Monday, 26 March 2012

Here's an idea, why don't we play long ball?

Well that little rush of happiness had to end at some point and sure enough it all came crashing down around us at the Breezeblock on Saturday.

People can point to the fate aspect and claim it was written in the stars that an emotional Bolton Wanderers were destined to win in their first outing since the outpouring of support for Fabrice Muamba, but I would counter argue that by simply stating that Bolton won because Blackburn Rovers really weren't very good on the day.

Whilst Bolton looked like a team possessed and desperate to impress, Rovers looked like the side who were overawed by the unusual occasion and lacked any sort of cohesiveness. It's as if the eleven people in yellow/black had taken part in a meet and greet at 2.55pm, informed they were going to play an impromptu game of "soccer" and sent out to see how the social experiment goes.

The end result was not pleasing if you happened to like Blackburn Rovers and in the final instalment of our crucial three game relegation battle series we missed a glorious opportunity to claim a full house. After impressive wins over Wolves and Sunderland our boys got sucked back into the battle off the back of a deserved defeat.

Where to start?

Ah yes, with some Steve Kean bashing. One look at that rather colossal yet immobile looking back line would surely indicate that some dynamic forward movement and intricate passing would present Rovers with some opportunities to score. Yet the "manager of the season" made the players go direct...

Time and time again the ball was launched forward like an aimless missile for Yakubu (6 foot) and Junior Hoilett (5 foot 8) to battle it out with Tim Ream (6 foot 1) and David Wheater (6 foot 5), it's the sort of tactic reserved for the 85th minute of a game. Yet there we were 3 minutes into the game testing Paul Robinson's strong kicking leg - quite where that dazzling logic came from only god and the manager himself could tell you.

The midfield was largely bypassed and a decent majority of the players looked off the pace. But that's not to excuse the centre of midfield who were abject, plodding and ran as if they had a cannon ball strapped to their ankles.

Worst of all was the truly awful Morten Gamst Pedersen who spent an entire hour and a half passing to Bolton players and arriving 5 seconds too late into crunching tackles. Steve N'Zonzi was uncharacteristically wayward with his passing and out on the wing Mauro Formica wandered round methodically looking barely interested.

And the less said about Scott Dann's contribution at the back the better.

The 5,000 Rovers faithful who did make the trip deserved a bit more passion and fire, the players failed to deliver. There is now a massive picking up job to be done with Manchester United lying in wait next Monday.

The battle is still very much on and we're still in a strong position to survive it but it'll take a truck load more than the Rovers showed on Saturday to make sure that remains the case.


  1. Pedersen should be dropped and bring Dunny in. He gives us so much more in midfield.

    1. It's not even about bringing Dunn in. Pedersen makes you nervous every time he touches the ball in midfield. He just gives it away so much.

  2. Hopefully this is just a one off, our displays have been a lot more positive of late so we'll just have to write this one off and hope they show some bouncebackability in the next few games. I think the real villains here are Liverpool, losing two easy (for them at least) games on the trot. I think the QPR result earlier in the week might have got in our heads a bit, and then losing to Wigan at home just adds to our problems. Not to worry though, I'm sure they'll be firing on all cylinders by the time they play us....

  3. Agree with regards Pederson. He has been poor for some time. How many times does he give the ball away in dangereous areas. Also why did we not change it around earlier and also give Modeste a run out in the final min utes if we were going to continually pump the ball forward?

  4. We resorted to playing Bolton's way!!! Long ball doesn't win games unfortunately - our remaining fixtures aren't as bad as some - we've detailed all the remaining games for QPR, Bolton, Blackburn, Wigan and Wolves on our website, and I think we'll be OK, just about - - I think it's Wolves, QPR and Wigan who'll go down.

  5. I wonder if any of these "so-called football experts" on these blogs that suggested steve kean for manager of the season saw this game. and perhaps they wondered why rovers didnt play the attacking free-flowing football they all thought they did...
    truth is, this is the way rovers play under steve kean(for a long time since he decided to ditch the original idea of two strikers and went desperate for a clean sheet), for probably 7 out of 10 games on average. big sam tactics, without the know-how.
    Im not even going to mention the long throw specialists name, he should be off playing volleyball or something.

  6. ian moorcroft. blackburn rovers27 March 2012 at 15:55

    the manager is tacticly inept!. pederson just keeps giving the ball away! his corners and long throw ins are always too near the goalkeeper, and he does not seem to give a toss!. lowe not a right back! dann just a joke, he even carries himself around the pitch like a carthorse! and why is givet not playing instead of him? ok givet no left back but at least he would try in centre of defence unlike ive lost my man again dann!