ESPN Soccernet - Correspondents - Blackburn Rovers
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Blackburn Rovers
Posted by Marcus Tattersall on 01/18/2012

I guess it has been just another ordinary week in the life of Rovers supporters everywhere. For starters we all had our tissues at the ready for a tear jerking, 'Oscar winning' performance on Sky Sports News from Jerome Anderson. Then there was the 24 hour protest which was followed by a magnificent main course served up against Fulham.

We then had our skipper desperate to leave the stricken ship. And just when we all thought our Sunday lunch could be easily digested, we became aware of that leaked letter which was sent to the owners 12 months ago from the former Board of Directors highlighting their concerns and fears about a regime which had held the keys to the club for only a matter of weeks.

For once it was matters on the pitch that grabbed the headlines. Arguably the Fulham result was the most satisfying victory of the season to date. It was the manner of the performance and the resolve of the team after finding themselves a man down which was most impressive. On second viewing, not many could argue with Yakubu seeing red. In the current climate, referees have not much choice when a player raises his feet to an opponent. The Yak may not have a reputation for such challenges but he paid the ultimate price and Rovers will certainly miss his presence in the coming weeks.

Ironically, his dismissal was the turning point for Rovers. Tactically, they were forced to change their game plan and instead of the repetitive and predictable hoof up field from Robinson, Rovers played the ball along the floor through midfield which gave the excellent N'Zonzi the opportunity to enjoy his role where too often he has been a spectator this season. David Goodwillie who worked tirelessly upfront deserves special praise as does Grant Hanley who has improved with every game played.

Tactically, few can argue that Steve Kean got it right. His substitutions were sensible and his instructions were acted upon by his players. The end result is that we find ourselves outside the bottom three for the first time in many months. Psychologically this is incredibly important. Rovers must now capitalise on this by gaining back to back victories for the first time since Kean took charge. It is going to take something much more special than three points at Goodison on Saturday for the faithful to change their opinion of the manager but it will go some way to ensure that the true focus of the protests is directed towards the owners rather than the man they employ.

The supporters who took part in the 24 hour protest deserve special credit. Glenn and Simon who have largely led the campaign and kept the real issues circulating in the media spotlight have been brilliant. Faced with a national press and media who have at times portrayed Rovers fans as the worse manifestation of a terrace thug, the organisers have kept their dignity and have calmly argued the case of the supporters. Indeed the majority of Rovers supporters have been dignified despite accusations and intimations from different sources. Undoubtedly there will have been some supporters who have stepped over the mark but the masses have been a credit to the cause.

Following the leaked letter from John Williams and co, Rovers fans can feel vindicated that it was not their paranoia that was driving their campaign. It appears that it was the belief of those in high office at Ewood that something was dreadfully wrong. We can only speculate if the FA will look upon the letter disapprovingly and eventually sanction Rovers.

Chris Samba's decision to want to leave the club was hardly a shock. We have believed for some time that the big man was arguably the best centre half in the league and add to his defensive capabilities his tremendous goal scoring record, it is nonsensical that one of the top clubs has not yet taken a punt on him already. Samba has given his all to Rovers every time he pulled on a jersey and it visibly hurt him to see the team in crisis this season. Until a deal is done however he must play in every available match. After all, Samba may have been good to Rovers but Rovers have been excellent to Chris Samba.


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