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Man City 4 - Rovers 1

Eastlands, Manchester

11th Jan 2010

Attendance: 40,000 or so

Rovers gift City win

I have a funny feeling that this report could give me a headache and I have the missus to deal with later so that could make it even worse.

There are many reasons why we came a cropper last night. The primary one is this... City are a talented side but they didn't even need to show that they were. Sloppy defending and poor ball retention allowed City to win without them even needing to turn on the charm. That is just unacceptable.

Sam will shoulder the blame and as the manager he should as I believe he was at fault with the tactics we used away from home and for the players he selected to take on the up and coming side in the league.


He also feel into the trap of believing if we just hung in the game long enough we may get something - when really the lack of ambition and support for Franco Di Santo and Dave Dunn up front simply gave City the ball back too easily and the came back at us. Poor work from the Big Guy.

Fair enough we can always point to the fact that Carlos Tevez and his hat-trick were superb and that City would have beaten most teams in that sort of form and at home but it WAS avoidable.

Man City have showed this season that as good as they are going forward they can be upset going at them and unsettling their defence - heck even we proved that with some incisive attacking play, BUT AT 3-0 DOWN!!! Before that we just tried to hang about and stay in the game - Big Sam must recognise that wasn't the way to go.

Paul Robinson was at fault for the first goal as a corner was drifted over in the first ten minutes and instead of either punching or catching he decided to do both (patching?!) and bumped into Keith Andrews, the ball dropped to Benjani who skewed the ball wide - but Carlos Tevez deflected into the net with his knee.

For the rest of the first half Rovers played damage limitation which is amazing when you are 2-0 up but not when you are 1-0 down. We put no pressure on City and they grew in confidence and as a result we suffered.

The Rovers midfield were being over ran by the City one but the second goal they were trampled by one man without even putting a foot in. Micah Richards burst forward from his own half, ran the length of the field to collect a rebound off the post and scored.

The goal looked great but in truth we offered nothing to stop it. Half-time saw two changes as Nikola Kalinic came on for the service starved Franco Di Santo and Junior Hoilett cameon for the totally inept and bumbling Keith Andrews.

But just as Rovers set about to get into the game, more poor defending saw us three goals down. Tevez's finish on 49 minutes was again quality but in the build up, Gael Givet, Ryan Nelsen and Morten Pedersen could have stopped the momentum. Typical of the night we were enduring... none of them did.

Amazingly, Rovers then decided to PLAY!!!! We got on the ball and ran at City. Junior Hoilett was looking lively and gave Richards a tough time. Kalinic when given the ball was moving well and Morten was looking threatening on the ball... he even provided the highlight of the night for the Blue and White, well the only one anyway.

Shay Given was pressurised into a poor kick out and as a City defender slipped, Pedersen pounced and hit a gorgeous shot round two defenders and Given to restore a little pride. Top finish.

Rovers then could have pulled some more back but a weak header from Junior and a pulled shot from Kalinic were the best of the efforts that we mustered for some, at times, promising build up play.

Tevez completed his hat-trick with another good finish but by then City were able to pick us off due to us having to commit men forward, we were well beaten in the end.

This is where Sam earns his money now. We have a MASSIVE game on Thursday against Villa and now we will see how good he is... there is no point in getting rid of Big Sam as some suggest.

Yes he made an error last night but he has a chance to atone, but if he fails on Thursday and Sunday against Fulham then those axe calls will get a little louder.

As fans lets get behind the team and we can get through this together - and save Big Sam from more abuse.

Star Player

Junior Hoilett. On the pitch for 45 minutes but he was more of an attacking threat in that half of football than everyone else put together during the whole 90.

One of the few bright sparksof the evening.

Player Ratings


Paul Robinson - 5

At fault for the first goal and could have looked a bit more commanding in general play but he wasn't receiving and help from in front of him.

He couldn't do anything about the other three goals as the defence just parted like the red sea. Has had better evenings.

Lars Jacobsen - 6

Best of a bad bunch at the back.

He was committed to the cause and stuck to his task manfully. However we can safely say our best defender on current form was sat on the bench. (Hint: he wears gloves and is not popular in Wigan)

Chris Samba - 4

All over the freaking place.

Looked out of sorts and got lost when ran at. He was as strong as ever and won plenty of headers but City's slick movement unhinged him and he wasn't sure whether to attack the ball or stick with his man, which brings us onto...

Ryan Nelsen - 5

Failed in his leadership role for a change. He didn't organise like he has over the last few months.

He like Samba, didn't decide who was going to the man and who was hanging with the runner and as a result it was a long and annoying evening for the Kiwi.

Gael Givet - 5

Understrength showing from the Frenchman.

He does look composed and classy on the ball but often when asked to play at left back he struggles with the pace of a Premiership winger. Was given a rough ride by Petrov as well.

Clashed heads with N'Zonzi in injury time just to complete our misery, both are now a doubt for Thursday.

Brett Emerton - 5

Looked nervous.

He was a willing runner and did look to make things happen but everything he tried lacked the verve that it normally possesses.

Wll be better off for his first match back but it wasn't his night.

Steven N'Zonzi - 6

Again working for two in the middle and did his best.

Was an aerial threat as usual and did look to shift things when on the ball but he had his work cut out by a certain Irishman.

Keith Andrews - 2

Good grief.

Trotted about the pitch and closed down space... that was it.

No decisive tackling, no forward passes, no threat to the City axis. Totally out of his depth.

Morten Gamst Pedersen - 7

Great goal and is genuinely looking more purposeful out on the left.

Yes people will moan that it is contract year and he is now looking to get a new deal but why not use that to our advantage?

I never though I would have said this a few games ago but if everyone played like Morten last night we would have had a better night of things.

David Dunn - 5

Tried and tried and tried to get things going.

But the lack of support and bad luck robbed him of any meaningful influence. Was often crowded out of space to create by City's wily defence/midfield.

Franco Di Santo - 4

Didn't have a good night but it wasn't his fault.

He was charged with trying to head down long balls into the path of a Rovers player - but there was no-one about within 20 yards.

Remember that film Mission Impossible? Poor guy.

Martin Olsson - 6

Was actually not bad at all.

He looked confident which a lot of the Blackburn didn't. When on the ball he regaularly found his man and looked for the return pass consistently as well.

Can take a little heart.

Junior Hoilett - 7.5

As an impact sub this guy has the tools to do some damage.

In the second half he ran with pace and with an aware ness of what was around him and put the City defence on the back foot (fancy that hey?!).

He was often ploughing a lone furrow but he did so with pride. Should now start on Thursday.

Nikola Kalinic - 6

Fell into the Di Santo bracket of not having much support but at least when on the ball he looked to make things happen.

Showed hold up play skills and brought Hoilett into the game as well. But he again was fighting a losing battle.

Fans

Lets rally behind the side and give them our full backing. This poor showing doesn't change the fact that we can still do something positive on Thursday. Sam won't be getting the sack no matter how much kicking and screaming some of you do.

Lets make a difference... the time is now.




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The Journalist

Writer: Mikey Delap Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday January 12 2010

Time: 9:50AM

Your Comments

I was so shocked that we gifted them the first two but fair play to Tevez - he turned the defense inside out and is looking like the best player in the prem at the moment imo. Start Hoillett against Villa. Someone kick Andrews on the training ground so he can't play. Every time we go 1 up top we concede stupid goals. We actually look more solid with 2 up front as we aren't just receiving wave after wave of attack from the opposition and manage to hold onto thte ball up the park for more than 2 seconds.
fransavarese
Good report - I have read this morning that Dunny has turned down a contract offer!! Is he really out of contract this summer?? This will be a massive test to BSA - if Dunny leaves, what happens to Rovers' future?? I dread to think....
Wellsy10
Thansk guys, I am filling in for the Thunder as he is at summer uni this week... I didnt even know he could read being Aussie but then what do I know ;) lol, what a disappointing night!
Mikey Delap
Can't agree with you about Sam, Mikey. It's not just last night he made an error, it's been pretty much all season. Everyone apart from Sam knows that we play better 4-4-2, but he insists on sticking with 4-5-1, despite all the evidence against him. Best game of the season must have been against Chelsea, when Sam was away and we were almost playing 4-3-3. We have decent players, but they have to be allowed to play football. He has no imagination, he is trying to play the Bolton way, and when it doesn't work he carries on trying anyway. I'd rate him as the worst manager we have ever had - at least the others have tried to play football. I can accept going down playing decent football, but going down playing this ****e...
Blue_Canoe
Where was McCathy???
FootyFans
i watched last night with my head in my hands, if this is how we're going to tackle away games, well we're going to lose em all, unless we get a gift from another team!! and last night i saw the worst performance in a rovers shirt...keith andrews...he just didn't want to be there, and it showed, i have come to the conclusion that big sam will lead us down.
demonchef
McCarthy injured himself in the warm-up. He was due to start apparently...
SyekotikRover
We only showed some fight at about 70 minutes - too many mistakes for my liking - the first two goals should never have happened - and I don't think we had a shot on target until the 65-70th minute mark. MGP was poor last night despite a good goal and some effort right at the end. Robbo fluffed his lines for one goal but didn't put a foot wrong for the rest of the game - he made some good saves. Despite us not playing hoof-ball, i.e. we did actually get it down and pass it, it wasn't enough because we had no one with a bit of belief or energy about them to take the game by the scruff of the neck. I don't mind losing as long as we try hard. This didn't really happen. As for Tevez - he must wish he could play us every week!
FreidelNo.1
I disagree with a lot of the ratings. Nelson was solid except for his marking on the first tevez goal. He routinely finished tackles and hustled for every loose ball. Andrews was bad, but not nearly as bad as Nzonzi (listless and distracted), Emo (out of form, unable to complete a pass) and Dunn (no pace, no instinct, no positive impact). While Hoillett showed pace and managed to get his feet to the ball in attacking situations, he was repeatedly betrayed by his touch. As defenders would close down on him he would push the ball past the first one and then hammer it past the second one and then fall. How many times did he lose an opportunity without getting off a shot or pass? I'm thinking at least 6 times. The kid is talented but needs a lot of work. MGP, on the other hand, was by far our best player. He was the only midfielder who completed passes in the attacking half and if it wasn't for his aggressive play and smooth finish we would be talking of this match like the chelsea and everton blowouts. I've been a harsh critic of Morten this season as he has been one of my favorite players but for the past few weeks he is turning things around. Sam, on the other hand, has shown us nothing except the ability to accurately critique our performances. I want to see some leadership, so creativity and a some results! I don't care for the woe-is-me-our-strikers-can't-finish routine. It's tired and defeatist.
SoCal Rover
MGP was our only good player last night! Keith Andrews was torquay standard, at best! and i hope he gets nowhere near the squad for thursday night! we looked ok in the 2nd half when we brought dunn off, olsson had quite a positive impact, getting crosses in from both flanks, it clearly works, and is clearly more dangerous than hoofing it... i think sam could see that too!! lets hope we get a 4-4-2 out ther on thursday night, stop trying to make dunn feel happy in that Att Mid role and play a team game, put him CM next to Nzonzi emerton on the right, MGP on the left, Benni and kalinic upfront! C'mon Rovers!!!!!
Blue n Whitey
really think we should start like that on Thursday: 1.Jason Brown Chimbonda Samba Nelsen Olson Steven Reid Emerton David Dunn Pedersen Niko Kalinic Benni McCarthy and please I do not want to see andrews anymore... even on the bench!!!!!!
Mike J.
Great finish from Pedersen. I felt that andrews was terrible, he played 2 passes that switched play and that was it, i wouldnt play him for stanley with his form right now.
LHrover
saving yourselves for Villa I heard!
merlin
Lets hope so because if we play like that we are shafted!!!
Mikey Delap
Spot on Merlin. The ESPN presenters were desperately trying to find something positive to say about Rovers - it was embarrassing. I don't think that the blame goes to Big Sam - well at least not all of it. We were expected to lose at City - even the players knew it - they were terrified of City's class and pace and as far as I could see they were treating it as a training session for the Carling Cup. It only improved when BSA introduced players who had something to prove (Hoillett / Kallanic / Ollson.) To be honest I expected BSA to do a Mick Mcarthy and field a reserve side - it would have had much better! Curious to note that Rovers largely abandoned the long ball approach - quite a lot of passing - City were happy to lets Rovers pass it among themselves - they were quite safe as Rovers were getting no-where near the goal!
YORK ROVER
PS Just when you want to give up on MGP he produces a touch of class! Can we have some more please Morten??
YORK ROVER
I'm sure that it will be a vastly different performance on Thursday - the players want to play at Wembley - it's their only chance of any success this season. I fully expect them to revert to their lacklustre norm for the Fulham match though. Pity they can't be bothered to play for Premier League points! I wish last night's match had fallen victim to the weather!
YORK ROVER
WTF was that!!!to think what the players are on in terms of wages at Blackburn, just makes me shudder!!!Seriously, i was really *****ed off at that performance and i hope you were too. To show up like that, to show that much of a lack of ambition was a disgrace. I'm not a blackburn fan, and i'm not on here to have a dig, but i honestly believe that what Rovers did last night was bad for football. It just cracks me up to hear all these blowhards going on and on about how the prem is the best league in the world. Really? Not on that evidence. That really was pathetic. Pathetic and contemptible. It's 11 vs 11 for F.u.c.k.s sake!!!! Allardyce should fine the players and then fine himself. What a load of W.A.N.K masquerading as a match!! Can you imagine what would happen if you or i turned up for work and put in that level of a performance? Shocking.
Jinkin Jimmy Dimmock
Just in case Sam is struggling, could you pass this on as you support the club? How to get a point away at a superior team, adhere to the following general principles and then practice: Keep it tight, two banks of four, close down the opposition, press high up the pitch, crunching tackles, dangerous from set pieces, double up on your danger man and mark him out of the game etc... jesus, it aint rocket science!!!
Jinkin Jimmy Dimmock
We've again saved ourselves for the Carling Cup, all the eggs are being put into that basket so it better be worth it as if it's not then there will be some explaining to do over the past few matches!!
Walker
Not bad suggestions there JJD!!!
Mikey Delap
If the rovers beat Villa tonight, all will be forgotten I think!!
JT_daniel
 

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