Down the years, Rovers' followers have become immune to the adverse media coverage the club sometimes receives. In '95, we did not win the league but United lost it. In the middle part of this decade the name of the team was temporarily changed to BBBRFC (Bully Boys Blackburn Rovers Football Club) by some pundits. There was a season around this time where we were playing some great stuff and challenging for a Champions League spot, but very few took notice. Casting my eye over the Sunday papers this morning, it seems the next wave of Rovers bashing is upon us (Rod Liddle's jibe in the Times being one example). But is it justified?
Yesterday's game was a dour affair with very little in the way of excitement and creativity(except for an unexpected Tugay appearence) but arguably the main remit for the team was to avoid defeat and get us off the mark. If this was the case then job done! I'm not saying I agree with playing 4-5-1 against a team we could and should beat at home but watching football never has or will guarentee thrills and spills.
Alladyce's methods are about as old news as finding out The Beatles have split up! But it is plainly obvious that Big Sam was frustrated with some of the fans' reactions to certain tactical decisions. In his post match interview he told the supporters to"Leave it to me. I'm the expert." At this embryonic stage of the season, I am prepared to bow to his judgement. I just hope those words don't come back to haunt him.
To play Allaydyce's direct style however, a squad needs a certain type of player. I don't think we have enough of these. Yesterday we clearly slowed the game down and tried to play through midfield. The change of style and formation was due to a catologue of injuries to key personnel. But again we were not fully comfortable doing this due to the same reason as above. Hence, we could find ourselves stuck between a rock and hard place, unable to operate either system.
As the clock ticks towards 5PM on Tuesday I am sure Sam is doing everything possible to strengthen the squad. It will have been interesting to listen to the converstaions he had with John Williams as he sat next to him yesterday. The defence is sound and to his credit Alladyce has filled the gaping holes that his predessor had left for him. This has laid the foundations to expand further forward but we desperately require a creative central midfielder and someone who could get us a few goals. If Bolton are supposedly preparing a bid for Jermaine Beckford then why can't Rovers?
A huge positive for Rovers has been the rediscovery of David 'Junior' Hoilett. The youngster has been a largely anonymous figure at Ewood having been on loan in Germany for 2 years but he has already shown that he could bring an added dimension to a somewhat one dimensional attacking line-up. The problem then arises of the big vultures swooping as a player gains a higher profile ie Stephen Warnock. We will wait and see.
Incredibly the season is only 14 days old and it's time for a break! But it is all for a worthwhile cause......England's vitally important friendly against Slovenia!