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About Parsonblue

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    Champions League

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    Many years of truly excellent match reports

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  1. Parsonblue

    Reading (A)

    Really enjoyable game and easily our best away performance for some time. I thought Downing was outstanding and seems to have boundless energy for getting up and down the pitch. Evans, who usually comes in for criticism was excellent in midfield - he does the things that don't catch the eye but which are vital for a properly functioning team. Travis wasn't at his best and seems to be playing in his shell at times - too many easy backward passes rather than looking for forward runs. Dack was back to his best, particularly in the second half and it was great to see Holtby, Johnson, Graham and Downing kill the game in the closing stages with some excellent passing and keep ball. It's still a work in progress but Mowbray is certainly moving us in the right direction in terms of how we are trying to play.
  2. Parsonblue


    I probably go to as many games - at all levels - as most on here but I would never say that I expect others to do the same. I know a number of Rovers fans who gave up when we were relegated and found other things to do. They still classify themselves as fans but love what they are now doing more than going to football. They may go to the odd game but no more than that and to be honest none have told me that they actually miss football. That's life. Things change over time and how we spend our leisure time changes. In many ways gates have held up remarkably well all things considered. In the eighties - the last time we had a long period of second tier football - the average gate was often well under 10,000. I suspect we will do well to avoid that happening again. I don't envy those at Ewood trying to balance ticket pricing with the requirements of meeting the Financial Fair Play regulations.
  3. Parsonblue

    Academy & U21s

    Disappointing performance tonight at Goodison Park by the Under-23's despite the scoreline looking respectable - Everton won their last game 8-2! Everton, who were excellent last season, looked a cut above our lads for long periods of the game in terms of getting the basics right. They play a fast, flowing style which is attractive to watch. Too many of our lads had a real off night. Sam Barnes was badly at fault for the first, getting the wrong side of the player he was marking at a free kick. The second was a well taken chance by Ellis Simms - who scored four in one game against us last season! Joe Rankin-Costello scored with a quick turn and shot which seemed to surprise the Everton 'keeper but apart from that there was little to cheer in front of goal. Jack Vale used his pace well to trouble the home defence at times but nothing came of it. Chapman, in the Dack role, was poor throughout and looks a shadow of the player who excited us when he first arrived on loan. He had a couple of decent chances but failed to make anything of them and struggled to make any impression on the game. Brad Lyons was the pick of the team for me before he succumbed to injury. Davenport looked very rusty after his long lay-off. Worrying that Grayson and Doyle seem to be going backwards - as so often happens with players who play too long at this level. Sadly, seen so many players who look promising but then can't make the breakthrough and then fade and disappear. I thought we missed Louie Annesley at the back - at the moment he's looked a very decent defender. Still early days but it's looking like it might be a tough season in terms of results as younger players try to make their mark.
  4. Parsonblue

    Mike Ferguson RIP

    Fergie started at Plymouth as an amateur and then moved up to Stanley in the summer of 1960.
  5. Parsonblue

    DG off to Australia?

    Couldn't agree more. We were saying on Monday night, watching Graham, that he really is a top professional. Last few minutes and we are 2-0 up and he was still chasing back to win the ball. He is the perfect role model for youngsters on how a professional conducts himself. At the moment Gallagher hasn't got the strength or know-how to play the Graham role. I think there is a player in Gallagher but it's a long way from being fully developed for the task of leading the line.
  6. Parsonblue

    Academy & U21s

    He had a few trials with other clubs last season and I believe he is now at University.
  7. Parsonblue

    West Brom Away

    Totally agree. If your wide players are going to have to defend then surely Bennett and Downing are the two you need rather than Armstrong, Rothwell or Gallagher. It was noticeable that when Bennett got forward in the second half and put in a couple of decent crosses, there was nobody covering the gap behind him and Albion quickly exploited that gap. I thought we lost the game today during a twenty-minute spell in the first-half when we made elementary individual errors. Cunningham was poor for the first, Armstrong went missing on the second and Lenihan was completely done for pace on the third, having got himself in a poor position to begin with. Above all I'd like to see Graham and Dack given a run of games as a twin strike force. Gallagher is a slightly better version of Brereton - but let's be honest that's a pretty low bar.
  8. Parsonblue


    Interesting that in the last couple of Under-23 games they have played Chapman in the Bradley Dack role, just behind the main striker. This takes the pressure off him to constantly track back - presumably puts less stress on his hamstrings - and allows him to use his pace against central defenders. It will be interesting to see if we continue with this or if it is just a short term measure to cover Jack Vale's absence due to injury.
  9. Parsonblue


    Having watched the game on Brighton TV, I thought Chapman did better than he had done all season. Clearly Mowbray's message got through to him - just shows what a bit of "old fashioned management" can do. Lets hope he can keep it up and get back in the squad. Dominic Samuel did pretty well too which is another plus.
  10. Parsonblue

    Academy & U21s

    Very impressive performance in how to play against ten men. Stretched the play and took full advantage of the extra man and extra space. Five really well taken goals. Rather like Rovers v Wolves last week, the game changed with the sending off, but full credit to the lads for taking advantage Hilton; Jackson, Thompson, Lyons, Barnes, Annesley, Mols, White, Sammuel, Chapman, Hart. Subs who came on - Brennan, Whitehall, Burns. Sam Barnes spent much of last season on loan at Marine - where he played with Joe Hilton who was there on loan from Everton. Barnes is a young centre-back who moved up from the Under-18's last season before going out on loan. Another in a long line of promising young defenders.
  11. Parsonblue


    Perhaps if Chapman upped his game in the Under-23's and made it impossible for the manager to leave him out then I might agree with you. At the moment the likes of Jack Vale and Stefan Mols have shown far more hunger in these games than a very indifferent Chapman. Clearly he is not doing it in training or he would be in and around the squad. Not everything can be blamed on the manager. Chapman is a professional and should be able to motivate himself to fight for a first team place.
  12. Parsonblue

    Ben Garratt

    Personally Stuart, I can see why they need a number three at the moment. Walton is clearly the number one for this season whilst a long term replacement for Leutwiler will appear in January or the summer. In the meantime Leutwiler will remain the number two - although I agree I don't believe he is anywhere near good enough. If Hilton is loaned out - and there has been talk about that - then we would need someone for the Under-23's. If Walton was injured then Hilton, at present, would be the number two keeper - which is a big jump for a lad who spent the second half of last season on loan at Marine. A short-term contract for Garrett if it happens, whilst Fisher is out on loan, seems a sensible idea under the circumstances.
  13. Parsonblue

    Mike Ferguson RIP

    One of my boyhood heroes. A maverick for sure, but a wonderful footballer who could really excite you. One part of the most exciting forward line that I've ever seen play in 'Blue and White.' Thanks for some wonderful memories. RIP Fergie
  14. Parsonblue

    Ben Garratt

    Sometimes you have to take what is available at the time rather than what you planned at the start of a transfer window. If he didn't speak to the press about his future plans he would get any amount of flack for not communicating - he really can't win. Sadly, whatever says these days tends to be used as a stick with which to beat him.
  15. Parsonblue

    Ben Garratt

    One of the great mysteries in football to me is why clubs have so many keepers but they all seem to have a wealth of them. Last season we had Raya, Leutwiler, Fisher, Albinson, Byrne, Winterbottom, Eastham. Most seasons we seem to have half-a-dozen keepers with the Under-23's usually having two or three sharing the job beside the two senior 'keepers. At the moment we have Walton, Leutwiler, Fisher (who's now on loan), Hilton, Eastham and a very young Dowling - who has only just made the Under-18 squad. Obviously, Hilton, Eastham and Dowling are not ready for the senior team so can see the need for a number three with more experience than Hilton.

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