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[Archived] Blackburn V. Stoke City


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Well, it's been an interesting week in Blackburn. A 3-0 shellacking by Wigan puts us possibly without a manager (or with a new one) by the time this match will take place. Rumors are running fast and furious as to who the new manager will be, with Graeme Souness seemingly the prime candidate. So we may see a new gaffer on the touchline when we go up against the Potters.

On the injury front, Rovers will be without Khizanishvili and Reid, while Grella and Olsson may be back in the lineup. Stoke lost Sibide this weekend, and Delany injured his shoulder (might play, but his throw-ins will be much reduced). Delap, Shawcross, Kitson and Griffin are also likely out for the Potters.

For both sides this is a crucial match. Stoke must maintain momentum if they want to steer clear of yoyoing down, while Blackburn, well... We're rapidly approaching the point of no return. We're likely to lose some key players in the transfer window, and it seems doubtful that we'll pick up enough in return to stay up. The last team I saw pull off a miraculous comeback from this far down was West Ham, and they had Carlos Tevez. We have... umm... McCarthy?

It's been a rough year for Rovers. We've lost Brad Friedel and his quiet dressing room leadership at the same time that we've brought in a rather loudmouthed, hyper manager. It's not a good recipe for success.

I'm a Yank, and here in my hometown of Austin, TX we actually have a minor league affiliate of Stoke - the Austin Aztex (yes, we hate the name too). They're managed by ex-Evertonian Adrian "Inchy" Heath. When Ince was appointed manager, I asked him his opinion of the move.

...he promptly bet me 50 bucks we were going down. So I've been living in a bit of trepidation all season. I started supporting Rovers in '99, albeit somewhat sporadically, and so this is my first real experience with the possibility of relegation. I'm actually writing this preview in the terminal at the international airport in Houston en route to England for my first trip overseas, AND my first Rovers match. This one is deeply personal to me. I love Rovers, so much so that I donate a season ticket every year to the Season Tickets for Charity fund. The thought of going down not because of players, but because of management, curdles my blood. There is some honor in fighting the good fight and ultimately losing if you lack the right personnel. It's another thing entirely to go down because the team quits, or the manager can't hold them.

...this isn't really a preview, it seems, but a rant and a prayer that we win. I have a 2 pint bet with the minority owner of Stoke over the winner of this game. Much more important, though, is our honor. I realize that teams are largely laundry. With the possible exceptions of Tugay and Derbyshire, this isn't a labor of love - it's a paycheck. But it breaks my heart to see the team quit like this.

I doubt any of the players read this, but, on the off chance that one does, please, win it for Blackburn. Hell, win it for a pudgy computer geek on his first trip to the stadium he loves so well. Win it for personal pride. But please, win it. For all of us.

Rovers 3-2 Stoke

...on a side note, if you see a crazy American getting dragged out by the stewards, please, think of me charitably. We can stand at sporting events in the states. Even after hitting a man with a salmon (my other purpose for flying in), I'm not sure my passions will be spent.

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Well, it's been an interesting week in Blackburn. A 3-0 shellacking by Wigan puts us possibly without a manager (or with a new one) by the time this match will take place. Rumors are running fast and furious as to who the new manager will be, with Graeme Souness seemingly the prime candidate. So we may see a new gaffer on the touchline when we go up against the Potters.

On the injury front, Rovers will be without Khizanishvili and Reid, while Grella and Olsson may be back in the lineup. Stoke lost Sibide this weekend, and Delany injured his shoulder (might play, but his throw-ins will be much reduced). Delap, Shawcross, Kitson and Griffin are also likely out for the Potters.

For both sides this is a crucial match. Stoke must maintain momentum if they want to steer clear of yoyoing down, while Blackburn, well... We're rapidly approaching the point of no return. We're likely to lose some key players in the transfer window, and it seems doubtful that we'll pick up enough in return to stay up. The last team I saw pull off a miraculous comeback from this far down was West Ham, and they had Carlos Tevez. We have... umm... McCarthy?

It's been a rough year for Rovers. We've lost Brad Friedel and his quiet dressing room leadership at the same time that we've brought in a rather loudmouthed, hyper manager. It's not a good recipe for success.

I'm a Yank, and here in my hometown of Austin, TX we actually have a minor league affiliate of Stoke - the Austin Aztex (yes, we hate the name too). They're managed by ex-Evertonian Adrian "Inchy" Heath. When Ince was appointed manager, I asked him his opinion of the move.

...he promptly bet me 50 bucks we were going down. So I've been living in a bit of trepidation all season. I started supporting Rovers in '99, albeit somewhat sporadically, and so this is my first real experience with the possibility of relegation. I'm actually writing this preview in the terminal at the international airport in Houston en route to England for my first trip overseas, AND my first Rovers match. This one is deeply personal to me. I love Rovers, so much so that I donate a season ticket every year to the Season Tickets for Charity fund. The thought of going down not because of players, but because of management, curdles my blood. There is some honor in fighting the good fight and ultimately losing if you lack the right personnel. It's another thing entirely to go down because the team quits, or the manager can't hold them.

...this isn't really a preview, it seems, but a rant and a prayer that we win. I have a 2 pint bet with the minority owner of Stoke over the winner of this game. Much more important, though, is our honor. I realize that teams are largely laundry. With the possible exceptions of Tugay and Derbyshire, this isn't a labor of love - it's a paycheck. But it breaks my heart to see the team quit like this.

I doubt any of the players read this, but, on the off chance that one does, please, win it for Blackburn. Hell, win it for a pudgy computer geek on his first trip to the stadium he loves so well. Win it for personal pride. But please, win it. For all of us.

Rovers 3-2 Stoke

...on a side note, if you see a crazy American getting dragged out by the stewards, please, think of me charitably. We can stand at sporting events in the states. Even after hitting a man with a salmon (my other purpose for flying in), I'm not sure my passions will be spent.

sorry mate if this clown and his cronies are still in charge I can see stoke getting 2 maybe and us none !

Lets watch Charlton + Derby tonight on sky cos this time next season it'll be us unless the clown goes while we still have a glimmer of hope !

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If we go something like this:

Robinson

Simpson--Samba--Ooijer--Warnock

Emerton--Grella--Dunn--Pedersen

McCarthy--Santa Cruz

I think we have a chance. We need Robbo to have a good game and claim as many throws as he can.

I heard Delap is carrying an injury but he may be back for this game?

Agreed. Dunn looked decent the other day and if Grella makes it back we will be much improved. Major worry is that all our strikers look poor at the moment. It is hard to see where the goals will come from.

Come on Rovers.

Hopefully we will have either a new manager or a a competant care taker in charge for this game. I am amazed Ince has not been formally sacked yet.

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I'm going for a boring 1-1 draw with precious little quality from either team and for the board to stick to its cowardly decision not to sack the manager. If Ince is in charge for this fixture, then our relegation will be sealed.

This is the biggest Rovers fixture I will have attended. So much is riding on this result and I'm nervous already. PLEASE let's have a performance lads!

EDIT: I may be forced to change the prediction somewhat if Dunn were fit to start from the off.

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Entirely depends on the management. Cannot see Ince now getting so much as another point for Rovers.

On the otherhand, almost anybody else should be able to inspire Rovers to do something against a Stoke squad which is going to be looking a bit stretched by injuries.

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On a side note, a Stoke fan at work reckons that the clubs/police decision to restrict the number of away tickets on sale is going to result in many Potters fans getting tickets in the home areas.

I recall rather vividly being surrounded by a great many Celtic supporters a few years back because the club aren't the greatest at vetting away fans. Add to this the way that Rovers fans were with EACH OTHER at the Wigan game, and this could be an interesting day...

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I've lived near stoke for past 4 years and have been looking forward to this game so i can take my stokey girlfriend and show her how a proper team plays football, but think I may say all the tickets were sold out to save embarrassment. Although if we have a new manager I may say that some extra tickets have been made available! :D.

Should be a good game as their fans are pretty loud but they have a bit of a bad reputation. Going for a hopeful 1-1

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On a side note, a Stoke fan at work reckons that the clubs/police decision to restrict the number of away tickets on sale is going to result in many Potters fans getting tickets in the home areas.

I recall rather vividly being surrounded by a great many Celtic supporters a few years back because the club aren't the greatest at vetting away fans. Add to this the way that Rovers fans were with EACH OTHER at the Wigan game, and this could be an interesting day...

There is a tried and tested way of identifying Stoke fans should they try and sneak entry via the 'Home' turnstiles on Saturday. Simply have a selection of fine bone china on display nearby and they won't be able to resist moving in and turning an item on its reverse to see where it was made. 100% guaranteed to work! A Stoke fan is also more likely to refer to you as 'Duck', rather than 'Mate'. As for the score, a loss would make being at work with all my 'Ducks' rather irritating. A win for us is an absolute must. Don't care by how many, as long as it's one more goal than them.

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My grandson will be attending Ewood for the first time. He lives abroad and he's six and a half.

This is what his dad said to me:-

"I wonder if little lad will witness a riot at Ewood? ;-) If we lost to Stoke, there will be a lot of grumbling and booing. It won't exactly be the best of conditions for him to learn about football! He'll think it's all about moaning and complaining....which is pretty much right for a Riversider!"

Come on Rovers, you have to play well and win this one; in spite of Ince!

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I've lived near stoke for past 4 years and have been looking forward to this game so i can take my stokey girlfriend and show her how a proper team plays football, but think I may say all the tickets were sold out to save embarrassment. Although if we have a new manager I may say that some extra tickets have been made available! :D.

Should be a good game as their fans are pretty loud but they have a bit of a bad reputation. Going for a hopeful 1-1

In the 70's and 80s 's the Stoke game was always gauranteed trouble home or away will be interesting to see if this has changed.

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I actually thought we were going to win last weekend, oh how stupid am i!

after believing the hype and crap what came out of our camp days before the game against a poor wigan side I thought 3 points were so achievable how naieve I was even with a half fit side Stoke will battle us into submission ion the 1st half if the current management are still in place - get on Stoke at 3/1 cracking away win price unless we make big changes come on JW sort it out

INCE OUT

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Whatever happens today its a must win game.

4-4-2 formation

Players playing in their correct positions.

Robinson

Simpson Ooijer Samba Warnock

Emerton Dunn grella/Tugay Pederson

RSC McCarthy

If that team cannot beat Stoke City at Ewood then the game is over for our club.

Ince still in = 1-2 loss

Ince OUT 3-0 Rovers win

Oh by the way, whoever is in charge KEEP ANDREWS OFF THE PITCH ;)

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TO ALL THE GOBSHYYTES HEREABOUTS - GET OFF YOUR SOFT ARSES,LEAVE YOUR KEYBOARDS ALONE AND GET TO EWOOD TO TURN ALL YOUR NEGATIVE BILE INTO THE POSITIVE ENERGY WE WILL NEED TO KEEP OUR CLUB UP. HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU ALL THIS WEEKEND - BLUE 'N' WHITE ARMY!!!

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