I found it mystifying that the Blackburn Rovers goal of the season competition has been trailed with three games to go. The inclusion of Samba's toe-poke against Aston Villa shows what poor pickings there are from this campaign. Straight in at the top of the billing however were two fabulous strikes yesterday.
As we discussed on the Rovers podcast there are a number of key phrases you can probably write before any Rovers match. "Grella limped off injured" "Jason Roberts blasted wide with only the keeper to beat" and "once again Ryan Nelsen was rock solid in defence".
Not yesterday. Grella didn't play and sadly Nelsen had a poor game by his standards; him and Givet were at fault for both goals and he clipped Arteta to concede a penalty.
JR on the other hand was superb when he came on, displaying shades of Shearer with his goal. And there is a sentence I never anticipate writing ever again.
I actually feel quietly upbeat after yesterday despite the loss. Something good is being built at Rovers. Kalinic, on his own again, put a decent shift in. The substitutions, usually so baffling, made sense. When I saw JR warming up me and TBNTM (The Bloke Next To Me) were convinced he'd remove Olsson or Kalinic but were denied our moment of indignation when Pedersen came off.
The centre of midfield is the biggest weakness for me. Cahill and Arteta passed around Nzonzi, Eamon Andrews, Pedersen and Dunny for fun in the first half. Maybe Basturk and Grella would do better when they are fit?
Other bright spots? Phil Jones was superb again. Nzonzi's goal should give him the confidence to have a lash at it again.
So, another good value day. For me and two kids yesterday would have cost £65. We also took some Everton supporting friends which is a good thing to be able to do when you have season tickets, one kid had the spare and I sorted them three more. That makes it £586 worth of Rovers this season.