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Rovers Are Out "Gunned" At The Emirates

Guest Kamy100

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Guest Kamy100

Karl Stuergeon's review of the Arsenal game:

It’s the hope that kills you. We all know life is hard – we are Blackburn fans – and that’s just how things are, and that’s OK, but when life gives you a glimpse of something good, then snatches it away – like a sadistic Jim Bowen taunting losing contestants with a speedboat that’ll remain forever beyond them – it becomes downright bloody cruel.

No-one expected anything from the Arsenal game. Given the absence of (arguably) our first choice defensive pairing and pausing to recall (only briefly) last season’s ordeal against the Arse, most of us would have been happy to escape North London with no points but our dignity relatively intact. Instead Arsenal steamrollered us but not before toying with our emotions, the rotten @#/?s.

Taking the lead after just three minutes meant we’d always be on the back food. At least the nature of Steven N’Zonzi’s goal, a flicked header from a massive Robbo kick, was quite funny: it was so stereotypically Allardyce it edged into parody, and must have wound up the self-righteous element of Arsenal’s post-George Graham support. Shrugging off the inevitable equaliser to retake the lead on the half-hour, when Dunny’s shot deflected off Gallas into the net, gave us hope again, but in the end we just couldn’t deal with Arsenal’s strength and movement. Fabregas and Van Persie (again!) sliced through our defence no more than thirty seconds after we made it 2-1 and that second equaliser, so soon after we’d scored, killed us off.

The gulf in quality was obvious and painful: there aren’t many teams who have centre-forwards, let alone centre-backs, capable of a goal like Vermaelen’s thirty-yard drive. Keith Andrews versus Cesc Fabregas is. . . well. Yeah.

At least Arsenal, for once, didn’t accuse us of KILLING FOOTBALL but worryingly, we seem to have lurched to the other extreme; see how easily Arsenal waltzed past our resistance in the build-up to that Vermaelen goal. Sticking two narrow banks of four between ball and goal is fine but without applying pressure to the man in possession, Rovers are just a set of traffic cones with bad haircuts and grasping girlfriends. If Sunday was our attempt at parking the bus, I can only assume Jason Brown did the parking.

One positive was David Dunn’s performance. With his strength and ability to run with the ball, Dunny is a good option to hold up the ball and relieve pressure away from home. He’s scored in three of his last four league games (we’ll give him the goal from Sunday because, since Gallas isn’t looking to leave Arsenal at present, I doubt the Frenchman wants it) and should have won a penalty early in the second half when Vermaelen tripped him. On this kind of form, Dunny gives Rovers an energy and a goal-threat that we’re otherwise bereft of and recalls those half-forgotten comparisons with Gazza that abounded in his promising youth. Even some Arsenal fans picked up on the quality of Dunn’s work between Di Santo and the eight-man defence.

It’s probably too late for Dunny to enjoy the trappings that looked likely to be his at the start of his career. (Namely England recognition and the inevitable move to ‘bigger and better things’; yes, we all know Birmingham City are the club Real Madrid and AC Milan aspire to be, but even so we can admit that Dunn’s time there was not especially happy.) He can still be one of Rovers’ most crucial players this season. Let’s just hope the poor bugger doesn’t explode or something before the derby.


Rovers to help Stanley

Rovers have announced that they’re sending a team to play Accrington on Tuesday 13th October 2009. Accy, as you’ll probably know, face closure over an unpaid tax bill and Burnley have already played a fund-raiser at the Crown Ground.

Accrington’s chief executive Rob Heys has said that the Rovers side ‘will be made up of their first-team squad who aren’t away on international duty’ and John Williams has urged Rovers fans to rally around for our neighbours.

Tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for concessions, which has surely got to be better value than paying to squint at a Youtube-quality steam of England’s glorified friendly in the Ukraine.

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