VB Weekend Winners and Losers
Rovers nullified Everton's threat and ran out deserved winners, the winner may have been a gift wrapped mistake from Tim Howard but the reactions from Kalinic to capitalise were spot on.
The purpose of this column is to pick out three players that have enhanced themselves during the last game and three that have no done themselves no favours.
For regular readers you know the drill but for those that don't please allow me to show you by the way of jumping straight in...
Phil Jones -I think we can all safely say that when the team sheet was released the majority of Rovers fans were scratching their head that the three premier centre backs (Nelly, Samba and Jones) were ALL on the team sheet.
Thankfully we were spared a three centre back blockade, it was merely Allardyce playing Jones in a position he knew he could do well and to the teams' benefit.
Jones was deployed in a screening position in front of a now settled back four line up and in short - he played the position a dream.
Composed, tough and full of running, it was if the young lad had played there his whole life.
One run in particular through about three Everton midfielders would have made a slalom skier proud... fair play he did look a tad bewildered when he realised he was that far up the pitch, but the intent was there.
We all knew that Jones was promising but now we can slot the word 'versatile' next to that in the Rovers dictionary corner.
Ryan Nelsen -Excellent. Absolutely immense. Rock solid.
All terms used by fans within tne minutes of the final whistle to describe the performance of the New Zealander.
Often when games are played at a high tempo and Nelsen is moved around a bit he can be exposed slightly but when the game turns into a battle like it did on Saturday I honestly can't think of anyone in the league outside of Nemanja Vidic that I would rather have back there.
Lost nothing in the air and stood up tall to anything that came his way - it's as if moving the captains armband onto Chris Samba has done the Admiral a favour.
Nikola Kalinic -We were treated to both sides of the Croatian at Ewood Park on Saturday.
Before his goal Niko looked a bit confused and short of confidence. He put himself about a bit but he posed absolutely zero threat.
After his goal he was a changed man, like a reformed heroin addict without the guilt and turned in a cracking shift as a lone forward.
Plenty of harrying, holding the ball up, winning throw ins and moving Everton defenders about.
By the time he reached the hour mark his lack of fitness was exposed but an excellent display was rewarded with a well deserved ovation. More of this Niko pleased...
Martin Olsson -After tipping him for a flying season Martin didn't get off to a bad start but he was rarely present in the game in any meaningful way.
Olsson looked willing and able but somehow struggled to get on the ball and create like we know he can.
Signs of promise were evident but for me he can do a lot better than this and spearhead attacks - something he rarely did on Saturday.
For me this is nothing to be overly worried about but the Swede can have more of an impact on proceedings than he showed, he was 'outshined' by Jones and Pedersen, the man he replaced on the left wing.
Brett Emerton -In the battle for the right midfield spot between Emo and Diouf it looks as if the much maligned Senegalese man won the early bout.
It remains to be seen who wins the war but after a solid showing from Diouf number 1 it looks as if Emo might need to take a back seat for the time being.
Dave Dunn -A full pre-season, every training session completed and yet still the same old problem remains.
It may seem like a bit of an overreaction and Dunn may be back in the starting line up for Birmingham next Saturday but until he finally gets this monkey off his back these doubts and apprehension will always be present.
It becomes all the more annoying when you realise we are a much better side when he is on the pitch.
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