5th and 20th of January-Rovers Future on the Line?
Now before we start here, I'm not a pessimist. Heck, far from it. Im born and bred in Australia, yet dont follow one of the big 4, probably the only Blackburn Rover in Sydney......
After defeating Chelsea, we all know what is up next, a clutch, home and away tie against Aston Villa. We win this tie, we are almost guaranteed a Europa spot. Why do we stress this though...
Unless Roman's rich cousin Vlatislav takes over Blackburn, we will never again push for an English Premier League title. We will battle away, fighting to scrape into the the top 6, a task which is becoming increasingly more difficult as the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham and Aston Villa strengthen their squads by splashing the cash. So it seems, the immediate future for Blackburn, is between 7th and 14th spot. Good enough? Who knows, achievable, definately.
This brings us back to the point of the article, the Carling Cup semi-final. In the past, making the semi-final was an achievement in its own. However, being drawn against Villa (absolutely no disrespect to The Fear and co at Vital Villa), is probably the best opportunity Rovers could have been given to qualify for Europe, and, ensure the club can survive over the next few years.
With the men in charge of the club at the moment treating every pound floating in and around the club to its exact worth, the extra financial incentive of Continental football for a club like ours can perform miracles. With a man like Sam Allardyce at the helm, we will not splash the dollars around, rather use it wisely. The rest, can pay of some debt, which im sure Mr Williams is looking after.
So where to for Rovers from now. Continental qualification through the League is almost unachievable, do we sacrifice league position for the 2 legged tie, or continue to play without fear and hope our squad remains fully fit for the clash with Villa. The likes of Brett Emerton, Vince Grella, David Dunn, Steven Reid are all recovering from serious long term injuries. The busy festive period might just be the time to employ a rotation policy, giving the likes of Junior Hoillet, Elrio Van Heerden and Keith 'God Help Us' Andrews some first team action.
Either way, hopefully come January 20th, European football might just be on the cards for Ewood in 2010/2011