Date:Saturday May 19 2007
BomBom shares his views on the Blackburn Rovers Season that has just ended. Enjoy…
BomBom's Look Back
2006 - 2007 In MY Perspective
I wasn't planning on doing a 'Review' of this past season so please bear with me as it still may not turn into one, depends how much of an attention span I manage to scrape together!!!
After the jubilation of finishing our highest position in the league for about a decade and European qualification to boot, we got down to the nitty gritty that was the summer transfer period. Whilst most of us were fretting about Bellers leaving, there were a few contract extensions announced, most notably, Gamst and Reid, although why everyone was worried about Reidy was beyond me as he is still overrated IMO, he was in a 'contract year' which is common in US sports that players in the final year of their contracts play better than usual due to the motivation of a bumper pay rise with a new shiny contract or a trade/move to another team with more $$$ and this is exactly what happened to Reid. I cannot see him reproducing that form again in a Rovers shirt but that's just me.
The mighty Liverpool stuck their money where it wasn't wanted in July and nabbed our player of the year, Craig Bellamy for a paltry £5.5 Million. Whilst I can understand why Bellamy wanted that clause and why Rovers and Hughes allowed it, the question burning in my mind is why was the trigger amount LESS than we bloody paid for him in the first place. If Bellamy was that confident that he was going to have a blinder of a season, why not put his money where him mouth was and agree an amount that would've been beneficial to Rovers also? Another example of player power ruling the game again. (Greedy Bastard)
We finally managed to grab Benni McCarthy to replace him in a £2.5 Million deal before the Premiership kicked off in August and even before a ball was kicked, that was a bargain, in retrospect, it was daylight robbery by Hughes and John Williams! They must've flown into Oporto with stripy jumpers and trousers carrying a bag with 'swag' stamped on it!!!
With a few more additions to the squad complete, we turned up to Fratton Park for the opening game with about 13 strikers on the books and naturally, got tonked AND blanked in front of goal!
Even a home draw against the mighty Everton for the first home game of the season couldn't kick us out of the lackadaisical manner in which we started the campaign, although McCarthy signalled his intent in that first home game, scoring on his debut in front of the Ewood faithful.
We started to play moderately better until new signing Andre Ooijer got his debut against the current defending Champions, Chelsea and proceeded to play a blinder.....for Chelsea, maybe Mourinho should`ve signed Ooijer instead of Boulahrouz??
We managed to play considerably well in the group stages of the UEFA cup with Bentley and Tugay most notably drawing the most attention. We even managed to get Franny Jeffers a goal, so we had to have been playing well! Our form in the League seemed to follow Pedersen's mood insomuch as when he played well, Rovers played well and when he did a Houdini, so did Rovers. The one plus side of this however was that with Gamst not dominating games as he was allowed to last season, allowed another wide player, David Bentley, the guy we all thought was 'promising' before signing to a permanent contract last season and proceeding to play as an emergency striker against Manchester USA, I mean United and duly hammered 3 past the hapless Van Der Sar, via Rio Ferdinand, yes, THAT David Bentley, suddenly started looking like the answer to Rovers and England's prayers on the right flank. Game after game he provided that consistent effort, which culminated with him winning Player of the Year from the Rovers fans. For the record, the soon to be former England Manager has yet to agree with the majority of the footballing country and give Bentley his England recognition his form has deserved, preferring unfit and injured 'names' to untested, unknown quantities. Tell him to put that B cap where Sutton put his David!
A 2nd round draw against Bayer Leverkusen loomed after some impressive performances over the festive period and January, culminating with Rovers heading the right direction in both the League and the FA Cup. A 3-2 defeat away in Germany was not seen as unbeatable considering the way we had been playing, unfortunately for Rovers, a combination of inept shooting, drug induced goal keeping and the fact that the Krauts came to defend (well, we can't really blame them, can we?) resulted in a 0-0 draw to put us out of the UEFA Cup. All the more frustrating was that Leverkusen had a fairly innocuous route to the Semi finals before succumbing to Espanyol, who at the time of writing have just lost to Sevilla on penalties after a 2-2 draw after extra time in Glasgow, frankly, I am surprised that either side wanted to spend that long in Glasgow but I guess the draw of winning the UEFA Cup is a strong one, even if it gets nicked, pawned and melted down before it leaves the city boundaries!
A Great FA Cup run continued as we progressed to the Semi finals to face Man Ure, Chelski or Watford. Let's face it, there was no way in God's green earth that United would draw Chelsea and we all knew it! We got, I felt the better draw, especially considering how united managed to come out in the 2nd half of our game with them at Old Trafford 1-0 down and proceed to pull our shorts down and spank us....HARD. Had it not been for Friedel in between the sticks, I shudder to think what the score could've been!
Still being inconsistent in the league, dropping points (or helping the disadvantaged as I resigned myself to it being) we gave valuable points away to Charlton, Watford then were proceeded to get raped by the Referee and his assistant (His name escapes me now, but let's call him Igor!) as the Ref decided that Tevez was fouled by Emerton (not that Emerton fouling someone isn't a surprise you understand) but the fact that the contact was so minimal yet Tevez went down as if he had been gunned down by a sniper on top of the Darwen end stand. Add to the fact then, if you will, that Bobby Zamora's shot is defended off the line by the aforementioned Thespian Tevez, only for Igor to indicate to his 'master' that the ball had indeed crossed the line.
We went into battle at Old Trafford for the encounter with Chelsea with a rather poor run of form (or luck, if truth be told) and proceeded to play Chelsea off the park for the best part of the game, only to be undone by some cracking goalkeeping, this time however, it was not the Rovers goal guardian but Chelsea's very own wonder keeper, Fractr Cech, sorry Petr. Rovers had one GOLDEN chance to win it in the dying minutes of the 90 with a Gamst header that, while I was dancing and screaming like a 6 year old that had been give a brand new Tonka toy, sailed AGONIZINGLY wide with Cech beaten. We still battered the Champs in the first stanza of extra time but could not find a way past Cech and onto Wembley. During the 2nd half of extra time, the jammy buggers scored a tap in after a defensive lapse and Michael Bollock nipped in to score the decisive goal. In truth, Rovers were now out on their feet after the effort they had put in but, aside from losing, came out of that game with a LOT of credit, although, Mark Lawrenson, who can be seen weekly throughout the season on Football Focus on the BBC midday on Saturdays, remained unconvinced and still proceeded to tip us to lose each and every game we played in, not that he is biased or anything, being a former Preston player! Jealousy is a terrible thing Mark!
Now, all we had left was the race for Europe and still at a loss for form, proceeded to turn that around with a marvellous run that got us to a position of 2 wins and we still had a chance. Unfortunately, a far superior Tottenham side put paid to our automatic qualification with a 1-1 thrashing at the Lane (see, I can be subtle AND do sarcasm at the same time!) During the build up to this game, it was highlighted how much b******s some Spurs fans actually talk, as experienced by other notable members of this board. It was mildly amusing but rather shocking the level of expectation that they have for their club, every season MUST be a disappointment for those underachieving Lilly whites who live in the shadow of Highbury and more recently, the Emirates but again, I digress.
So onto the final home game of the season against plucky Reading who had surpassed all expectations this season in not barely surviving but were also in contention for a UEFA spot. There were so many combinations of results that needed to happen in order for us to grab the Inter Two Bob Cup place and even a win would not guarantee it! Ultimately, Bolton HAD to win or Portsmouth had to lose, ok, both draw and status quo would've remained and we would`ve got in. As it all unfolded (after which, I found out that HDM 'hid' away from all the results until MOTD was aired, the coward!!!) Bolton only managed a draw against in form Villa, this meant any positive result for Portsmouth ended our hopes but the Gooners managed to frustrate them at Fratton Park, scene of our worst performance of the season, to allow us, after a ding dong battle with Reading, in which they refused to die, resulting in a 3-3 stormer, to grab that all important route into Europe via those hotbeds of footballing patches that are Llanelli, Poland or FK Vetra of Lithuania (is that where Vauxhall are making them now then?)
All in all a bloody roller coaster of a season where it was like watching Brazil on some days and like watching paint dry on others.
I didn't touch on them during my ramble but injuries to key players did not help but the current squad with the return of Savage, Reid, Dunn (to full fitness) along with one or 2 more signings to compliment this squad, providing we keep them together, should see us push on next season to be pushing the top 6 all along and with a slice of good fortune, who knows even a Champions League place.
Some questions that I have thought of during this revisit of the season gone....
1) Where did Zurab Khizanishvili disappear too? Is he doing national service or something?
2) Is it me, or does Shabani Nonda look like some jungle guerrilla minus the Kalashnikov?
3) Where did poor old Paul Gallagher disappear to also?
4) Did you think we missed Jay McEveley after the fuss about lack of depth following his move to Derby? Take a bow Stephen Warnock.
5) What does Bruno Berner look like?
6) Where did Stephane Henchoz go too?
7) Can Brett Emerton Really defend?
8) Lucas Neill........HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Greece vs. Milan or More money and play for 'the Ammers" Hope you regret that decision till you hang your boots up you greedy swine!
All in all a decent season that, barring some mind f**kingly dodgy games and piss poor refereeing, could've been so much better.
Let's all look forward to that circus that is the transfer season now and wait, once again with baited breath.
Some useless facts for you that I recently read.
A) Rovers conceded 11 penalties this season, the most in the league (conspiracy theorists knock yourselves out!)
B) Gamst scored the most direct free kicks in the league this season with 3.
C) Vote Bom for Mayor, Best Member, Sexiest Male and Best Newcomer!
Hope you enjoyed it, cos it`s been a bitch to write and now I am going to sue you all for RSI!!
THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN AND SUBMITTED BY BOMBOM
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Date:Saturday May 19 2007
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