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VB Weekend Winners and Losers

VB Weekend Winners and Losers
It really is difficult to put all my thoughts into cohesive comments this morning. One the one hand we could have won 2 or 3 nil against Liverpool and it would have been justified with the efforts we should have buried.

But sadly more profiligacy in front of goal means we ended up with a second straight 0-0 at fortress Ewood Park.

Still good news, David NGog can't shoot as well as he dive over Lee Carsley's legs so we kept a clean sheet and we gave a 'Big 4' side a proper game for a change.

Now it's up to me to fix up, look sharp and pick the three winners and losers for this weekends games.


RYAN NELSEN - What a game from the World Cup bound Kiwi. An absolute rock at the back who, along with Samba kept NGog, Kuyt and the great diving swan Steven Gerrard largely quiet.

I don't honestly remember him losing a header all day long, his positioning was awesome and he kept the line so much more organised than the months of October and early November.

Everyone stuck to task and the Rovers defence was well regimented and confident - to the point where the 'Allardyce's boys are difficult to beat' comments are back with a vengance!

Ryan's job is to defend and the stats from the last two games from the defence reads - played 2, conceded 0, 2 clean sheets.

Super work from all involved but the best defender on show this Saturday was the sturdy Admiral.

BRETT EMERTON - Now pushing David Dunn for favourite cult Rover status.

The man may be an Aussie but he has been here so long he is now an honourary Lancastrian.

On Saturday he did his 'usual' and by 'usual' I mean he was largely very good.

Fast, full of running, full of stamina and looking to cause trouble.
But I must say the defensive side of his game is now complete - when he first arrived at Ewood he was pulling out of tackles left, right and centre - but not anymore, fierce tackling has replaced that and Liverpool struggled to keep tabs on him.

I must also comment that in that midfield he really does dovetail well with fellow Aussie Vince Grella and Steven N'Zonzi - it all feels very balanced. Now for someo to step up on the left side!

NIKOLA KALINIC - Debut in the winners column for the Croatian! He was only on the pitch for twenty minutes but did enough in those twenty minutes to demonstrate that the barnstorming efforts of the Chelsea game was not a one off.

He now looks like a man that could fit the bill of a £6 million striker.

Strong as an ox and with an impressive turning circle, he creates space for himself with his movement. But the most impressive thing about Niko for me is the positions he can get himself into.

He is always in the right spot for a chance and apart from a hurried late miss he did enough to excite the Blackburn end.

The initial fears over Kalinic are quickly disappearing.


EL HADJI DIOUF - Becoming a liability. His snarling and effective work man like attitude is disintegrating into that of a small, petulant child.

He did sweet bugger all on Saturday and looked a pale shadow of the man who put in some good shifts last season.

Fair enough, he won some timely tackles and battled for the team but he is a winger - you need creativity to go alongside that as well.

Especially from a man who we all know has the talent - it almost makes us miss Morten not being out there! Almost.

FRANCO DI SANTO - Play to the whistle mate. He had a good all round shift and showed some neat touches against Liverpool but his chance of glory went begging again.

And this time it wasn't due to a good save or a smart stop - it was because of trying to dally and make certain of a goal, something you won't get against Liverpool.

A good chance to win the game gone and for once he was to blame.

THE LEFT SIDE OF MIDFIELD - Time for Junior Hoilett to get a spin me thinks.

Writer:Mikey Delap
Date:Monday December 7 2009
Time: 10:13AM


2 points dropped I think on the whole despite what the press tell you but a good team performance which is pleasing!
Mikey Delap
07/12/2009 10:15:00
the usual and expected response from the press on Saturday/ Sunday! Watched MOTD open mouthed again as they made Liverpool look like they dominated the match! More than impressed with Nelse, he was quite simply Awesome, especially loved his small cameo on the left wing.........showing EHD what we really need!! I think the defence as a whole is looking so settled and strong now, Kalanic looked like the type of player that BS has been promising and will push on in the new year! And finally it's so good to have Brett back, the new improved version is what we were lacking at the start of the season! He simply does not stop! So many positives to take away from a so called hoof it dull team that just out muscle the opposition!!
07/12/2009 10:25:00
sorry delap, have to disagree with kalinic. That miss was shocking. He gave himself absolutely no chance by running straight. Didnt open his body at all. Agree elsewhere, Emerton= Legend, il even let the honarary Lancasharian tag ride....for now! He is a Bankstown boy!!!!!
07/12/2009 10:44:00
Guys I agree - and Mikey - Junior for left wing, absolutely. Diouf is slow and so inconsistent, MGP has lost his confidence - but Junior, although he can't score, has great pace! Keep Kalinic playing, get him that first league goal and then a load will follow.
07/12/2009 10:48:00
lol Sas! Thought you might like the Emo mention!
Mikey Delap
07/12/2009 10:58:00
Junior for left indeed. And Kalinic to start against Hull. Nice work again Mikey
08/12/2009 05:26:00
Good thoughts Mikey. Whilst Junior does look like he needs a bit more composure I think he will create far more chances than MGP and Diouf just because of his pace. Loving Emo's return to form, would be made perfect by a few goals here n there.
08/12/2009 08:42:00
Thats the good thing - I think Brett WILL chip in with his fair share of goals from midfield unlike others!
Mikey Delap
08/12/2009 09:18:00
totally agree with the choices, samba should get a mention too, i thought he had a really good game
08/12/2009 11:51:00
Once again I can only say a superb article Mr Mikey but again it's difficult for me to back or support to much as I'd not be talking from someone that watched or listened to the match as I was working.
10/12/2009 09:02:00
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