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rog of the rovers

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Everything posted by rog of the rovers

  1. As an East Lancs lad myself for many years, a lot of what has been said is somewhat true, but there are lots of factors that have contributed. Changing demographics is definitely one, but the club simply would not survive without its Asian members, East Lancs would have gone years ago. Some fine cricketers like Nas Iqbal or Mini and Mo Bhada have all graced the 1st XI with distinction in the recent past, Sohail Mohammed being another. Volunteers, the ones who are there at the club do an admirable job (I was in that role myself for almost a decade) but finding willing helpers across the age ranges seems to becoming harder and harder. Losing people like the late Tony Rose (RIP) or Larry Pearson, who (deservedly so) decided to step down, after a lifetime of service to the club, 50+ years boy and man. These people are so hard to replace, if not impossible! Look at the successful Lancashire League clubs and you'll find an army of helpers behind the scenes that keep the club going. See Stan Heaton at Lowerhouse, I'd argue if Stan was at East Lancashire, he'd turn the club into a powerhouse (excuse the pun) in no time! The 'traditional' Lancashire League as a whole, the expansion has shown their shortcomings, 9 of the 12 Division 2 teams are the old Lancashire League teams. With 6 of the bottom 7 being ex LL teams. Talk about history and how East Lancashire are struggling....the bottom 4 teams in Division 2. Rawtenstall, East Lancs, Rishton and Nelson combine for 52 Lancashire League titles and 37 Worsley Cups! Players appetite and commitment. This is a huge factor in any modern day amateur sport. Tales of players cutting their holidays short to fly/drive home to play a doubleheader away at Colne on a Saturday and then Ramsbottom on a Sunday in the cup are very much a thing of the past. Work pressures, family commitments and the added value on free time is so much different than it was, even 25 years ago! You will see huge lineup changes in any double header now. With this, squad depth is tested and players naturally don't want to be seen as uncommitted to the cause, so you see huge swathes of cricketers walking away from the game. Standards naturally drop as players are then chosen to ''make up the numbers''. I ran the third team for two years, and it was almost like a full time job just trying to get 11 lads out on a Saturday! Even then you'd find most where 14-18 and were playing Saturday and Sunday at senior level, then an under 15s match on a Tuesday and/or Thursday! The professionals debate, another where, to be honest, I don't mind East Lancs not having a professional! Great league pro's like Ockert Erasmus are a rarity these days, but the figures quoted on South African list A players, without any experience to their name, are huge! Once of a day the gates/bar/socials would cover the cost of these pro's, but for 20/24 LL teams I'd guess this isn't the case. Gone are the days of Viv Richards, Allan Donald and Michael Holding. That standard of professional just isn't available any more. Shaid Afridi was my dream East Lancashire pro! If I win the lottery, I'll see what I can do! Just my thoughts, but East Lancs is full of great people, trying their very best against all the odds. The fact that the club survives is testament to their work alone!
  2. Haha that was mine from the old boards. With the modern day substitutes encouraged to leave the pitch at the nearest side they're on, I'd imagine Tugay would have adapted his style to suit the modern game. A walk towards the traditional side (after taking the applause from the Riverside obviously) then reach just over halfway, before realising he can leave at the Riverside. Preferably close to the Darwen End, so he could milk the adulation whilst heading the "long way" back to the dugout via the Blackburn End. Still love Tugay
  3. Bloomin heck @glen9mullan a bit of balanced analysis! You might get kicked off here! 😁 Fine post. Things are never definitively one way or another when it comes to football clubs.
  4. Its just an opinion, but I think that's where we are at. In terms of ambition, we've wasted the last four seasons, I don't see this one being any different. If the stars align for a club at this level (ala Barnsley last year) then maybe a playoff push is within reach, but in a post Covid world, survival is the priority.
  5. Whilst its hardly a thrilling transfer window when you lose your best two players (Armstrong for money and Elliott to a loan return) I think its important to try and see the bigger picture. Going into the season, some four weeks ago, mine and plenty of forum members fears where that we'd be relegated. The fear we'd be cut adrift and face a season like the one under Coyle in 16/17 with us battling from a home thumping by Norwich on the opening day, to the heartbreak at Griffin Park months later. With signings like Gordon Greer, Tommie Hoban, Anthony Stokes, Wes Brown, Stephen Hendrie, Jack Byrne and Martin Samuelsen.......shudder This season has been surprisingly pleasing so far, we've put 8 points on the board, shown a togetherness, team spirit and most refreshingly of all have shown a willingness to dig in, scrap and stand up to the physical battles, which was missing from last seasons squad in abundance. It took us 9 games to get 8 points in 16/17 The squad we have is good enough to better last seasons dismal performance of 15th place, but lets face it, we're more than a striker away from pushing for the playoffs! And with that said I'm happy to sit tight, let the FFP clock restart next season and take things from there. We've bemoaned the fact Gallagher has played as a right winger for two seasons, now lets see him down the middle. BBD similarly, the challenge has been set to both of them to get 10-15 goals this season, which they should both be capable of. Who of last seasons squad (bar the aforementioned Elliott and Armstrong) would anyone actually want at the club? Harwood-Bellis perhaps, but we were never going to be able to match the lure of Champions League football. Williams, Mulgrew, Bennett, Downing and Evans were all too old and ready to drop down the divisions, or move to new leagues. The collective cheers around Blackburn when Bell, Douglas and Trybull departed were palpable, whilst the youth fringe players also had proven that their futures were at pastures new, see Grayson, Lyons, White, Mols et al. Lets see how good or bad Poveda, Khadra, Edun, Clarkson, van Hecke and Pickering are? This board and other Rovers fans are also quick to criticise loaning in players from other clubs and not giving our own youth a chance... Carter, Magloire, Cirino, McBride, Pike, Garrett, Annesley and Vale all should see time in and around the first team squad this season (bench time or playing) lets see how good they are. Dack, Rankin-Costello and Johnson to return also. Hopefully some of the cash from Armstrong can be spent on tying down Nyambe, BBD and Rothwell to extensions. This season was always going to be a transitional year, its proved to be so far. We have a squad that should finish between 12th and 18th, which is where we are at present.
  6. Yes!! this takes me back. Probably 10 years since I last did a preview, so I'll take one @Mike E Sheffield United (home) Saturday 6th November
  7. Personal thoughts, maybe I'll put my tin hat on. I think its a worthy effort at a reconnection. Some fans will never want to see them walk through the door ever again, whilst some fans will want to see the owners back at matches, showing passion and engaging once more with Blackburn Rovers. If a letter like this offends or strikes a level of hatred/vitriol/anger then the club and thus the owners are probably beyond redemption for you, under any circumstances, and that is absolutely fine, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Personally I think it is another small step in the right direction. The Rao family at Ewood would be another and that at some point between 2011 and now I've made a conscious (or subconscious) decision that they are here to stay, we need their investment on a year by year basis and that maybe, just maybe, there is a happy ending to this story. Of course I and us will never forget the circus around their early involvement in the club, the nefarious characters that were involved at all levels of the club, from the boardroom to the pitch. But it is history, we can't change that, they can't change that. We can change what happens today and what happens tomorrow. What they can do, is commit to the club financially, upkeep the academy and provide the best tools they can (FFP allowing) for the manager of that time to flourish. Which is what they seem to be doing. Maybe I'm being naive, but I think the club can come back together, a period of healing needs to be done on all sides and bridges rebuilt (or at least attempts to rebuild) from the owners and the fans. I do think that then and only then, can the club look upwards and back towards the Premier League. We need the fans back in numbers, we need the owners engaged, we need that optimism and spirit back in the town, the community, the fanbase. Its a long road back, but maybe their return could be the first step?
  8. Absolutely, I went in with pure skepticism and whilst some things are obviously a touch revisionist, I can see where he's coming from and the mercenary aspect of that team that got relegated. The trickle down effect of toxic leadership from Jerome/Kentato/SEM or whoever was pulling the strings at that time. Orr was a player out of his depth ability wise, but others with far greater ability (see N'Zonzi and Givet) let the side down as much if not more so. Nice for him to acknowledge that he knew when he was giving the interview, that he was burning his bridges with the fans. Amazing loyalty from him to Kean when you think about it.
  9. I don't actually remember that incident.... So many around that time!
  10. Bump to the thread. I was down in Bristol last weekend at a family party. My cousin is a big Bristol City fan. He was mentioning to me a podcast that some fans do down there, called ''One Stream in Bristol'' https://onestreaminbristol.libsyn.com/ Similar to our very own BRFCS podcast @Herbie6590🙌 and brought my attention to a couple he thought I'd like/be interested in. 1. Frank Fielding (a mate of mine, I went to school with Frank) https://onestreaminbristol.libsyn.com/a-cider-with-frankie-fielding 26:50 onwards to about 31:42 (interesting early Venkys era) 2. The infamous Bradley Orr https://onestreaminbristol.libsyn.com/a-cider-with-bradley-orr 1:44:50 onwards (some very interesting claims/statements, particularly against Givet and Nzonzi, plus Henning Berg....oh and Shebby Singh) Having had the chance to listen to both now, worth a listen. To save some time, time stamps for both are.
  11. Maybe this is me trying to be a bit optimistic. But I think 2021/22 will be an eye opener of a year in the Championship and perhaps the start of a new age for the league in terms of the haves vs. the have nots. The Premier League has long been dictated by the top 4/5 teams that challenge for the title/Champions League spots, with a handful left to scrap for the Europa League spots, whilst the majority look for 40 points and survival as soon as possible. I think this season you'll see a clear gap, much like last season, and a new trend set for years to come. Expect Fulham, West Bromwich and Sheffield Utd to be dominant with their parachute payments, whilst Bournemouth will live off their recent Premier League status also. The dial backs from Huddersfield last season and seemingly Swansea City this year prove as much. This brings me to the Rovers. On paper we look up against it. Whilst I think we're in an unenviable position all things considered, at least we have a strong academy to fall back on! This will become even more important I'd have thought, with squad depths at an all time low. Its amazing looking at the players who've been released from clubs at this level that are still free agents! A hypothetical squad that is still available two days before the season starts, made up of players who played in the Championship LAST season. All these are still Free agents! Thus facing dropping down the legaues/moves abroad/retirement GK - Kieren Westwood, Luke Daniels Def - Adrian Mariappa, Sol Bamba, Joe Bennett, Tommy Elphick, Billy Jones Mid - Jack Wilshere, Lewis Holtby, Junior Hoilett, Jonny Williams, Florean Jozefzoon, Nathaniel Mendez-Liang, Marco Stiepermann, Kadeem Harris, Joey Pelupessy Att - Jamie Patterson, Marley Watkins, Jordon Ibe, Oumar Niasse, Yaya Sanogo, Marvin Johnson, Kyle Vassell, Elias Kachunga This doesn't include the players who are obviously surplus to requirements either, see Tom Trybull. Squad depths are fragile across the league. My thoughts are probably concluded by the fact that...yes whilst it does feel bleak at Rovers, the COVID crisis is only now hitting the clubs in the pockets. This plus Brexit, reduced revenues, the disparity between the parachute clubs and the rest... Its probably going to be an eye opening season for many teams. Can Rovers better last season and finish 15th? Absolutely Can Rovers finish in the bottom three? Absolutely My prediction would be a big gap between the top 3, and big gap between the playoff teams and 7th place and then a bunch of teams from 10th-23rd (sorry Derby) seperated by a handful of points for most, if not all of the season.
  12. Ideal scenario? Cash Extensions for Nyambe, Rothwell, Brereton (even if they include release clauses next summer) hopefully we can cash in on them also. Funding for a big PL loanee. A Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Liam Delap or someone of that ilk. Also funding a couple of longer term Harry Pickering type targets from League One/Scotland/Europe Then money in the funds against FFP Wishful thinking I know, but that has to be the ultimate win for us this season.
  13. Stock of the shirts selling out can only be a good thing, particularly at a time where apathy towards the club seems rampant. That said, I'd hope, someone in the club, have the foresight to hold back some stock left for the opening match of the season.
  14. Beat me to it @Herbie6590😄 1. Will Steve Waggott still be at Rovers on 1/7/22 ? If no, date of departure. Wasn't he retiring last season? I think he'll see out this season, possible departure May 2022. 2. Will Tony Mowbray still be manager on 1/2/22 ? If no, date of departure. Yes I think so, again, I think he'll see out this season. Will he sign a new contract? That's the million dollar question. As with most people, I think he's had more than enough time to implement his philosophies on the club. One more season hopefully won't send us down, but a change will likely be needed, for all parties, by May 2022. 3. Rovers Player of the Season 21/22 ? Ben Brereton Diaz. Particularly if it goes to a public vote! But in all honesty, if he's going to progress upwards in his career and play at the highest level week in, week out, then a big 2021/22 is the season he needs. Hopefully we can piggy back on that and stay in this division. 4. Where will Rovers finish the season ? Flipped and flopped so many times over the past few months, admittedly from desperation to apathy, rather than optimistic to hopeful. I'd say we manage to keep our heads just above water all season. 17th. Staying free from key injuries and the breakout of some youngsters imperative. 5. Who will be championship winners ? AFC Bournemouth. Danjuma, Brooks, Mepham, Marcondes, Pearson, Stanlislas. Plus Parker as manager, with a budget to match? I think they'll start strong and endure. Interesting to see how the changes of manager at West Bromwich and Sheffield United impact their playing styles and squads. QPR a dark horse tip.
  15. Lets not get carried away with either performance. Cirino looked decent in his spell, but a promising 30 minutes in a preseason game doesn't make you a future starter. Pickering did his job admirably I felt, yes looks a little one paced perhaps, but what do people expect? There was a moment in the first half when Raphinha did him for pace on the outside, Pickering tracked back and most importantly....DIDN'T DIVE IN, potentially giving away a penalty! He managed to wrestle back some control in the situation, the Leeds winger checked back in and delivered a cross on his weaker foot that was defended well by Carter. I'd rather have Pickering than Barry Douglas.
  16. My two penneth Positives Defended really well against a fluid, Premier League quality Marcelo Bielsa team, which contained several of their bigger names (Rodrigo, Raphinha, Harrison etc) All of the younger lads acquitted themselves well and by the end, all had done their first team chances no harm indeed. Notable shout-outs to Garrett, Carter and Magloire. All played 90 minutes and defended, headed, tackled and work hard throughout. All three will be involved more this season I'll bet, and based on last night, they have something to add to the squad. Of the others, nice run by Cirino, McBride rides his luck with the goal (but at least his free kick was on target) for his second of preseason. Him as a fourth/fifth striker option isn't the worst news. Nyambe, getting better each season, nothing new to report. Pickering, I think he's getting a bit of undue flack on here! Based on last night, I think he's a ''Steady Eddy'' type at left back, More of a Michael Gray/Alan Wright type than a dynamic fullback, but handled Raphinha as best he could. I can say this with absolute certainty.......He won't face too may Raphinha level wingers in the Championship! Mention too for John Buckley, some very nice moments, some frustrating ones too, a couple of beautiful passes, a couple of ''who was he passing to there?'' moments. Never shirks a challenge to be fair to him, big season ahead. Brereton Diaz - A different beast all together, more like a £7.5m potential star of the future than we've ever seen down at Ewood before, plus the stadium (or at least where I was sat in the Blackburn End) came to life whenever he had the ball. Kaminski also looked every bit the keeper that won Player of the Year last season. Negatives Armstrong looked completely isolated up top in that system, and his shooting boots where on the wrong feet! Pike and Vale couldn't make the same impact as some of the other substitutes, poor header from Pike for the Leeds goal, but I think both need some first team football in League 1/2 this season. No Butterworth either, which is a shame, after his MotM cameo at Fylde and he played against Bradford too. Nothing too major in the negatives in regards to play and ball retention as it was a very young team against a team heading in the right direction in the Premier League, but still sloppy at times, particularly going forward. Overall Before even speaking about the match.....How brilliant it was to be back inside Ewood. Feeling that connection with the team once again, and that feeling of pride at the final whistle. Great to be home! The kit looks fantastic, plenty wearing the shirts in the stands, saw both home and away on display! c.9,000 fans provided a great atmosphere for a pre-season match. Thankfully Rovers fans almost matched the Leeds fans 1 to 1, so made for a nice spectacle. Left the ground feeling more optimistic than I felt going in! In regards to almost everything! Off the pitch, how comfortable it felt being amongst a large group of people. The euphoria of being at a live match at Ewood and the feeling when the ball hit the back of the net. On the pitch, I still feel as though this season will be a battle from start to finish, and I'm predicting a lower middle placed finish, but I do feel we have enough to survive. Particularly with Gallagher, Johnson, Travis, Ayala and others to come in and come back.
  17. Is the shop credit already on the Season tickets? Quality, feel up close? Any non professional shots to share?
  18. Question for the fellow kit geeks like myself... Will we see blue shorts for the away matches at Blackpool/Stoke/Sheffield Utd etc... Last two trips to Blackpool have seen us wear our away kits. The teal nike kit, as worn by match winner Rudy Gestede and in the League One promotion season, the Black with Red pinstripe effort, as worn by match winner Charlie Mulgrew. That said, our home kit has been sufficient against Luton for the past few of seasons. Though Luton do wear navy shorts as standard. Similarly, we wore the grey away kit in our last game at Bramall Lane, cup defeat a couple of seasons back. Or will there be a 3rd kit option? A single block colour, either light or dark, being the obvious choice. After today's kit reveal, my way too early guess/prediction would be for a yellow shirt with blue pinstripes as next seasons away kit.
  19. YES!! 9/10 I can live with the sleeves and layout on the away kit more than the home shirt. In the words of the great Barry Davies ''you have to say that's magnificent''
  20. Its seemingly obvious that we're going to be relying heavily on loans from Premier League clubs, like last season in a lot of respects. Doyle, Clarkson and others linked from City/Liverpool respectively, yet we know that due to preseason squads being decimated by the Copa America, Euros and Olympics that these signings are all likely to be late in the window or even deadline day itself. Brace yourself for another 50+ pages before a signing I'd imagine. Maybe a link with Leeds also after tomorrow's friendly and the Barry Douglas link last season?
  21. Got my tickets for the Leeds match at the weekend. Not expecting many fellow Rovers fans to be honest, might have a row to myself in the Blackburn End 😁
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