Blackburn Rovers - It's All Rover Now…
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It's All Rover Now…

Blackburn Rovers' European chances were ended last night after a 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

I say ended, technically they haven't ended but our automatic chances of qualifying for the UEFA Cup have. We can still qualify via the Intertoto Cup but I would have to concede that even this is going to be a long shot now…

For part of Thursday Evening Benni McCarthy's 17th Premiership goal of the season looked as though it might have seen Rovers pull off the victory we HAD to get, had Christopher Samba broke the net instead of the bar with his header we probably would have, but it ended in heartache and frustration, this frustration seeing Jason Roberts sent off at the end.

However, credit where it is due Tottenham equalised and got the point they deserved so congratulations to Spurs (although they could still miss out, but this is HIGHLY unlikely) and of course Everton who have also made a UEFA Cup spot via the League!

With Bolton Wanderers currently occupying that final automatic place a victory for them over Aston Villa on Sunday would secure their place and see us take that Intertoto Cup regardless of our result with Reading. It all seems straight forward, Bolton at the Reebok, surely they will win but they have been in free fall so I'm not sure they will get the win they need, Aston Villa on the other hand are on a roll and will want to finish the season as they started it by playing VERY well (as they are).

Personally I have this sneaky feeling that Portsmouth will nip in and take seventh place, they have been a match for pretty much everyone at Fratton Park so I think that they will beat Arsenal on Sunday, this would leave Bolton (assuming they don't win?) to take the Intertoto Cup place as they will finish above us, but outside automatic qualification.

So it's not all "Rover" just yet, but as good as. If it doesn't come off this season it just wasn't meant to be, TOO MANY points dropped to teams in and around the bottom three look like costing us, so it`s our own fault in many way but in others, for all the good football we have played and for everything put into this season I feel we deserve another shot at Europe next season but I'd guess Everton, Spurs, Bolton, Reading, Portsmouth and maybe even others out of touch will feel the same…


Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Walker Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday May 11 2007

Time: 10:29AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
We can still hope Bolton do us a favour but I'm not overly hopefully of getting this Intertoto Cup place now. IF we don't I just hope that players don't view this as a reason to move on, we CAN and WILL be back, so let's hope they ALL stay and continue the work they (and Sparky!) have started! We'll keep fighting until the end on Sunday though and just HOPE we get a favour or two?!?!
Hughes Da Man
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11/05/2007 10:32:00

i think you will get the spot you need , I can see bolton winning to be honest ... last home game and all that
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11/05/2007 10:40:00

Thanks for the kind words Hughes.. Blackburn... Fine Team, Fine Manager, Fine Supporters... Gamst was the difference yesterday. What a ball for benni! I think we should have had it yesterday but Jol seems to play players like Teemu when fit rather than Huddlestone as Jenas was injured. That ois what *****ed Ghaly off as he feel (rightly) that he should be a better option at home.. Good luck next year. Hope Gamst comes to his senses and signs for Spurs to solve this left hand side problem we have..
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11/05/2007 10:43:00

Let's hope you are right dazednconfuzed, I just see Bolton in total decline at the moment. With Fat Sam going and players looking destined to leave in the summer I'm not sure moral will be that high, even think they could well struggle next season. But back to Sunday, Villa are really turning it on so I'm less than convinced Bolton can get that win they need.
Hughes Da Man
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11/05/2007 10:45:00

Whatever "banter" has been thrown around I think most can generally give credit where due can't they. A draw was probably best for the Vital Football community anyway, even if it doesn't help Rovers on the field :) I think Jol is a good manager but has often made "questionable" selections etc. Had Keane and Berbatov started I think we would have lost?!?! MGP was impressive yesterday, tracked back well for the good of the team, something he NEVER liked to do much in the past, if ever.
Hughes Da Man
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11/05/2007 10:48:00

As for MGP going to White Hart Lane, he was GUTTED big time that our European hopes are all but over, he is one of the players I worried most about leaving if we didn't get this. I still feel most, if not all will stay but (with respect to Spurs) would hope if he does leave he doesn't see you guys as the option. As for Huddlestone, he's a quality footballer isn't he, liked him when he was playing at Derby (it was Derby wasn't it?) as a 16, 17-year-old. Though he might have been in the England B team (as I said in the comments on that peice.)
Hughes Da Man
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11/05/2007 10:51:00

as a spurs fan and neutral perspective I think blackburn deserved to be in intertoto rather than Bolton...after big sam left Bolton seem clueless
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11/05/2007 10:53:00

I'm sure all the other teams that will play in Europe, or could play in Europe will feel that they deserve to, and no one has right to do so but genuinely (honestly baised views aside) feel our football (as I have seen A LOT of football from the other teams) deserves to see us get this place in the Intertoto.
Hughes Da Man
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11/05/2007 11:07:00

klinsi i dont agree with that, bolton have been 5th for the majority of the season and have only recently fallen off. They deserve uefa more than anyone. The game was a classic tale of two halves. You had our measure in the first then we showed our great attacking ability in the second, adn probably shouldve nicked it in the end with all the possession/territory we had. I dont think it was a questionalbe selection by jol at all, tainio and zokora have been good in MF lately, jsut didnt work out yesterday.
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11/05/2007 11:13:00

Shame you lot couldn't get UEFA, said beofre my best mates a Rover and he won't be happy......Game was a little under par last night, but pount was fair result for both. We could of easily nicked it in the end with keano's effort though!
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11/05/2007 11:16:00

For all those that praised Mr Berbatov - he looked passe last night until Keano came on. I've said it before... Mr Keane is the one player that I would go all out to join Rovers! His influence on the game is what got Spurs back into the match for a deserved draw. Good Luck to Spurs in the UEFA Cup next season, maybe they'll get lucky and get a "by" again! only teasing.
Ex Ewood Resident
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11/05/2007 12:09:00

Yes, Keano made the difference when he came on, and I thought it should have been as early as half-time. MJ, quite frankly, is an idiot to have dropped him. But, as a South African, I was quite pleased with Benni's goal, and Mark Hughes's statements before the game about him being better than Berbatov wasn't quite the nonsense a lot of people cracked it up to be. A class striker, Benni -he's scored goals wherever he's played, and was a real bargain at 2,5mil..
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11/05/2007 12:24:00

guy7yug - I see what you mean about Bolton, they've been in and around the top half dozen most the season, until recently were seriously challenging for a Champions League place so for them to miss out all together over the course of this season would be harsh. I think they'll miss that automatic place but will have the Intertoto Cup place though. Next season will be a struggle for them though I feel as a lot of players will move on and not sure Sammy Lee will be able to bring in what is needed to maintain their standards. They could even struggle to the point that they could (although unlikely?!?!) go down?
Hughes Da Man
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11/05/2007 12:29:00

Ex Ewood Resident - Keane defintely made the difference, not many can disagree can they? I'm with you (and have said this in the forum before) that if we could see Keane in a Blue and White shirt (Rovers not spurs next season LOL!) I'd be more than happy. The link up and understanding between Keane and Berbatov looks superb, as much as Berbatov gets credit (and rightly so) sooo much has to go to Keane as you point out.
Hughes Da Man
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11/05/2007 12:33:00

If im honest, aside from Keane, and occasionally Lennon, no one in the supds side caused us problems tbh. Keane always seems to play well against Rovers though! IMO we were overall average in the performance, even though we bossed the game in the first stanza, 2nd half we were even worse and STILL couldve and maybe shouldve gone 2-0 up. Had that happeneed we would still be talking of UEFA qualification. Fate will now decide and what will be will be, who knows, Gamst leaving might allow Peter a game and he could turn into an even better performer than Gamst has been! Time will tell and for once in my life i will be cheering on the W anky Wanderers on Sunday as well as my beloved Rovers
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11/05/2007 18:27:00

Good point on Sergio BomBom, I think he could be the dogs nuts, so potentially every bit as good as MGP!
Hughes Da Man
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11/05/2007 23:53:00

was a fair result. i was there on Thursday and first half Rovers, second half Spurs.
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12/05/2007 10:14:00


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