Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Down but not out

It sounds like a line off of a very cheesy film but sometimes in life when you win you really lose, and sometimes when you lose you really win. (White Men Can't Jump if I remember correctly?)

The second half of that statement could in fact be applied to last night's brave losing effort against the champions Manchester United, because even in an ultimately fruitless effort there was credit and there were dues to be handed out around the pitch and not just to those wearing the colour red.

It was like a flashback to our reverse fixture on New Years Eve. Our boys came with a very one dimensional but work heavy plan which was aimed at getting in the faces of our more expensively assembled counterparts, showing them minimal respect and taking what we could grab on the counter attack. It's been proven to have worked before and it was definitely the way to go again.

But this time it wasn't to be with fairly glorious failure our "reward" for the players efforts which for 75-80 minutes fully merited a point. The shape and 100% commitment to the cause was fantastic to see and moving forward there is precedent in this effort that should be taken onto the next games against West Brom and Liverpool.

But there are reasons outside of the uncontrollable which helped contribute to the Rovers downfall and it would be wrong not to address them. *Steve Kean abuse alert*

The decision from the "manager of the season" not to introduce any substitutes at any point during the 90 minutes to combat the fresh legs that Ferguson was able to provide was scandalous and bordering on ridiculous. There can only be one of three reasons why no-one new was bought on to help shattered legs and none of them cover anyone in any glory -

1) Kean didn't think it was the right thing to do.
2) The manager has no faith in some of the signings that were made.
3) The rumour that Kean has been given an appearance fee "cap" for each match which prevents him playing some players is true.

Take your pick but whatever your preference there isn't an excuse, or at least a good one anyway. I'd love for an explanation as to why the likes of David Dunn and Mauro Formica were just sat there like a bunch of slowly growing carrots whilst the clearly knackered Steve N'Zonzi and Marcus Olsson and the clearly abysmal Morten Gamst Pedersen were left out there on empty tanks.

Add into the mix that as a side we sat far too deep and it's fairly clear we DID contribute to our own downfall. *End Steve Kean abuse alert*

But the problems created on the night were outweighed by the display of passion and fight that will surely see us safe if it can be applied in more winnable upcoming games.

The likes of Bradley Orr, the Olssons, Scott Dann (a tenfold improvement on the Bolton game), the continually brilliant Grant Hanley and Yakubu put in a truly herculean work rate which did not get the result the effort warranted. Furthermore, the mere sight of a fired up Paul Robinson was a true sight to warm the cockles.

Seeing the looks on the faces of the Rovers players was a hard thing to digest as you could see the belief and the disappointment written all over each and every one of them. However, they all want it just as much as we do and that should be reasonable compensation on a deflating evening.

Yes, Rovers are back in the drop zone after a weekend where pretty much every result conspired against us, but this is far from over. There's still seven cup finals to go and the players have shown they've got the capability to survive, it could very well be the case that sometimes when you lose you can end up winning.


  1. No getting away from the fact that we are back in that unenviable position in the drop zone, but the solid determination of the team last night proved that we are most definately still in with a fighting chance, come on Rovers!!!

  2. I know you are back in the relegation zone. But, as a neutral, I was impressed by the team effort put in against possibly the best side in the country.

    Well done Blackburn Rovers for showing Man Utd you are no pushover, and playing like lions. With a bit of luck you would have won. You pulled a couple of brilliant saves out of De Gea and were the first to get the ball in the net.

    It was an excellent game. As I said before the game, "I am going to watch Blackburn". Come on Stay Up!!!

    1. Nice one, stick with us!!!

  3. Not the reward that the display merited and I agree that the lack of fresh legs on the field didn't help; why wasn't Dunn, Formica and any other played? Who knows. But judging from the team display, it took two very good goals to sink us as we kept the champions elect at arms length very effectively for most of the game.

    Now let's stick it to Brom and Pool and see where we are then.

  4. Well stated all around, Mikey.

    There have been times in the past that the squad was setup to where I could sort of understand Kean not bringing on subs. At least from the perspective that they're not up to the quality that he needs to keep up the fight. But this time he put out a side that allowed for at least Formica and Dunn to come on as subs.

  5. If he'd changed the team before Utd scored and we'd lost he would have been slaughtered ; after the first goal I'd like to have seen a "runner" up front ( Modeste ) and maybe Dunn ( surely Formica has had enough chances ) However, it's vital that the momentum is kept going and we get a little luck!