September 27, 2010
Saturday's grand day out to the seaside may have been a rollercoaster ride but it gave Rovers fans an away day to cherish. Chris Samba was again a tower of strength and the 'king of bling', El Hadji Diouf, made the Blackpool full backs look more clown-like than the laughing version that greets visitors at the entrance to the Pleasure Beach. No more seaside references except for donkeys but it would be unfair to compare the usually excellent Charlie Adam with the loveable yet clueless creatures.
In hindsight, I may have been too critical of the team in my initial assessment of the game. Although delighted with the end result, we came out of the ground perplexed that Rovers did not push on to kill the game off when leading by a goal to nil. We believed Blackpool were there for the taking and that yet again Rovers played that strange game of drifting deeper into their own danger zone, content with hoofing the ball forward which immediately gives the initiative to the opposition. The inevitable equalizer resulted.
September 19, 2010
In a week which has seen Big Sam talk himself up for some of Europe's biggest jobs, it was almost inevitable that Allardyce would stamp his philosophy and personality all over yesterday's action at Ewood. However, it is doubtful that the Rovers boss will send the DVD of this game to Europe's elite to back up his claims.
Rovers' robust and uncompromising style upset Fulham, Mark Schwarzer and Mark Hughes from the first whistle. Ironically, the former Rovers supremo briefly adopted a similar style of play when he arrived at the club in 2004 but he is correct that referee Anthony Taylor somehow missed Diouf 's(senior) altercation with his goalkeeper.
It was not a good day at the office for the young Manchester official. Inexplicably he failed to spot Schwarzer handle the ball outside the area with himself standing a matter of yards away. A red card with barely 10 minutes played would have certainly produced a different result. Overall however, Rovers were average at best and it is fair to say that the team from the banks of the Thames were the better side after the break.
September 12, 2010
It may have been a case of the princes meeting the paupers at Eastlands yesterday but despite the gulf between the clubs in terms of resources, personnel and hard cash, nothing could separate them after 90 minutes. I won't pretend to say Rovers were the better side but for sheer determination, commitment and sticking to a game plan, we certainly deserved a share of the spoils.
Allardyce once again proved to be tactically astute. He set the team up with the one intention of frustrating and stifiling City's play makers. To do this, he needed to rely on his tried and trusted generals, Messrs Robinson and Samba. The Rovers skipper led by example and his foot soldiers danced to his beat, while the Rovers keeper was his usual consistent self. Ironically, it was one of Robinson's successors that provided further evidence that his decision to solely concentrate on all things Ewood, may have been hasty.