March 30, 2010
I wrote my last piece (Derby Day Dawns) high on expectation and trepidation before setting off to Ewood and catching the coach to Turf. I alluded to the morning feeling like a Cup Final and something extraordinary. The day did not disappoint.
A contributing factor was the common sense and pragmatic approach taken by the vast majority of Lancashire Constabulary Officers on duty on Sunday.
March 28, 2010
It's 6.45am on a Sunday morning but is really 5.45am as British Summer Time officially began a few hours ago. One look out of the window confirms that sunny skies and warm days are still a long way off. However, this is not a morning to continue the hibernation. It's Derby Day! And the operation to transport 2,500 Rovers fans to Turf Moor is about to be begin.
For those outside the region, and particularly reading this in foreign climbs, it may seem a bit excessive to order supporters to take organised transport 3 hours before kick off to a ground which is less than 10 miles away. We are then going to be escorted into the stadium 2 and a half hours before kickoff and probably will be asked to wait around for a similar time after the match. There could very well be the scenario of a Rovers fan living in the outskirts of Burnley who has to drive to Ewood, to pick the coach up to take him back to Burnley. He will then return back to Ewood to pick his car up to take him home to Burnley. Did you follow that?
Is it necessary? If it limits the chances of disorder then yes it is acceptable. If it just another attempt to erode the liberties of fans then questions have to be asked. The fact is, this morning feels different. It reminds me of setting off early for cups finals or play off finals. There is an air of expectation and excitement which is a rare commodity in the modern world of football. I am desparate for a Rovers win and the bragging rights that will go with it. But I have been consistant in my view that I want Burnley to stay up in order to experience more of these mornings.
It is going to be a time for strong hearts and minds in the high noon shootout.
March 21, 2010
When the late great Jack Walker saved Rovers from oblivion in 1991 his short term aim was to make the club a founder member of the Premier League. His long term aim was to produce an academy that would be the envy of the Europe and produce the players that would eventually make Rovers self sufficient. The first objective was achieved. The second aim was less successful.
The Brockhall Academy has delivered a sprinkling of talent in the last 20 years. Wilcox, May, Duff, Dunn are four that spring to mind. There have also been a handful of youngsters that showed potential but were never quite up to the mark. Rovers fans have always been patient and understanding when a youngster steps up to the plate and Sunday’s performance on his league debut by Phil Jones was both refreshing and riveting.
March 15, 2010
White Hart Lane is quickly gaining the reputation for being the graveyard for Rovers' fullbacks. Last season Martin Olsson was given the run-around by Aaron Lennon. This year it Michel Salgado's turn to wear the clown's outfit as he was embarrassed by Gareth Bale. To solely blame the experienced Spaniard for Rovers’ latest bout of travel sickness would be unfair. Only Samba, Givet and the ever willing Kalinic deserve praise on an afternoon when bad habits returned.
Lunchtime kickoffs are never conducive to create an atmosphere inside the stadium. It's that strange time for a supporter after just having breakfast and possibly nursing a sore head from a Friday night out. It's a time when we are more used to setting off for games in anticipation of the 3pm start, or at least it was like that in days gone by. Saturday lunchtime at the Lane was no different. The game resembled a pre season friendly or testimonial and the opening exchanges suggested Rovers were more than capable of achieving something rarer than a parking space in London.... an away win.
March 2, 2010
I've witnessed two acts of desperation in the last 48 hours. One was Freddie Star Live in Concert at Wimbledon Theatre. The other was much more sad and pitiful... Rafa ranting! I do generally feel sorry for the man, someone who is so deluded that he cannot celebrate his own club's victory, but instead chose to launch an all out attack on the opposition who had the chances to win the game.
Rafa used his hillarious sense of humour to suggest that Barcelona are thinking of copying Rovers style of play and that the model employed by Allardyce should be used by other teams. He also told us that Liverpool "try to do our talking on the pitch." Of course Rafa! Well there was certainly much yapping last week when your side produced 6 yellow cards at City. Me thinks Rafa is papering over cracks the size of tectonic faults at his own club.