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  1. John Stones out for 5 weeks now. Bet City wish they could recall him.
  2. I'm someone who goes in Blues pre and post-match, so I just wanted to clear a couple of things up. It's £1 to get in for ST holders, free if you pay up front for the Blues membership. The prices go up at 1pm and then back down at 6pm. They have a guest real ale on every game, although this often runs out not long after the game. They don't use plastic glasses. I like it in there. The beer prices aren't too far off standard pub prices I think. They show the early and late footy, and there's lots of screens so you can watch it pretty much wherever you sit/stand. It's fairly full from 1:30/2pm pre-match and for an hour or so post-match - indeed, you sometimes struggle to get in for a while after games as they operate a one-in-one-out policy - so it's obviously popular. One criticism I would have is that the food is over-priced, and whoever puts the menu together seems to think he's running some fine dining establishment rather than a football bar, but that aside it's pretty good imo. I also like the bands they have been getting in to perform recently after the games.
  3. The big problem last night was that we kept giving the ball away under pressure. It meant Derby overwhelmed us in the first half. Raya, Williams, Smallwood, Armstrong, Palmer & Conway all didn't keep the ball well enough. Replace Williams with Mulgrew, Armstrong with Graham, Palmer with Rothwell, Conway with Bennett & Smallwood with Reed and we might have a team that keeps the ball well enough to play through a high-pressing team like Derby.
  4. We met him in the pub afterwards. He'd gone to the game with a mate and his mate's little lad, and the little lad had a Burnley shirt on too. He kept parading the lad around the pub in front of us. The guy with the scarf was a particularly strange chap who kept trying to wind us up for an hour or two until he was eventually told where to go. None of them were Dingles though, they were Plymouth fans who'd just done it for the bantz! All very odd. Wasn't sorry to see Plymouth miss out on the play-offs.
  5. Positives: He tries to get his teams to play attractive, passing football. No long-ball hoof merchant. Negatives: His teams don't win many games. The most worrying thing is his title - "head coach". Suggests to me he won't have the final say on transfers and will effectively be expected to work with what he's given from Senior. And as I'm sure Senior has been brought in to cut costs wherever possible, he's not going to be given much.
  6. I wrote this on the Rovers Greatest Team thread years ago. Seems appropriate now: Damien Duff first signed professional forms for Rovers on March 5th 1996 at the age of 17. It was a momentous day for the club. He was scouted by Pat Devlin, manager of Bray Wanderers and still Duff's agent to this day. Devlin was a friend of Kenny Dalglish and alerted Kenny to the talent he'd unearthed in Ireland. Rovers weren't the only club he told though. Rumour has it that Huddersfield came very close to poaching Damien - thankfully though he chose the Rovers. Duff made his Rovers senior debut in the last home game of 1996-97 season. However, it wasn't until the season after that he established himself in the side ahead of Jason Wilcox. A crowd favourite straight away, he won over the fans with his skill and touch, as well as a running style best described as "unusual", not to mention the appearence of someone who was permanently knackered. He just looked funny, not remotely like a footballer was supposed to look, but give him the ball and he could be superb. Superb but inconsistent. Duff had a habit of drifting in and out of games in the early stages of his career, and probably suffered more than most during the frequent managerial upheavals at the time. In fact it was rumoured that Hodgson didn't rate Duff and was willing to sell him - thankfully Hodgson left first. Duff was relegated along with the rest of the squad in 1999 and remained inconsistent during the clubs first season in Division 1. However, his form was still good enough to earn him his first cap as a substitute for Ireland. He went on to make two more appearences for his country that season. It wasn't until the arrival of Graeme Souness in early 2000 that Duff started to consistently produce the form that we all knew he was capable of. Although he only scored one league goal during our promotion season it was a vital one - securing victory away against promotion rivals Birmingham. His all-round game though was excellent that season. He terrorised First Division right-backs and linked up superbly with the likes of Jansen, Dunn, Bent and Berkovic. Our first season back in the Premiership was largely a struggle for the team, but Duff continued to shine. He chipped in with 7 goals, many of them vital, and was instrumental in our 2002 Worthington Cup winning team. It remains the only major honour of his career so far (although I suspect it won't be for long). That summer saw Damien Duff graduate to world class. He was arguably the star of the 2002 World Cup, helping Ireland into the knock-out stages with a series of man-of-the-match performances. He even managed a goal in the 3-0 group win over Saudi Arabia. Speculation was rife in the media throughout the summer that Duff would leave for one of the "big boys". However, he defied everyone by signing a new 2 year contract at Blackburn and stating his love for the club. Duff was now unstoppable. He won a place in UEFA's team of the year and inspired the team to new heights during the next season, scoring 13 goals and setting up many, many more. In fact, the only thing that could stop him was a niggling hamstring injury that restricted him to only 26 appearences that season. However, it was no coincidence that Rovers put a fantastic run together during the second half of the season when Duff returned from injury. The run took us up to 6th place and a UEFA cup spot. Again, media speculation was rife during the summer about Duff leaving. Just as we all thought he might defy the critics again and stay, Chelsea came in with a huge bid and, after a protracted negotiation involving a lot of soul-searching on Duff's part, he left for the bright lights of London. I've been watching the Rovers for more than 25 years and Duff is easily my favourite player throughout that time. His skill, vision, touch and passing ability made him a fantastic player to watch - a real entertainer. I loved the way he looked shattered one minute then electrifying the next. He seemed such an uncomplicated character off the pitch as well. We used to laugh as we passed his old battered Fiesta in the car-park before home games - alongside all the BMW's, 4x4's and Jag's of the other players. He lists one of his favourite hobbies as sleeping and spent most of his time at Blackburn living in Hurst Green out in the sticks. No boozy nights out with Page 3 girls for Damien. I'm still sad that he left yet I still enjoy watching play for Chelsea. For example, I watched him tonight in the Carling Cup against Fulham and he was superb - scoring one and troubling Fulham throughout. Unfortunately, in a few years history will probably show that Duff was at his most successful whilst playing for Chelsea. However, I'll never forget what he did at Rovers. The boy's a genius. Career 1996-97: Rovers 1 game, 0 goals 1997-98: Rovers 26 games, 4 goals 1998-99: Rovers 28 games, 1 goal 1999-00: Rovers 39 games, 5 goals; Ireland 3 appearences, 0 goals 2000-01: Rovers 32 games, 1 goal; Ireland 6 appearences, 0 goals 2001-02: Rovers 32 games, 7 goals; Ireland 10 appearences, 2 goals 2002-03: Rovers 26 games, 9 goals; Ireland 5 appearences, 2 goals
  7. I've not read the book so couldn't really say.
  8. Saw The Martian the other day. Really good, if a little long, but it builds to a fantastically dramatic ending. Best film I've seen for a while.
  9. Not sure if this has been reviewed before but I visited the Red Hot World Buffet on Deansgate in Manchester last Friday night. Here's the link: Red Hot World Buffet First of all it's very popular so you have to book unless you're prepared to wait in a long queue. I rang on Tuesday and was told the only tables available on Friday were at 5pm and after 9pm. Considering the place is massive and must easily hold a few hundred people someone is raking it in! The downside is that the size and amount of people make the place feel like a bit of a cattle market. If it's fine dining in a relaxing atmosphere that you're after then it's best to avoid this place but, for me at least, the sheer choice available more than makes up for this. For £15 a head you can choose from a range of Chinese, Indian, Tex-Mex, Sushi, English & Italian food as well as the largest selection of desserts I've ever seen. As the name suggests it's a buffet so you can sample these dishes as little or often as you like, and some of the food, such as the chicken carbonara I had at one point, is cooked fresh in front of you on request. Like any buffet the food isn't always of the best quality as it's often left on the hot plate for too long, but everything I had was tasty enough and, for the price, was brilliant value for money. I can't stress enough the choice available - you could go back many, many times and not eat the same dish twice. The biggest issue to be honest is the temptation to over-eat, like one of the friends I went with did who then could only manage to drink tap water in the pub we went to afterwards. Eh Chris?! For a cheap night out though it really is well worth a visit.
  10. Reading some of the comments on here, Benni seems to have become a much better player while he's not been playing. I'm sure that if he did start for a run of games we'd all get back to moaning about him like we did the last time he was in the team for an extended period of time. The fact is that our forward combination of Dunn and Di Santo is the one part of the team that seems to be working. Are we missing loads of chances? No. Our problem is that we aren't creating enough, and Benni isn't going to help that.
  11. Yep. Ex-Man U player - no stranger to controversy - said bad things about Blackburn in the past - black. AESF's bile will be pouring out in bucketloads.
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