I haven’t posted about Rovers fortunes for a long while. It’s so hard to believe in the current ownership and it’s very easy to become disaffected and disillusioned with the way in which the poultry barons in Pune have breathed life into our nightmares.
On the subject of their 7th permanent manager in 9 abject years, it is hard to escape the fact that any judgement of Tony Mowbray was always going to be distorted by the folly that preceded him. He followed Owen Coyle, who was a farcical appointment that could only have been entertained by fools looking to torment an already mistreated fan base. Therefore the unsuccessful battle against relegation was overlooked and Mowbray’s contribution from Feb-May was, rightly or wrongly, viewed largely as a valiant effort.
The promotion season was enjoyable for the simple reason that for the first time under these wretched owners, a winning team was being turned out most weeks and, to Mowbray’s credit, he projected a palpable authenticity and came across as the “proper football man” that so many of us dearly craved. That said, for me personally, the football was unconvincing, but I was (like most of us I suspect) carried away with this euphoria of winning, which had become so alien.
Last season again seemed to be considered a “free hit” by many, but for me this is where significant concerns began to manifest themselves on a consistent basis. Chief amongst them, the “marquee” signing Brereton, the porous defence and Mowbray singularly failing to integrate the talented Joe Rothwell until it was too late.
This summer was not only a missed opportunity, but for me actually inflicted more weaknesses in a squad that so badly needed augmenting in crucial areas.
The goalkeeping situation has completely bemused me. Raya was far from faultless, at times painfully naive, but the necessary promise was there to be nurtured and developed. Walton is not an upgrade and more significantly is not even our player. For me the sale of Raya is symptomatic of this manager, his handling of youth players has left a lot to be desired, as both Nyambe and to a certain extent Travis demonstrate with their performances, which have to me displayed confidence issues and an anxiety which were non existent 9-12 months ago. The acquisition of Gallagher is fast becoming as big an albatross round Mowbray’s neck as Brereton and the striking department is beginning to look worryingly bare.
The team, much like the club itself, is drifting in a mode of complacency and that is when sides are at their most vulnerable. A real motivator and tactical innovator is what the club needs and has needed since the needless jettisoning of Allardyce. 9 years have nearly passed, very little fun has been had following Rovers in those times. The Raos have had 7 go’s at getting it right and simply have not, only proving that their heads are as empty as Ewood Park. Mowbray has probably come to the end, but the sad and frank truth is, I have no faith his replacement will be any greater suited to deliver the needs of our football club