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Atko's Engine

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Everything posted by Atko's Engine

  1. Atko's Engine

    Summer Transfer Window

    I don't share your obvious confidence I'm afraid, I rather think that with the pressure on him to succeed - and there will be, for all the reasons you mention - he will be an accident waiting to happen. He'll be a target for every opposing manager, telling their players to get at him, get under his skin, put high balls on, force an error. He'll be baited at every ground we visit & by every away fan that comes to Ewood (as & when that's allowed again). I really don't think we need to be inviting that sort of pressure on the rest of the team. IMO we're better off with a solid, consistent, under-the-radar type keeper who can just get on with his job.
  2. Atko's Engine

    Summer Transfer Window

    That's what we have had with Walton though, and before that Raya, and it's hardly been to universal acclaim in either case. Both have been pilloried on here (sometime overly so IMO) after those changers. Hart would be totally crucified if he did the same. I'm sure there are better, more consistent & less showboaty keepers out there than Hart, whether from lower leagues, Prem reserves or Europe.
  3. Atko's Engine

    Summer Transfer Window

    Could Gallagher be a cheap improvement on Benteke at Palace? Quite possibly! I'm pretty sure it's not gonna happen though. I think, whether fans like it or not, it's pretty clear that Mowbray is staying. So his priorities for me are: Keep at all costs Lenihan, Travis, Dack, Arma, JRC, Davenport, & Nyambe (preferably on a new contract). Keep - Downing, Tosin (unlikely I know), Graham, Rothwell, Holtby, Bell, Davenport, Wharton, Release - Samuel (a little regrettably), Chapman, Smallwood Listen to offers for (a little optimistically perhaps) - BB, Gally, Williams, Johnson & / or Evans, Bennett Loan out - Buckley, Butterworth, Hilton / Fisher 2 new keepers - a solid permanent (Darlow, Rudd?) & a loan understudy, with the other of Hilton or Fisher being brought through. I'd not be averse to having Walton back as perm, if price is right, but seems unlikely so wouldn't shed a tear. 1 perm LB - Cunningham looked v competent in all aspects of the position. If he can prove hit fitness, he'd be great to have back. CB - 1 perm & 1 loan. Would love Tosin back but unlikely; he'll move permanently to a promoted or lower Prem club, possibly with a buyback clause in City's favour as he could be THAT good. We also need to fully integrate an U23 into the 1st team squad. I'd hazard Wharton as most likely to compete with a loanee given his experience. In CM and attack, we're well stocked and I don't see there's major surgery needed there that could be done within budget, without a big sale. I would focus instead on improving output from those already here - esp Brereton, Gallagher, Rothwell & Buckley, plus improve Nyambe's final ball & play JRC further forward. I'd only have incomings in these areas to replace any big departures. There appear to be another half dozen returning loanees or U23s who might be considered promising & on the fringes of the 1st team squad in all positions, besides those mentioned above (e.g. Carter, Magloire, Thompson, Grayson, Lyons, Vale). I don't know any well enough as I only see highlights, but I'd be surprised if a couple of them weren't more fixtures in the squad in 12 months time. There's work to do to improve without losing top players. GK, CB and LB are my priorities. It's doable in my opinion, especially with improvement on the training ground based on achieving consistency, breaking down stubborn defences & not throwing away leads so often through silly individual errors.
  4. Atko's Engine

    West Brom at home

    I agree, finding a little bit more consistency is what's needed. So does that warrant sacking TM & going back to the drawing board? IMO no it doesn't. He's improved us this season compared to last, and last season compared to the one before. It's reasonable to assume therefore (& expect) further improvement next season based on that, which is foreseeable with a returning Dack even if we just make like for like changes elsewhere to replace loanees & out of contracts. It's not guaranteed of course, nothing is. But I think sticking with TM is preferable because he has shown tangible season-on-season improvement overall. I recall last season it being said, correctly, that without Dack or Graham we'd have been down amongst the dead men due to over reliance on their goals. This season, whether enforced or through choice, we've not had either playing for over half the season, yet we're still in a better position now (places and points) than last season. That must indicate a better overall strategy in other areas, so I fail to see how that cannot be construed as improvement overall, and that's even with 2 expensive misfiring forwards. Clearly it's not sufficient improvement for some, ergo calls for a change. But I think that would be an unnecessary backward step when, overall, improvement has been achieved despite all the club's idiosyncrasies behind the scenes.
  5. Atko's Engine

    West Brom at home

    So just as Armstrong has hit a rich seam of form this season and thus become a good "money well spent" signing in his 3rd year here, couldn't that also happen with Brereton & Gallagher (I of course acknowledge that their fees were more substantial and agree that their contributions to date have been underwhelming)? I mean, we saw today a glimpse of what Gallagher can do against the side widely considered as the best in the division, and we all saw a big improvement in Brereton post-lockdown prior to his red card. It would be very typical of football for one of them to hit an Armstrong-like run of form and then for their signings not to look as shabby as they currently do, right? I mean few on here - me included - thought Armstrong would become the central figure he has become did we? Might we be talking about Brereton and / or Gallagher in similar terms in 12 months time? Let's hope so!
  6. Atko's Engine

    West Brom at home

    Thought we gave a good performance today. Pretty even 1st half really, all that separated the teams was a couple of decent Walton saves & a dodgy goal, though we were a bit toothless ourselves. Second half it looked like we could get steamrollered, but after a dodgy 10-15 mins the subs changed the game & from then we should've won. So it feels like a defeat, not just due to the missed chances but the missed opportunities v Wigan & especially Barnsley. There's been a lot said about TM not wanting promotion a d / or not caring, but there's been plenty of evidence these last 2 games that's not the case (not that it should be needed). There is clear progress from last season to this. We're a better footballing side, more fluent, less reliant on one individual. There's work to do, but it's reasonable to think we can get another 5 or 6 points from the last 3 games. If we do, that's a 10% improvement on last season, and that's without Dack for half of it. Same level of improvement again next season & were into the 70s. Yes theres work to do, holes to fill & a bit of balance to find. But I recall at the start of this season many predicting a relegation scrap and we've never been anywhere near it. A few tweaks here & there, reduce individual errors & improve our points tally from winning positions by 20% and well be thereabouts next season. This season was not playoffs or bust for Rovers. TM should be allowed further time to mould the squad, hopefully we keep our main men Lenihan, Travis, Arma & Dack.
  7. Atko's Engine

    West Brom at home

    There's just a little bit more incentive creeping into this one after tonight's result. If we can pick up tomorrow where we left off on Tuesday night then we've every chance of turning W Brom over. They're a good side at this level but are far from infallible, and have had some very dodgy results & performances this season. So they can certainly be got at; what we need to make sure we do is start with a good tempo, press & dominate them early on, suppress their passing game, avoid stupid mistakes & make sure we take the 2 or 3 good chances that will inevitably come our way. Sounds easy, I know...
  8. Atko's Engine

    Mowbray: Stay or Go - A Poll

    I'm not saying there's not work to do, of course there is. And I'm also not saying BB & Gally have been poor only by reference to Dack, of course they have from any viewpoint, especially given their fees. I'm just of the view that continuing with TM is as likely to bring success as is ditching him and gambling on a replacement, and I think I've explained rationally why I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt. I may be proved wrong, or right, or we may never know. Each to their own eh?
  9. Atko's Engine

    Mowbray: Stay or Go - A Poll

    But to give a fair assessment you can't just focus on the bad and ignore the good, or even the outstandingly good. The profit that could ultimately be made on Dack and Armstrong is probably double the losses on Gally & BB, who will still have some resale value (yes, they will!), at least for another 12-18 months. Re the keeper situation, the number of times Raya was pelted on here for his howlers (rightly so) has been forgotten. There was a widely held view of being well rid, too inconsistent, not PL quality. Now he's doing well elsewhere and his cheaper replacement is having a wobble, it's fair game to throw back at TM. Most clubs at this level rely on loans. I don't like it any more than you, but it's a fact. Leeds this season, Sheff Utd last season; loan players in key positions, they don't seem to have done too bad by it. Walton is roughly equal to what Raya was last season, Adarabioyo is an upgrade on last season, Cunningham likewise. They've not been bad loans, though in the latter case we were very unlucky. Replacement loans will be needed in summer, or cheap buys, of course they will. If he gets ones of similar quality to this year, and they stay available for most of the season, Dack returns fit, an U23 or 2 come through like Travis & Nyambe then things can improve further without major money needing to be spent.
  10. Atko's Engine

    Mowbray: Stay or Go - A Poll

    Haha, fair enough! Ewood Ace and Amo (I think) couldn't believe there was a discussion to be had, so that point was really aimed at them.
  11. Atko's Engine

    Mowbray: Stay or Go - A Poll

    It can, but more properly it ought to be the foundations on which to build success. Now is that likely under Venkys? Perhaps not, but this last 3 years is the closest we've come to being something like a normal club since they arrived & should not be thrown away just because the grass might be greener on the other side.
  12. Atko's Engine

    Mowbray: Stay or Go - A Poll

    But Dack has to be part of a balanced debate about the merits of TM's time here doesn't he? He's still a success and a player we all think befits a promotion-challenging team, even if Gally & Brereton have come since and (so far) flopped.
  13. Atko's Engine

    Mowbray: Stay or Go - A Poll

    Fair enough, I too wish they'd both come good, or even just one of them. To be fair they may still, bit no-one should hold their breath. But still, it's because TM found Dack that BB & Gally are being compared (unfavourably) with him...
  14. Atko's Engine

    Mowbray: Stay or Go - A Poll

    I think I'm giving as good as I'm getting, and am enjoying a healthy debate tbh! I'm getting dodgy looks of disapproval from my wife though... I'm not trying to change anyone's opinion per se, just explain my own. Who knows who will be right??
  15. Atko's Engine

    Mowbray: Stay or Go - A Poll

    I've just done a quick straw poll of 3 workmates, 1 Utd, 1 City, one Everton with leanings towards Bristol City. They all agree Pulis is a busted flush, was always awful to watch and can't even get results anymore. All agreed they'd rather have TM, who at least tries to play football (their assessment, not mine). Not definitive I know, but it seems there is a debate to be had about TM v TP. Furthermore, I think it shows how much fans can under appreciate a manager who is actually doing a solid job. Another workmate who supports Leeds said we were v competitive on Saturday from his perspective, certainly until their 3rd goal, and were just unlucky & less clinical than Leeds were. TM is doing a good job in most peoples' eyes in the wider footballing world, in the face of no small amount of adversity, albeit whilst not pulling up trees; I often think fans are perhaps understandably over critical of their beloved club to be able to be a bit more objective and see the bigger picture, preferring instead to focus intensely on the areas of desired improvement and gloss over the successes almost as though they're an irrelevance.
  16. Atko's Engine

    Mowbray: Stay or Go - A Poll

    Look, if we had avoided Dack's injury, or Cunningham's, who knows? We had a very competitive 14 but to lose 2 from it for such large parts of the season killed us. Despite that and despite misfiring forwards, we were still in the hunt until last week. A couple more timely goals and we still would be. It's fine margins. Take Phillips out of Leeds, Mitrovic out of Fulham, or Grabban from Forest, and they're struggling for top 6, no question. So is Mowbray actually that bad compared to his competitors? No, he isn't. Give him this short close season, get Dack back, let him finish what he's started re overseas recruitment, bring through another couple of Under 23s, & maybe even find a nugget like Dack or Armstrong & go again.
  17. Atko's Engine

    Mowbray: Stay or Go - A Poll

    I take your point, but I just don't have confidence that lightning would strike twice in that respect and would rather let TM continue at this moment in time. As I just said to Stuart, I'm not saying it's not possible to improve on TM, just that it's unlikely that we would. It'll be much harder for Venkys to find someone to improve on TM than it was to find someone to improve on Coyle.
  18. Atko's Engine

    Mowbray: Stay or Go - A Poll

    Yes it's possible, of course it is. But is it likely? No, in my opinion. Was it likely that TM would improve on Coyle's tenure? God yes, he certainly couldn't have done any worse!
  19. Atko's Engine

    Mowbray: Stay or Go - A Poll

    If you could guarantee me a manager who could do that whilst also willing to work with all this club's foibles & idiosyncrasies, then I'd agree. Sadly he doesn't exist.
  20. Atko's Engine

    Mowbray: Stay or Go - A Poll

    Come on, there was no stability under Coyle, that was a completely different scenario to where we are now.
  21. Atko's Engine

    Mowbray: Stay or Go - A Poll

    Pulis is far more anti-football than Allardyce ever was. And MGP had a lot more about him than did Rory Delap. Yes his past record may eclipse Mowbray's, but you also accept his best days are behind him. That doesn't bode well for our next appointment.
  22. Atko's Engine

    Mowbray: Stay or Go - A Poll

    I've admitted I was underwhelmed when TM was announced, but overall since the day he arrived he's done more good than bad IMO and I've been pleasantly surprised, without being put on the edge of my seat or being part of a cult. This club needs stability right now, in these most uncertain of times.
  23. Atko's Engine

    Mowbray: Stay or Go - A Poll

    We're not "most other clubs" though are we? We have unique problems with basketcase owners who lack footballing pride, ambition and nouse, and whose prime concern now is navigating the pandemic. We're low down on their priorities, always have been, now even more so. I'm afraid it literally is a case of better the devil you know, stability over likely chaos.
  24. Atko's Engine

    Mowbray: Stay or Go - A Poll

    He did well at Stoke for a while granted, but grew stale and his footballing philosophy is dire. You remember the Delap long throws, right? At times they were effective yes, but if winning like that counts as "infinitely superior management", you can keep it thanks. Furthermore he underachieved massively at Boro, and I think is a busted flush.
  25. Atko's Engine

    Mowbray: Stay or Go - A Poll

    In this context my interest is Blackburn Rovers success, pure and simple. But that's within the context of reality; we are in a period of stability after what, 8 years of dross. It's not nirvana of course, but then it never will be whilst Venkys are here so we have to work with what we have. Yes the last 3 games have been disappointing, yes some of TM's decisions are baffling; wasn't it ever thus in football between fans & managers? Why does sacking the incumbent always have to be the only route to success? I'm not saying job for life, or that he ought not to be accountable, of course he should. And I was pretty underwhelmed when he was announced too. But he's done a solid, if unspectacular, job all things considered and I just don't get why so many have the pitchforks out for him as though we couldn't possibly do any worse. Some people have very short memories.
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