Mixed feelings over on Rovers Talk this morning, with folk seeming a trifle concerned by how close Steve Kean’s side came to frittering away a three-goal advantage. “It could have so easily been 3-3, we were playing Sam’s tactics,” said BMW318i, throwing in a little dig at Kean’s predecessor for good measure. Savory took issue with this, positing: “Don’t you think Sam would have put some defenders on and kept it defensive? Kean went and made it 4-4-2 and messed up any sort of momentum, composure and solidity we had.” While this exchange was taking place, Rover the Moon dragged a podium into the middle of the room without anyone noticing, stood on it, cleared his throat, and proclaimed:
“Yesterday made it painfully obvious that to stand any chance [of staying up] we have to wrap Yakubu up in bubble wrap, as Anthony ‘Roberts’ Modeste isn’t going to be pulling up any weeds let alone trees. And it was also painfully obvious that with our current squad we cannot play 4-4-2. Even Pedersen, who gave the ball away more times than Santa, was pointing it out to our clueless leader but he just stood by watching his amazing tactical switch unravel before his eyes.
“At times it looks like we can’t play 4-5-1 either but when we went 4-4-2 we collapsed. Admittedly at the time Lowe had faded badly and we had a full-back on the right wing. I fully expected Kean to bring on Henley but put him at left-back, move Olsson to left wing and move Pedersen to the right. But what do I know?”
This stirring speech got pulses racing, but dwayne cage kept it sufficiently together to weigh up the pros and cons of Blackburn’s performance: “Positives: 1. We won 2.Yak came back in style 3. We kept a clean sheet for a good while. 4. Robbo made some great saves 5.We all got to look forward to MotD.
“Negatives: 1. 2nd half sit back and defend tactic kicked in at about 60mins 2. Half-time team talk did more damage than good. 3. Defence was shambolic once again (more 2nd than 1st) 4. Brought on 2 strikers then isolated them both. 5. Dann was sh*t once again. 6. QPR were crossing the ball in loads and our defence was watching it fly over their heads constantly (a better team would have capitalised on this). 7. Kean said we’ve been working on defense (it doesn’t show). 8. We looked lost without Junior on the pitch. 9. Unless injured he should have kept Formica on he was having a really good game. 10. We all sat biting our nails, head in hands as our comfortable game crashed around us again.”
mcteeth, though, spoke out strongly against Morten Gamst Pedersen: “What an utter piece of dog sh*t of a player that man is. In open play, he is just utter utter sh*t, he literally has Blue Square level control and passing and it is simply not good enough.” Blue Square level play inherently wouldn’t be good enough for the Premier League, so there’s no arguing with that at least.
I then hotfooted it over to BRFCS just in time to catch Brfcrule1’s diatribe against absent captain Chris Samba: “So it seems Samba could have played yesterday but chose not to. He should be ashamed he was not out yesterday helping his team mates out – who knows, when we were 3-0 up with his presence and leadership skills we might have got a clean sheet.”
arbitro agreed insomuch as Samba’s absence compounds the issue of Rovers’ worrying lack of leadership: “At Arsenal last season we had Nelsen, Samba, the Jones boys, Emerton and Salgado. Now for all their failings they are very strong characters and have strong leadership qualities. On Saturday the basic problem for me was that the whole team ‘melted’, primarily due to a lack of character in my opinion. Heads drop too quickly and we don’t have a ‘tub thumper’ who will rattle a few cages (and I certainly include the imposter in this).
“I’m all for getting rid of players who don’t offer much to the squad but we haven’t gone anywhere near replacing any of these players. For me the one thing that has kept us punching above our weight has been the unity and characters within the squad. Apart from Givet and Samba we don’t have anybody who can step up to the plate. And that, for me is the main reason why we will struggle to get more than 25 points this season.”
Strong words, and it does cast a questionable light on the decision – that is, if Kean even had a say in the matter – to allow Ryan Nelsen to move to Tottenham Hotspur.
What do you think, Blackburn fans? And do you know of any other Rovers boards that Jonny Forumer should pay a visit to? Have your say in the comments section below…
Queens Park Rangers
It’s fair to say that there is some discrepancy of opinion over on QPR dot.org as to new manager Mark Hughes’ approach to the game. Quoth Albert Steptoe: “Hughes was brought in by Fernandes in order to beat the likes of Wolves and Blackburn. There were extenuating circumstances last week but that first half performance was a disgrace.
“It took him an hour to play with two strikers against one of the worst teams in the division, a side without a clean sheet since April 2011…and by then we were 3-0 down. He played Taiwo for no other reason than he’s in his agent’s pocket. We are f***ed.”
Belying the exacting standards implied by his chosen nom de plume, Rodney Harsh was prepared to give the benefit of the doubt: “For me 4-4-2 would have been suicidal given our options in central midfield – better to pack the middle and hope Buzz [Akos Buzsaky] and Tarbs [Adel Taarabt] can get their bodies in the way and make a couple of tackles to compensate for our lack of bite. You then have a lot of creativity going forward, which is where I think you’re wrong in assuming 4-5-1 is inherently suited to a defensive side playing negatively – we tried a flexible version which gave us strong attacking options.
“That said, the gamble didn’t pay off, and asking Tarbs to tackle is seriously makeshift stuff. I still think however, in light of not being able to field a 4-4-2, it was the right formation.”
Over on QPR Report, harbo was stirring up debate with his insistence that a change of manager was not necessary:
“Hughes is finding out the hard way that the players that Warnock had are mostly prima donnas or just not very good. Look at Akos Buszacky today – after the Wigan game he was spouting shit about being left out of the squad and nearly leaving etc and today’s game proves to me exactly why. Warnock had Faurlin – does Buzz or anyone really think he was going to get in ahead of him?
“When buzz came on and Warnock gave him chances, he was as useful as a sack of sh*t. Today he was worse than a sack of shit. Warnock simply did the best he could with a god awful squad and if Fernandes was a man of his word and a football-savvy man, he would’ve backed Warnock to bring in new players in January and do the best he could to keep us up.”
andygg butted in, all ‘calm down’ hand gestures and wry smile, and posited: “Warnock had run out of ideas, and would have taken us down. Hughes has a big job on his hands, but IMHO is more likely to keep us up and take us forward. At the very least the players look fitter now. We are creating a lot more chances in the games. Only time will tell if he is a success, but to say you wish we still had Warnock, that is just misguided.”
But why, asked the townsfolk, should QPR, promoted as champions, be struggling so much in comparison to Norwich City and Swansea City? nomar donned a white lab coat and explained his theory: “Swansea and Norwich both had teams that could grow in the Premier League. Warnock built a team that was designed to get to the playoffs in the Championship. But for Taarabt’s superhuman performances most weeks we were a mid-table team at best and that’s what used to annoy fans of the rest of the teams in the Championship last season.
“Had this team not have gone up last season I believe you would have seen a sharp decline in performance this season in the Championship from that same team. I always felt like it was a one-season gig and we were lucky enough to hit the jackpot. Swans and Norwich also had good infrastructure in place so that they could get the players they wanted in the pre-season and have plenty of time to prepare them for the Premier League.
“We had an a-hole, who couldn’t give a sh*t, hampering our ability to sign any decent players in enough time to be ready to hit the ground running on day one of the new season. But we have 13 games to make sure that, at the very least, we stay in the same league position we currently are. Think we’d all gladly take finishing in 16th place and staying up on goal difference right now.”
“We needed,” proffered superckat, “to replace a lot of players and to be fair the signings in August were decent signings that should have improved the team. The January signings should have improved further but something is stopping the progress. It’s not Hughes and I’m convinced now it wasn’t Warnock. The players need to look at themselves. For all those players who allegedly complained about NW and Curle, then talked about how things are better under Hughes – perhaps they should explain why they’re not doing it on the pitch.”
To which a whole bunch of people nodded sagely and cried out things like, “Hey, that guy’s right!”
What do you think, QPR fans? And do you know of any other R’s boards that Jonny Forumer should pay a visit to? Have your say in the comments section below…