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Herbie6590

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About Herbie6590

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    Mosborough, Sheffield

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    ianherbert

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  1. It’s an observation often made that if a team is struggling or a star striker is having a barren patch, then an upcoming fixture against Blackburn Rovers can be just the tonic to relieve the pressure. Given Middlesbrough’s recent travails; new manager struggling to find his feet, recent home league defeat, Carabao Cup exit at home to lower division opposition; all pointers indicated that the ideal opponents might just turn out to be Rovers at Ewood. Rovers too have already had their problems in a season barely out of the traps; a lack of chances created, especially from open play, defensive frailty and difficulty in despatching lower league cup opponents, Saturday was all set to be a classic “must not lose” encounter. Tony Mowbray resorted to his tried and tested formula, restoring the old firm of “Dack & Graham” – a partnership that sounds for all the world like a metropolitan estate agent; “two up, semi-detached, in need of some attention” might also describe Rovers’ early season forward line. The restoration of Graham just seems to provide a focal point for the team. Dack looks more assured, Downing has someone to aim for, opposition defenders have to be on their mettle. That Mowbray has spent so far, roughly £14m on Armstrong, Brereton & Gallagher, but the only way any of them makes the team sheet, with Graham on song, is as a “wide striker” or if you prefer “winger” is a cause of some concern (or if you are D. Graham, Esq.) perhaps the source of some personal, professional pride? One of the charges levelled at a Rovers side containing Graham is that the play becomes more direct; full backs and wingers take the easy option, the “direct line” as it were, providing Rovers with a fully comprehensive insurance policy should Plan A fail. On Saturday, the early signs were positive, chances were created, impressive loanee full-back Greg Cunningham, surprisingly had the first two on-target chances. A Dack shot was almost turned home by Graham, although it was from a cross from the right flank that led to a blindingly obvious shirt pull by Dijksteel on Graham and a penalty kick the inevitable result. The hapless Dijksteel of course played for Charlton at Ewood on the opening day and was responsible for heading Bradley Johnson’s goal bound header against his keeper for an own goal. This latest mishap means he currently has provided more assists than any of the home squad (hat tip to the Lancashire Telegraph’s Rich Sharpe for that little gem). A distinct lack of Charlie Mulgrew around the place meant that DG himself took responsibility for despatching the kick to open his account for the season. Dack at one point “tried a Beckham” from his own half, but other than both Rovers full backs receiving yellow cards, the rest of the half was largely uneventful. The second half almost saw another obligatory “old boy notching against his former club” when Stewart Downing tried his own version of “Arjen Robben style” cutting in on the left foot and curling into the far corner. His attempt flew narrowly wide on this occasion. Boro had spells of pressure, most notably when a speculative cross from the right deceived Walton who badly misjudged the flight, Browne could only deflect it onto the outside of the post and Rovers breathed a heavy sigh of relief. Tony Mowbray responded with a batch of substitutions that once again served only to distort the team shape, resulting in a formation that had more square pegs in round holes and momentum ebbed away. Gallagher wide right with Armstrong through the middle seemed obtuse at best. Buckley once again was introduced from the bench ahead of Evans, a sure sign that Mowbray has faith in the youngster. This match of course also marked the 19thanniversary of the passing of Jack Walker and the fans responded with resounding applause on the 19thminute. Jack himself would have recognised steely determination on display to deliver three points. The trip to Hull on Tuesday is one that is punctuated these days by conversations about the perverse ticketing and pricing strategy in place at the KCOM. The Allams have a unique take on how to encourage fans to attend, it’s fair to say cheap tickets and attractive concessionary offers are not their preferred choice. With the game live on TV, it’s especially hard to understand such an approach. Rovers have their own foibles but even the famous “Waggott Tax” pales by comparison. On the field Hull initially proved to be worthy opponents and Rovers struggled to build on the weekend success. An early penalty concession afforded Walton a chance to win some hearts and minds and his impressive save was to prove invaluable. On an evening where post and bar alike were subject to several strikes from both sides, Rovers gradually imposed themselves on proceedings and Downing’s left footed attempt across goal to hit the foot of the far post was probably the pick of the woodwork attempts. This performance was quite the evidence to place before the doubters as to the virtues of Downing. I was far from convinced as to the efficacy of the signing but let's agree that his attitude and technique so far justify Mowbray's faith. The winner from Derek Williams also came courtesy of Downing’s sweet left foot, though in fairness, in a post-VAR world the position and interference of Adam Armstrong would almost certainly have led to it being chalked off. At last a reason to be thankful for playing in the EFL! The weekend's furore over the new handball rule and the use of VAR to enforce it in the Premier League means that the EFL here, for once, has a real product differentiator. If I was in the senior hierarchy of the EFL I would be sorely tempted to make capital of the fact that the EFL offers football, warts and all, right or wrong...at least for now. It's fair to say that two consecutive 1-0 wins really lifts the mood; as Mowbray admitted after the game, this was an evening where the result was primary, the performance secondary. The embryonic league table now looks a little more palatable for sure with Rovers positioned in the top half. Now if we could win on Saturday with three or four goals from open play that should address a number of residual concerns. That home fixture against Cardiff City over the Bank Holiday weekend will of course feature Neil "Colin" Warnock, once coveted by certain officers of the club; seemingly less so by other key decision makers. Warnock remains pretty much the ultimate footballing Marmite, certain to polarise opinion and he will bring his side to Ewood, chastened by their recent encounter with a revitalised Reading but boosted by a midweek victory over "Hapless Huddersfield" as surely they will have to be renamed soon. Premier League Sheffield Utd also lie in wait in the Carabao Cup on 27th August, a testing encounter certainly, based on the evidence of last season's Championship and early PL fixtures. However, with almost every club in the competition deploying squad rotation, the only prediction from me is that parking* around Bramall Lane, much like facing Lewis Travis, will be tough and challenging! *A hint from a local, try the APCOA car park on Eyre Street
  2. Herbie6590

    Can we change the title of the Mowbray Out thread

    Personally...I agree that it should be changed. The 4000 Holes style.. “Mowbrayometer” perhaps....
  3. Herbie6590

    Sponsoring Rovers Ladies

    Nice one @perthblue02
  4. Herbie6590

    Sponsoring Rovers Ladies

    Hear from Linz on Ep 118 of the podcast. Linz explains what will happen next, what the surplus funds will be spent on and how the benefits might be shared.
  5. In this episode we meet John Leigh, a Rovers fan from Oswaldtwistle who now lives in Brisbane & we find out what it's like following Rovers Down Under. In Part 2 we hear from Linz Lewis who updates us on the amazing Rovers Ladies sponsorship initiative. https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/roversladies View full record
  6. Herbie6590

    Sponsoring Rovers Ladies

    Wow...just wow...
  7. Thank you...much appreciated...
  8. There are two artefacts that definitively slam shut; a teenager’s bedroom door after a “full and frank” parental discussion and twice a year; the transfer window. The transfer window, at least in my febrile imagination, is an ornate Victorian sash window, crushing the fingers of those club chairmen and managers alike who have failed to complete their business in good time. You cannot help but get the sense that with the evidence of the very late business transacted by Rovers, the fingers of Tony Mowbray and Steve Waggott were extremely close to being trapped painfully at 5pm last Thursday, at the very least recipients of an ad hoc manicure. It was an odd transfer window, neither awful nor especially fulfilling. It promised to deliver but ultimately was something of a damp squib. The manifest shortcomings in last season’s squad had been identified, targets to address also were seemingly identified; but the necessary deals to close the gaps failed to materialise. Additional midfielders and strikers were recruited, the promise that “defenders are coming” uttered by Mowbray at the Fans’ Forum just a few weeks ago, seemingly an empty pledge. What confused Rovers fans further, right on the cusp of the deadline, was the departure, albeit on loan, of team captain and set piece supremo Charlie Mulgrew. This is a conspiracist’s dream, an unplanned departure of a popular player to a local rival with no prior hint, for no fee. Mulgrew’s powers did rather seem to be on the wane in fairness, many a forum thread considering the relative benefits of his set pieces versus his defensive frailties concluded that we could strengthen in that position. Indeed, we could and should have strengthened; but when all the business is complete and you are left with three loanees in a defence (including the keeper) it smacks of short-term expediency. It smacks a little of desperation. It is either extremely “courageous” or “foolish” depending on how charitable towards Mowbray & Waggott you may feel. Early on Saturday afternoon, the courage/folly was exposed yet further when it emerged that Darragh Lenihan and Ryan Nyambe were unavailable due to injury and that new loanee left back, Greg Cunningham was not in the squad, despite having travelled. Away to recently relegated pre-season promotion favourites Fulham with another defensive combo including another debutant, the Manchester City loanee, Tosin Adarabioyo. What could possibly go wrong? The answer in the first half, at least initially, was “not much”. Rovers started brightly and energetically. Chances fell to Bradley Johnson and Sam Gallagher but were not converted. Fulham looked edgy following their opening day defeat. Rovers really needed to capitalise, but the clinical cutting edge was missing. Pressure, pressing, possession; all good but it’s goals that are decisive. That Fulham’s opener came from Tom Cairney will surprise few Rovers fans. That he was given time & space to receive, control, set up and shoot without a navy-blue 3rdkit wearing Rovers player coming within sniffing distance was almost criminal. It was a fabulous strike but he was thirty yards out and Walton was sadly nowhere near preventing the goal. The second half started brightly, Armstrong coming closest to registering a shot on target but the half seemed to play out to a familiar script:- ROVERS: *Run out of ideas, make substitutions, play players out of position, run out of steam, make mistakes, concede a second, bemoan your luck…rinse & repeat* FANS: "Oh..." It’s a quote attributed to many, but most often to Gary Player, that “the harder I work, the luckier I get…”, Rovers can exclaim that luck isn’t on their side at the moment, however, this is a team that in its opening two league games has scored only via an own goal, failed to register a shot on target on Saturday and has never seriously threatened a clean sheet. More hard work may be needed you suspect. There were some positives on Saturday; the partnership of Adarabioyo and Williams looked promising, Bennett improved immeasurably (though he should not really be our first choice right back) and Dack’s first half performance was back to his impudent best. Overall though, we were beaten by a team that took its chances. Where next then? Well, back to Ewood for a Carabao Cup tie with Oldham Athletic, presenting an opportunity for redemption. Just the eleven changes and a chance for fringe players to stake a claim. The fact that a roller-coaster of a game needed the old firm of Dack & Graham to fashion a comeback or two to overcome League Two opposition will cause many a wry grin you suspect. A win is a win, but somehow this performance brought yet more problems to the fore and provided little in the way of (defensive) comfort. Dack & Graham appear to be a partnership which delivers a sum greater than the parts. Splitting them up leaves Dack bereft, but £12m spent on Brereton & Gallagher means scrutiny if the old firm starts on Saturday. Mowbray needs to find a formula from somewhere to use his recruits and bring out the best of Dack. With just two league games played, it is of course ridiculously premature to draw too many conclusions. Many pointed out on social media that the last time Rovers last their opening two league fixtures, the season ended with a glorious promotion. The counter argument to that sadly, is to point out that the last time Rovers lost all three opening fixtures, relegation was the final denouement to a season of disappointment. Saturday looms large. Rovers next league opponents Middlesbrough, have also started shakily; they too found the Carabao Cup particularly challenging, losing at home on penalties. They too will have reason to crave a victory. Their exciting Friday night TV opener at Luton followed up with a home defeat to Brentford has left them with just one point. Another former Rover in the form of Rudy Gestede lies in wait, though probably from the bench based on Woodgate’s team selections so far. Let’s hope that it is Downing, Graham, Chapman, Smallwood and Mowbray that have the upper hand against their former club and that somehow, Tony Mowbray can fashion an effective back four from his squad. One final cheery note to end on; bravo to all the supporters who have contributed to sponsoring the Rovers Ladies team this season. BRFCS forum member and podcast panellist Linz Lewis, has once again mobilised her formidable social media army to raise (at time of writing) over £3k. The original target was £250, with the aim of sponsoring one player; £3k covers a starting XI, so this is quite an achievement. #OneRovers in deed. *Thanks to Michael Taylor ( @MarpleLeaf ) for the photographs...
  9. Herbie6590

    Sponsoring Rovers Ladies

    This is amazing...shows what we can do as a fan base when we are all committed to a cause. Well done @LinzLewis15 & everyone who has contributed.
  10. Herbie6590

    Signed shirt in aid of Pendleside Hospice.

    I’ve put this on Twitter as well 👍🏻
  11. Herbie6590

    Kits 19/20

    New home or 3rd ?
  12. Herbie6590

    Kits 19/20

    Well....
  13. Trust me...Alex knows a LOT about football...😉
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