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    Blue Eyed Boy Column: Harry’s game should cap happy week ahead of hot-pot October


    Kamy100

    In all my time watching football, other than in exceptional circumstances, I’ve never regarded a draw away from home as any kind of disaster, certainly not early in the season away to the unbeaten table-toppers, and Saturday’s at Shrewsbury followed by a highly impressive home win against Rotherham sets Rovers up for a near-perfect eight days’ work with the proviso that they uphold Tuesday’s standards and  overcome managerless (at the time of writing) Gillingham.

    I predicted on Twitter just ahead of last weekend that very few if any sides will win three in a week and that a return of seven points would almost certainly see our position strengthened.

    As far as my calculations see it, only Southend United have taken maximum points from the first two rounds and it’s possible that Tony Mowbray’s side could nudge into an embryonic play-off spot by Saturday tea-time which should at least see the ditsiest of the weekly knee-jerk reaction mob pipe down for a week.

    A lot of the most annoying twaddle spouted on social media and message boards is to do with the fact that the modern fan, aided and abetted by football institutions and their broadcasting partners, is conditioned unto a memory span sufficiently short to make the average goldfish look like the font of all wisdom.

    At times, Mowbray’s selections have looked as if they were in response to popular opinion, even if they almost certainly weren’t  Scrap three at the back. Drop Graham. Drop Whitingham. Play Antonsson. Antonsson’s rubbish, recall Graham. Drop Graham again. Drop Ward.  Start with Chapman.

    I’m sure most of the time he sees what we think we see with rather more expert eyes. And the signs in the final phase at The New Meadow and from the first whistle back at Ewood were that he might be onto something.

    Tuesday’s victory con brio had even the most cautiously-inclined of supporters like myself purring with approval. From the very off, Rovers moved the ball, and, crucially, themselves around the field in such sparklingly purposeful fashion that a stultefyingly mediocre Rotherham clearly couldn’t cope.

    Having narrowly missed out on several early opportunities it could have been one of those irritating halves which ends in frustration but we kept at it and got our noses in front with the kind of simple set piece goal which looks simple precisely because it’s been practiced to death on the training ground and featured the class delivery of a very fine footballer coupled with an intelligent late near-post dart.

    It was just reward for the team and for Marcus Antonnson, inexplicably and mercilessly maligned since his debut by those who see a couple of indifferent  displays here and there as reason to vent spleen and fulfilment of their prophecies based on A - how “He couldn’t get in Leeds team; B -  What “my mate who’s a keen Leeds fan says” and C - What fans of his former club say on their forum. (See also Paul Downing, composed and assured against Rotherham, written off by a good number as a bad signing five minutes after his deadline day capture).

    It’s a  strange way of greeting and encouraging new players. On most of those bases, we’d never have signed Graeme Le Saux or Ian Pearce and goodness knows what the reaction to taking unemployed Tony Gale on as he prepared for a career in non-league would have been.

    I’m sure Brentford, Brighton and Bournemouth fans were grateful for our verdicts on Alan Judge, Shane Duffy and Josh King but it is possible for a bloke to become an altogether different player wearing one shirt than he looked in another and my starting point is that anyone pulling ours on starts afresh despite his past.

    Having hit the woodwork a couple of times and had all and sundry other close calls everyone was a little disappointed we didn’t get the second we deserved before the interval as we all know the nature of a game can change subtly for no real reason after the break and so it proved.

    For a spell in the second half, Rovers managed to make hanging onto the slender lead harder work than it ought to have been but Rotherham’s inability to really threaten other than one uncomfortable moment when we were thankful a ref’s assistant spotted an offence not immediately apparent, made it a bit of a mystery how they arrived as league top scorers having banged a few fives and fours in.

    Quite how the number 24, Moore, one of those awkward long fellows who seem curiously unable to jump despite their height, is joint top scorer in the division was not immediately apparent, and while they enjoyed considerable possession Rovers eventually regained their metier and of course still had the boss card to play.

    I’m in the minority in believing that Mowbray has got his handling of Harry Chapman bang on. I said to my companions early on that if we continued to stretch their back four as the two strikers and Bennett were doing early doors he would have a field day if introduced after an hour, and while their foothold back in the game meant his entry was slightly delayed and less of a banker, again he added a fresh irrepressible dimension against tiring defenders.

    He will inevitably enthrall and infuriate in equal measure, as demonstrated by his fine goal and a mild, forgivable aberration moments later, both borne out of the incalculable Gazza-like self-belief plus eagerness to be star turn.

    That second goal was much-needed and someone who loves individualists as much as I do isn’t complaining about the tendency towards greediness which deprived us of the added sheen of a third when that same effervescence drove the loanee to attempt a second shot and score rather than cross when his first effort was blocked. The celebration made me feel very old!

    There will be a time for him to start games but on this I actually trust Mowbray who sees him train each day and may be a better judge than you or I how long he can impact upon a game for.

    Whatever, it was great to see motion, skill and fluidity from most quarters both before and after the changes from the bench.

    At times it was almost like watching the Under-23s, irresistible again in thrashing Fulham’s kids 4-0 at Leyland on Monday. Damien and Dunny have really stamped a style on that team and the seniors will have to continue to play as well as they did on Tuesday to hold them at bay. Do get along to see them if you can sort a Monday night out or maybe catch a couple playing against Bury in the Checkatrade on Tuesday.

    But perhaps, as we approach the 10-game mark, Mowbray has finally, whether by design or accident,  hit upon a cohesive configuration to make a meaningful impression on League One with his nominated more experienced squad despite some bizarre ramblings last week about some of the signings.

    We hadn’t played well enough early on to imagine a scenario where bringing a player such as Whittingham on as sub could be other than folly but even he has been gently re-integrated and, coming on for a team already bossing the game, with space opening up, he could be as influential in his more measured, less explosive way as Chapman.

    Dack, who I don’t think we’ve seen the best of yet, is key and there are signs that he is growing into the role most of us imagined as a link between a front one or three and the midfield.

    A little more sharpness and he will certainly provide a fulcrum and add to his first Rovers goal at Shrewsbury. He, the tireless hard-running pair Samuel and Antonnson and Whittingham all ought to have emphasised Rovers’ superiority against Rotherham.

    It certainly nips firmly in the bud any daft notions of changing manager unnecessarily at this early stage of the season, although those whose powers of recall extend no further than the last 90 or even 45 minutes they have seen (or in many cases not actually seen at all) would undoubtedly be swayed as easily as the bloke in the pub on the Fast Show if we were to slip up on Saturday.

    But my guess is that we will get more of the same against a side which looks set to have Peter Taylor, once linked with our hot seat, in charge. Like many visitors to Ewood this season they will undoubtedly come to park the bus for a point but we are beginning to look as if we have the personnel and wherewithal to combat that.

    After 10 games, heading into an international break, we won’t really be that much nearer knowing whether we’re promotion material than we were when the boys ran out at Southend.

    But six wins out of ten sounds so much better than five out of ten and for our five league games in October we don’t have to set foot outside the old Lancashire boundaries (it would have been six had the Blackpool trip not been put back to after the illuminations!). Four derbies and a Saturday game at home to Pompey who may bring a few should ramp up the intensity and provide an edge to the atmosphere missing against the likes of MK Dons and Wimbledon.

    Throw in a home Tuesday against currently-bottom Plymouth and I can’t wait for it to unfold.

    Meanwhile, same again Saturday please.

    BLUE-EYED BOY

    Edited by Kamy100



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    Yeah, me too. I know what I saw with my own eyes in the game at Rochdale. Apart from scoring a neat goal Antonnson did nothing other than run around to no great purpose. I've no axe to grind against the lad and I hope he continues to do well for the club. Just don't pee in my ear and then try to tell me it's raining.

    Edited by Tyrone Shoelaces
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    Every week what seems like half of the column is banging on about internet messageboards  and the opinions of other fans.

    Why not just stick to football? When you consider this is published in the Accy Observer too, why would that publication's readers want to hear about what some bloke on an nternet forum had to say?

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    I find it weird that a journalist/writer is against the individuals freedom of expression on social media outlets. Are others opinions allowed only if they concur with his?

    His early boast 'I predicted on Twitter' has a certain amount of irony.

    If restricted to football, music and nostalgia I enjoy the blogs.

    I do not however think they need publishing on here as they are already freely available elsewhere online for those who want to read them. On here and in the current style, which has also been the case for at least a couple of years, they are just provocative, and deliberately so.

    Edited by AllRoverAsia
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    K-Hod

    Posted (edited) · Report

    15 minutes ago, AllRoverAsia said:

    I find it weird that a journalist/writer is against the individuals freedom of expression on social media outlets. Are others opinions allowed only if they concur with his?

    His early boast 'I predicted on Twitter' has a certain amount of irony.

    If restricted to football, music and nostalgia I enjoy the blogs.

    I do not however think they need publishing on here as they are already freely available elsewhere online for those who want to read them. On here and in the current style, which has also been the case for at least a couple of years, they are just provocative, and deliberately so.

    The bit in bold nails it for me.

    Why bring up what other fans think? Just say what you think yourself and crack on. It's your column. Just a bit bizarre. I suppose at least it beats slagging people off from this board on Twitter where they have no right to reply, so at least there is that again.....

    Edited by K-Hod
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    Shame about the fan digs - but the football content is really good. As someone that won't go to home games (but watches on iFollow) its interesting to read things I disagree, agree or hadn't noticed compared to someone watching at the ground. Disagree slightly with ARA... I bet theres Rovers fans on here that wouldn't read the column / know where to look for it, BRFCS is a really good platform.

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    Another excellent read.  The column is essential reading for me and in terms of covering Rovers is on a par with the likes of Bill Westall, Alf Thornton and Peter White.  

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    7 minutes ago, Parsonblue said:

    Another excellent read.  The column is essential reading for me and in terms of covering Rovers is on a par with the likes of Bill Westall, Alf Thornton and Peter White.  

    what do you think about the concerns of some of the members that are dubious about it being on here, when the writer is obviously having a go at people on the site? 

     

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    3 hours ago, Sparks Rover said:

    what do you think about the concerns of some of the members that are dubious about it being on here, when the writer is obviously having a go at people on the site? 

     

    Nearly every single poster including myself has made a critical remark of another's opinion on here, I don't see why his "opinion piece" should be any different?

    It's not the way I would go about it, but I don't write it, therefore it's not about my opinion. I think the amount of stick he's had online is reflecting in his writing, it's a vicious circle.

    I guess the response to the criticism is, think you can do better? Crack on, this website will benefit from more good content. 

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    23 minutes ago, Biz said:

    Nearly every single poster including myself has made a critical remark of another's opinion on here, I don't see why his "opinion piece" should be any different?

    It's not the way I would go about it, but I don't write it, therefore it's not about my opinion. I think the amount of stick he's had online is reflecting in his writing, it's a vicious circle.

    I guess the response to the criticism is, think you can do better? Crack on, this website will benefit from more good content. 

    The difference being is that we, more often than not, discuss our differing of opinions in a way in which we can respond to each other. On the large part we try our best to refrain from being disparaging to each other. What old Jimbo does is purposely attack certain people in a weirdly passively aggressive way and publishes it in a newspaper.

    Biz it's also important to remember the Blue Eyed Boy column was barely spoke about until he started referring to protestors as "knuckle dragging hooligans", "cerebrally challenged", "feeble minded" etc and then, when the reaction came, threatened all and sundry with legal action for libel. To top it off he then went on a weird rampage where almost daily he'd screenshot a post on here and follow it up with 3/4 tweets insulting that poster. That's when he began to get stick.

    You could almost say he played a blinder by doing that. Personally I wouldn't consider turning on a portion of my own for readership a noble or respectful tactic but then again I don't consider 'respectful' a way in which I'd describe Jim Wilkinson. 

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    5 hours ago, Parsonblue said:

    Another excellent read.  The column is essential reading for me and in terms of covering Rovers is on a par with the likes of Bill Westall, Alf Thornton and Peter White.  

    Many thanks Parson you may not know exactly how much it means to me to be spoken of in those terms by someone I regard as one of the princes of Rovers authorship but I can assure you that it really does make every ounce of effort worthwhile

     

     

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    6 hours ago, Parsonblue said:

    Another excellent read.  The column is essential reading for me and in terms of covering Rovers is on a par with the likes of Bill Westall, Alf Thornton and Peter White.  

    Peter White never dedicated half his column to criticising his readership. Your post is an insult to his memory. For shame.

    Edited by blueboy3333
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    1 hour ago, meadows said:

    Many thanks Parson you may not know exactly how much it means to me to be spoken of in those terms by someone I regard as one of the princes of Rovers authorship but I can assure you that it really does make every ounce of effort worthwhile

     

     

    Simply what I feel Jim.  Without doubt the best pieces of writing that can be found on the Rovers at the moment.  A totally different League to what the Telegraph has to offer.  Keep it up and long may it continue.  Glad that BRFCS have picked it up as it deserves as wide a readership as possible.

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    46 minutes ago, Parsonblue said:

    Simply what I feel Jim.  Without doubt the best pieces of writing that can be found on the Rovers at the moment.  A totally different League to what the Telegraph has to offer.  Keep it up and long may it continue.  Glad that BRFCS have picked it up as it deserves as wide a readership as possible.

    The Telegraph has set the standard pretty low. Your reports were better.

    Edited by Tyrone Shoelaces

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    To put the record straight.

    The vast majority, if not all, comments on BEBs writing when about football are complimentary.

    I read his blog and also enjoy when its about music, the 70s etc.

    The 4 part coverage of the Kendall years is a masterpiece and made me relive those times as if I was back there.

    It's the other stuff I and others object to.

    Please let it go and stop raking old coals.

    What is past is past and current fan comment on here is just usual footy banter/ argument. Some good, some bad, some sensible, some borderline idiotic and most of us can do all 4. :rover:

    Edited by AllRoverAsia
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    15 minutes ago, Tyrone Shoelaces said:

    The Telegraph has set the standard pretty low. Your reports were better.

    That's very kind Tyrone.  In fairness, the lad at the Telegraph is fairly young and new to the area.  The guys I know in the sports department at Telegraph work hard despite a number of cutbacks in recent years.  However, the days of the likes of Bill Westall, Alf Thornton and Peter White are long gone.  Today's reporters tend to move around far more and therefore don't have the same feel for a club.  It's the reason I enjoy Jim's columns so much - someone who is a passionate supporter and who cherishes the history of the club and can relate that to the present.

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    As others have stated, the football content is always excellent and I thought the blog from last week was great.

    However, the condescending tone of previous weeks has returned and it spoils the article which is a great shame.

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    17 hours ago, Biz said:

    Nearly every single poster including myself has made a critical remark of another's opinion on here, I don't see why his "opinion piece" should be any different?

    It's not the way I would go about it, but I don't write it, therefore it's not about my opinion. I think the amount of stick he's had online is reflecting in his writing, it's a vicious circle.

    I guess the response to the criticism is, think you can do better? Crack on, this website will benefit from more good content. 

    Absolutely right....have a go at writing a piece is the best response.

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    8 hours ago, Herbie6590 said:

    Absolutely right....have a go at writing a piece is the best response.

    It's the content that's the problem, not his ability to write. BEB is fast becoming the Katie Hopkins of the BRFC blogoshere. :)

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    7 minutes ago, blueboy3333 said:

    It's the content that's the problem, not his ability to write. BEB is fast becoming the Katie Hopkins of the BRFC blogoshere. :)

     I don't always agree with Jim by any means, we have had a number of "constructive debates" both in person & via social media. Ultimately, there comes a point where the only logical outcome is to agree to disagree on some issues.

    But his views are authentic and I believe are worthy of an airing. His observations resonate with different generations in different ways, let's put it like that 🙂.

    His blog is always thought provoking and ultimately, if anyone finds it totally abhorrent, then my suggestion would be to either encourage a debate on the forum about the issues raised or I guess...simply don't read it ! I think BRFCS is a broad church & more often than not adds a lot more than it detracts. 

    Anyhow...thanks for the feedback 👍🏻

     

     

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    On 9/28/2017 at 05:51, JacknOry said:

    I stopped reading after the personal attack on fans.

    More general than personal I thought yet not so far from the truth.  Sure it will grate but I read on here all the time people posting in a manner he describes.  If I recall in the Rotherham thread, 1-0 up all is well, 1-1 and a poster wants Mowbary fired.  Just as he said in his post.  Way I see it the only ones who take offence to the comments will be the ones guilty if posting in such a manner.  It's a messageboard, I get insulted all the time do I give a toss, not so much.  Maybe cos the insults are.spot on lol.

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    On 9/28/2017 at 07:36, K-Hod said:

    The bit in bold nails it for me.

    Why bring up what other fans think? Just say what you think yourself and crack on. It's your column. Just a bit bizarre. I suppose at least it beats slagging people off from this board on Twitter where they have no right to reply, so at least there is that again.....

    No not really.  My take is that he is simply commenting on posts of others.  No mention if not allowing it.  Bit of irony in the posts against his post taking down other posts, doing just the same as he has but that's fine.  In the end I enjoyed the read.  Only the football is that important rest of the handbag swinging and people acting all butthurt well it ain't but a lil thing.

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    On 9/28/2017 at 08:32, Parsonblue said:

    Another excellent read.  The column is essential reading for me and in terms of covering Rovers is on a par with the likes of Bill Westall, Alf Thornton and Peter White.  

    Yeah but aren't you one of the bad guys that only posts positives and goes to games and enjoys the football sometimes.

    Good old Alf, now there was a glass half full writer.

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