses. Simple!

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Absolutely spot on with 1,2,3,5 & 7.

No need for elaboration and fancy tactics. Stop giving daft goals away, play a no nonsence midfield with some testicular fortitude to bite into tackles and get the ball wide and then flood the box with crosses. Simple!

Do you think the current coaching staff are sufficient or are you happy with knox & Mathias?

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Good responses - it's a shame there are still people who are still caught up in hating Ince for being Ince rather than being constructive but, on the whole, a more positive feel. Billy I think you've missed your calling in life - unless you are Harry Redknapp in disguise! (Well I've been accused of being Paul Ince so I'm sharing it out).

2. Drop Nelsen and make Andre captain

Offer: André Ooijer a new 2 year contract, and promise him i would not play him at RB or LB again if possible.

I've picked out these two quotes. For me this issue is particularly key, although there are some other very valid comments. Andre Oijer is definitely a leader but a) is constantly being made to look like a muppet being played at full back and b ) is having to cow-tow to Nelsen. This in itself could be part of the problem. Nelsen is out of form and despite being rested occasionally is not looking like returning to his mk1 incarnation. I recall the spell when he was out with his major injury last year and we went on something like a 9-game streak undefeated.

We need one leader out there and someone who can marshall Samba better. For me, it's got to be Nelsen that drops to the bench and provides cover for either Oijer or Samba. Giving the captain's armband to Oijer is then a natural part of this process.

From other threads and media speculation, it does sound like the backroom team will be changing (no smoke without fire?) but we need someone on the pitch who can lead the team and get us organised. Few have got the experience but Oijer is one. While we're at it, let's give Oijer some say in the team selection - if he things Vogel should be in, Ince needs to listen.

Anyone want to disagree?

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1. Drop Samba, and Nelsen play Andre and Zurab. SAMBA??? IM SORRY BUT I DISAGREE 100%2. Put Warnock back at left back. HE DID - WE CONCEDED 3 AND WARNOCK HAD A HAND IN 2 OF THEM

4. Ask Robbie Fowler if he wants to buy the club. NO THANKS

6. Lose Knox and Matthias, and appoint someone with Premiership experience. HASNT KNOX GOT PREM EXPERIENCE?

7. Buy a right sided midfield player.

Whilst I agree with you, its undeniable that this is good news. In a nutshell, the trustees want to ensure that Blackburn Rovers stay in the Premiership. That's what we all want. I'm not bothered what they are motivated by.

I've picked out these two quotes. For me this issue is particularly key, although there are some other very valid comments. Andre Oijer is definitely a leader but a) is constantly being made to look like a muppet being played at full back and b ) is having to cow-tow to Nelsen. This in itself could be part of the problem. Nelsen is out of form and despite being rested occasionally is not looking like returning to his mk1 incarnation. I recall the spell when he was out with his major injury last year and we went on something like a 9-game streak undefeated.

We need one leader out there and someone who can marshall Samba better. For me, it's got to be Nelsen that drops to the bench and provides cover for either Ooijer or Samba. Giving the captain's armband to Ooijer is then a natural part of this process.

Iv been saying it for the last month or two. Nelsen is the problem, not Samba.

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