Sunday, September 13, 2009

The long and the short of it - thoughts on Rovers v Wolves

OK, Blackburn Rovers have now won a league game. And, let's be honest, Wolves were pretty poor. I had grave fears when I saw that the West Ham line up of Jason Roberts as a lone striker, with David Dunn in a free role - a 4-2-2-1-1 - was repeated. The main difference was El Hadj Diouf. I have never been a fan of the spitter, but on Saturday he was disruptive and got forward with some ambition.

It's also true that Paul Robinson seems to be JR's main provider of long balls, that Pedersen is taking these long throws and that Samba charges up for corners, but they don't work. The most effective football comes from playing it on the deck and harrassing the opponents. David Dunn was superb again yesterday, he holds it up well and is prepared to take players on. Other bright spots were Brett Emerton's late but lively appearance, Michel Salgado coming on to calls of "Are you Tugay in disguise" and a decent performance from our Paul Ince-imported midfield of Eamon Andrews and Vince Grella. They did their jobs yesterday and passed much better.

Also, you won't have read this in any papers, or seen a clip on Sky or Match of the Day, but a keep-ball series of 30 passes showed the quality the team is capable of. It also lifted the mood of the fans who only seem to be singing about Burnley at the moment.

Interesting to read chairman John Williams in the programme - still nothing doing on the takeover front and that money is very tight.

So, season ticket tally time. Yesterday would have cost me £29 and £7 each for the two lads who came, even though we had a spare - must get better organised - so £43, plus £2 in booking fees. So, we've shaved £95 off so far. Bargain.


Vinjay said...

Good win on Saturday. Nice to see some killer instinct on display.

Where the programme quotes by Williams any different than the ones in the LET? That is if you read the LET quotes it's available on the website from last Monday if I recall the exact day right.

The LET quote did seem to hint at some kind of development (the nothing "concrete" statement) but when I e-mailed Williams to query this he just said the process is always ongoing. Same thing he's said for the past several months so I would assume nothing has changed. He has publicly admitted interest in the past when the club have been in talks with groups.

As for the chants that's been the case for the past few years. I'm just tired of hearing about them over and over again. It's got to the point where it's insufferable. It's as parochial as it gets and might put off potential buyers.

I dislike Man United but I wouldn't keep chanting about them all the time. The focus should be on our own club. I used to join in chanting up until a few seasons ago (when the focus was on Rovers) but that was during the period most fans were calling Man United our main rivals (which few Rovers fans will ever admit for some reason) which makes this stuff about always hating Burnley rubbish. In 1997 (when I began supporting the club) I can't remember anyone who cared about them. It was always Man United.

Even the people who do hate/dislike Burnley see the constant obsession with chanting about them absolutely tiresome.

Another question for you which you might be able to answer with your insider business knowledge. Williams stated in the LET that the owners had agreed to fund a strategic land acquisition.

Do you know what this might be? It's not the town centre store surely since that is rental based not ownership of land. Would it be at Ewood where the church used to be? Maybe at Brockhall...I don't know who owns the entire site now the Hitman guy who owned it passed away a while ago. I'm sure there's still land there available for development.

Vinjay said...

Couple more questions I forgot to add...

Why do you think the owners would agree to fund new land? Dependant on size/cost do you think the only reason they would do this is to raise their asking price for the club?

Michael Taylor said...

I tried to find the links to a piece in the Lancashire Telegraph but came up blank - I think their internet presence is pretty crap. And the morons who post on the message board are a piece of work.

I know the guys in the Sports Business team at Deloitte in Manchester. Back in June they were reporting an increase in "enquiries" to buy English football clubs from wealthy foreign buyers. But Rovers is much lower down any list than even Newcastle, certainly Everton and any number of Championship clubs with a stronger supporter base.

I suspect your relatively recent lineage with Rovers explains your personal exasperation, mine is more one of maturity. But I can't buy into this Man United as rivals thing at all. My first Rovers v Clarets match was 1977. Loads of lads at my school were Clarets fans who followed the more successful team of the time and had the upper hand on bragging rights. That sticks. Lads from Clitheroe and Accrington felt this more acutely.
It's not big, it's not clever, but it's the reality of supporting a team that has lived cheek by jowel with its rivals. And I can assure you it's always been there even when we never played them - the Staying Down aeroplane, them turning up at the Grimby home game when we nearly went down. It never leaves you, but as a Christian I don't feel "hatred", but that 2-0 win in December 2000 felt bloody good.
I'll do some asking around about the land acquisition.
Cheers Vinjay, thanks for such an interesting post.

Vinjay said...

Hatred is a word which is very overused and perhaps taken out of context. I've said in the past that I hate Man United but I don't exactly go on the rampage attacking anybody wearing Man United shirts. Perhaps dislike is more accurate.

I live in Blackburn and from 97-2000 I can hardly recall any mention of Burnley at all. I know there was an important survival game against Grimsby at the end of one season but never seen anything about Burnley fans showing up.

I know about the plane incident which was in the early days of Jack Walker's reign before he appointed Dalglish which demonstrated his intent. After that certainly from 1992 onwards for many fans Man United evidently became the club's new main rival.

Think back to 1996 and the "anywhere but United" thing when Jack refused to sell Shearer to them. I find it very hard to believe that the majority of Rovers fans didn't dislike Man United more than Burnley at that time.

Peter White (who as you will be aware worked with the LET for approx 25 years and a defunct publication before that) was even quoted as saying regarding the Shearer speculation-"Rovers should never be forgiven for allowing that to happen. They know they would never be forgiven if they let Shearer go to the club the Rovers fans love to hate. Fans might just live with a move to Barcelona or Milan but not to that lot."

So different to recent years when Hughes was touting himself as Ferguson's successor at every opportunity. Growing up with a dislike of Man United others shouldn't find it hard to imagine how much this bothered me.

The worst thing is people have a go at me for seeing Man United as main rivals. That's the way I've always felt. Nobody criticised me for that from 97-2000 (because in my opinion many had the same view) and I can't see any reason to change that viewpoint. Yes Burnley got promoted but they aren't established and certainly not a threat. It might only be a one season thing for them.

I'll always suspect hypocrisy when Rovers fans say they always saw Burnley as rivals and deny any rivalry related to Man United. I'm not saying you're one of the hypocrites but many others are. I don't ignore history but things change. Jack Walker himself referred to the club as the "new Blackburn Rovers." Even in the last decade there's still been big games against Man United (2 semi finals for instance)

It seems to me that many fans just change their views overnight based on general consensus. Maybe in 10 years it will be Man United again or someone else seen as main rivals. I suppose that depends on how the ownership situation develops.