Ready for a rant?
I have developed an irrational dislike of Blackburn Rovers. Firstly, there’s the name …. Rovers. Where do they rove,? Has Gamst Pederson roved and if so why wasn’t he arrested in the act of roving? Blackburn, so named because it is dirty, the civil buildings are swathed in soot and the street urchins have a clear dislike of water (before I am accused of Northern-ism, I have spent many happy weekends in the town).
Then there is their football. Perhaps the club thought loaning out the odious Hadji Diouf would improve their image, but they ruined that by sacking Fat Sam in a manner which turned all the pundits against them. Installing an untried (and cheaper) manager they now face the prospect of relegation , and other than their fans, I believe you would struggle to find anyone who will be sorry to see them decline. How one can take a team full of fine footballers and turn them into the tedious, mundane cloggers seen week in week out at Ewood is a mystery known only to their manager and the Chicken men.
Seriously, if Arsene Wenger OBE managed Blackburn they would be a top 8 side. Look at the talent at their disposal. In defence, an England GK, the New Zealand Captain Nelsen, the monstrous Samba, Martin Olsson, who is getting rave reviews in Scandanavia, and the enormous experience of Salgado (over 250 games for Real Madrid). In midfield, the creativity and graft of Gamst, Emerton and Dunn. Upfront, the pace of Benjani, and MU’s young Diouf, allied to the height and movement of Santa Cruz. This SHOULD be a decent team – but they are not.
And why not? Perhaps a Blackburn fan could tell us (if they read this far without closing the page in fury).
Now I dislike Fat Sam as much as the next man, to me he is the antithesis of Wengerball, a man who believes in the Charles Hughes school of long ball, aggressive football, but whatever one thinks of him, he did a damned sight better job with this team than the current dummy whose only recommendation appears to be that he is Scottish…
John Jensen is Keen’s no.2. arriving after a disastrous time as manager of Randers in Denmark (9 losses and 2 draws in 11 games). How on earth do these guys get their highly paid jobs?? Oh, & I was there when Jensen scored!
Enough of Blackburn, let us move onto the men in the white hats.
2 weeks break and a return to the first team for 3 players who have been sorely missed: Song, Cesc and Theo. It appears all the players who went away on International duty have returned fit, even Chocolate Legs, so apart from the difficulties at CB and in goal, we have a proper team.
Big words those …. “apart from“…… The success of this season will turn upon the strength of our defence. We have no difficulties scoring, especially when Theo and Cesc are both fit and firing. If Almunia and Squillaci find a decent run of form and Kosciely continues his improvement, I believe we will win the title,. The return of the very influential Song should add some much needed defensive security, but ultimately it will be the CB’s and in particular the GK who will come under immense pressure, because every T, D & H knows they are fallible.
We should even be able to have a very strong bench (apart from CB).
I expect Arsenal to come out very fast and attempt to win the game in the first 20 minutes. If we score early, B’burn are doomed. However, after the recent frustrations, a poor first half will have a detrimental effect upon the faithful and the tension will mount. That said, I am confident of 3 points.
Big Raddy is very much looking forward to meeting fellow AA’ers today and will raise a glass to absent friends.
To The Tavern …..