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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

    Academy & U21s

    I thought last night's F.A. Youth Cup-tie was a very poor affair. Charlton looked pretty poor and I honestly didn't think we were that much better. A good individual goal from Sam Burns but that apart there wasn't much to get enthused about. A home game with Preston in the next round but we will need to be better than this to make progress. As one might expect, I thought Whitehall was our outstanding performer and he looked a class above the rest. Charlton created a few opportunities but were dreadful in the final third of the pitch.
  2. Parsonblue

    Sheffield Wednesday (A)

    Credit to Mowbray and the players today for an excellent performance from first whistle to last. Tactically we were spot on for 90 minutes. No weak links, although Rothwell was stupid to get booked when he was having one of his better games. Sensible substitution to take him off before Wednesday tried to get him booked again. I thought Downing was outstanding and ran the game. His vision and range of passing is a joy to watch - no aimless balls, everything done with purpose. Gallagher had a better game coming in from wide positions and caused Wednesday lots of problems as did Holtby in the Dack Role. Defensively we looked sound and Bell had another good game at left-back. It was good to see both Rankin-Costello and Davenport get a run out in the second half and both looked very comfortable on the ball. Wednesday looked very poor and their fans left in droves after goals three and four.
  3. Parsonblue

    Tony Mowbray Discussion

    Agree, that there are plenty of iconic figures you could have on flags - Dougie and Ronnie to name but two. Sadly, I can imagine someone, somewhere at Ewood believing it would be a good idea to have a Kean or Coyle flag if they were the present manager.
  4. Parsonblue

    Preston (home)

    Rev, My post was in answer to a post by Stuart who suggested that the fanbase needed to turn against the manager if he was to be encouraged to walkaway. I was merely pointing out that there was little sign of that thus far. I was using the 70s and 80s examples of crowds turning on a manager and how it was clear that those managers had lost the overwhelming support of the fanbase. I would agree that our financial situation is partly - not totally - self inflicted with two significant transfers that have not worked out. I don't have a problem with the likes of Hart, Davenport or Chapman. These were picked up for very little and could - and still might - come off but if they don't we haven't lost a huge amount on them. Rather like the likes of Tallon, Harford, Burnett, Makel, Pelzer etc in the past. The real issue is the amount spent on Gallagher and Brereton and the fact that they haven't, nor do they look likely to deliver what was expected of them. Of course the blame for that rests with the manager. Mowbray is not the first at Ewood to invest heavily in players who simply don't deliver but without Premier League money to fall back on it really holes the club below the financial waterline. It will be these signings that will do for the manager in the long run if they don't improve. Again, I totally agree with you that the goalkeeping situation is a mess of our own making. We've allowed a promising young goalkeeper to leave for next to nothing and replaced him with an inferior one on loan - madness. Fortunately both senior 'keepers will be gone in the summer and we do have two excellent young 'keepers in Fisher and Hilton. At the moment I believe a managerial change is unlikely - I suspect the owners would not be keen on paying up the remaining two years of his contract - but I would expect the owners to be asking serious questions about the transfer activity during their summer meeting.
  5. Parsonblue

    Tony Mowbray Discussion

    Personally, I really don't see the issue with the flag. Whoever was the present manager the club would make a flag with their image on. There are two of Jack Walker, one of the badge and one of the manager - linking the club with past and present. I doubt if Mowbray knew anything about the flag and that it was the commercial or community department attempting to do something different on matchdays that probably came up with the idea.
  6. Parsonblue

    Championship season 2019-20

    I'm staggered you rate Walton so highly. Undoubtedly the worst regular first choice 'keeper I've seen in the best part of 60 years - only Barton and Butcher run him close and I must admit that I rated them far more highly than Walton - fortunately he'll be back at Brighton in the summer. As you say it's all about opinions.
  7. Parsonblue

    Preston (home)

    In fairness, I think we are still some way off the fans turning on the manager in any sizeable numbers. The away support seems firmly behind the manager and team during games despite the fact that there are doubts about certain players and the positions in which they play. Likewise at Ewood, I've not really encountered people who are desperate for a change despite reservations about the present situation. Mowbray is still well-liked by a large number of supporters despite what may be written on here. When fans wanted rid of Iley or Saxton, for example, there was no mistaking the hostility at the ground. I think we are a long way off that sort of situation and I suspect you are right in that it will take something of that magnitude to change things. However, as I said, I don't believe there is that sort of desire for change at the moment. In the past the likes of Lee, Smith and Kendall have been able to use a spell at Ewood as a stepping stone to bigger things in management. I suspect any young and up and coming manager today would be wary of taking on the Rovers. The financial situation means they are likely to have no money to rebuild a squad which is a long way off being a top six outfit, let alone a top two side. At the same time you have a fanbase where memories of the Premier League are still fresh and the desire to return is huge. In the past expectation levels weren't as high because we had spent such a long time away from the top flight. Indeed, if you had offered supporters in the early seventies the League position we are in today we'd have snapped your hand off! I don't believe there are any easy solutions to the plight of the club - the financial situation is now the issue which overrides everything else and colours every decision, including that of the manager.
  8. Parsonblue

    Academy & U21s

    Excellent performance by the Under-21's last night at St. George's Park - and what an outstanding venue that is. We really ought to have won by more than one and controlled the game for long periods. Joe Hilton was faultless in goal and looks a real prospect. The two young centre-back - Hayden Carter and Sam Barnes were outstanding whilst Brad Lyons ran the show in midfield. Stef Mols worked tirelessly - another impressive display by this lad. Quite how Lyons and Mols can't make the bench I find astonishing at times. It would be a real blow if these two lads end up leaving without being given at least a chance in a Cup game to show what they can do. Finally, what an impressive place St. George's Park is as the centre for our national game. The Hotel, the FA Building the floodlit pitches - indoor and outdoor - are all immaculate. It must cost a fortune to maintain it at that level but I suspect the hotel brings in a huge amount of money with the number of clubs that use it. The pitches were like billiard tables not a blade of grass out of place. An unbelievable place!
  9. Parsonblue

    Academy & U21s

    Last night was like watching a re-run of the Birmingham Cup-tie - dominate possession but unable to score. The highlight for me was the appearance of Luke Brennan as a sub in the second-half. Reminded me of a young Duff the way he dribbled down that left wing. Put in some good crosses as well. What I particularly liked about him was the way the ball was always under his control when running with it. I thought we were unlucky not to take at least a point but, in fairness, Brighton defended well - sometimes with ten men back in the box - although some of their play was rather theatrical when they were tackled.
  10. Parsonblue

    Car Park H

    It's always been like that. The gates, like at other clubs, remain closed until 20 minutes or so after the final whistle to allow pedestrians to clear the area. If you are looking to make a quick exit then the club car parks are not the place to be. Before the Council opened the bus lanes up it wasn't unusual to be sat for the best part of an hour on the car park after the game. I never plan on getting away much before half-five on a matchday. I let the rush go and then have no problems getting away.
  11. Parsonblue

    Forest V Rovers

    Happy New Year Rev ! Apologies, I thought I'd answered your question. I've always thought - from day one - that we were a mid-table squad. A squad that would finish around 10th to 12th place. With a bit of luck, and a fair wind, we might just have been pushing for a play-off place if everything fell right for us. At the moment that seems to be where we are at present. I totally agree that a similar finish to last season would be hugely underwhelming considering the money that has been spent - primarily on two underachieving forwards. At that point I would expect the manager to have serious questions to answer - as any manager should in those circumstances.
  12. Parsonblue

    Forest V Rovers

    Totally agree with your last point about Bowyer. I think Gary and his Dad had a good eye for a player. I think Gary had great potential as a manager. He did a good job at Blackpool, in difficult circumstances, and Bradford City are looking good for promotion. At the moment I really don't believe that changing the manager would bring about any real change in our fortunes. We need some of our highly paid players to start performing on a more consistent basis. Johnson, for example, was outstanding at Bristol and atrocious at Huddersfield. Admittedly we need to look to keep a settled formation and the Dack injury seems to have completely derailed things in that respect. At present we simply don't look like scoring from open play and don't seem to have found an alternative to the creativity that Dack supplied. Ultimately, the manager has to get the players he has paid a fair amount of money for to start delivering. Come the end of the season he will surely be judged on how successful those players have been and if they have delivered a better League position than last season. I totally agree with what arbitro said above about the Bristol game being the template we should have followed. That was the best performance I've seen for a long time and yet now, just a couple of week later, we seem light years away from that level. Injuries have clearly taken their toll but really all it has done is highlight the fact that the squad may have numbers but not the quality required. With the present financial situation, and FFP regulations suggesting a transfer embargo may not be far away, I'm not sure how we are going to solve that problem.
  13. Parsonblue

    Forest V Rovers

    We are a long, long way off top six material in my opinion Stuart and, as you know, I always like to have a positive outlook on life. With the best will in the world we are mid-table and no more. The signings we've made simply haven't delivered what was expected of them - and yes that's down to management as much as the players. The more I see of Brereton the more I wonder about his signing - particularly for £6 million - even if the money is spread over a number of years. I suspect that the plan was to sell Dack in January to make additions to the team - that plan is clearly in ruins. With the financial situation as it is and a possible transfer embargo on the horizon, I'm at a loss as to how we do anything other than survive at Championship level at the moment.
  14. Parsonblue

    Forest V Rovers

    Agree with so much of this. I thought Downing tried to use the ball to get Bell free on the left but he simply doesn't have the ability or confidence to attack the space that was there for him to run into. Downing was the only player who looked anywhere near the level of team looking for a play-off place. Walton looks a panic solution to Raya leaving and is simply one of the worst goalkeepers I've seen as a regular starter for Rovers. The only positive about Walton is that he is not our player and we can get shot as soon as possible - I would much prefer Fisher or Hilton being given a chance at this point, even Leutwiler can't be worse than this guy and I must admit that I don't really rate him. Quite how Rothwell managed to avoid the hook I'll never know. He is well and truly in "headless chicken" mode in terms of running around with no end product. He should have been hauled off after presenting Forest with their third goal. As for Brereton - what can you say? I feel sorry for the lad. He is clearly not up to it and I suspect would struggle to win a place in a League One side. Basically, I thought we looked awful today and the substitution of Travis seemed a strange one to say the least. I believe Mowbray, over the course of a full season, would keep us up but some of his signings have left a lot to be desired. Ultimately, it is on Brereton and Gallagher - the non-scoring duo - that Mowbray will be judged and at the moment they both look dreadful signings. I still believe he will keep us well away from relegation and in mid to lower mid-table. With our present financial situation I'm not sure if we can expect much else. With the financial situation dire, and a transfer embargo no doubt just around the corner I suspect we are in for a few difficult years. Not the first time we have been in this situation but that doesn't make it any easier to take. We can only hope that the Academy can keep producing players we need as I suspect we are not going to be spending much in the near future.
  15. Historically speaking you are correct Vinjay. Darwen were the main rivals - and it was a bitter rivalry - during the early history of the club - long before the Burnley rivalry kicked in. So very true. And an excellent article which was a very enjoyable, if painful, read when one thinks back to our position in 2010.

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