Rovers 10th successive failure on the road came as no surprise to anyone. It may not have resembled the debacle of 7 days ago but even Jack Straw who was sat among the faithful in the ghost-like atmosphere of O.T, would fail to put a positive spin on Rovers' recent performances against the Big Boys.
The backline may have been tighter than last week but the support to the isolated Di Santo was largely non-existent and on the rare occasions when the ball found its way to him, he was not able to hold it up and bring in others. Kalinic was unfortunate with a shocking decision but if our only opportunity to create any threat on the opposition goal is from set pieces, then please ,please, please, give someone a try other than Pedersen!
There will always be freak results throughout any season, Burnley beating United and Wigan defeating Chelsea have occured in this campaign but it obvious having seen Rovers hoist the white flag on too many occasions against the Big 4 that these games have no bearing when the story of the season is written in May. This is why it is so frustrating to see a team line up in such a negative way with damage limitation at the forefront of their minds even without a ball being kicked. I can understand the tactic being used in a two-legged European tie, when away from home. But I would much rather the team get beat 8-4 and have a go.
It is clear that Sam is more concerned with gaining points off the likes of Pompey, Hull, Wigan, Bolton, Wolves, Birmingham and of course Burnley. His remit is to keep the club in the top flight and victory in these games will go along way to achieving that aim. He will therefore have an eye on the next fixture when deciding on team selection and whether to rest players. Next week is Portsmouth.
I sympathize with Allardyce and do think he is the best man for the job, he will keep us up. But I also have sympathy for the fans who have had to fork out almost Â£125+expenses for the last 3 away trips to Arsenal, Chelsea and United respectively and see their side merely turn up.
The novelty value of going to these grounds is well and truly over and it is difficult to justify one masochistic experience after another. If more clubs adopt the same philosophy as Rovers with these fixtures and in effect regard the season as a 30 game campaign, then the clamour for a European Super League will rear its head yet again. I am a football traditionalist and hated the idea but if it provides more competition and renewed interest for all parties then maybe it is not as daft as it sounds.
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