Writer: Mikey D
Date:Wednesday November 26 2008
All I read everywhere, in the papers and media is negative press. 'Ince Out' and 'What a load of rubbish' is all I hear and frankly that isn't going to help anyone.
Paul Ince has been appointed as manager of Blackburn Rovers because he is a good manager with potential to be up there with the best.
I for one am stepping out of the breach to back him. He deserves a chance to put things right, injuries have been terrible to him and literally since he came through the door he has no end of nonsense written about the team and his impact on it.
Stephen Warnock hands in transfers request and Dressing room mutiny are two of the most stupid things I have ever read. Both were totally false but still put a cloud over Ewood. The people that wrote those stories should be sacked and exposed for the liars they are - they won't but I can dream.
Ince needs to address matters on the pitch, this is the main concern as there a few errors he has made, not fatal ones by any means but with a few tweaks the confidence and the ruthless streak we used to have can be regained.
This is what I do.
- Use Olsson sparingly. By all means use Martin Olsson as a left back, however pick the type of opponent he plays against. Martin has been shown to struggle against pacey wingers such as Lennon and Ronaldo. For opponents such as these, use Stephen Warnock, Warnock has played both os these players before and has the experience and technique to deal with them. Martin can then be eased into Premiership life against more cultured wingers, they are there. Players such as Mikel Arteta are great wingers but don;t have the pace to cause Olsson trouble.
- Stop playing players out of position when its not needed. I am all up for playing the odd player out of position if we are short but sometimes Ince has done this far too much. Against Sunderland we had Andrews on right wing, Ooijer at left back and Warnock in central midfield. Whilst all three are good players when you play that many players out of position the team's balance suffers.
Keith Treacy is a good left back so play him there if we are short, he is naturally left footed and can defend well. This can allow Warnock to justifiably be left in central midfield as he IS doing a good job there and his original position is covered correctly. On right wing if the excellent Brett Emerton is injured then play someone who is suited to that position and has been trained to play there. There is no harm in using someone like Andy Howarth there - Keith Andrews is a better player than Andy Howarth but he is not a better right winger than him, if that makes sense.
- Play Matt Derbyshire up front. He can make an average right winger but he is undoubtedly best at doing what we need most - scoring goals. Playing Roque Santa Cruz up front when he is half fit is not the right idea and doesn't help anyone. Benni McCarthy has looked like a man reborn over the last few weeks and him up front with Derbyshire will bring goals.
We miss someone up top who chases everything down ala Paul Dickov, Matty does this and more importantly, his scoring record is very good. If sharp attacking play with committed playes isn't going to win the doubters over then nothing will.
- Stop overrelying on playing long ball at home. We have always had a good home record and this is because we got stuck in at home, the crowd got behind the boys and we didn't let anyone think they were going to have any easy ride. We also used our wingers to good effect and got good quality crosses into the box.
This season we have sacrificed that for hoofing the ball up to Santa Cruz and A.N.other to scrap it out from the back and not pressing much from central midfield when the opposition had the ball.
Lumping the ball up the field doesn't fit in with the type of players we have. Villanueva, Brett Emerton, Morten Gamst Pedersen and of course the immense Tugay are match winners - lets use them. Santa Cruz scored loads last year from crosses along the last line of defence, they haven't been in evidence this season, lets start doing that again.
Come on Ince to me, this change of tactic should be done with immediate effect.
I believe these 4 main changes are the key to a rise up the table. The personnel we have are more than good enough for a top half side. All we need is a slight tweak to what we already have.
And most importantly a message to you all -
Back your football team, we can complain when things go wrong but they won't change without the fans support, it's partly down to us too, lets shout the Rovers onto victory.
Date:Wednesday November 26 2008
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