VB Weekend Winners and Losers
So we ended up losing 2-1 after putting in a good account of ourselves and deserving at least a point of proceedings?
That's two weeks in a row that happens. We find ourselves in the bottom half of the table when we have arguably been in the top six on actual performance.
But as Saturdays opponents Arsenal know all to well from recent experiences, performances does not a victor make. It is the result that counts and we were not clinical enough either at Birmingham or at Ewood against the Gunners to turn water into wine.
But there was reason for encouragement as we played well enough against one of the 'Sky 4' to suggest we can be successful in future endeavours.
But who came out smelling of roses? And who came out looking like Titus Bramble?
Without further a do...
El Hadji Diouf - Praise for this guy has been long overdue.
He spent pretty much all of last season as the bane of the Rovers faithful and near Keith Andrews in the popularity stakes. His behaviour and his on field slackness had made him a target for some stick in the stands and this had led to calls for him to be sold for monetary gain.
In hindsight (which remains a beautiful thing), that would have been an error as El Hadji Diouf has been superb.
Against Arsenal he was a constant menace (literally in his little face off with Manuel Almunia) and showed skills and movement that some of the more celebrated Arsenal players woul;d have been happy with.
The important thing for yours truly though is that he seems to have cut out a large portion of the skulduggery that make him the most annoying footballer on the planet.
There is some beautiful talent in the boots of the Senegalese winger and for the first three games of this season he has showcased that perfectly.
Keep it up Spit.
Mame Biram Diouf - Speaking of Senegalese footballers with the surname Diouf...
This weeks second entrant is our on loan striker from Essex, er sorry I mean Manchester.
Baby Diouf picked up where he left off with a goal to follow the trio of strikes he bagged in the 3-1 win over Norwich. A great piece of predatory anticipation and some willing running made the goal and the simple nature of it should not be overlooked by the movement used to obtain his first EPL Rovers goal.
Outside of the parity instilling goal, the one thing I can ascertain from Baby Diouf is that he is a lot more skilful and graceful than his gangly frame and size suggests.
He has a good touch and uses his body well when put with his back to goal. Mame also has pace to burn and could well be useful coming in as a player off Niko Kalinic up front.
So far, so very good.
Vince Grella -Toss up between Mr.Injury and the always excellent Phil Jones.
But I shall give it to the Aussie as I didn't think for a second he would be on the pitch against the fairies.
Strong, a presence and not once did it look like he would pull up with a chipped nail or a sprained butt cheek.
THIS is the Vince Grella that we need to see, if we had this every week then nobody would bat an eye lid and value for money from his £4 million would be assured.
His distribution of the ball was again a marked improvement on last season and the tackling again was firm and fair.
Our Vinny has given himself something to build on with two great showings in two weeks. Make the most of it.
Gael Givet - Picked merely for his lack of awareness and ball watching for the Gunners first goal.
Gael has always been a better centre back than a left back and you could tell for the first goal and on a couple of occasions in the second half that he struggled with his positioning and keeping his defensive line.
To be fair to the newly hair free Frenchman, he had a tough test against a resurgent Theo Walcott but he often struggled by not being as tight as he should have been against someone with a much quicker turn of pace than him.
Givet was his own worst enemy on Saturday.
Niko Kalinic - Impressive in spells and improves by the game but I am going to knit pick.
Would benefit from being a lot more aggressive when in a position to turn on goal.
Gamble a bit Niko.
Martin Olsson - Has been by no means bad so far this season but has not made the impact I think we all thought he may have.
A drop to the bench is surely not a coincidence???