Saturday, August 17, 2013

Gary Bowyer's Blackburn Rovers at Doncaster - what's it all about?

Away end at Doncaster via @theawayfans
Three league games, just one point and out of the League Cup. It's hard to take the positives out of that. Thirteen years to the day since Jack Walker died, things still look grim for Blackburn Rovers. 

My main feeling of frustration at Doncaster last night was the lack of impact from sustained passing football. That seems to be the game plan - Blackburn Rovers passing the opposition to death. But already it's looking predicatable. Jordan Rhodes just isn't getting the service as a lone striker. His body language last night suggested to me he's had enough. I'd be amazed if he doesn't go in the next two weeks, but relieved, because when the team plays to his strengths, we can beat anyone.

I quickly got the point of Paul Dickov's Doncaster Rovers - a team very much in his image - dogged, opportunistic and fit. In the second half I wasn't sure what Bowyer's Blackburn were all about. The game plan went out of the window - but all that passing and possession is pointless if players like Scott Dann and Grant Hanley can't marshall a defence to command the box at set pieces. This is a team for the Championship, it's not full of Premiership glory boys who don't like it up 'em. Though for the life of me I don't understand Josh King at all. But as a team, it should be competing at the upper end, but last night proved the importance of getting the basics right.

Does all of this mean I'm anti-Gary Bowyer? No, far from it, but he's a novice manager trying to build a team in a certain way. That's the trade off. He's never pretended to be anything else. He'll need time to prove whether he's a good manager or not. The last thing that this basket case of a club needs right now is more turmoil and upheaval.

Anyway, it was another new ground for me last night. My 137th, my 65th of the current 92 and up to 80 on the Punk 92. The Keepmoat is definitely one of the better new grounds - a complete bowl and a good location for getting in and out of. Decent atmosphere from the home fans and from the visitors in the first half. In the second half all the sourness of the last three years came out again. The intimidation, the plastic hooligans and the stunned-into-silence depressed majority. It's going to be a long season.

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