|Riverside Twitter Rovers - Me, Ian, Joe, Jim, Louis, David|
I always want Rovers to win. Always. Any winning goal is worth celebrating. Every time. And there's nothing wrong with winning ugly. Nothing at all.
So why did we leave Ewood so flat last night? I don't really pay much attention to Rovers Twitter beyond my own small group of pals (above), nor am I on the message boards, so I'm not aware of the sentiment that actively wants a defeat in order to hasten Tony Mowbray's departure. Nor do I want that. And there have been Rovers teams in my fairly recent memory with far fewer players worth getting excited about. So I think it is about the roller coaster of emotions and that the highs of yesterday only just cancelled out the lows. Enough to cheer the final whistle, but not quite enough to dance along the front of the Riverside.
It's partly about expectations. Here were the pre match pluses: we pre-ordered our pies from Leavers, Darragh Lenihan was back, Lewis Holtby was playing, Lewis Travis was playing, Joe Rothwell was starting. But I tweeted before we set off that I fully expected a frustrating and dire 1-1 draw. That's what I've become conditioned to expect this season. Once the game got going, I just couldn't see it clicking for us. Every good thing Amari Bell did seemed to follow up with a mistake. Sam Gallagher was having a nightmare stuck out on the wing. Bradley Dack was up for it, he scored, but wasn't getting decisions, which riles him.
It seems there's a golden thread in this side that when it clicks then that thread shines out. Dack's unpredictable artistry, Holtby's intelligence, Lenihan and Toisin's desire to play out from the back. Rothwell. And Travis. But there's also a thread of crap that when you tug it, then the whole tapestry unravels. Then we're left looking at Elliot Bennett's hopeless crosses, Bell's errors, Walton flapping and a collective lack of energy that says to the opposition 'we're here for the taking'. Fair play to Barnsley for spotting that. John Buckley's introduction seemed to be to better protect Bennett. Rothwell looked a danger whenever he got space to run at. Adam Armstrong didn't. I get the argument that Danny Graham isn't the long term solution, but neither is lobbing long balls at a little bloke, and sticking a lanky striker on the wing. I can't quite get over that.
We can't make it on Wednesday to see the Brentford game, but will be at Stoke next weekend. I wonder which thread will turn up? And whether anyone will give either of them a hard tug.