Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ten thoughts on what's been going on at Rovers

I haven't been excited about going to see the Rovers this season - each game I've been to I've expected us to lose, and we did. Today we play Stoke and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm sure the game won't be pretty, but direct attacking football has its excitement as well.

I said all along that Ince was out of his depth, after initially being excited for about a day. The signing of Keith Andrews from MK Dons and Robbie Fowler from the St Helens Housing Association B Team were always going to define his performance. They did. Rubbish. And the best heckle on the subject came from Roland Horridge in the front row of the Jack Walker stand: "Ince, you'd have been better off buying Eamon Andrews".

The "football people" lining up to condemn Rovers chairman John Williams for sacking him after less than six months make me laugh. Of course Tony Adams and Tony Pulis were happy to see Ince at Rovers, six easy points, eh lads.

My source in all of this told me that back in June Sam Allardyce was told at his interview that Ince had been offered the job, but there was a problem with his coaching badges. That's when he pulled out of the process. There were other trustees who were violently opposed to Sam, but now see the folly of their ways.

I cost Sam Allardyce a boozy lunch last week. He was going to be coming to our lads Christmas do we hold every year, but as a Rovers director was also going to be there, as well as a football agent, a sports lawyer, the Blackburn Rovers "shadow cabinet" and a pesky scribe (me), he wanted to avoid an awkward moment and asked for Sam to be disinvited. Next year, maybe?

Oliver Holt in the Mirror has tried to make the hounding of Ince by Rovers fans a race thing. Absolute baloney. Race had nothing to do with fans wanting him out. But had a lot to do with him being appointed.

Tip for any player, manager or person associated with my football club. We're "Rovers" not "Blackburn". You might think I'm splitting hairs, but there's an important distinction.

Tip for any football club choosing a manager. Ask who the backroom team will be. Mark Hughes had a superb unit at Rovers. Ince had a rag bag of old mates and has beens (Nigel Bloody Winterburn for sooths sake). Sam Allardyce at Bolton embraced peak performance - look where it got them. Bring Mike Finnigan back to Ewood, I say.

Poor old Santa Cruz. Damned if he stays, damned if he doesn't. James Richardson on the podcast says he hasn't been the same since his commitment to Rovers was described as "lacking ambition". He's in the papers and on Sky today talking broken biscuits. Give it another season, son.

So come on, get behind the team and let's get three points in bag to warm us up for Christmas.

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