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[Archived] Blackburn Rovers V Portsmouth

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Hello, good evening and welcome to a preview of the Portsmouth game and a huge amount of silliness.

A game that as I type this part on February 21st * will probably take on almost biblical importance as the fight to survive to the end looks to go to the wire, and maybe even beyond the wire, to the inevitable natural conclusion and perhaps beyond that even, until probably the very last game of the season. Or maybe the Portsmouth match. Hopefully.

( * There’s nothing like being prepared is there? “Failure to prepare is preparing to…” er, erm, what was it? I had that written down somewhere… I think I’ve left it at work…)

Can I suggest that you pull up a comfy chair, fix yourself a large stiff alcoholic drink (unless your driving of course) and brace yourself as this is a very, very long one.

(At this point please refer to Appendix 1 at the end of this postage – i.e the next post down).

Those of you who have developed dangerous drug and drinking habits over the last few months (we know who you are, and can’t blame you) may recall that both clubs have changed their managers this season. Both Rovers and Pompey employed young English managers. This was apparently “Great news for the English game”.

It was a crying shame then that this fantastic news was tempered somewhat with the realisation that they were both crap.

After a disastrous sequence of events that saw Rovers lose what felt like 20 games on the bounce and display the fighting spirit of a goldfish on Rohypnol, our Board’s patience finally snapped and Paul Ince was sacked on the 16th December. To be replaced by Big Sam 24 hours later. Clearly though Paul just needed a bit more time according to the press. Presumably in his quest to get us relegated before February.

Anyone remember this? ”Tony Adams has branded Blackburn chairman John Williams "spineless" for sacking Paul Ince….. "You do a few press conferences; you throw a team out there for two minutes. It's just ridiculous. Paul's a good man…… "I was very angry. I like Paul a tremendous amount. I was gutted, absolutely gutted for him."


I must say though that if “The Guv’nor” really was only playing our team for two minutes every game it would explain a lot of our results before Christmas, particularly when the other team were getting the full 90. To be fair though the aforementioned press conferences all went extremely well didn’t they? Even now I’m sure we all look back and laugh at that initial quip about not being in the bottom three… “Yet...”

Unfortunately for Tony, Paul Ince, maybe as part of the settlement package / restraining order Rovers took out, has been largely unavailable for comment on his sacking which took place on the 8th February.

Incidentally the man that many Rovers fans rate as the worst we have had in recent years (along with Paulie) returns next Saturday, in the shape of Brain Kidd. Which is just as well as he is Brian Kidd. Right hand man to Tony’s interim replacement Paul Hart. Believe it or not I felt genuinely sorry for Brian at the time (well, when I say “at the time”, if I’m honest I mean “several years later”), he was out of his depth unfortunately. His strategy was mainly based on blowing up rubber dinghy’s and lighting candles. “High risk” are two words that spring to mind.

Let’s move on shall we? How on earth did we end up going through this horrible, sordid, sticky mess? I’ve done some in-depth analysis over the last few weeks and months, the results of which blew me away.

I took a couple of weeks off work, went on e-bay and bought and learnt how to use Pro-Zone, had a go on Pro Evolution Soccer, got my UEFA coaching badges (again off e-bay) and then looked on the internet for a bit (occasionally at football related stuff). I don’t want to go into too much detail as we don’t have the time and I’m sure you have better things to do. My conclusion is that overall we’re not very good.

As mentioned, I volunteered for this preview back in February, it would be remiss of me, and I can’t think of anything better to do to be honest, if we didn't look back at the fixtures since then, albeit briefly and with one hand on the gin:

21.02.09 - Rovers traveled to Old Trafford, home of the intergalactic, world, universe champions. United were like a angry rabid, tad hungry, saber toothed tiger with tummy ache that was having a bad hair day (that was mainly Tevez) and they ripped into Rovers as though a small childs old cuddly bear. United 2 Rovers 1. Roque Santa Cruz (remember him? he used to play for us) scored the first goal they had conceded for 3 years. We did very well in all fairness but were stuck in 18th place in the table.

01.03.09 – Rovers beat Hull City away 2-1. Stevie Warnock La and Keef with our goals. What a cracking day out, absolutely fantastic support. We scrambled to the relative safety of 17th on 26 Points.

04.03.09 – Rovers 0 Everton 0. I can’t remember anything of note happening. Paul Wobbo went off injured, James Brown came in and did well and Woberts missed a one on one with Tim ******* Howard. Still it was another point in the bag but we dropped back down to 18th.

11.03.09 – Our game in hand. Therefore, this being Rovers, we were just bound to win. Fulham 1 Rovers 2. Diouffer and Woberts with our goals in the second half after we went in one down at half time. We climbed to 15th on a humungous 30 points! Woy probably said the whole thing was a disgwace.

14.03.09 – Arsenal 4 Rovers 0. Back down to earth with a big bump as Arsenals kick and run foreign legion employed their typically aggressive tactics against us (not that you’ll hear us complaining to anyone who’ll listen of course).

Rovers were offered little protection in the game by the one sided referee. First Arsenal keeper Al Munia came running out of his area and attacked the bottom of Diouffers foot with his ankle. Later in the match Rovers hard man Morten Gamst Pedersen was hacked down in the Arsenal penalty area by someone who was relatively close to him (not sure who). The result? A booking for little Diouffer and nothing for MGP. And they wonder why this country’s on its arse. We stayed in 15th due to the other sides at the bottom being rubbish.

21.03.09 – Rovers 1 West Ham 1. We murdered them second half, murdered them. Those cheeky cockney chancers didn’t know if they were coming or going. Noble scored in the first half for them and then Keef equalized after coming off the bench in the 2nd. We dropped to 17th. Oh Eck…

Please now also refer to Appendage 2. A picture that I’m sure sums up much of the mood this season in a way that my poor illiterate brain can’t.

04.04.09 – Rovers 2 Spurs 1. Let’s try and keep this vaguely relevant. “Good Old ‘Arry™”, a thoroughly good bloke, says it like it is, a diamond geezer, salt of the earth, ex Pompey Manager, brought his multi million pound, top of the form league, Spurs team to Ewood. To be fair they had most of the play and took the lead through a Keane penalty after the ball hit Givet’s hand. We bided our time and then Benni broke out into a jog on 80 minutes to equalize after good work from Big Chris who had been thrown up front as an emergency target to aim at. It was all us from there on in and Andrew Oooijer-Board scored the winner clinically with a well placed finish from 5cm out after Gomez in the Spurs goal spotted a plane or something. A massive win.

34 points and up to 14th!! We had nearly found the tunnel that would hopefully have some light at the end of it.

06.04.09 – Bad news; Woberts out for three (?) weeks with a poorly toe and Big Morten also out with bad hair. Unlucky Morten.

07.04.09 – More bad news, Johan Vogel (12) leaves the club. No one can estimate his contribution this season.

11.04.09 – Liverpool 4 Rovers 0. If anyone was in any doubt as to how bad this team and squad is then they weren’t after this non-performance. We slipped to 16th – 4 points from the drop zone.

18.04.09 – Just to clear up any remaining doubts that anyone might have after the Liverpool game, Rovers lost away to Stoke 1 – 0. Again we failed to score, probably due to the fact that we failed to take a shot (as per Liverpool). The tunnel that nearly came into view after the Spurs game had completely disappeared again. Fourth from bottom - just three points clear of ‘Boro.

25.04.09 – Big Sam comes in for a little unwarranted criticism after it’s revealed he has taken the squad away to the stress free environment of Hells Kitchen for four days. Benni was in his element.

26.04.09 - Nobody panic. It’s all a sales ploy. Rovers 2 Wigan 0. What a relief and what a cracking atmosphere as Rovers fans packed the Darren End. Benni and Brian with the headed goals. Suddenly we’re up to 15th on 37 points and a gap of six points had developed between us and the bottom three. How on earth had this happened? We’ve just lost the previous two matches?!

Four games to go, we’re in the middle of the tunnel now and I think I see some daylight at the other end.

30.04.09 – Bad news again. Tugay, one of the finest midfielders I have ever witnessed in the Blue and White Halves, announces his retirement. What a player he’s been for us, unfortunately it’ll be a while until we get someone else of his quality in. (In case you missed it take a look at the clips in this link from Paul Mellelieu http://www.brfcs.co.uk/mb/index.php?s=&amp...st&p=753495 )

02.04.09 – Manchester City 3 Blackburn Rovers 1. Keef scored. We remain in 15th on 37 points. Sunderland, Hull and Newcastle can all do us a favour today and tomorrow and keep up their consistency.

Portsmouth. Ewood Park. 9 May 2009, 3.00pm

And so it comes to this. A draw will probably suit both teams down to the ground. Will we go for the win? I certainly hope so. Let’s put this season behind us and get it sorted out.

Finally, I have found a picture that shows the season in visual form. This is commonly known I am lead to believe in the business world as “a graph”. I hope this helps and explains the season a little further. You can’t beat a good graph so they say but this will have to do…..

Please refer to Appenmenment 3, Subsection 5, Paradiddle 1 of the previously threatened Appendixies.

And I think that’s just about enough now don’t you?

Come on you Blues!!

Appendix 1


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Appendage 2


The Boy Reaper: Virtually an ever present on the Blackburn Rovers bench for the 2008/09 Season.

Appenmenment 3, Subsection 5, Paradiddle 1



Obviously the small orange line at the bottom is Rovers, the blue line above that Pompey (or vice versa). Whatever.

Further up the “graph” is some barbed wire, presumably put down by the F.A. to keep us out of Europe. Hardly necessary was it? Yet another total waste of money by the F.A., sorry the Premier League – or was it The Football League? Maybe UEFA? Possibly FIFA.

Whatever, whoever it was who put it there it was a waste of time. And money. And do you know who’s paying for it? That’s right you and me. Us. Out of our hard earned cash. In a credit crunch. With a pandemic on the cards. It’s enough to make your blood boil.

Above that is a totally erratic blue squiggly line which I’m calling Man City, then another orange line, that’s Holland. At the top is a rather nice line, almost purple like, so that can be Aston Villa who of course play in purple and blue.

All a bit irrelevant to be honest but it did need explaining, if only to take up some more space on the internet.

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Nice preview Bob. Feel like I've read that before. Are you sure you didn't plagiarise that from Douglas Adams? ;)

Going to be an interesting game this. The defeat yesterday will probably add to the feeling that we are not safe and may help recreate the atmosphere of the Wigan game. Even if the other results went our way (and could further go our way today/tomorrow), we need probably still need 2 points to be able to feel safe.

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Guest Kamy100

Well Done Bob, superb preview.

I am worried about the Portsmouth game. If we hump long balls upto Samba then we will lose this game. Portsmouth have at least 5 sub 6ft players who are physically strong so this will just play to their strengths. They also have pace in wide positions so we have to be wary of this.

So long as Liverpool beat Newcastle today then we can go into Portsmouth game knowing a win would almost guarantee safety.

The pressure is on and we need another atmosphere/performance ala Wigan.

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Guest Vinjay606

This game is important for 3 major reasons. 1. A win should end what now appears to be a minor relegation threat. 2. Beat Brian Kidd. 3. Avoid the humiliation of losing to Brian Kidd.

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The good people of Lancashire can rest at last.

Last night there was a circulation about a mad man being on the loose and there being concern for his safety as well as the locals. Glad we found you Bob.

geat read, and enlightening at this time of need.

Have an affinity with Portsmouth due to my Navy days, I detested the god damned place :rolleyes:

1-0 Rovers and the bell swinging moron to have it rammed plain and simple up his rear end rather than his throat :rolleyes:

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Looking forward to this game...It is sad that if we win we will be safe, even a point may do...But we will inevitably be checking the scores of those below us hoping to God they have all lost...Let us put this disasterous season behind us and forget Ince was ever here...

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Has anyone noticed that since Bob stopped doing his regular monthly reviews, things at Rovers have generally declined?

"Don't blame Ince, blame Bob" is a facebook petition that we should have launched. That and "why isn't Abbey growing his goatee to save us."

3-0 Rovers. Fleming to score a hatrick.

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Looking forward to this. Hopefully there will be some celebrations at the full time whistle after effectively confirming our Premier League status. Got a feeling Pompey will come for a draw. They've drawn 3 of their last 4 away games and against struggling teams - being Hull 0-0, Boro 1-1 and Newcastle 0-0. They are very defensive minded under Paul Hart and Brain Kidd. Still don't believe Samba is a forward and against a tall back four, I can't see him being that effective.


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Still don't believe Samba is a forward and against a tall back four, I can't see him being that effective.

Totally agree. We need to play with small fast strikers capable of turning the lumbering big men of Pompey's back four. Nippy, skillful types who can play around their defence and who can harry them into mistakes.

So I'd expect Sam to start with McCarthy and perhaps a swansong for Carlos, with Pedersen somewhere in the middle behind them where he can go either way to get a shot in on goal. Then we could use the likes of Dunny and Grella, Warnock and Givet to work the ball forward whilst the nippy striker(s) create openings for each other...

Which means of course that we'll stick with Big Chris up front and we'll all get neck ache by half time. Time for some guile and tactical genius, Sam; We need the to put this season to bed :rover:

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This game is important for 3 major reasons. 1. A win should end what now appears to be a minor relegation threat. 2. Beat Brian Kidd. 3. Avoid the humiliation of losing to Brian Kidd.

:lol: You're obsessed with Brian Kidd. Fantastic assistant manager (as proved at Man Utd), poor manager. Much the same as Ray Harford (RIP). Don't think losing to him as an assistant would represent a big shame would it?

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Totally agree. We need to play with small fast strikers capable of turning the lumbering big men of Pompey's back four. Nippy, skillful types who can play around their defence and who can harry them into mistakes.

So I'd expect Sam to start with McCarthy and perhaps a swansong for Carlos, with Pedersen somewhere in the middle behind them where he can go either way to get a shot in on goal. Then we could use the likes of Dunny and Grella, Warnock and Givet to work the ball forward whilst the nippy striker(s) create openings for each other...

Which means of course that we'll stick with Big Chris up front and we'll all get neck ache by half time. Time for some guile and tactical genius, Sam; We need the to put this season to bed :rover:

Small nippy strikers ? One's on loan at Plymouth , the other one's on loan in Greece. Maybe you missed it but Dunnie's just had an op on his Achilles , well be lucky to see him in August ! Have you been in a Rip van Winkle like trance for the last 3 months ? Probably the best condition to be in if you're a Rovers fan this season.

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Guest Vinjay606
Brian Kidd got goals out of Kevin Davies and signed Matt Jansen. He deserves some credit. ;)

It was Souness who transformed Jansen into an unselfish team player showing that in some circumstances his man management skills weren't bad at all.

Obsessed with Brian Kidd? I'm obsessed with revenge (it was the same for the Man City game with Eriksson in Sept 07) and it's a shame Portsmouth aren't a bit lower in the table. Could have really made things difficult for Kidd then. When Kidd was here I never gave him the criticism he deserved (because back in the 98-2000 period I defended everything the club did for some reason. That's something that's changed) so I'll make up for lost time.

Losing to Kidd would be shameful especially on what I believe is his first return visit. Maybe if he had a top manager alongside him (which Ferguson is I'll admit though I don't like him) which Hart isn't. He got sacked in a couple of jobs with championship sides.

Would be quite ironic to put any final doubts of safety to rest at the expense of Kidd.

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Taken from a pompy vans viewpoint on one clown and pompy fam Jon Westwood (the numper with the bell, big hat and wig)

The Blue Wigged Man

I am looking forward to the new business class quiet section in the South Stand next season. For an admittedly princely sum, you get a full reclining seat, waitress service and a dinky little TV tuned to Sky Sports just in case Hart's tactics have you wanting to follow another match elsewhere.

You even get a spiffing set of noise reduction headphones, just in case the racket that Fratton Park generates gets a little too much. There's even a toothbrush to make sure your halitosis doesn't spoil it for other paying ‘guests'. Plus a selection of cosmetics to ensure you look your best on Sky HD, whose highly defined profits are up 13% this quarter, didn't you know?

Pompey expect to be able to sell 250 of these seats per game plus are planning on giving away another 50 or so to the various fans around the ground who seem to think that going to football should be like an overpriced flight across the Atlantic, complete with better than though amenities and price defying queues for the loos.

Ok Ok, hands up you got me. Pompey isn't introducing business class seats, with or without some dodgy car manufacturer's logo adorning the head rest. Instead plans are afoot for a noisy section to keep those horrible steerage class people in their places and away from the ruling business class elite.

As if it were so simple. As you will no doubt have heard, one or two moaning minnies have somehow managed to make more noise than Westwood and the rest of the Fratton End combined. They are complaining about the din and now have the ear of the Club and the H&S people and have leveraged modern day P.C. Britain to their own selfish advantage.

Quite what drives anybody to buy a season ticket in the Fratton End beats me, if all they do is spend their time bleating about the noise and spreading bad feeling about folk that can genuinely lay claim to be lifelong fans. Chief amongst their complaints being John Westwood.

We recently ran an article about ‘Westie' and how his bell was resurfacing and didn't you just know it, his detractors came out in force.

If he's not as drunk as a skunk or swearing in front of kids, he's hitting people over their heads with his bell. If it's not the bell he being racially abusive at Wembley. If it's not racial abuse then he's inciting rival fans with evil chants . And so it goes on.

John Westwood though is having none of it and called me up to tell me so. Although he acknowledges that dressing up in a clown's outfit will draw attention and criticism he defends his actions and invites anybody to talk to him at matches and see for themselves whether he's drunk or indeed just behaving like the other 95% of fans that support the Club through thick and thin.

But despite John's claims, you can't ignore that he does divide opinion. Ok, he might well have been innocently singing about England ‘playing in white' which led to his recent ejection at Wembley on accusations of being racially abusive, but not everybody can be wrong about him all the time.

But isn't that football? Don't we all have to sit next to or near people we don't like or care for? Isn't the foul mouthed fan behind me just part of the ‘game' or should these dinosaurs as some people call them be driven out of football. In the same way as being proud to be British has been driven from our everyday lives.

Isn't football about being loud? Don't players get motivated when the fans cheer? Don't opposing teams hate coming to intimidating stadiums? Isn't Westwood for better and for worse part of the atmosphere that made Fratton Park feared for many a year?

If this is true, do we really need new blood? Do we need folks with their noise cancelling headphones? Do we need Health and Safety negating the very basis of what makes football football?

Well, the sad fact is we do. But we don't need them to the detriment of others. As life moves forward so things change. Fans now arrive at the ground in their big cars with their big wallets as much as they do on foot or by bus. To suggest that one is more important than the other is to divide rather than rule.

As Pompey struggles to make ends meet, we either have to rely on hand outs from Corpocracies like Sky, or we take matters into our own hands. A bigger stadium will bring in more money. More money means better players. Better players mean more fans. More fans mean more complaints.

It's a vicious circle and whichever way you look at it the moaning Minnie is every bit as important as the Blue Wigged man and Pompey won't survive unless both are allowed to co-exist side by side.

It's a hell of a challenge for the Club. It needs to find a way of allowing both new and old to co-exist if not side by side then certainly stand by stand. If not stand by stand then section by section.

But I say rather than a noisy section, let's have a quiet section like they do on the trains. No noise, no phones, no swearing and most certainly no cheering. Put your stewards here with sound meters and swearometers and a nice big clock so folks in this section can head off early to avoid the rush.

Westwood by kind permission of local award winning artist Karl Rudziak. [visit website]


Posted May 04 2009, 11:59 AM by Chris

Filed under: First, Mr Pompey, John Westwood


Indiana wrote re: The Blue Wigged Man

on Mon, May 4 2009 12:41 PM

I like it! A quiet section away from all the noise. I don't condone the swearing and constant abuse of the officials but what do these people expect, it's a football match! If they want to sit in peace and quiet they can go home and watch it on the telly.

Indiana wrote re: The Blue Wigged Man

on Mon, May 4 2009 12:50 PM

BTW, what an amazing painting. When I first looked I thought it was photograph!

Regarding John. Live and let live I say.

Frattonstation wrote re: The Blue Wigged Man

on Mon, May 4 2009 1:16 PM

A quiet section is what the moaners deserve but it would sum up the way football is heading just as is having to promote a noisy zone to point the newbies of a sensitive nature away from the racket.

Karl Rudziak is a talented artist, to get shown in The National Portrait Gallery is well deserved but not sure the portrait will be as appreciated when it is shown in S'ton.

zoonomia wrote re: The Blue Wigged Man

on Mon, May 4 2009 1:26 PM

Westwood has always reminded me of somebody but I've never been able to work out who. But with that painting it came to me straight away - King Charles II. Must be that combination of flowing locks, dark skin tone and extravagant attire. And of course Charles II brought back the fun after the puritanism of the Cromwell period. Shame there are those at Fratton Park who are more Roundhead in spirit than Cavalier.

artist wrote re: The Blue Wigged Man

on Mon, May 4 2009 2:03 PM

as a fan unable to attend now i dont make any judgement on jw either way.it no way affects me.i do remember vividly some of the hooliganism at fratton in the past and the consequences. i would like to say that fans go to the matches not only to support but to enjoy.if there were a lot of jw s wouldnt that mean a depreciation in the attendance of those no longer able to do that. and an increase of the sort of atmosphere that provoked the violence back in the dark days.i am not suggesting jw is responsible for violence but if some things i see written by his detractors are true then violence could well escalate from it. i am sure chris s well written as always article is based on his opinions of jw and his meetings with him.i would only ask chris if those meetings were actually at the match and where those complaints were made.it just seems to me as a non concerned fan that there are two jws and there is a bit of bias against the detractors.i am certain chris would no way be associated with something that could escalate perhaps knowing jw thats not likely to happen ??i dont know the man and this contribution is just through reading the comments following this article and previous articles.on jw.he sure does provoke comment and controversy

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