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Found 165 results

  1. roversfan99

    Elliott Bennett/Captaincy

    Couldnt see a topic specifically on this, but surely the time has come now to move on Bennett. I think Mowbrays reasoning for selecting Bennett over Nyambe, that the latter has lacked confidence is a joke. That isnt going to help! Mowbray also said that "Bennett brings some character and personality to our team and takes the game-plan on to the pitch." Absolute rubbish. The game plan wasnt evident and certainly didnt work. Its such a feeble reason to select his favourite player. I have a stat which I saw on Lancs Live which sums up how much of a liability Bennett is and why he needs not only to be dropped but moved on as soon as is possible: Bennett has captained 26 games this season, we have lost 13. Lenihan has captained us 14 times, we have lost once. I dont think its because Lenihan was wearing the armband. It is because how much of a weakness Bennett becomes when he plays. Does anyone think he should stay even as a squad player anymore? He is as much of a liability as Mulgrew is. Further reason why its time for a change of manager too.
  2. It’s looking like we are going to need a heck of a facelift in the close season - although Mowbray will no doubt still try to get tunes out of Gallagher and Brereton, presumably still playing both out wide. Personally I reckon there are five players in our senior squad that we should keep and the rest need replacing, either because loans end or simply because they aren’t good enough. There is a possibility that a different manager could breathe new life into a few others: Downing, Rothwell, Holtby, maybe even the two above but I just can’t see how anything is going to change without a change in the dugout.
  3. 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.
  4. Blue blood

    Transfers 2019-20 Review

    I've done a few of these now assessing the previous year''s transfers. I think I started doing this back in League 1 to help me process TM's work in the transfer market, and if nothing else, the last few years have certainly made for interesting debate as to how our transfer business (and TM) have done. We're coming up to the end of the season, and since Rovers have evidently signed off early, I thought it would be fine for me to do likewise and wouldn't hurt for this to be a couple of games early. As it is I'm not sure too much will change in the last couple of matches to make this review obsolete. As ever, I'm really interested in others thoughts on our transfer business. So here goes. It should be said that in some ways this is a rehash of last December's review, given that there were no new signings in January. The more I think about this the more inexplicable this is for so many reasons. Firstly there was the injury to Dack. Given we had lost our best player, to make no adjustments and sign no one as cover is incredible. Fortunately Armstrong took over the role of pinch hitter - who saw that coming? - but even if there was a suspicion that he could do this, there was evident need to share out the burden of Dack's influence. Given TM has at times commented on missing Dack, to not make any move to replace whatsoever, seems a tad odd. Cunningham's injury and a threadbare defence is another shocker as to why there were no buys. The defence looked thin when Cunningham was fit, without him it looked threadbare. Given his injury was even further before the transfer window than Dack's again it seems incredible we didn't replace him. We've since had Williams covering two positions, and Bennett drop to new lows at left back. Again, this all seemed pretty needless. We've been very fortunate Lenihen hasn't had a more typical season injury wise for him. Thirdly, we were meant to be chasing playoffs. I'm not saying we should have gone crazy but a little bit of extra help may have seen us mount a more successful push for playoffs.Even had it not been for the two crucial injuries that needed replacing, the idea that a bit of fresh blood could have injected a bit of energy and competition into the squad seems like something we really could have done with. Especially given the players and formations didn't always seem a natural fit. So whilst it's not a signing as such, TM's omission to sign anybody in January, given the huge need, is a huge failure of omission imo, and needs to be factored into evaluating our transfer dealings. As for the signings themselves, with the benefit of a year of playing, here are my thoughts. Walton - 2 If you had asked me pre lock down it probably would have been a 5. A poor half of the season was seeming to be offset somewhat by some solid performances, although that in part just accentuated the problem of having a loan keeper. Since then Walton has shown that his first half of the season wasn't simply an adjustment period and has (bar the West Brom game) put in some of the most abject performances of any keeper in a Rovers shirt, costing us a number of points. So two thirds of a season he has been horrific, we don't own a first choice keeper so it doesn't matter if there's potential in there (his few good performances suggest that he might become decent in a number of years) .and he cost us a lot of points. Meanwhile we swapped out a keeper with potential who's done pretty well, had a lot of potential and was ours. I genuinely don't think we could have handled this any worse. Tosin - 9 Brilliant signing. Links into the style we like to play, has looked super solid with Lenihen, and has been excellent for us. It's a shame he was only on loan. A few errors as a young defender, but few calamitous and given his overall talent, had he no errors in him he'd have been playing for City. Great signing marred only slightly by the fact he was one of three of a back line that was temporary. Hopefully (but unlikely) we can get him back next season. Johnson - 3.5 You don't buy someone of his wages to be a squad player. On his day he can be very, very good and there were some good spells from him. However, these 45 minute spells were often let down by fitness, his legs weren't up to sustaining that level of performance even when performing well. And if his good performances were strong, his poor performances were terrible, bordering on cardboard cut out. So 50:50 whether we get a good or bad game, and even the good won't last for more than 60 minutes. There have been spells when he has been out of the team (for a big chunk of the first half of the season I think) and his age means that his fitness problems aren't going to get any better. Also given he's behind Evans in the pecking order, and we haven't got better than Evans in 6 transfer windows, you really feel he's failed to do what he has been brought in to do. I guess he's better than Smallwood, but meh, that's a low bar indeed. Given he was envisaged as a first team regular and clearly isn't capable of that either on a performance or consistency basis, then he can only really be classed as a poor signing to me. Cunningham - N/A Unfair to rate, but looked promising in the few games he played. However, as Armstrong and Walton have shown in different respects (one good, one bad) this season, using a handful of games as a snap shot isn't really enough to judge a player on. He could have been excellent, but equally could have tailed off. Unfair to judge or praise TM off the back of so few performances from this guy. Downing - 9 Great free transfer, adding versatility, width and creativity. He also, sad incitement of our defence as it is, is the best left back we have with Cunningham injured too. All in all an excellent signing, who has performed consistently well in a variety of roles. Ina small squad with a mediocre budget this quality in versatility cannot be underplayed. Personally would have liked to see him more wide left in a 4-2-3-1 supplying crosses to our strikers, but wherever he has played (bar the false 9) he has looked solid and consistent. The only negative is his age, but a very astute free transfer who I think could have been the final piece of the jigsaw had other transfers worked out. Very clever move. Holtby - 8 Really liked the look of Holtby and thought he was a clever signing. Bags of talent and looks rather good whenever I have seen him plau. I've limited him to an 8 (maybe 7.5) though as in terms of actual end product, there doesn't seem to have been as much as I had hoped/expected for the level of his talent. Happy to be corrected on this, but for an excellent talent,it doesn't seem to end in much. That said I think some of his link up play with Armstrong and Dack at times has been fantastic, and unlike some of other players there's plenty of time for him to develop in this. Gally - 2 At least there's been a few goals. But like Bereton he cost a ton of money, leaving us short elsewhere. The money could have been invested in a much needed strengthening of defence or a keeper. He doesn't fit the wide right role that he is often shoved into. And whilst not his fault he's being played out of position, it makes his transfer all the more baffling. He doesn't look like having a strikers instincts either, and I don't like his attitude. Apart from that, he's been a great buy. So on paper 6 signings, 3 excellent, 3 very poor. with an average score (rounding up) of 5.6.That seems decent on the face of it. But when the omission of not buying anyone when blatantly needed in January is factored in, the fact the majority of the budget was blown on a failure, and the longevity of many of the signings, good and bad, was 1 season - the likelihood is that 4 of this year's signings need replacing - you really think that this had been a bad year in the transfer market. Given that's included the successes of Tosin and Downing, it's pretty shocking when looking at the overall picture to see how badly this year's recruitment has been handled. It doesn't give me much confidence for the future.
  5. rog of the rovers

    Player of the Season 2019/20

    Simple Question Who is the BRFCS 2019/20 Player of the Season? Limited the main candidates to those who have made 20+ starts in the league this season. Players are in Squad Number Order Please specify if you have any other suggestions. Vote away!
  6. Forget what Waggott will or won’t do, based on his performance as manager to this point, should Mowbray stay or go?
  7. Rovers Season Peters Out Into Consolidation Having entertained the division’s best side last week and emerged very much as second-best; the midweek win at Cardiff provided a welcome fillip and with it, a source of optimism for the visit of the division’s second-best team, West Bromwich Albion. Hopes of the play-offs now a vague arithmetical possibility, as opposed to sporting probability, Tony Mowbray named an unchanged team from the Cardiff game and hoped for an unchanged result. On the side-lines, Tony Mowbray sported the polo shirt and suit combination oft-favoured by golf club captains on prize-giving day whilst Slaven Bilic carried himself with the demeanour of a visiting law professor whose energetic, exuberant lectures are renowned throughout the faculty. Intriguingly, Bilic actually was a lawyer and is apparently fluent in four languages. This gives him ample opportunity, either to apologise to Laurent Blanc in his mother tongue for scandalously cheating him out of an appearance in the World Cup final of 1998 or at least advocate enthusiastically for a commuted sentence. Sporting a kit resonating with FC Nantes overtones, it was Albion that looked like sophisticated European campaigners. The Brazilian Pereira and former Burnley favourite Austin proving to be quite the handful, combining on more than one occasion to threaten and then with the help of Krovinovic, finally to deliver the opening goal their endeavours deserved. Bilic meanwhile on the touchline, no doubt studying the fine print of Pereira’s loan deal contract, looking for a water-tight “option to buy” clause. Rovers struggled to make a lasting impression the opening forty-five, the best chance falling to the normally oh-so-reliable Danny Graham, but not on this occasion. A tame, close-range header finding the keeper Johnstone, in the middle of his goal, rather than the vacant space either side. The second-half started in a similar vein to the first, Pereira probing, then forcing a low save from Walton, the rebound falling to Krovinovic, who somehow hit the post rather than the gaping, largely undefended goal as Walton lay prostrate and helpless. It was to prove a costly miss as Albion failed to capitalise. Bilic at this point seemed to be enthusiastically demonstrating the various ways he would like to litigate against his players for non-performance clauses. A brave quadruple substitution from Tony Mowbray invited scorn as the act of a desperate man... “Boss, we have to do something...” “Very well...THIS is something...let’s do it...” But in his defence, it worked exquisitely. Gallagher showed energy, strength and awareness in equal measure to deliver a neat pass inside for Rothwell to finish with the minimum of fuss; all square, all to play for. Albion’s O’Shea forced another low, diving save out of Walton who kept out the swerving effort with what appeared to be his nose. No, nez, never as Francophone Rovers fans might say...possibly. There was still time for another of the gang of four substitutes, Holtby; to find Gallagher with a delightful through ball. A first time pass inside fell to the feet of the fifth replacement, Davenport, but he could only fire his shot straight at Johnstone. Danny Graham could empathise. Still time remained for a sequence that would normally be seen only in a testimonial, or as a choreographed move at a Harlem Globetrotters match. Rothwell, Holtby, Gallagher all having a chance to get a shot away instead repeatedly and comically dribbled, passed and dozy-doed their way across the Albion area like an energetic country-dancing outfit. Finally, Holtby tried unsuccessfully to backheel it in from the six-yard box. A point just enough to keep a theoretical dream alive, but the reality dawned that nothing less than three handsome wins from hereon in would sustain the improbable play-off place. A visit to the New Den has been a relatively happy hunting ground for Rovers over recent seasons but in the absence of fans, it seemed that Rovers were struggling to find a catalyst to spark a performance. A bright opening soon petered out and Rovers’ consistent use of non-full backs in the full back role was to cost them, as a cross via several deflections eventually found its way to the on-loan Mason Bennett, who slotted home to give Millwall a lead that they had threatened for some time. Rovers huffed and puffed and posted some deeply impressive possession statistics but the one stat that matters most resolutely stayed at “nil”. Tony Mowbray threw on his full complement of substitutes with the result that the team at one point seem to consist entirely of creative midfielders, each aiming to create something for a central striker that didn't exist. It was the same, lame game that had been on show at Barnsley, albeit with a tad more endeavour, but as for cutting-edge there was none. Just two games left now and perhaps a chance to experiment with some of the much-vaunted youngsters now nothing is at stake. A season of consolidation is not necessarily a bad thing, but with the futures of so many players still uncertain and post-COVID finance challenges, the next six weeks could be the biggest challenge that Tony Mowbray has faced at Ewood, handling relegation to League One included.
  8. TheRovers1994

    The Riverside Stand Renovation Thread

    This is a topic that's interest me for some time so I'm curious to see everyone's opinions. The obvious thing is the riverside needs a makeover atleast, when people say ewood is a shithole the only reason they say that is because of the riverside, if you walk round the sides and back of it (Blackburn end side) there is all sorts of crap dumped there and it's a complete mockery of a good standard and what was a state of the art stadium until the super stadiums started going up, the tv gantrys hanging off the roof make it am even bigger eye sore So what could be done? While financies ain't great these days not helped by the pandemic of course its unrealistic to expect a new stand completely even though on two occasions I spoke to waggot about the subject and how the stadium needs maintence as it's starting to look dirty and tacky in parts,he openly told me plans have been out in place for a new riverside stand which would include facility's that can make money outside of matchdays and also downgrade the capacity a bit, otherwise an idea would be to give the stand a makeover, new roof, removal of pillars and maybe an inside concourse by knocking through which means removing seats. Jack walkers ambition for the stadium meant we a small north west town club was never gonna fill our stadium, even 31k has always been too big for us, a capacity of 25k like the dw would have been about right so thank god his plan to make the place 40k didnt happen. What would you like to see happen with the stadium?
  9. Live And (Occasionally) Dangerous In the midst of a run of form such as that exhibited by Rovers since the Bristol City false dawn, one wonders as to whether the presence of noisy, vocal fans in the ground would have elicited a more bloodthirsty response of late from the team, than that which was observed on screens of varying shapes and sizes on Saturday afternoon. Imagine Glasto without the crowd, performed just for TV audiences? Would bands experiment with line-up changes, play different instruments, perhaps try out new material in a safe environment? The 2020 “Rovers Unplugged” tour had started brightly against Bristol City, but they have since relied heavily on their “Greatest Hits” catalogue; a well-rehearsed, oft-performed series of tame acoustic numbers lacking any real passion and belief. Instead of exploring and embracing the nuances and possibilities of the no-crowd constraint, Rovers have repeatedly failed to adapt their clunky, pedestrian rock and roll to match the mood. Saturday’s gig opened with a newly penned song, “Concede Early Goal”, with Lewis Travis on lead and unusually he struggled to deliver his routine, swaggering, accompanying vocal, finding himself unable to match the Klich track beat for beat. Sam Gallagher rolled out an old crowd favourite “Steered A Good Chance Wide”, naturally enough from a position of wide stage right and then he handed over lead vocals to Lewis Holtby who belted out “Rebound Off The Post”, a recently penned new song, but unlikely to be as popular as the perennially crowd-pleasing “Slots It Home”. The first half ended with the soulful ballad “Nothing I Can Do about That”, a paean to direct free kick taking as seen through the eyes of a helpless goalkeeper. After the interval, in a neat but unorthodox twist, the second half opened with the same song that closed the first; a reprise of “Nothing I Can Do About That”, but this time sung with gusto by the support act from West Yorkshire. But just as the show seemed to be gaining some momentum, the mood was curiously slowed down with a version of an old country & western favourite “My Keeper Just Let In A Soft One”, once more the Klich track caused some problems and Rovers seemed out of sync with each other. Walton’s subsequent solo, the Bruce Grobbelaar-penned classic “Clumsily Bringing You Down” ended unexpectedly with Walton remaining in the spotlight instead of leaving the stage at the close of the number as has been the norm. The UK tour continued to South Wales on Tuesday and once more Rovers proceeded to confound the odds and their critics. A line-up bereft of Dack, Gallagher, Brereton and Holtby would instead look to Graham, Samuel and Armstrong for goals and each of them delivered on cue and as a result left the manager with several awkward/interesting questions to ponder, depending upon your perspective. Nobody yet knows what budget Rovers will be granted by Venky’s, Tony Mowbray confirmed as much in a pre-match interview on Radio Lancashire, saying no talks had yet taken place, nor even, any plans for talks made. Mowbray therefore has time to ponder on the wisdom of offering new deals for several players; Downing & Graham amongst them. Each of them demonstrated the value that they bring to the team, Graham adds a focal point to the attack and Downing has a passing range that is beyond the vast majority of his colleagues. Rumours abound that each of them will depart Ewood shortly, if that proves to be the case, they are big (and potentially expensive) boots to fill. On Tuesday night, the surprise win served only to frustrate the Rovers faithful with what might have been. The insipid performances of the last couple of weeks can be forgotten after a performance like this, but forgiving is a little harder. Opportunities to sneak into the play-offs cannot be spurned so readily or tamely. You don't win the raffle if you haven’t bought a ticket and whilst Rovers are clearly an outside bet; as they have shown, against the likes of Brentford and Cardiff, they can produce a performance from time to time. What made the difference on Tuesday night? A combination of factors seemed to be at play. Graham as a focal point in attack, energy and strength in abundance from Travis, a couple of wily old heads alongside him in Johnson and Downing and mobility and energy from Armstrong and Samuel in front. There were still some defensive frailties, Walton’s positioning for the first and Adarabioyo’s for the second Cardiff goal were each questionable. One other element very much on display came from Armstrong, who seems determined to make the point that no “Goal of the Season” competition should be voted upon, when there are still five games remaining; “Goal of 84% of the Season” doesn't really make any sense. Rovers it seems now have their very own Che Adamarmstrong! In all probability, it was too little too late for a play-off push, but it ended a wretched run of form and results, setting up nicely, Saturday’s encounter with West Bromwich Albion. Will Rovers play an acoustic set or are we due some more “heavy-metal football” as Herr Klopp would have it? Tune in to find out pop pickers.
  10. ‘Tic & Tykes Take Turns To Top Tony The weekend just gone should have seen Glastonbury in full flow and in the absence of the real thing, the BBC rolled out some footage of classic performances from years gone by to fill the void in their schedules. I wish I’d spent at least two 90-minute sessions this week watching some old VHS tapes of vintage Rovers instead of hugging a laptop and cursing sporadically at a couple of modern day instalments of the soap opera that is Blackburn Rovers F.C. If there’s one thing you can count upon in this stilted, strange, subdued season, Rovers inability to capitalise on a hard-earned and promising league position is almost certainly it. After an insipid start to the campaign, Rovers finally seemed to coalesce into a team that might threaten the play-offs on the back of a defeat to Leeds back in November. They followed up this narrow defeat with a run of five wins and a draw to set up a couple of home Christmas fixtures that seemed primed to launch a promotion challenge of substance. Almost inevitably, the two limp home draws that followed were surpassed by two lame away defeats to celebrate the dawn of 2020. Before you had chance even to start a New Year’s resolution, prospects of glory slipped away faster than a midnight bottle of bubbly. Rovers then tantalised their fans once more, with a run of one defeat in ten to re-kindle hope, before a calamitous performance at Derby seemed to signal finality to aspirations. The three-month COVID interlude however, allowed injured players to recuperate, gave the manager opportunities to work with his squad and a chance to prepare for a mini-season of nine games that might just lead to two or three more. The Bristol City win encouraged optimism and once more, on the cusp of possibility, with a chance to make a bold statement of intent, Rovers chose to retreat into their shell and their warm, safe place of mediocrity. It’s hard to pin down what must have taken place in training last week that caused professional footballers to turn in a couple of abject performances on Saturday and Tuesday. One thing is for certain; the team cannot blame a hostile atmosphere, a referee influenced by noisy home supporters, or a long, uncomfortable journey for their travails. This was self-imposed torpor. Wigan were nothing special but they have secured some very impressive results this season based on some basic tenets of discipline, organisation and work rate. The pantomime villain that is Paul Cook has certainly found a way to frustrate Rovers in recent seasons and Rovers run of winless visits to Wigan stretches now to thirteen years. Such is the joy of football statistics, that defeat at Wigan made it just one win in six for Rovers. This is not the form of a side gearing themselves up for a play-off push. Compare and contrast with the resurgent Derby County, aided of course by the impact of Wayne Rooney, who have chalked up five straight wins to overtake Rovers. They might just be the team that sneaks into the play-offs under the radar. A chance for redemption on Tuesday tea-time, a trip to South Yorkshire and a meeting with bottom of the table Barnsley was spurned, in the words of Rowan Atkinson “like a rabid dog...” The litany of woes was familiar. A line-up missing vital components for various reasons, players out of position, lack of energy in the opening quarter of an hour, poor finishing, ill-discipline generating another poor result against a team apparently deep in the relegation mire. The hapless Ben Brereton summing up the evening in a brief cameo performance, capped off with what initially looked a harsh red but, with the benefit of replays, it justified the referee’s interpretation of violent conduct. Tony Mowbray’s somewhat formulaic response to going a goal down contrasted deeply unfavourably with the tactical switches made by each of his opposite numbers, first on Saturday and again on Tuesday. Rovers suddenly look wooden, lumpen, ponderous and deeply predictable. The inexorable conclusion to draw from the re-start is that Bristol City really aren’t any good and that victory clearly flattered Rovers. An optimistic mathematician might try make the case that Rovers still have a chance of reaching the play-offs; but an optician would urge an eye-test in order to ensure that the evidence can be properly considered. Perhaps we should all take a drive to Barnard Castle ? Rovers have a run of very tasty fixtures coming up now, Leeds, Cardiff, WBA and Millwall the next four. Essentially, six straight wins would deliver a points total good enough for the play-offs only once in the last three seasons. Rovers have managed four wins in a row on one previous occasion earlier this season, initiated intriguingly by a win over Barnsley. To expect six in a row following this defeat by Barnsley is plainly fanciful. Just pride and contracts to play for now. Marcelo Bielsa will doubtless be quaking in his boots.
  11. Two full years back in the Championship got me thinking about our squad and the realistic shape it is it. Hypothetical - we sold every player at the end of this season, which league should they be playing in next season (including Walton and Adarabioyo) - based solely on next years ability (not potential). Is our squad mainly Championship, Premier League or League 1 quality? Here is my take... 27 in the squad - outlook for 2020/21 Premier League = 3 Lenihan, Travis, Adarabioyo* Top Championship = 4 Dack, Armstrong, Nyambe, Holtby Mid Championship = 2 Downing, Evans Low Championship = 3 Gallagher, Rothwell, Walton* Low Championship / League 1 = 6 Brereton, Rankin-Costello, Graham, Johnson, Bell, Williams League 1 = 9 Leutwiler, Samuel, Smallwood, Davenport, Bennett, Butterworth, Buckley, Chapman, Mulgrew Results: I would say that 2/3 (18 of 27) of our current squad is low Championship (at best), but mainly bang average L1 players. Of the other 9, one is a loan who will be gone, one is 36 years old, and one is injured - plus who is to say if Mowbs will resist selling off star academy products like a Nyambe or Travis (like he did Raya). Lots of our poor standard players are out of contract - which is a bonus... but do we trust the manager to replace with better? Now not every player in your squad will be high quality, I get that. But we really are lacking in depth of top Championship quality. I fear for our recruitment in such a quick/unique "summer" window will lead to a nose dive down the table next year. Do I give Mowbray praise for getting the most out of such a bang average squad this season? Or criticise him for it for it being so poor in depth. Thoughts?
  12. iFollow Fiasco Leads to Blackout Rovers Way back in the early 90’s, my then girlfriend (the current Mrs Old Blackburnian as it goes) would occasionally arrange to have her hair done in Rochdale on a Saturday morning. Nothing too odd with that I can hear you say, but we lived in the West Midlands at the time and each fortnight, I commuted northbound on a Saturday morning to watch the unfolding revolution taking place at Ewood. The future Mrs OB however would at that point, trust only her former hairdresser from her Mancunian days and so for a few months, until a suitable West Midlands alternative was eventually sourced, this was the arrangement. I would drive us up to Rochdale, hair would be sorted, then off to Ewood. The future Mrs OB would then drop me off and spend the afternoon single-handedly boosting the local retail economy for a couple of hours. Except one Saturday, the appointment had to be delayed as we were running late due to M6 traffic issues. It seemed to take forever to reach Rochdale. With every snip, spray and “going anywhere nice for your holidays?”, the tension rose and words were exchanged as I kept pointing to my watch and visibly winced with each passing minute. We left Norden at about 2:40pm. It was a tense journey over Owd Betts to Blackburn let us say and certainly was conducted in the days before Gatso cameras became de rigueur. I leapt out, Starsky & Hutch style (ask your parents/grandparents), somewhere on Bolton Road at about 3:10pm, eventually making it to my seat at roughly fifteen minutes after kick-off, having apologised to everyone on the row for the inconvenience, as I inched my way into the warm bosom of the Walkersteel. Until Saturday afternoon just, that was the only previous occasion upon which I had missed the opening fifteen minutes of a Rovers game I planned to watch and that even includes once driving from Loughborough to St Andrew’s (Birmingham, not the home of golf) in a venerable, old Mini 1000 with a dodgy radiator that much like a thirsty child, needed topping up every thirty miles. It later transpired that the “iFollow Fiasco” experienced last Saturday was fairly widespread and the EFL’s technology was seemingly overwhelmed with fans trying to access the system in a surge, as the time ticked ever closer to 3pm. In their defence, who could possibly have predicted that? Many thousands across the country were met with a black screen or a bouncing football alongside a “please wait whilst we try to connect you” message and levels of frustration last experienced whilst listening to Robbie Savage on FiveLive. My own connection fired up in time to show me the opening goal from Bristol City and at that point, it was fair to say that I was questioning my Saturday afternoon leisure choices. Christian Walton made a bit of a hash of a header aimed pretty close to him and in trying to push the ball around the post, he succeeded only in flapping it into the side netting. I am so old that I can remember goalkeepers actually catching attempts at goal, in the case of Pat Jennings, often with a single hand. The use of lightweight balls that move in the air has resulted in a safety-first approach to goalkeeping coaching. A keeper that actually catches anything these days is a rarity. Although in a COVID-laced environment, perhaps having the ability NOT to catch aerial threats is a desirable capability. Not too much time to launch into “full pessimism” mode though before the returning Corry Evans curled a cross into the area for Gallagher to attack. It evaded everyone, attacker, defender and goalkeeper alike and Rovers were level. After that awful injury suffered against Preston, seeing the joy on Evans’ face was worth the wait. Rovers certainly seemed to get the bit between their teeth and early in the second half, the hirsute Ben Brereton latched onto a short pass back, nipping in to pinch the ball before the keeper could collect, an open-goal at his mercy, you could sense the relief...just side-foot it in and...if ever there was an advert for “sensible boots, with sensible studs” then this was it. Brereton cruelly robbed of the salvation a goal would bring. It looked like one “of those afternoons” as Rankin-Costello was robbed of a goal when the referee awarded a free kick to the increasingly hapless Bentley as a result of being fouled by his own defender. Adarabioyo soon curled in a lovely shot from the edge of the area in a “Chris Samba at Spurs” tribute and then Armstrong, on as a substitute, finished delightfully to wrap up the points. Whether this was a case of Rovers being particularly good or Bristol City being especially inept was hard to judge. Results on the day generally went Rovers way and so for a little while longer, the play-off dream remains alive. Wigan up next and with it, renewal of a strange rivalry that has taken on a life of its own since our respective promotions. Wigan enjoyed a tidy win at Huddersfield at the weekend and doubtless will be high in confidence themselves. This is yet another of those “stand up and be counted” moments for Rovers who haven’t beaten Wigan away in ten attempts, since 2007, long overdue.
  13. I thought this might make an interesting discussion, not sure if it should be merged with any current thread though. Obviously the Premier League fixtures between now and the last day of the season are only available on TV and as a result they have been staggered so that there are never 2 games on at the same time. Gary Neville pointed out that it is like that in Spain anyway and asked whether it would be worth adopting a similar schedule full time once the pandemic is over. He did suggest to have a 3 o clock black out still to protect the lower league clubs (in which he has a vested interest in one) and they even talked about the fanciful idea of fans turning up early and staying around late in club bars to watch the live football. The idea of constant football might seem brilliant but I personally would be staunchly against the idea personally. The idea of constant football isnt as good as it seems. I also think it would destroy an element of tradition regarding our culture in this country surrounding the 3 o clock games, the pub prior, the scores all coming in, Match of the Day afterwards etc and it would unavoidably have an impact moving down the leagues financially on attendances. It would also devalue the importance and interest in the football if it was literally on all the time, even more than before. 4 or 5 games a week moved for TV is possibly already a little too far but to be fair I havent complained to date but you still have at least some of the Premier League games on at 3 o clock. The prospect of promotion would become slightly less enviable if I knew that literally every game was on at different times.
  14. It’s Back, Back, Back...But Are WE Ready ? Where were we then before we were so rudely interrupted? Football is “back” and on Saturday afternoon, Rovers will take on Bristol City...but is it truly back? Should it be back at all, even in this stilted format? Are WE even ready for it? A lot has happened in the intervening three months and very little of it good. We have seen some Premier League clubs suddenly develop deep-seated values and integrity predicated solely it would appear on league position. The fine upstanding board at West Ham United for instance, was very keen to declare the season null & void way back in March, as the pandemic was clearly the number one priority confronting society and football merely a sideshow. This admirable stance in no way influenced by their perilous position in the league table I feel sure. The government, which has demonstrated levels of competence and assurance last seen in such abundance, when a certain Mr S Singh was purveying his peculiar brand of wisdom in these parts a few years ago, saw fit early on in the public health crisis to focus upon *checks notes* Premier League footballers. Apparently, according to the MP for Newmarket, “the first thing that Premier League footballers can do is make a contribution, take a pay cut and play their part...” The extraordinary efforts of the new leader of the opposition, the admirable Marcus Rashford; stepping up to the plate to feed hungry kids and Jordan Henderson initiating the “Players Together” initiative have thrown into dark shade the feeble leadership of the health minister and his colleagues. Mr Hancock let us not forget, once a trainee jockey and recipient of substantial campaign donations from the racing industry seemed for some reason to prefer to concentrate on announcing the return of...that’s right, horse racing – this for instance in a Tweet on 30th May. “Thanks to the nation’s resolve, horseracing is back from Monday Wonderful news for our wonderful sport.” The country has suffered tens of thousands of excess deaths, each one causing misery and distress, but it would appear that the return of sport symbolises the genesis of some kind of vague normality and allows unfinished business to complete, thereby protecting the sporting integrity of the competitions. As a happy coincidence, it also means that the TV contract revenues are protected and this is paramount for the salvation of many top-flight clubs. For those clubs lower down the food chain, gate revenues make up a much higher percentage of income and so behind closed doors football, broadcast far and wide on TV & the internet, is far from the panacea for their business models. It is merely a sticking plaster on the gaping wound of impending financial oblivion. As for the protection of the hallowed sporting integrity, it is an inarguable fact that the conditions prevailing in the final series of games; behind closed doors, bereft of human spectators, cardboard cut outs, piped crowd noises, five substitutes allowed, shoe-horned into a frantic month-long footballing binge; are completely different to the experience of the previous thirty-odd games. It’s akin to finishing the last couple of miles of the London marathon...three months later...on roller skates, via Zoom. But here we are, a summer with no Wimbledon, no Open golf, (as yet) no cricket, no Euros, so the football fix will remain a domestic affair. I must confess to struggling to build up enthusiasm for this ersatz sporting buffet, but inevitably, I will tune into at least some of the televised Premier League games out of curiosity, and I will do battle with the iFollow platform to check in on my beloved Rovers, but let’s be clear, it isn’t the same. Let no TV executive have any brainwaves off the back of this. After all, what is football fandom? The visceral thrill of being amongst your fellow fans, the collective moan after a misplaced pass or shot, the euphoria of a goal, but most of all the sense of community. The warm feelings of familiarity accompanying sightings of the shirts, scarves and hats as you approach the ground. The pre-match huddle in the pub. The camaraderie of your fellow devotees around and about your seat. For years now, that has been the most influential element of attending football matches for me; less the on-field spectacle, rather everything else surrounding the match-going experience. The friendships I have made through football have sustained, where many others have withered and my relationship with football has matured to a point where the result takes its proper place in the scheme of things. Many watching their teams, by whatever means and even some of those playing and managing over the next month will have been directly or indirectly affected by COVID. They will know more than ever the true place of football in the grand scheme of things, the most important of all the unimportant things.
  15. Exiled in Toronto

    Leicester Play Off Final

    Am I the only one who watched it today on Rovers YouTube channel, #Roversrewind? Never seen it since being there on the day and not having the stress of watching live made me revisit a few opinions I have held since. Definitely a penalty, Speedie beat Walsh with a turn and the arm came across him. Cowans was a lot more Tugay-esque than I remember. Atkins was like having two players; he was 23 then and a lot better than Travis at similar age IMO, he got past our forwards more in that game than LT has in his career. I don’t know why we convinced ourselves they were all over us: Mimms made one very pedestrian save all afternoon while Muggleton kept them in it with 4 crucial ones in the second half. The two goal line clearances were routine, either would’ve been a very scruffy goal had it gone in. I loved listening to Lennie Lawrence as the co-commentator, really good at explaining why things were happening. A bit surprising to hear Don McKay basically call Sellars a big-game choker in the preamble, not that he starred in the game to be fair to Don. Price was very ineffective on the other wing. There would’ve been four sendings off by today’s standards, and I for one prefer backpasses to the keeper to the endless sideways passing we have to endure today. It’s a cracking watch, don’t miss it.
  16. IrelandsRover

    Vote for Rovers today!

    Twitter users can vote for Rovers on the link above. We are currently behind 70% v 30% with just 7 hours to go. we beat off competition from Liverpool in the last round 🔵⚪️
  17. Self explanatory really, not a particularly joyful subject but it’s a matter of fact that real talent want to play at the top. Out of the current lot who do you think will be the next to get a big money move? For me it’s Travis, think he has the talent and the mentality to match, can see him ending up at Everton or similar. Arguments could be made for Dack but I think his injury may have cost him the chance in January, Lenihan has the tools to succeed and Nyambe is a beast in terms of physical attributes. Hope Rovers are protected here as they could all attract big fees in the right circumstances
  18. Continuing a theme of stuff to talk about during these boring and difficult times I started thinking about jay mcevelelys performance away at man united where he played unbelievably well against a good united side and I came away from OT thinking we had a real player in our hands yet he never really produced after that. more of a thread for the older lads who can tell us young ones tales of players we won’t of seen or heard of along these lines. The parsons of the world have any stories of under 21 players who should and didn’t make it for various reasons etc any lee makel fans etc
  19. Riverside under the drip

    Rovers Twitter Legends

    Has anyone else been following the voting tournament thing on Rovers' twitter? Parkes v Shearer as our final 2. If you were to ask me, I'd have gone for Tugay every time and the only discussion would be if Dunn or Parkes lost to him in the final! I suppose it depends on the weighting you put on actual effect of quality compared to fan favourite status, down-to-earth decency or Burnley annoying ability. How about you all?
  20. Yesterday marked 21 years since we were first relegated from the Premier League. What exactly went wrong that season? Hodgson's a steady manager who's had a respectable career elsewhere, never flopping quite as catastrophically as he did with Rovers in 98/99. We still had of players that got us to 7th the previous season. The likes of Flowers, Kenna, Sherwood, Flitcroft, McKinlay, Sutton, Gallacher etc. Not to mention the players Kidd brought in later on: McAteer, Gillespie and Carsley, who were all solid PL players. We had some young stars in Dunn, Duff, Johnson, and Jansen, who had a lot of untapped potential. There's no way on paper that squad should have been relegated. Sure, we signed our fair share of dollopers. Neither Darren Peacock or Christian Dailly were fit to lace Hendry's boots. Kevin Davies was an expensive flop who needed better man-management. Sebastian Perez looked an astute signing but failed to settle up norf. I never forget when he got sent-off against Chelsea for putting his face in the way of Le Saux's fist. 🙄 Stephane Henchoz tried to keep us up single-handedly but his efforts weren't enough. I think if we had signed a decent centre-back and a left-back, we would've avoided the drop that year. Marlon Broomes and Callum Davidson were far from PL quality. However, in a way, relegation was a blessing in disguise. The club needed to learn it wasn't too good to go down, and that we couldn't keep throwing good money after bad. Without relegation, we probably wouldn't have had that renaissance under Souness and won the League Cup. It's a damn shame Uncle Jack never lived long enough to see us get back to the Premier League and lift silverware.
  21. With humble apologies to Douglas Adams & John Lloyd... The Meaning of (Rovers) Liff Audley Range (n.) The potential price increases for next year’s season tickets that is currently being considered by Steve Waggott. “A club spokesman indicated that the Audley Range would likely be in the order of 10-15%...” Beardwood (n.) The proposed name of the range of masculine grooming products that will be launched in June by Danny Graham & Bradley Dack, in an effort to augment their off-field earnings. Belthorn (adj.) Descriptive of the sudden sinking feeling experienced when eating a convivial family lunch at home at 12:15pm on a Saturday, only suddenly to remember that the match kicks off at 12:30pm and isn’t on TV. Brockhall (n.) A cautious, but innately realistic assessment as to the chances of winning the divisional league title; typically expressed most often in January, following a run of three defeats over the festive period. Brownhill (n. colloquial) Rhyming-slang, meaning downhill, “our promotion prospects are rapidly going Brownhill...” Cherry Tree (n. slang) The work done by players (which they don’t like to talk about) to support various community projects e.g. visiting hospitals, raising funds for a fan’s medical treatment that invariably ends up forming a two-page photo splash in the Lancashire Telegraph on a slow news day. Copster Green (n.) A newly enrolled, especially youthfully-looking, policeman on duty at Ewood on a matchday for the first time and at this precise point, still blissfully unaware of the reputation of the visiting Millwall fans. Corporation Park (n.) @Elvis Biro Valiant battle to protect a precarious one goal lead for 74 minutes, always ending in abject failure. Darwen (n.) The amount of additional time deemed appropriate by the home fans when the Rovers are a goal down at 90 minutes. “There must be at least 5 minutes of Darwen...their bloke was on the deck for ages...” (q.v. Lower Darwen) Ewood (n.) The ability of fans successfully to predict the outcome of a penalty that is about to be taken, especially after the taking of said penalty. Feniscowles (n.) An extravagant cross-field pass or long distance shot hit with a precision rarely seen outside the Premier League. Until the advent of Stewart Downing, the last known sighting of a Feniscowles at Ewood was Tugay’s last home game. Great Harwood (n.) At any given point, the club’s most expensive, but generally agreed, utterly useless player. Grimshaw (adj.) Descriptive of an incompetent and singularly unappealing club director, clearly out of his depth but manifestly enjoying the limelight that being the incumbent in the role naturally delivers. Guide (n.) That feeling of panic experienced as a fan, when due to a careless Googling error two hours earlier, the satnav has sent you to entirely the wrong location and there’s barely 20 minutes to kick off with no sign of floodlight pylons. Thanks to research undertaken by Keele University, it has been confirmed that over 90% of football fans driving through Newcastle under Lyme at any given point in time, are stricken with this condition. Hollin Bank (v.) @Riversider28 A term often used by Steve Waggott when he tries to rationalise to the Venkys his inability to reach financial targets, such as season ticket sales,throughout the year. Intack (n.vb) @Elvis Biro A meandering, midfield attempt at at shilly-shallying, tiki-taka football, which ultimately results in no shot on goal, as the players patently don't possess the requisite skill. Knuzden (v.) @DanLad The signal given to the bench by any ageing player, indicating that his knees will no longer adequately convey him around the pitch and that a substitution should be made. Sometimes accompanied by a nonchalant stroll to the far touchline when a goal up. Lammack (n.) The pleasing thud made by a ball hoofed onto the roof of the Riverside Stand as a desperate defender makes a last-ditch clearance. Often succeeded by a cheer from the same stand when the ball eventually finds its way back to the pitch via the head of an over-enthusiastic, middle-aged fan who always fancied themselves as a centre-forward. Langho (n.) The sarcastic cry from the home crowd when an opposition full back warms up for an unfeasibly ambitious long throw. Little Harwood (n.) A player who, whilst not costing a great deal, is generally acknowledged nonetheless, as being a bit too crap for the first team. Livesey (v.)  @Stuart To undertake a long walk up or down hill in either miserable or hopeful mood largely influenced by whether undertaken pre or post match. "Just going out for a Livesey love...I might be a couple of hours” Lower Darwen (n.) The amount of additional time deemed appropriate by the home fans when the Rovers are a goal up at 90 minutes (q.v. Darwen). Mellor Brook (n.) The inane post-match drivel babbled by a losing manager in the post-match press conference trying desperately to justify a comprehensive, heavy defeat. Pleasington (adj.) Descriptive of the warm and sincere reception given to a home-grown player when it is announced that today, they are making their one-hundredth league appearance. Pleckgate (n.) The device used to hold back cars in car park A for at least 15 minutes longer than even the most zealous health & safety official would deem necessary. It is thought that a pair of stout Pleckgates decisively held up the German advance into Leningrad during World War 2, ultimately leading to the failure of Operation Barbarossa. Ramsgreave (vb.) The term originated from the oddly pitched sound of wailing, first heard in the Darwen End in 1992 when Rovers completed a comeback 4-2 win in the play-off semi-final first leg. The term is now generally used whenever a visiting side gives away a two-goal lead at Ewood. “Just listened to them all Ramsgreaving on 606...” Revidge (n.) The testosterone-fuelled jostling and over-excited acceleration often demonstrated by 21 year-old drivers of VW Golfs confronted by the Pleckgates (q.v.) of car park A, as drivers are desperate to exit into a traffic jam just as soon as possible. Rishton (n.) A tactical substitution made far too early in the game, that backfires spectacularly when another player is immediately injured, leaving the team a man short for 20 minutes and ultimately costing the game. Roe Lee (n.) The excess weight carried by players, who clearly have holidayed far too exuberantly, when arriving at Brockhall for pre-season training. Shadsworth (n.) The undisclosed amount at any given point in the season, for which the club is willing to sell the best player in order to keep the bank manager happy. By FA Statute, the Shadsworth cannot ever be more than half of the fee spent on the Great Harwood (q.v.). Tockholes (n.) The gap between income and expenditure in the profit & loss account that can only be filled by raising match day tickets to £500 a pop & selling 30,000 of them every fortnight...or selling Bradley Dack for £180m. Whalley (n. vb.) @Mattyblue Favoured training technique of Owen Coyle when the table tennis table is out of action. Whinny Heights (adj.) Descriptive of being top of the table on Match Of The Day after a single game, largely due to hammering a newly promoted side at home in August and under no circumstances should be predictive of likely out turn at the season’s end. Whitebirk (n.) Originally, the player in any visiting Leeds Utd team that is the focus of home fans taunts at throw ins and corners. Recently, use has spread to include any Leeds United fan on social media who remarks on the unprecedented levels of away support enjoyed by the famous, old Yorkshire club. Wilpshire (vb.) Process to describe the search for a suitable family home by any new signing once staying at the Dunkenhalgh loses its appeal. It was reported widely at the time that Ray Wilkins was once believed to be Wilpshiring in East Lancashire one summer, but the rumour remained unsubstantiated. Witton Park (vb.) The act of abandoning a car on Nuttall Street at 2:56pm on a matchday, fully cognisant of the impending parking violation but deemed an acceptable cost/benefit trade-off given the circumstances.
  22. blackburn bhoy

    125th Anniversary Shirt

    Hi, Just To Ask If Anyone Has The 125th Anniversary Shirt For Sale at all,I’ve been looking about the Internet for years but never been able to find one,hope someone can help.
  23. Bohinen 22

    Underrated Rovers 11

    Same theme: pick your fave team of underrated players. We've had loads over the years. Sandomierski Nyambe Khizanishvilli Short Warnock Gillespie Flitcroft Bohinen Mahon Dickov Jansen (underrated how good he was) Subs Filan Kenna Ooijer Johnson Batty Bent Stead
  24. Just bought this shirt on eBay for a reasonable price and it caught my eye as I have never seen one for sale with an embroidered badge just like the players had. Is this a lucky find or were a certain amount of embroidered badged shirts sold as well as the replicas?
  25. Here is mine! Lets see yours! Flowers Tosin, Hendry, Le Saux Bentley, Dunn, Batty Duff Dack Shearer Jansen Subs Given Hughes Jones Cole Wilcox Ripley Bellamy
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