Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ten thoughts on ... Rovers v Man United

A sell out crowd, end of season edge and two teams desperate to win. It was definitely the best game at Ewood all season. It's also brought to a head a number of things I've been thinking and feeling about the whole Rovers experience. Here are ten thoughts...

In Brad We Trust - what an amazing goalkeeper we have. Athletic, brave, sharp and commanding. That was one of his (many) immense performances for Rovers. Outstanding. But here's something that gets missed. He had a fantastic defence in front of him yesterday. All nine of them threw everything at the ball in the last 20 minutes.

Cruz Control - Roque Santa Cruz was spectacularly good on the right side of midfield in the second half, helping to keep Ronaldo and Evra quiet when needed. He deserved his goal too. I hope he rounds of the rest of his season with a few more.

Vogel in vogue - Vogel deserved his standing ovation when he came off towards the end. I can see the point of him a bit more now. He broke up the play very well and played some intelligent short passes in a crowded central area. Joe noticed him and said he'd improved incredibly from the Spurs game.

Wave after wave - We've been here before with the wave after wave of Man United attacks resulting in a late goal. They are determined and dogged. Even when they don't play that well.

The home front - we were back in our allotted seats on the front row of the Riverside (Fraser Eagle). You can't see the pattern of the game very well this low down, but you can get the blood and thunder so very well. We also see how good Stephen Warnock is.

Bring the noise - when the atmosphere is this good, when the noise is this loud and when everyone is right behind the team and the action so compelling, the kids don't hear Potty Mouth and Knuckle Head bellowing out - F this, C that, Argie, Dago, Scouser, etc etc.

Flag Day - I've got a 10 foot by 5 foot Barmy Flags special with the name of this blog on it, the red rose and my own habitual roar - C'mon Roverrrrs. I've been told not to bring it by the stewards, because it covers an advert for alcopops, but I thought I'd chance it for this one. It lasted for the whole of the first half. It would look great in Europe.

Awaydays - I was genuinely worried that United fans would be all over the ground for this one, in the way Man City were in 2000 when they supposedly brought 250,000 for their promotion party. There were two United lads sat behind us and they were silent for the whole game (scared of PM and KH?). We also had a United fan in our party (he is 9). When Tevez scored, one berk ran the length of the stand in celebration and into the arms of the stewards at the exit with a lynch mob in hot pursuit, including PM and KH (above). At the final whistle I told the lads behind to "be safe" and thanked them for not giving it large. I've done the same thing myself for big sell out games at Preston, Everton, Liverpool, Man City and with a pal at Millwall v Sunderland. If you're going to sneak in, show some respect.

Grass is always Greener - the obsession with the Big Four on the BBC sickens me. Radio 5's 606 and Match of the Day are unbelievably myopic. Rather than seeing David Bentley and Roque as the foundation of a good Rovers side, they see a transfer target. Same with Dimitar Berbatov and Tim Cahill, amongst others. Alan Green is the worst offender and his obsession with referees is also very tedious.

Football's coming home? - I loved it yesterday. It's my last match of the season as well, we're at a kids football tournament for the Derby game. But I loved the kids' excitement, the passion from the crowd, the tempo of the game and the joy of seeing a very good Blackburn Rovers side. Believe me, I've seen some poor ones. If we had bought tickets on a match by match basis for every game we've been to, it would have cost us the thick end of £1500. The season tickets came to about £800 for us all. Granted we may not go to all of the games, but they represent fantastic value. We simply can't put up with PM and KH - but we shall explore other options...

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