Saturday, January 16, 2010

Blackburn Rovers - the nightmare scenario, part one

I like to think of myself as a "glass half full" person. But I am profoundly gloomy about Blackburn Rovers at the moment, so much so, I am starting to have bad dreams. In a nutshell the problem is the long ball, hoof and hope, one-up front style of football the team has been playing.
  1. It alienates the creative players - Benni McCarthy and Franco di Santo are not Kevin Davies-style target men, MGP is not Rory Delap, Steven N'Zonzi is too frail to be a Patrick Viera. Enough, I'm depressing myself again.
  2. It is unattractive to watch - crowds are down, enthusiasm is low.
  3. And most of all: it doesn't work.
It seems to me that Sam Allardyce is already dug in for a relegation fight. Chances are we will stay up - which will then feel like a positive outcome. But where is the ambition to strive further? Reaching a semi-final didn't feel great. And playing Nicola Kalinic on his own up front against Aston Villa at home was another failed tactic that stunk of negativity.

Is this all we fans deserve? Is a small town club destined for this kind of fare in order to stay in The Best League In The World? I'd hope not. I'd hope we demonstrated in the Hughes and Souness years that a bit of creativity, togetherness and strong board support could produce a decent team that captured the imagination and support of the fan base.

The first nightmare I have had is for a foreign takeover. But rationally, there is *no* prospect of a takeover at all. None. The Walker family trustees want to sell up, but Jack Walker stated in his last will and testament that everything shall be done to preserve the long term future of the club. You only have to look at Portsmouth, West Ham, Derby, Liverpool and Manchester United to understand the risks involved in taking the silver dollar of wealthy foreign investors looking for an ego-purchase. No thanks.

You only have to look around at the owners of Bolton and Wigan to know that there are limits to the generosity of a rich benefactor in this new world order. You only have to look at the owners of Preston and Burnley to see what happens when the fortunes of a wealthy fan take a turn for the worse. The same outcome applies: there is no money to splurge, and to do so on the never-never would be folly.

All I hope now is we get lucky in the transfer window: get shut of some dead wood like Pedersen and Diouf, concede that McCarthy off the wage bill is better than him failing to deliver. Get a strong midfield player in who isn't injury prone (like Dunny and Grella), and play with wingers and a holding forward (Beattie?) who can provide some tap ins for the ever-improving Kalinic. Olsson looks better, by the way. Chimbonda has quality in that position. And our defenders are not, bizarrely, our defensive problem. It's lack of protection from a fragile midfield.

But more than anything else a very real nightmare haunts me and it is this: Owen Coyle, requiring leeway to remould his Bolton team into footballers offloads Kevin Davies to us. Please, no.

1 comment:

George Dearsley said...

You can have David Bentley back if you want! Seriously, look what Cloughie achieved at a "small town club". Can be done. But Big Sam isn't the answer.