February 28, 2011
While most of us had been enduring the last throes of a long, dark and chilling winter, the Rovers squad where in Dubai enjoying nights out at the tennis, horse racing and playing head tennis on the beach. Steve Kean claimed that vitamin D levels were now very high in the boys and that batteries had been recharged. Having witnessed the latest shambolic away day performance, I suggest someone forgot to flick the power switch on the charger.
I wonder if any of the players suffered from the same travel sickness in the Middle East which has become endemic when playing football matches away from Ewood Park. 7 defeats on the road out of the last 8 games means that Rovers will face a fight for their Premier League survival this term. The division is incredibly compressed with 18th placed West Brom only 4 points adrift of Rovers and with a game in hand. Both the Fulham and Blackpool fixtures in the coming weeks will define Rovers future.
February 6, 2011
There are some weeks which you would like to confine to the dustbin of history and Rovers have certainly had one of those. A cup defeat to our nemesis which is Aston Villa FC followed by two League reverses and sandwiched in between came the news we had feared for some time that the magnificent John Williams was leaving the club.
I have waxed lyrical in recent months as to the immense contribution of Williams in shaping the modern Blackburn Rovers we know today. He was the architect in laying the foundations for a stable Premier League club in the post-Walker era and the fans recognised his honesty and integrity and above all, his loyalty to the club and themselves. Transfer funds may have been tight but this did not stop the faithful from chanting his name. John Williams's legacy can be found in the form of cheap tickets and vastly increased attendences. He will be sorely missed as we venture further into the land of the unknown.
The defeat at the DW/JJB/MFI/ELO stadium or whatever it calls itself these days was as dire as it was unexpected. I have applauded Steve Kean's footballing philosophy of trying to play attractively in the cause of gaining results but he was naive yesterday. On a pudding of pitch which was more fitting to the great game of Swamp Football, a more pragmatic approach should have prevailed. The owners may have given Kean the remit of providing entertainment to the masses but there is a time and place. The style of a side has to evolve before it can revolve fully.
These are crazy days in the mad world of the Premier League. Transfer inflation is rocketing at a time when most of us are tightening our belts and it seems as if David can beat Goliath far to regularly. Nothing can be taken for granted and so it is imperative that Rovers are focused and ready to get back to winning ways against Newcastle next Saturday. Samba needs to regain his beat and Santa has to get back on his sleigh!
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