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[Archived] January Review


Wolverine

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Only joking!

I write this from a top secret location within the FA, where they actually keep the Transfer Window. I may stay here and watch the closing ceremony.

The opening ceremony was quite humorous – Manchester City officials arrived with a gold-plated sledgehammer, only to find their cross-city rivals had actually left it propped open, to let in two Serbians. The officials walked away, tails between their legs, hoping to smash something else, possibly the morale of rival teams players.

Immediately after the Serbians joined, Sir Alex Ferguson went on record to say Manchester United will not be signing or selling anyone else this transfer window. Six days later, he signed Ritchie de Laet from Stoke.

Now, it won't have escaped your notice that this transfer window has been dominated by one story. It is a story that has captured the passion of practically all of us, and one we knew was on the cards more and more as the New Year approached. That's right, we signed a new server for an undisclosed fee.

The new server is said to have been delighted to be linked with such an illustrious message board and hopes to impress the fans with some efficient database crunching and impressive bandwidth skills. The old server limped along for a while as the mods insisted a replacement must be in place before it was allowed to leave.

And so to the reason for this essential upgrade – the biannual (probably the wrong word) Nicko show. Luckily, not one out of the mysteriously huge number of new members is likely to read this particular thread, so I can say what I want about them. Shame I can't be bothered.

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Last month, because I decided to do the year review early, I have an extra match to comment on. The clash with Manchester City on a bitterly cold Sunday. As I believe LeChuck pointed out at the time, this game provided a unique situation where the visiting manager would know more about our team than our own manager. Mark Hughes had a point to prove thanks to rapidly declining popularity and support as the media circus around his team continued, but also, thanks to earlier results which left us rock bottom, our players had to step up and be counted.

It was a poor first half by Rovers (I have just highlighted and copied that sentence as it may come in useful for future reviews), but ended on a high with a goal from Benni. Yes, that's right, Benni McCarthy scored again. And he did some running as well.

With 15 minutes to go the balance of play levelled out, mainly due to Tugay's batteries running out and Mokoena coming on. With less than ten minutes to go, Roberts made it 2-0 and we could relax. Derbs came on for Benni and we decided to sit on our two goal lead. Unfortunately, while we could only bring on squad players, City had brought on Richards (who managed to vastly improve City's previously woeful defence), Sturridge (who many on this board rate very highly), and Vassel (insert your own thoughts here). In my opinion, it was the quality from the bench that led to our downfall. We shipped two goals in the dying minutes, and Sparky lived to fight another day. The point moved us up to a very respectable 19th, and the City fans put in their annual application for "Most Deluded" by celebrating a 2-2 draw by their multi-million pound superstars with what - in their eyes - is a poor club at the bottom of the league, as if they had just beat Man Utd in the Champions League Final.

Santa Cruz, of course, missed this match through injury. City, backed by untold wealth, made Roque their number one target in a very public manner, the start of a saga as twisted as Christiano Ronaldo's Ferrari. Strangely, City then decided they wanted a second number one target in the shape of £100m Kaka. As we all know, this transfer attempt went very well for City and "Comical" Garry Cooks conduct in no way made them look like a JOKE CLUB. Suffice to say; Kaka hardly needed the word from God that swapping Milan for the Eastlands may not be a good footballing decision. Meanwhile, their star player Robhino went AWOL and the internet practically exploded with speculation. Or more accurately, moderators on every footballing site in the world worked so hard at editing the speculation, our IPS Driver's cousins clogged the net. Please imagine a witty, sympathetic and very funny comment on this as I have self censored mine.

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Having touted signing Ronaldo, Kaka, Drogba, Terry, Henry, Malouda, Tevez and De Rossi, the reality was De Jong, Bellamy and Bridge. For about the same amount of money. Meanwhile their number one target became Spurs number one target which created a chain as we began to pursue Crouch, and Portsmouth began to pursue someone else, etc, repeat to fade.

None of this interests fans of Blyth Spartans, however. We visited them on the fifth in the FA cup and let our squad players put forward a case for selection. Despite a well taken free kick by Carlos Villanueva which won us the game, nobody impressed. A poor game.

Interest in the game had already been killed by the earlier draw which promised us a fourth round tie at Sunderland. Only Flopsy was happy with this, and only because he knows someone there…

Newcastle brought their lovable army of 'fans' to town the following Saturday, all keen to get one over on old Sam. After all, he is the reason for all their problems and not a ridiculous history of wasting money and appointing idiots on the board or as chairman. We don't realise how lucky we are with our setup sometimes.

A poor first half (see) saw neither team take the initiative. In fact it was only when we were awarded a penalty on the hour that people sat up and took notice. Benni Mac stepped up and 20,000 people said "oh s***". Amazingly, he scored, spurring the rest of the team into life. A brace from Roberts dragged us out of the bottom three at last, and allowed Sam to be snug on TV.

The FA cup game against the Geordie's rivals was next - a drab 0-0 that should have been won by Jason "This is how to score in a one on one situation every time" Roberts after he put the ball wide in a one on one situation. We get to replay this at Ewood in February and play Sunderland for the fifth time this season. Lucky old us.

What chance the draw would pit us against a team to leave a bitter taste this time? Coventry at home, and sales of hanging rope doubled. The best cup competition in the world?

Another of Sam's old haunts came next in the form of the bog-trotters. In some sort of bizarre twist, this game was very similar to the game against Man City with the roles reversed. We were poor in the first half (yawn) and Bolton took a two goal lead into the break with their fans generally gloating at Big Sam. Warnock made pulled one back with a fantastic goal he definitely meant to take and it certainly wasn't supposed to be a cross. Not long after Mike Dean awarded us a penalty. Up stepped Benni – and 20,000 people said "Oh yes, he can score these now". He put it in exactly the same spot as every other penalty he has ever taken with the same power (about as strong as Alan Shearers dress sense). Simple stuff for Yussiyaskalinan.

Fortunately he made up for it with a goal only minutes from time. Where the City fans had taken a 2-2 comeback to be the be all and end all, we exercised our right as Rovers fans to feel hard done by.

Quite possibly the least thrilling prospect would have been to play yet another team from the North East, so obviously Middlesbrough were next, at the Riverside.

Guess how the first half went? Well it was followed by a second half almost the same, save for a last ten minute push by Rovers, who probably knew the current results had slipped them back in to the bottom three. It was a good effort, but once again two points slipped away. Even worse we were hit by a double injury blow – Emerton needs a scan and may be out, while Andrews looks fine to return after picking up a knock. Now we are unbeaten in eight games, but drawing too many, which puts us back into the relegation zone – The Animals: We Gotta Get Out Of This Place.

To do that, who have we brought in? El-Hadji Diouf is added to the list of 'wrong-uns' to play for us in recent seasons, and Givet comes in on loan. For some reason, Olympiakos took Derbyshire in on loan – a surprise to everyone. There is still time for the Santa Cruz saga to bear fruit, but I will leave that stuff for Nicko to keep you updated on.

Looking back on the month it is easy to be disappointed, but just remember – still unbeaten with Sam in charge and the league is wide open with several clubs on the slide. We have a difficult month coming up but we seem to be up for it much more than the first half of the season and results can come from anywhere.

At the end of the day, be glad we aren't City fans.

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Excellent once again Wolverine!

Question I've wanted to ask and had nowhere appropriate to put it:

In the Bolton game (see how I link it to the topic!) Ryan Nelsen hit the post at the death when he could have won it for us. This prompted discussion that Nelsen never scores. However, I see from the official site that Ryan is credited with 1 goal - in Europe no less. Does anyone know which team this was against and when?

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Wiki says he has no goals, but on his big table he has a goal scored last season in Europe.

He played in 5 games in Europe last season, which were they? Process of elimination.

And good preview again Wolverine. The injury jibe was harsh on Keith though. :lol:

I checked wikipedia at first as well and put it down to a mistake (which they are prone to do on wiki!). But it's on his official Rovers profile too, in "Euro Cups" - which kind of rules out friendlies.

Last season in Europe - including Intertoto - was:

FK Vetra (away - Roque 0-1; home - Bentley, Roberts 2-0)

MyPa (away - Benni, Derbs 0-2; home - Peds, Roberts, Benni, Samba 4-0)

Larissa (away - Larissa 2-0; home - Derbs(pen), Warnock 2-1)

Was one of those goals re-credited to Nelsen, or is the year wrong? This was the debate. Anyone?

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Ryan Nelsen's one & only goal for Rovers (not counting own goals!!!) was the 0-1 away win in the intertoto against FK Vetra... It is now one of my life's ambitions to see him score a goal (for anyone!!!) and ive tried to find a clip of the goal but sadly to say chapz... to no avail!!! Im not even sure he will ever score for us, which is a shame because I think if any current rovers player deserves a goal, its him!!!

Hope that was the answer you were looking for, dunno where they got that Roque scored that goal... it was definatley Nelsen!!!

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Ryan Nelsen's one & only goal for Rovers (not counting own goals!!!) was the 0-1 away win in the intertoto against FK Vetra... It is now one of my life's ambitions to see him score a goal (for anyone!!!) and ive tried to find a clip of the goal but sadly to say chapz... to no avail!!! Im not even sure he will ever score for us, which is a shame because I think if any current rovers player deserves a goal, its him!!!

Hope that was the answer you were looking for, dunno where they got that Roque scored that goal... it was definatley Nelsen!!!

?

We beat Vetra 2-0 away in the intertoto, Benni & Derbs scored the goals.

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?

We beat Vetra 2-0 away in the intertoto, Benni & Derbs scored the goals.

Well i remember playing the Finnish side away where Roque scored... and i remember reading the telegraph after an away win that season where Ryan Nelsen scored. So it must have been the Vetra game... am I getting my wires crossed (this is highly likley!!! :blink: ) I am absolutley positive that he scored in an away European competition game that season, and there was some controversy over the goal as to if it was his or not... the debate continues........................

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Well i remember playing the Finnish side away where Roque scored... and i remember reading the telegraph after an away win that season where Ryan Nelsen scored. So it must have been the Vetra game... am I getting my wires crossed (this is highly likley!!! :blink: ) I am absolutley positive that he scored in an away European competition game that season, and there was some controversy over the goal as to if it was his or not... the debate continues........................

Well, I approached the official site, and had a very quick reply (within 24 hours) from a lady called Michelle:

Ryan Nelsen has never scored for Rovers in a first team competitive fixture.

In fact his only goal for the club came in a pre-season friendly match in Austria against Real Mallorca.

So there you (or I) go! If you were there, get your T-Shirts printed "I saw Ryan Nelsen score!"

:rover:

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They'd better fix the Official site then, hadn't they?

I've replied pointing out the confusion but I stopped short of mounting a campaign to rob one of our stars of his only goal for the club. Could be a clincher at the next pub quiz though!

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They'd better fix the Official site then, hadn't they?

Unless the Press Association know something the club doesn't, it looks like I've gone and robbed him anyway...

Many thanks for bringing this to our attention, I'll pass it onto our Internet Manager who will take it up with the Press Association who look after the player statistics on the website.

Obviously they've got something wrong!

Sorry Ryan! :unsure:

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