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Found 103 results

  1. No lessons learned. No possession football. No plan B. No Joe Rothwell. No defence. No defenders signed. No method. No Ryan Nyambe. No positivity. No progress. No idea. You're a nice bloke, you've done a good job but this is as far you will take us. Don't ruin your legacy, do the right thing and step aside. Charlton are relegation fodder so what does that make us? Go.
  2. Stuart

    Stewart Downing

    https://www.rovers.co.uk/news/2019/june/rovers-seal-downing-deal/ Now a Rover
  3. https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F402044024668 Adult Medium Shirt 3rd Kit Brand new with tags
  4. philipl

    Tosin

    Surprised Aderabioyo doesn't have his own thread. Quietly did what he was brought in for today but the system didn't gell. With Laporte out long term and City Central defense repeatedly vulnerable today, might he be recalled early?
  5. This week's "Accrington Observer" column...with a few added extras... Black(burn)adder Goes Forth Rovers fans: “But it’s the same plan that we used last time...and the seventeen times before that...” Gen. Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Mowbray: “EXACTLY...& that is what is so brilliant about it. It will catch the watchful opposition totally off guard. Doing precisely what we've done eighteen times before is exactly the last thing they'll expect us to do this time!" (with humble apologies to Richard Curtis & Ben Elton) For quite some time now, Rovers have been struggling to find a solution to the “Danny Graham Question”. Graham has proved to be one of the best value for money signings made in the Venky’s-era and perhaps even further back. The unique skills, experience and characteristics he provides sadly do not as yet include eternal youth and are proving very difficult to replace. Of course, that was before the untimely and unfortunate injury to Bradley Dack which has served to bring the problem into even sharper focus. Dack and Graham have proved to be quite the double-act for Rovers, instrumental in both the promotion success from League One and in establishing the newly-promoted side in the Championship. But now Tony Mowbray faces the task of replacing the both of them at the same time and it’s proving to be quite the conundrum. Mowbray seems to have been a proponent of the wide-striker concept for some time. Back in 2017, he signed Marcus Antonsson on loan from Leeds to play wide-left and in January 2018, added his former Coventry City confidant Adam Armstrong on loan from Newcastle to play wide-right. Armstrong’s pace lends itself to taking on and outpacing a full-back but despite this, "#minishearer" seems still to have a hankering to play through the middle. This approach has continued in the Championship albeit with a changing cast list. First Ben Brereton was brought in late in the summer 2018 transfer window. Sam Gallagher, a former Rovers loanee that had worked under Mowbray at the end of the fateful relegation season returned on a permanent deal last summer. Each has been played in the wide-right role but with little tangible success thus far. Last Saturday, against PNE, once again we enjoyed/endured the spectacle of a 6 feet, 4 inches tall striker labouring down the right flank, trying to link up with an overlapping right-back in Ryan Nyambe, all with the intention, it seems, of providing crosses for the diminutive Adam Armstrong (5 feet, 8 inches tall). I have noted in previous columns that this is a tactic that was used by Mark Hughes; but once, in specific circumstances, aimed at allowing Roque Santa Cruz to exploit Patrice Evra’s stature. It was not the default setting. Armstrong of late, thankfully, seems to have revelled in the opportunity to fill the goal-scoring vacuum created by Dack’s absence, but the bizarre spectacle of Rovers continually launching long, high balls down the middle and Gallagher trying to provide crosses from the flanks to him remains mystifying. Armstrong is clearly most potent when receiving the ball to feet, running directly at retreating defenders, unsettling them with his pace and so it proved early on against Preston. Once more against North End, Rovers hit the ground running and took an early lead. However, there were a number of Rovers fans who insisted that tactically, the worst thing Rovers could then do on Saturday was to make that a two-nil lead; dark humour indeed. As it transpired, there was no need for concern. Following a lengthy hold up which saw the unfortunate Corry Evans stretchered off following a painful and probably season-ending encounter with head-high boot of Clarke, Paul Gallagher played a delightful free-kick into the Rovers box. Despite the close attention of Johnson and Lenihan, perhaps inspired by Harry & Meghan, they chose that moment to step back from actual front-line defending. The knock down fell to Harrop who smashed the ball into the top right-hand corner leaving Walton helpless. The lead had lasted less than a quarter of an hour. Steve Waggott may well have attributed this goal to the presence of Preston fans in the lower tier of the Darwen End. What then transpired, was either a competitive local derby with neither side able to establish superiority or frankly, a dull match in which two out of form, but evenly-matched sides struggled to find any real fluency to their play – depending upon your perspective. Once more Rovers failed to better their Lancashire rivals – seven games now since a Jordan Rhodes inspired Rovers came out on top. As the poet John Hegley once quipped, "The main difference between Blackburn and Preston, is that Preston is more western...". There was little to choose between the two sides here. The highlight possibly came even before kick off, when Morten Gamst Pedersen emerged from the tunnel looking as sprightly as many of the current first-team squad and resplendent in a current Rovers shirt bearing his name and the number 12. The outstanding contributor on the field was also a veteran left-winger, the doughty Stewart Downing, another with a trusty left foot and a few years MGP’s junior; his every touch silky and considered. For those of sufficient vintage, his range of passing and ability to find a yard to cross are reminiscent of David Wagstaffe. Though Downing’s fitness levels are possibly a tad higher, Waggy’s left foot could land the ball pretty much on a given blade of grass so arguably he didn’t need to run. Rovers haven’t had much success in signing veterans in recent years but Downing thankfully has certainly halted that trend. For Tony Mowbray, the search for a Baldrick-style cunning plan goes on. Brereton wasn’t even in the squad on Saturday, rumours suggest a loan move to the Netherlands to join ADO Den Haag is in the offing and that might be best for all parties. Alan Pardew may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if he can rekindle some form in Brereton then his Wembley cup final dance deserves a reprise. Gallagher continues his struggle for form from out on the right-hand touchline and Danny Graham looks a little like Ernie Wise did after Eric Morecambe’s passing, lost without his partner in crime and contemplating a life in retirement. The January transfer window is still open but the overwhelming message coming out of Ewood is seemingly one of austerity, expectations are low, but for Mowbray, the problems grow. Charlie Mulgrew has seemingly opted to return to Rovers from Wigan rather than continuing his loan...perhaps he can play outside-right ? Mulgrew's 27 goals from 99 appearances is a strike rate that seems unlikely to be matched any time soon by Gallagher or Brereton. Next up a trip to Hillsborough and for me, a local match that offers the prospect of being back home before even 606 starts. Whether General Mowbray tries something different is open to question; after all, doing what we’ve done on nineteen previous occasions is the very LAST thing that the Owls will expect.
  6. renrag

    4th ROUND DAY

    Both Rovers and Wigan will now have a free date on January 25th. I wonder if they will show a bit of initiative and rearrange the Wednesday night fixture to that day
  7. This week's "Accrington Observer" column...with a few added extras... Lack of Dack Sets Rovers Back They say you don’t choose your football team, rather it chooses you by dint of circumstances. Call it fate or luck if you will. Just imagine the alternative. A sort of due-diligence process, whereby you scored your potential team on various characteristics and arrived at a “suitability ranking”. Many modern-day supporters happened at their favourites by simply looking at the league table or if more cosmopolitan, the Champions League winners’ roster. Had I been able to decide on the criteria to be used in such a scorecard, the prospects of my potential club to reach the FA Cup final would have been one of the key factors. I loved the FA Cup. (My choice of tense there is a conscious decision). I am of a generation that remembers FA Cup final day as being one of those rare occasions when you could watch a live game on TV (not even the League Cup final was broadcast live back then). The week after, you then had England v Scotland live in the Home Internationals, truly saturation coverage. I loved the whole FA Cup final day; much like an over-indulgent wedding, paid for by a proud father of an only daughter; no expense spared, nothing too good for his pride and joy. All that pomp, circumstance and sense of occasion rolled into an easy to consume televisual feast. The build-up, long before the days of reality TV let’s not forget, had cameras at the team hotels, on the coaches, circling helicopters following their route, pre-game interviews on the pitch; I couldn't get enough of this heady mix. Add an FA Cup final edition of “It’s A Knockout” and “Question of Sport” to the mix and that was your day pretty much sorted. I was insanely jealous of fans of lower level teams who reached Wembley – Sunderland, Fulham, Southampton, West Ham and QPR all had their moment of glory. Two semi-finals being the best we could muster; Cardiff and Old Trafford each great days out, but victory eluding us on each occasion. Morten, oh Morten, I still cannot believe you missed THAT header... We should really have won it during the Dalglish years. Victory in 1993 or 1994 would have made the perfect appetiser to the entrée of 1995’s league triumph. That Boxing Day knee injury to Alan Shearer possibly the significant contributory factor. Despite Steve Livingstone’s best efforts, the 1993 quarter final against Sheffield Utd will be remembered for a heart-breaking penalty kick defeat. Anyhow, enough whimsy, coming back to modern times – we now enjoy kick-off times all over the shop, half-empty, no three-quarters empty stadiums, VAR in some but not all games, replays in some rounds but not all, weakened teams being selected by clubs all over the country, TV coverage largely behind paywalls...what on earth has happened to this famous old competition? How did we, the supporters, ever allow it? Let’s be honest, the FA Cup is finished isn’t it? Well it most certainly is for Blackburn Rovers, for this season, before even the 3pm Saturday games kicked off. Saturday’s lunchtime encounter with Birmingham City was entirely in keeping with the current malaise surrounding the team. A number of chances created, falling to misfiring strikers, contriving on one spectacular occasion to block a goal bound shot of their own, with the Birmingham keeper and defence AWOL. Scant consolation is that Danny Baker no longer produces his famous "Own Goals and Gaffes" videos, for this particular clip would have been a shoo-in. Since that excellent win at Bristol City, the high point of an unbeaten run which raised hopes of January fuelling a promotion push, the talk has instead moved to noting that it’s now five games without a win in all competitions. Rovers seem to have discovered and mined a rich seam of inconsistency over the last 12 months or so with an efficiency that would have put the most productive members of the NUM to shame. This latest sequence though has caused more than a little concern, coming as it does after the serious injury recently sustained by Bradley Dack. There were plenty of unsubstantiated rumours doing the rounds that the current transfer window would see Rovers cashing in on their prime asset, a potential sale to West Bromwich Albion being the most vaunted destination. The recent publication of Venky’s London Ltd accounts (Rovers’ parent company) indicate that losses continue to grow despite promotion. If sufficient income can neither be generated on matchdays, nor via commercial activities, then logically, player sales is the only way to go. Of the current squad, Dack is very much the crown jewel, his injury may well have upset his fellow players, supporters and finance director equally, but for fundamentally different reasons. On the field, the Forest league game and Birmingham cup game highlighted that without Dack, Mowbray remains unsure which formation is the best alternative. Quite often, playing several different ones within the ninety minutes. Versatility is a much-prized asset but players like Stewart Downing have played at least four positions, Gallagher and Brereton continue to be used in wide positions and Armstrong has played wide left, right and centrally, often in the same game. The search for a “Dack-less formation” goes on, but this constant tinkering has been occurring for over a year; the inconsistencies in form likewise. The expectations of supporters for the window are now being managed by Mowbray with talk of there being “no treasure chest”. At best it seems, a loan or two, perhaps not even that. The “need to sell first” chat is gathering momentum, but with Dack injured, who else could raise the necessary finance? More to the point, cash in the bank doesn't score goals nor make saves or tackles, so it would have to be spent wisely – and how confident would any fan be in that regard currently? Sadly, the two substantial fees spent by Rovers in the last year have resulted in under-achievement and deep disappointment. Sam Gallagher and the increasingly forlorn Ben Brereton, seem unable to live up to the promise ignited by the size of their fees. Of course, the fees aren’t set by the players but they seem to be having a similar effect on them as a sizeable fee once did on Kevin Davies. The impact on Brereton especially is heart-wrenching. Many Rovers fans will have read Matt Jansen's excellent book over the Christmas holidays and will have learned of the fragile nature of confidence and how difficult it is, once lost, to restore in an elite athlete. At this point, one has to wonder whether Rovers should engage the services of a sports psychologist like Prof Steve Peters to work with Ben to rebuild his confidence. If you spent £7m on a supercar, you would in all likelihood ensure it was regularly serviced and maintained. Rovers cannot afford to write this fee off, they surely must consider all options to recover this situation and help the player. Ultimately as we know, Davies had to leave, start again and reinvent himself (very successfully) at a local rival under the tutelage of a manager once described by David Dunn the best man manager he ever played for, yes, Sam Allardyce of course. Right now, given the pressure that is starting to build and the recent caustic press comments of the manager, the chances of Brereton, Gallagher and Mowbray all being at Ewood in January 2021 seem slim. Curiously though, at that point, by dint of circumstances, we will almost certainly still have Bradley Dack.
  8. Never going to happen (so don't come at me saying "Player X broke his leg last year and can't walk so this is a ridiculous thing to suggest") etc.. But fun to fantasy book a Blackburn all stars game. I went with a 2003-7 vs 2007-12 kind of vibe myself... Q1: Who wins? Q2: How many fans turn up if they do an MGP testimonial? Q3: Who would you LOVE to see play one more time in a charity game at Ewood Park?
  9. Bigdoggsteel

    Player of the year (so far)

    So, not that easy I don't think. Lets be having your votes so! Funnily Walton could be a contender for this and worst player so inconsistent has he been. Inconsistent being the key word for the entire team. Have to probably give it to Armstrong as things stand.
  10. Worst goals-to-minute ratios for strikers in the Championship this season: 1) Sam Gallagher - a goal every 727 minutes 2) Kieffer Moore - 618 3) David Nugent - 611 4) Jack Marriott - 465 5) Atdhe Nuhiu - 406 THIS is the truth. He isn't good enough. https://twitter.com/TheSecondTier/status/1213019919324983296 - Source
  11. joey_big_nose

    John Buckley

    Thought he deserved his own thread. Based on the rave reviews he's getting seems like this guy is the most promising youth player to come through since Phil Jones. I can't think of anyone there has been such universal praise for. Got a bit of game time end of last season, and has played a lot in pre season. LET suggested he may go on loan, but I guess he may actually make the season squad given the quality he's show. In our preferred 4231 he seems most comfortable across the attacking 3 mids, but there might be a significant role for him to play in the deeper 2 mids if we want someone in off the bench to improve our passing game when we're chasing a match. We havent had that since Cairney left. Excited to see him, Davenport, Nyambe, Chapman and maybe even Hart and Rankin-Costello play a significant role next year. Plus Travis, Armstrong, Lenihan, Dack, Gallagher and Rothwell who are all established but still young and improving. Also I'm not a Brereton fan at all, but have to admit he's moved on a bit from an abject start to his Rovers career. I think how well we do is largely going to be determined by how these young players step up as while a bit of experience from Johnson and Downing will maybe help shore things up they are unlikely to substantially move the needle from last season. Would love to see a midfield of Buckley, Travis, Rothwell, Dack powering us up the table!
  12. chaddyrovers

    Walton stats

    Christian Walton, Darren Randolph, Kiko Casilla, Freddie Woodman and David Raya's 2019/20 stats compared and ranked. Goalkeeping is a very subjective position so take from it what you will. Great for Blackburn fans to compare Raya and Walton! https://t.co/RY0Sq49RFB
  13. Doogs

    Too many changes

    What are you thoughts on the number of changes from game to game. Rotation as Tony calls it. 28 changes in last 5 games...I notice Liverpool played last night with one change. I feel the constant swopping and changing has cost us points.
  14. This week's "Accrington Observer" column...with a few added extras... That Was Then, This Is Now Way back in January 2010, the fresh, new decade was ushered in with the New Year’s Day Premier League table showing Blackburn Rovers in a respectable thirteenth; a place and a point above the Owen Coyle-led Burnley. Just one week later, Coyle was to de-camp to the side eighteenth in that table, Bolton Wanderers; continuing his grand management tour of Lancashire, but condemned never again to hit the high watermark of his time at Burnley. If only that was the last we were to hear of Mr Coyle... That season would end with Rovers in tenth and seemingly established as a Premier league club. Our nearest and dearest would suffer relegation in May 2010, whilst Rovers and Bolton would survive the drop until 2012. It’s fair to say that the last decade has been tumultuous for Rovers. The Walker Trust eventually sold the club late in 2010 to the now infamous Indian chicken conglomerate, Venky’s. The logic of that purchase evaded many at the time and little has emerged subsequently to explain the rationale. What is beyond doubt is that in terms of expensive hobbies, the purchase of Rovers is perhaps second only to Elon Musk’s fixation with outer space. Though in his defence, Musk’s venture can at least boast a record of a successful lift off and delivery of stratospheric expectations;and in his case, lack of atmosphere is a pre-requisite for normal working conditions. Rovers began the decade led by a rugged former centre-back turned manager, ably assisted by a former full-back, sitting thirteenth in the league. Post-Venky’s, well...there are parallels but clearly, the 2019 vintage doesn’t boast a squad with more than twenty internationals competing effectively in the top division. The question as to when Rovers might again share such an exalted status is one that has vexed supporters now since 2012. The last twelve months has served to demonstrate that with a solid, dependable and capable squad, a challenge for the play-offs seems tantalisingly to be within reach but that same squad, on its day, is more than capable of turning in some truly woeful displays. Throughout 2019, form has arrived and departed with all the predictability and reliability of a Northern Rail train. The end of December offered up a glorious opportunity to raise the benchmark of expectations with a chance to capitalise on a very tidy unbeaten run with two eminently winnable home fixtures against Wigan and Birmingham, followed by an away trip to struggling Huddersfield. If ever a sequence of results was to capture the year’s frustrations in a microcosm, this was it. In a really decent gesture to the wider football family, Rovers donated some complimentary tickets for the Birmingham game to Bury FC fans who have been without a team to support this season thanks to the unseemly demise of their club. After watching the spectacle served up, one can only imagine if some of those supporters re-evaluated their lack of live football and concluded that it was not perhaps as bad a fate as first feared. The Birmingham game will not go down in the annals of history as one of the great Boxing Day encounters. That it took penalty kicks for each side to score summed up the levels of creativity and attacking verve on display. That penalty kicks were so softly conceded also demonstrated the defensive naivety on display. A poll on the BRFCS Twitter feed before Christmas voted that the best performance of 2019 was the 2-0 victory away at Bristol City, just twelve days earlier. A side that contained six changes had adapted swiftly to record a notable and stylish victory. Here, a side that also contained six changes struggled for fluency. That same poll on BRFCS voted Bradley Dack as player of 2019, there was no doubt that his guile, cunning and trickery was missed here and will be missed for the most part of 2020 for that matter. The year and the decade were incomplete however without a visit to Huddersfield. Once more, Mowbray was to ring the changes – five this time - albeit three enforced by injuries. Desperately seeking a formation and tactics to fill a Bradley Dack shaped hole, Graham and Gallagher were selected but it wasn’t easy to discern the formation. It looked like young John Buckley was to take on the mantle of the right-winger in waiting in a 4-4-2. It was not to be a successful experiment and the key feature of this game was the constant tinkering with formations and tactics. Rovers started brightly, scored early but handed the initiative back to Huddersfield almost immediately. Rovers passing accuracy was appalling. Nobody emerged with credit on this score. Substitutes were thrown on in an attempt to change the game but the month was to end with a whimper; toothless, disorganised and shambolic. In a delightful display of gallows humour, a Rovers fan on Twitter announced that he had won two tickets to the upcoming Preston game. Quick as a flash the replies rolled in “second prize three tickets...”, “third prize a half season-ticket...”. Glorious! 2019 has at various times threatened a play-off push and then almost immediately, a pivot to relegation form. With the loss of the talismanic Dack, Mowbray’s penchant for playing strikers out wide, Danny Graham’s age catching up with him, the defence struggling with the loss of Cunningham and the potential loss of Adarabioyo; Tony Mowbray currently has more on his plate than Homer Simpson at an “all you can eat buffet”. The decade therefore ends with Rovers a division lower, crowds down and massive losses being racked up year upon year. What will happen in the next ten weeks frankly is impossible to predict, where the end of 2029 will find Blackburn Rovers is anybody’s guess...but we can (and will) continue to hope...and dream. Footnote :- just as I was finishing this column, the Venky's London accounts were published and have been analysed on their own thread on here but it brings into sharp focus the extent of the dilemma facing the owners of Championship clubs confronted with FFP regulations but a desire to chase the dream of Premier League football. Rovers are entirely in hock to Venky's. They pay the bills, they cover our losses and without them, to stay solvent, we would have to hack our wage bill so dramatically that we would be looking at Accrington Stanley as our natural local rivals. With crowd numbers largely stagnant, TV money helpful but nowhere near PL levels, the only other realistic source of income for Rovers is the sale of players. We are back to the pre-Jack model for the club. The strong rumour circulating is that Dack was likely to be sold in January for a tidy sum, but we all know why that is off the table, so the club now has to plug a further income hole off the pitch and more importantly, on the pitch. It could get a bit rocky over the next 3/4 months as there seems to be little headroom for spending in January based on these latest numbers. Those promising academy prospects like Buckley, Rankin-Costello, Magloire and Wharton are the future - whether as on-field contributors, or a means of bringing in transfer fees...ideally of course, both. Hold on to your hats folks... Happy New Year everyone !
  15. Firstly I'd like to wish all Rovers' fans a happy Christmas and a fantastic 2020. What's your best remembered Rovers Christmas fixture? After 55 years of watching Rovers, mine is 26th December 1977: nothing since has come remotely close... It's hard to smile when you're 3 nil down, The Rovers giving you the run around.....
  16. So as we approach the January window, I figured it was time for a look back at our summer transfer dealings. I've done it the last few seasons now, and it's been fair to say that our transfer policy up till now has been a mixed bag. Below are my thoughts on how we did this summer and am interested in the opinions of others. Please note, this is an evaluation based on our half season so far, not just our current great run, nor our 6 game winless run, but hopefully a balanced look at the 5 months. Also factored in to my thinking is cost and squad balance and needs. Walton - 3 A poor signing as the clangers remain prevalent without the extraordinary saves of Raya to help him out. Poor distribution too. What makes this signing worse is that Walton is only on loan, meaning that even if he does eventually develop (doubtful imo) we won't be the ones who benefit. Add in he can be recalled, albeit that is only a drawback because of the incompetence of our understudy, and the fact it's not really building forward and progressing (new keeper next year) and you really question the sense of this signing. Tosin - 8 A few bits hit and miss but we are much more defensively solid with him in the side. Still think we needed a hard nut centre back of our own, but he's the next best thing. Quality distribution is a real plus, and is a big improvement defensively on Mulgrew and Rodwell. We don't have enough centre backs to take advantage of his versatility, and he is only on loan, but despite these minor gripes Tosin has been a great addition to the team. Cunningham - N/A He looked like he would be a good signing and boost the team but an injury early on means its unfair to rate him one way or another. Shame, as I suspect he would have made a big difference, but don't want to criticise or praise TM on an unknown. Johnson - 4 Started brightly but quickly fades. Seems to be the story of his season and every time he plays (bar the last game). A really promising start but attitude and lack of fitness have meant he's now below Evans, and I'm not sure he's much better in Bennett in that role too. Given his age means he's not a long term signing who will improve, and his overall lack of impact on the first team, this seems like a real waste of a wage. He's ok but given we had a couple of other players who can do a job as well if not better there, it doesn't seem like a step up improving the team. Funds would have been much better used supporting the defence then adding another ageing average centre mid in. Holtby - 8 Not fully hit the ground running due to fitness issues, but then if he didn't have said issues he wouldn't be at Rovers. A quality player on the ball, and fits well into our system. Think as his fitness improves we'll see more from him and a bargain on a free. A very clever signing. Downing - 9 A very clever signing. Not had a bad game yet, and done well in a couple of positions. He gives us balance and width on the left and a good supply of crosses for our strikers. He's also proved a reliable left back which is something we haven't had in the squad of late bar a brief dalliance with Cunningham. All in all, performing above and beyond expectations. Shame he is 35 and won't be around for that long. Had we got the rest of our transfer business right I feel that Downing would have been the final piece of the jigsaw that would push us towards promotion. Chapman - 2 Not sure whether it's attitude or fitness but given TM has worked with him before, this can't have come as a surprise. So just a waste of a wage, which was entirely avoidable. Gallagher - 4 Yes, there have been an improvement of late, and yes there are signs of hope. But we needed a replacement ready to take Graham's place and Gally isn't that (yet). Additionally only 3 goals isn't a great return for half a season. Not that TM helped by putting him on the wing on numerous occasions. There's been a fair number of indifferent and poor performances up front and on the wing and given we spent most our budget on him, this really isn't the sort of return that you need. The money could have been spent better - especially on the defence and keeper position, and he hasn't performed like what we should get for a £5 million striker. That said given we own him and his age, the promising signs mean that he could develop and become a good player. The problem is that wasn't what we wanted/needed this season. Overall imo another season of boom and bust. There are issues of the transfers we didn't do - namely a few more defenders and a back up keeper. It only took the Cunningham injury for us to look very thin on the ground, whilst our current keeper is safe as houses regardless of how he plays as he has no competition/competent back up. The positive is that the successes have been very successful, and there haven't been any absolute expensive flops such as Whittingham and Bereton. Some may think I've been overly harsh on Gally and Johnson but I think when fees are considered and what was needed, then they haven't matched up to what is required. That said neither is the utter flop of previous expensive failures, and aren't liabilities, so perhaps that is a step in the right direction. Overall though another season of 50:50 in the transfer window from TM.
  17. This week's "Accrington Observer" column takes a poetic turn.... ‘Twas the Night Before, the Night Before Christmas (with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore ) ‘Twas the night before, the night before Christmas and all round the ground, No home fans were singing, not even a sound, The passing was poor, not with enough care, Hoof it into the area, or somewhere near there. The fans were all settled, all snug in their seats, With visons of a home win as their Christmas treat, Mum in a bobble hat, dad in a cap, Well it was so dull, you had time for a nap. When a cross came in, Danny Graham was clattered, The referee saw nothing wrong with the matter, Fans stood up to shout, frustration to the fore, We could play here all night and still never score. Floodlights shining down on the well-tended grass, Wigan attacker falling down on his...behind, When, what to my wondering eyes should appear A shot hit on target, a goal seemed so near. With Holtby now on, so lively and quick, His passing composed and with time for a flick, No difference it made, the goal never came, Mowbray whistled and shouted and called them by name; "Now Darragh! Now Ryan! Now, Arma and Dacky! On, Danny! On, Stewart! Don't keep passing backy...” To the edge of the box, Put it over the wall, Now dash away Arma, dash away all! The passing remained poor though, all through the game, No matter which player, the end result the same, The ref whistled loud, again and again, The home crowd did groan, a familiar refrain. Bradders went down, clutching his knee, A sight no Rovers fan wanted to see, It didn't look good, he went down in great pain, He’ll receive our best wishes again and again. Wigan grew stronger, starting to feel bold, Cook on the touchline, no longer cold, Walton the hero, not once but twice, Frustrating old teammates must have felt nice. A goalless draw and a pretty poor game, Not what was ordered, a performance so lame, Seven changes it seems unsettled the team, But promotion or play-offs remain in our dreams. Mowbray sprang to his feet on the ref’s final whistle, All off down the tunnel and no doubt this’ll, Be what he said as he disappeared out of sight, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!" We’ll all be back again on Boxing Day, “Big Club” from Brum the team that we’ll play, Let’s hope for three points and a well-deserved win, A late Christmas present to make the fans grin. Now it seems that all that is left to say, Is hope you enjoyed your Christmas Day, May the wins keep on coming, bringing great cheer, And make 2020 a very good year! Thanks for reading my various musings so far this season, hope you have enjoyed them and that you’ll continue to do so into the New Year. Have a very Merry Christmas from me & everyone at www.BRFCS.com. @ianherbert (Old Blackburnian) * special thanks to @St_Jimmy_77 for the photos...
  18. Bohinen 22

    Pie eaters

    What a classless bunch they are. Singing derogatory songs about a player as they're getting stretchered off. Cook swearing and arguing every decision. Morsy wandering around acting like the thug he is. I could go on. On the other hand, as much as I dislike Cook, he got his tactics spot on. Slowed down our transitions and passed it well and got stuck in. They'll be too good to go down.
  19. A slightly longer version of this week's "Accrington Observer" column... Everybody Look What’s Going Down At the end of a tortuous and hard-fought campaign, the candidates had put their records out there to be evaluated, making strong claims, though each arriving at this judgement day from fundamentally different positions. Irrespective of your personal opinions and preferences, the winner had to be respected, whilst all that was left for the loser was simply to learn from the experience and try harder next time. Marcelo Bielsa may have won the November Manager of the Month, but Tony Mowbray has perhaps won the intellectual argument. Mowbray remains in charge to oversee a period of mature reflection over his personal contribution, no doubt relieved that the curse of the award would be a burden for Bielsa to carry. The results from last Saturday certainly backed up that presumption. Rovers recent form has served to demonstrate that the Championship this season is far from cut and dried. The top two may have opened up a gap, but it is far from irretrievable; especially if the curse of the Manager of the Month continues to work its magic. Simply string a couple of wins together and a rise up the table is assured. Win five out of six and Robert may well be your mother's brother. At the time of writing, the points spread from third to thirteenth is six points – merely a couple of wins..! In hindsight, the Preston game might well prove to be a watershed moment in the season. All of Rovers’ foibles laid bare in one handy ninety-minute package. Vibrant, penetrative attacking, leading to fragile confidence and shambolic defending; would the real Blackburn Rovers please stand up ? Since then, something has definitely changed. In the words of the old Buffalo Springfield song;(this'll bring the teenagers flocking - ed) “There’s something happening here, What it is ain’t exactly clear...” First up, another resilient midweek performance, away to a sprightly Swansea City, one of the early favourites for promotion, who themselves had hit a rocky patch of form in November. Would Rovers provide their by now, surely patented, opposition rehabilitation service? Well no, not this time. In fact, had Bradley Dack not demonstrated a serious inability to calculate, (with the precision usually associated with his finishing); just when and how to secure a red card in order to ensure Christmas off, (it needed to be violent conduct Bradders, or wait until the Bristol City game); then all three points really ought to have been travelling north after the game. The opening goal from Graham, against one of his many former employers was a delight. A fluent move, slick inter-passing, prompted once again by the reborn Evans, to Dack and then Armstrong and a clinical finish from DG. Swansea responded quickly though; a corner led to Ayew being allowed a virtually free header at the edge of the six-yard box. Gallagher created a great chance for himself towards the end but was foiled by the keeper. With Dack’s foolish dismissal evening things up, Rovers were unable to capitalise fully on a man advantage, a draw was probably a fair result. Last season, the trip to Ashton Gate proved to be one of the horror show away performances that have punctuated the last year or so. It was in fairness a horrible performance and I suspect that many travelling fans heading south this time around, did so in hope rather than expectation. Once the team-sheet was published, showing six changes, then it seemed that “Tony’s Tombola” was in full use. “Courageous”, “foolhardy”, “reckless”, “ballsy”; you pays your money you takes your choice as to how to describe the selection. From my perspective, it was brave, but it served to reduce my expectations of a decent result come 5pm. Mowbray called it spot on though. He sees the players day in day out, he knows who is in or is approaching the "red zone", his decision is final. In what was proving to be a great week for Johnsons, Bradley of the Ewood parish seized the opportunity provided, by scoring a belter early on from a smart corner routine from Holtby. How nice it was to see Rovers score a training ground move rather than concede one. Through some robust midfield tackling on his part, Johnson capped off a fine performance by setting up the second for substitute Armstrong to finish coolly, late in the second half. His early celebration of the impending goal, captured on the camera behind the goal was a delightful cameo. City had two glorious gilt-edged chances, one in each half and taking just one of them clearly would have potentially changed the outcome of this encounter. But Rovers capitalised on these errors and with a clean sheet to boot, this was a very different outcome than 2018’s vintage. It was pleasing to see a side accommodate six changes yet still play with cohesion, confidence and no little style. No problems with impending cabinet reshuffles here. Each player knew his portfolio and much like an underwear model, had been well briefed. Special mention to Christian Walton who seems a lot happier playing behind this new-look defence. The return of Lenihan and Nyambe has certainly provided solidity, but one of the most pleasing features has been the performances of Amari’i Bell – much maligned and in fairness, not entirely without justification, he has blossomed in recent weeks when called into action. Long may his performances chime with the Rovers fans. Since the Deepdale disaster, it’s six wins, one draw and one defeat. That’s promotion form...if it sustains over the second half of the season of course and that is the key question. I’m not sure who the real Blackburn Rovers are, but I do rather like this incarnation and there is certainly something happening here. The song continues : “A thousand people in the street Singing songs and carrying signs Mostly say, hooray for our side...” The Christmas and New Year programme is renowned for its unlikely scorelines. It seems just the whiff of basting turkey or mince pies causes football teams to do crazy things, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but that said, we should not fear any of our upcoming opponents. It just remains to wish you, our lovely readers, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year; may 2020 bring you and your's health and happiness (and may Mrs Old Blackburnian’s recovering broken ankle soon have her back in first-team contention!).
  20. As the decade draws to a close which has been a very turbulent time to be a rovers supporter but thankfully there does seem to be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Granted we have spent a significant amount of time outside the premier league. What’s everyone’s team of the decade.. thoughts? Robinson Salgado Samba Nelsen Olson Phil Jones Jermaine Jones Dunn Pedersen Yakubu Rhodes
  21. Think that picking a player of the Decade is quite hard. Mainly because you have to plough thru the period from 2010 to 16 at least....and wince. SO what is the worst team of the decade? The one with all the wastrels in. The one that cost all the money or the players who were always injured. Captain : Danny Murphy Dickson Etuhu (wince) Bradley Orr Vince Grella (sicknote) Maybe Jason Steele (never saved anything) That Centre Forward that came on at Watford Away in the 85th minute and got sent off Jordan Slew Maybe: Ben Goodwin (saw him at Morecambe and looked good) Numerous Portuguese players who never played Manager: Steve K***** (undisputed) What do you think? I suppose if we put them in formation they would not stick to it.
  22. philipl

    Lancashire Telegraph

    https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/rovers/news/17664143.what-we-can-learn-from-the-stats-around-rovers-right-back/ The discussion about the right back position is on the appropriate thread but just a shout out for Rich Sharpe and the LT. This sort of analysis article is exactly the sort of quality journalism that keeps local papers alive. I find myself clicking onto the LT for news and views about Rovers increasingly. Great stuff- long may it continue.
  23. We've had Team Of The Decade... We've had Player Of The Decade... and seeing as we all agree on both so clearly (not ) I thought why not throw a spanner in the works with GOAL Of The Decade. Very tough because there's so many to remember and so many easily forgotten. Anybody have any suggestions or favourites? To Help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twWxBlCxViQ [2018/19] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1F38Lhk0lNg&t=29s [2017/18] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeIeXZ8yH88 [2016/17] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXmsEbDYSIw [2015/16] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzNchl3PKQM [2014/15] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlD0xN0Ox5s [2013/14] Nothing further back than 2013 in terms of a Blackburn produced video that I can find, so for those three years "2010-13" you're on your own!
  24. Make no mistake, it's not been the best decade for Rovers. In the 90s there'd have obviously been plenty of candidates for this. 2000s likewise - Friedel and Tugay both had pretty much the whole decade with us, while we had good, solid PL players like Nelsen, Emerton, Pedersen, Dunn etc with us for years. Bit trickier between 2010 and now. Dunn was with us for half of it but probably also spent half that time unavailable, Rhodes was here for three and half years and more than did his bit. Conway will go down as a decent player for us, Hanley was a decent regular for years but meh....I guess Dack's had an excellent couple of years so far......what are we saying?
  25. Thanks to Mrs Old Blackburnian "doing an Andre Gomes" to her right ankle last Friday night, there isn't an Old Blackburnian column as such this week as I've been otherwise engaged. Instead, here is a piece from the latest @4000Holes magazine to fill the gap. Hopefully back to normal next week...the column, not Mrs OB's ankle...oh, go buy 4000 Holes, it's terrific..! Saturday Kitchen with Tony Mowbray (as watched by BRFCS.com’s @IanHerbert) Saturday Kitchen: Tony welcome to the show, great pleasure to have you on the programme...are you a dab hand in the kitchen then? Tony Mowbray (for it is he): Aye...well I’m partial to a chicken parmo as a rule and they do a lovely “croque monsieur” in the Costa in Yarm...one of Danny’s favourites that, so I like to think my tastes are cosmopolitan...Normally wor lass does the cooking but I like to help out every now and then... SK: and I understand that you have a signature dish that you are going to show us today? TM: That’s right...it’s my own, unique take on the staaaple dish of students the world over...Spaghetti Bolognese... SK: I see, but with a twist Tony? TM: Aye...nothing frustraaates me more than seeing good food and spices going to waste, especially if they’re my old favourites....so I like to add them to the mix so they feel part of the recipe. They rarely let me down and I feel that you’ve got to trust them to do their job you know...when to sit back in the flavour...when to combine with the vegetables...when to pep up the stock...that kind of thing... SK: Well Tony, I am intrigued so let’s get you over here to the hob and get yourself started... TM: First thing is to choose your pan...now most people use a heavy bottomed frying pan to fry but for me; your milk pans, your saucepans, your casseroles...they deserve respect and I often brown off my mince in a milk pan like this... SK: Tony, that is unusual to say the least... TM: It's the versatility I admire...your milk pan here can warm up milk for sure but it can slot into the back, the middle or the front of the hob here and be equally effective in any position... SK: But Tony...most people use a frying pan or even a wok are you sure that... TM: (interrupts) Now I have been in this game for many years and I have cooked faggots and peas in the Black Country, haggis in Glasgow and of course a chicken parmo back in my beloved Teesside so I think I can knock up a solid Bolognese here... SK: Well if you are sure Tony... TM: So we’ll start by chopping some onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and celery to make a solid back four to build on. Except we don’t seem to have any onions or celery...I had borrowed some from celery from my mate Colin in Cardiff but if you ask me it looked more like leeks but anyhow...I can make do and mend here with some baked beans, tomato ketchup and maybe a bit of black pepper... SK: You value versatility Tony clearly...when you’re cooking wouldn't you find it to be a better idea to have a fully stocked store cupboard with all the necessary ingredients? TM: You’d think so wouldn't you? But what I like is start a recipe without truly being fully certain of how it’s going to turn out. For instance, I started making a cracking Lancashire HotPot a few weeks back and as I was slowly braising some lamb I’d borrowed and slicing the potatoes it all looked fabulous and smelt terrific...I’m not sure what went wrong...my sous chef dropped the casserole dish, another 45 minutes in the oven and it all seemed to dry up and lose its flavour proving to be an utter disappointment. The family weren’t keen on it so I ended up giving it to the dogs. It was a proper dog’s breakfast you might say... SK: You don’t follow a recipe book then Tony? TM: Well I have some standard approaches to the kitchen and some “go to” recipes that I can feel I can rely upon in difficult circumstances...but as I say, I do like to throw in a curve ball every now and then... SK: Well I can see that Tony...you’re now adding...is that corned beef? To the baked beans and you’re smothering it in strawberry jam... TM: The jam has really impressed me at breakfast...performing exceptionally on toast...white at home and seeded brown away... but it’s time to see if it can step up to the challenge of contributing to a Bolognese...Many chefs wouldn’t do it this way but I think the jam can learn from the experience and become a better preserve... SK: Tony...where’s your pasta ? TM: Aye...well Steve says that our European supermarket scouting network is still being set up and so I prefer to use more traditional domestic produce...I mean post-Brexit that might be all we can use you know, so growing our own carbohydrate is crucial just in case the fancy foreign ingredients prove to be too expensive... SK: So you’re not actually using pasta Tony ? TM: No. *pauses* Potatoes. Very versatile your spud, it can make your mash, your roasties, your new potatoes...chips of course...what’s not to like ? I think potatoes need to be included in every menu personally...they’re definitely a favourite of mine... SK: Now it’s all coming together there Tony...you have baked beans, corned beef, strawberry jam and...a jacket potato...what are you doing now Tony? TM: Well thinking about it...the strawberry jam doesn't really go does it? SK: Well I didn't like to say to be honest... TM: No...it’s lonely, isolated and struggling to integrate....so what I’ll do is put some mustard alongside it, take off the potato and ask the corned beef to play dessert...so there you have it... “Mowbray Spaghetti Bolognese” SK: Well Tony...I can safely say that’s the most unusual Spaghetti Bolognese I think I’ve ever seen...do you get asked back to cook often? TM: Not really, no. SK: Thanks Tony.
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