Date:Sunday January 14 2007
Blackburn Rovers are all to often labelled with "dirty", "brutal", "rough 'em up" tags rarely given credit for the good football we do play… we did little to help ourselves on Saturday.
The criticism handed out to Rovers over the past 12-15 months really does get tiresome and you get fed up of having to keep argue the case that we are a good footballing side. Although as Rovers fans we shouldn't care what others think of us surely we have to have some pride in how we are viewed? I know I do.
The match with Arsenal gave us an ideal platform to show just what we can do, some two weeks prior we'd gained a lot of praise and respect and I for one was hoping for the same on Saturday tea time. The conditions were hardly conducive to a good game of football but some of our challenges set us back massively in our attempts to gain the praise we more often than not deserve but don`t get...
You have to do what you have to do to succeed and although we can do the physical approach (as we more than showed!) there is a lot more to our game but we saw little of this on Saturday. Mark Hughes had clearly told his men to go out their and be physical as everyone knows Arsenal haven't coped well against this in recent times but the performance aside, even taking into account the weather conditions I for one felt let down by what I saw.
I find the suggestions that Sparky had sent the lads out with the intent to injure the Gooners highly insulting, and for anyone to genuinely believe that Rovers or any other team for that matter would set out with this in mind is even more insulting. I would be ashamed should this ever be the case.
Gilberto Silva's red card for the incident with Robbie Savage is not really something that I want to speak of here too much as Savage is hated by all opposing fans NOTHING can ever change this it doesn't matter what I or anyone else say here. I will say Savage is a better football than people make out but basically Sav is Sav he does what he does this works for and against us, more often than not against us! It just so happened that it worked against Gilberto Silva but ultimately against us as the red helped them.
I will not condone or defend any of the challenges and/or actions that went unpunished (without the red cards the Gooners felt many deserved which they probably did!) they were bad but some were born out of frustration (and this should not be an excuse for such actions) but I do take exception to the thought that they were at the instructions of Sparky and were part of the plan all along to injure players.
We played football against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium and got slaughtered, we were always going to be more physical at Ewood Park, as I say conditions didn't help make this any less likely but I still feel somewhat let down by the over physical approach which has set us back undoing so much of the good work that had been done previously...
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Date:Sunday January 14 2007
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