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Parsonblue

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About Parsonblue

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    Many years of truly excellent match reports

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  1. Parsonblue

    Academy & U21s

    In and out of the team in recent weeks. At the moment is no better than what we already have and certainly, for me, not as good as Davenport or Mols. This will, hopefully, give him regular games. We have a glut of good young players and it's difficult to give them all the time they need - particularly with some seniors needing matches to regain fitness after injury.
  2. Parsonblue

    Tony Mowbray Discussion

    Whilst I agree that the manager is struggling at the moment I can't agree with any of the above. He certainly isn't a bumbling fool and I think to accuse him of been some sort of con merchant is totally out of order. I would never question his honesty or integrity because I think they are beyond question. I personally believe him to be a genuine guy doing his best but who is struggling at the moment to find the right solutions to problems, which in fairness, have been of his own making in terms of defenders. I think it's those attributes that many supporters - perhaps not on here - have latched onto and is the reason why he is being given more time by the majority of the fanbase. Ultimately, as with all managers, results will determine when the fanbase turns but, as yet, there is no real sign of it - either at Ewood or at away matches. In recent weeks I have questioned many of the decisions that have been made and certainly have doubts about some of the signings we've made - Gallagher, Brereton and Chapman to name but three - but I would never question the guy's honesty or integrity. Managers have to have total self belief in what they are doing - after all there any number of folk telling them they are doing it wrong every week! I believe Mowbray genuinely believes that he will take this club in the right direction over a period of time and I suspect that at the moment the owners will give him time. The decision to pay up the remainder of his contract - together with others on the coaching staff - and then employ yet another manager and staff will not be one that the owners will be keen to take from a purely financial point of view. After the international break we have games where we would expect to turn our recent defeats into wins and draws. The period between now and Christmas will be the one that may well determine his future.
  3. Parsonblue

    Academy & U21s

    For 73 minutes we were never in the game - then Chapman was the last of the 'seniors' to leave the field and suddenly we looked a team again. Hilton kept us in the game against a very impressive Middlesbrough side who ought to have been four or five ahead before we got back into the game. I'm sure they will be travelling back tonight wondering how on earth they lost that game. Credit the lads for a thrilling final 15 minutes when they turned the game on its head. Biggest concern has to be the performances of Brereton and Chapman again. Neither look anywhere near good enough for Championship football and Chapman seems to be made of 'glass' these days - he'd give Grella a run for his money in terms of dashing to the treatment room. In fairness to Brereton it was the first game back after a long lay off but he simply doesn't move or look like an athlete let alone a footballer. I hope I'm wrong and he turns things around but I agree with Stuart - in the short term he needs to go out on loan and try to rediscover whatever it was that Forest and Rovers saw in him.
  4. Parsonblue

    Tony Mowbray Discussion

    I pretty much agree with that. Mowbray still has a huge amount of credit in the bag with a large section of the fanbase - probably the majority of the fanbase in fairness. I know that doesn't sit well with some on here but I believe that to be the position at the moment. I don't think defeat yesterday would have led to any questioning of his position in Pune. At the moment the owners have bought into the project that he has outlined to them and I suspect they will see it out - certainly until the end of the season and possibly well into next season. Mowbray is the first manager that they have given a long term contract to and clearly they have a good relationship with him. I think as long as we stay clear of the relegation places and keep bobbing in and around the half-way mark I suspect they will continue to back him. Then again, with Venky's you never know but, personally, I would be amazed if Mowbray isn't here at the end of the season. It's up to him to improve what we are seeing on the pitch and to bring in the players that we need to play the style of football that he wants. My biggest criticism of the manager is that he changed the style of play without having the squad of players capable of carrying it out successfully. Whilst I may not agree with many of the decisions he has made of late I honestly don't feel that a change of manager is imminent.
  5. Parsonblue

    Sheffield Wednesday (H)

    Agree with that. People call Bennett but the guy never hides, puts a shift in every week and gets no protection from Armstrong. A basic 4-4-2 formation would probably be a good fit for the players we have with Bennett and Downing on the wings and Travis and Holtby in the middle. I didn't think Bennett did too badly today against a decent winger although, ultimately, for all the possession Harris had he did very little with it at times.
  6. Parsonblue

    Tony Mowbray Discussion

    Agree with that. I thought Graham made a huge difference when he came on as did Rothwell. I thought the manager did OK today with selection, tactics and substitutions. I really don't see Mowbray leaving anytime soon. With the supporters still behind him in the main - certainly no "Mowbray Out" chants despite recent results, I suspect that he will be given until the end of this season at the very least and if I'm honest I suspect he will still be here in twelve months time if we finish this season around the half-way mark. With money having been spent on upgrading the scouting network and with a number of young players coming through the Academy, I suspect the owners will see how things go rather than pay up the manager and backroom staff and then have to shell out for another manager and support staff. They seem to have bought into the 'long term' project for the moment.
  7. Parsonblue

    Sheffield Wednesday (H)

    Pleased with the win which I thought was well deserved. The players showed a huge amount of character to come back, particularly after the last few weeks, and I thought it showed they were playing for each other and still behind the manager. I thought Mowbray did OK today after the last few weeks. Tactically he adjusted things, particularly in the second half, and his use of subs worked well with Graham, Rothwell and Buckley all contributing. A long way to go but hopefully Mowbray and the players can build on this between now and the January window when, hopefully, Mowbray will finally sign the players we actually need - goalkeeper and a couple of centre-backs!
  8. Parsonblue

    Academy & U21s

    With respect, I think you are missing an important point Joe. The Under-23 team is not a separate club so players at that level don't have THEIR own team. The Academy and the Under-23's have one sole aim which is to help with development of players that will aid the progress of the senior team. It is why the rules of Premier League 2 allow for a certain number of over-age players in Under-23 football so that players coming back from injury or players not getting regular first team football can get 90 minutes of competitive football. The Lancashire Senior Cup, of course, is not an age-limited competition which is why you often get senior players appearing in that competition. Yesterday was unusual because Everton are playing PSV Under-21 in the International Cup today, hence a number of their Under-18's were drafted into their team whilst their Seniors were in Cup action last night. The likes of Ben Brereton, Jacob Davenport and Harry Chapman are all young enough to be involved in Under-23 football and if not getting regular football for the senior team I would expect them to be turning out for the Under-23's. Dominic Samuel has been able to aid his recovery from long term injury by playing for the Under-23's so that has benefited both the player and the club. I've watched the club's second string for the best part of 60 years now and the aim has always been the same - to prepare players to step into the senior team when required. Doesn't matter what name the competition goes by that aim is still the same.
  9. Parsonblue

    Academy & U21s

    Strange game at Brockhall this afternoon. 4-0 up at half-time and coasting against a very young Everton side. We missed numerous chances to increase the lead but failed to take them. We then got very sloppy with our passing and marking and Hilton, who is usually so reliable, made a couple of horrendous errors as Everton almost snatched a draw at the end. Like the first team it was a game of two halves. First half we looked what we were - a vastly experienced side playing against a very young side as Everton fielded a number of their Under-18 team. Second half we got very careless and started to overplay with the result that mistakes crept in. I thought Danny Graham worked hard up front and held the ball up and tried to play in the youngsters around him. However, he was a little careless in front of goal. Richie Smallwood did likewise in midfield although he missed a gilt edged opportunity to add a fifth goal. Joe Rankin-Costello and John Buckley were both excellent and Everton struggled to contain them. We had a new trialist at right-back - Timi Sobowale from Manchester City. Cup games are all about getting through to the next round - which we did, but boy did we make hard work of it at the end.
  10. Parsonblue

    Preston Away

    I think I said that whatever you think about the manager - and he is clearly losing the plot - one or two players also need to look at their performance. If you read that as it ALL being the players at fault fair enough, but it wasn't what I said. Centre-backs shouldn't allow themselves to be bullied in the way we were in the second half. I can think of any number of centre-backs we've had who would have sorted Stockley out very quickly. I'm not bothered what the reason for Rothwell's withdrawal - to be honest I'd forgotten he was on the pitch in the second half. Reminds me of the ultimate headless chicken - runs around a lot but not much in the way of end product.
  11. Parsonblue

    Preston Away

    Credit to Neil for making the change when he did. First half I thought we fully deserved the lead and could easily have stretched it to three with a bit more luck. However, second half Preston went more direct and Stockley completely dominated our centre-backs. However, even then I thought we were comfortable until Walton made his usually inept attempt at doing the basics in goal - I swear this lad makes John Barton look almost international class by comparison! Once Walton had handed the momentum to North End the confidence just drained away. Agree with arbitro with regard to Mowbray. He sat down and hardly moved during the whole game and let Venus do the coaching. Whatever the pros and cons with regard to the manager one or two players need to start looking at themselves when things start going against us. Three huge games before the next international break to sort it out.
  12. Couldn't agree more Tyrone. It's becoming embarrassing watching how slow we are compared to even the most average opposition. The two Birmingham players I mentioned in an earlier post were streets ahead of any of our players in terms of quick, one touch pass and move football. Possession football is all well and good but there has to be an end product and I'm not sure these players are capable of producing that end product. Last night felt like we were back in the Coyle era when you turned up at grounds fully expecting to be beat before you even kicked off.
  13. To be honest Tyrone it's very noticeable just how much quicker even average sides are compared with the way we play. In recent weeks QPR, Huddersfield and now Birmingham have looked yards quicker all around the pitch.
  14. Parsonblue

    Preston Away

    I suspect many of those will be rushing down to Ewood today to return their tickets after last night's shambolic effort!
  15. Sitting at Birmingham last night was a truly depressing experience. More of the so called "possession" football getting us absolutely nowhere. In the first half Birmingham were just so much quicker than us, so much brighter in ideas and so much sharper around the penalty area. I thought Dan Crowley and Fran Villalba were outstanding and ran the game in that half - small, quick players who epitomised what Mowbray wants - the ability to pass and move at speed. They made our plodders look what they are - distinctly average. Johnson looks like another version of Danny Murphy - a talented player, but one whose best days are far behind him as he simply couldn't get near the speedy players in Brum's midfield. The sad thing is that Birmingham are bang average and at times we simply couldn't live with them. As for the attack, one of the main points of discussion amongst my mates last night was about who was worst - Gallagher or Brereton ( I think the answer we came to was that you could put both together and you wouldn't have a decent player!). If the manager is to retain the backing of the support then things have to change and change soon. Talk of this squad challenging for the top six is complete nonsense - I thought we were a mid-table outfit before the season began but I'm starting to think I might have been a tad optimistic.
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