Category: Football (page 1 of 5)

Cheerful or churlish? – a season in League One awaits…

For the first time in my lifetime, Blackburn Rovers will kick off the new season on Saturday in the doldrums of League One with, all due respect, the likes of Rochdale, Plymouth and Fleetwood.

I can’t say I’m looking forward to it. Sure, I’m imbued with the same old start-of-season optimism that all football fans have before the leaves start to fall and the grim reality of a season of struggle begins to set in. (Make that ten past 3 on Saturday then).

But, for all that following Rovers is both a delight and a nightmare, there is some cause for cautious optimism.

Here are my reasons to be cheerful/reasons to be churlish…

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History tells me to put a Burt-on on Rovers winning tonight

Amidst the turmoil of the past seven days (make that seven years) at Blackburn Rovers, one thing is for absolute certain.

Tonight’s game at Burton Albion is a must-win.

Yes, we may have two games at hand but they’re six points ahead of us and I don’t really relying on travelling down to Fulham or entertaining Derby expecting two wins.

With a new manager in the dugout – Owen Coyle was the wrong choice from the start – there may be a bit of optimism amongst those of us travelling down to the Midlands this evening.

And if it’s Friday inspiration Rovers need, look no further than sixteen years ago and a trip down the road to the Reebok Stadium.

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Man Utd v Man City – who cares?

Tonight, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola lock horns for the second time since they both arrived in Manchester to the waving of palm branches and songs of praise this summer.

Back in September, Guardiola’s City were on the crest of a wave and, despite Claudio Bravo’s desperate attempts to sabotage their performance, swamped the Red Devils in a 2-1 win which was far more convincing than the scoreline suggests.

However, since then, both teams have been on a downward trajectory.

City have gone five games without a win – the first time for Pep since 2009 – and United’s performances have been totally inconsistent. One minute, nullifying the significant threat of Philippe Coutinho et al at Anfield and the next being destroyed by that well-known attacker N’Golo Kante at Chelsea in a 4-0 thrashing.

So, with both “Messiahs” at a crossroads, the EFL Cup game tonight takes on new importance.

But is anyone actually bothered?

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Gammy Knees A History – The Manchester Years (part 3)

Was this the end of an era?

Were the Gammy Knees about to be consigned to the annals of history?

Would they go out on a high or would their frustrating record in Manchester tournaments continue?

All these questions and more answered in the following post…

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Portugal’s lost Rovers generation

Watching Portugal hold the Euro 2016 trophy aloft last night, I was struck by the thought of what might have been.

A committed, rugged and determined team, sprinkled with a touch of stardust outfought their more illustrious hosts and scored a stunning goal to clinch the title.

Flag_of_Portugal.svg

But, unfortunately, where was the Rovers connection?

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Why this derby defeat hurts the most

As a Blackburn Rovers fan, I’ve got used to losing derby matches.

This season, I’ve watched on as Burnley twice beat Rovers, both times after being outplayed.

I also saw the shambles at the Macron straight after Christmas when a much fresher Rovers team were destroyed by a hungrier and, on that evidence better, Bolton side.

Look how that one turned out.

And yet, with Rovers pressing the self-destruct button to lose 2-1 at home to neighbours Preston North End today, for me, it’s the most painful derby defeat of the season.

Ewood_Park_-_Jack_Walker_stand

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#5liveaside – a toddler’s touchline view!

You may be aware that over the past three days, the piazza outside BBC Sport has seen 57 hours of non-stop five aside football in aid of Sport Relief.

Blackburn Rovers legends Alan Shearer and Robbie Savage (did they play for anyone else?!) laid down the gauntlet to each other to match a Premier League season and then promptly drafted in a host of ringers to help them get through the epic duel.

By the end of play, it had raised almost £400,000 for the Sport Relief cause and the funds were still coming in. What an achievement.

We took Sophie down to check it out on Thursday night, when the sun was beginning to set, and Savage had given up moving – already!

Here’s her take on events.

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Jess vs FIFA 16

A beautiful girl took on the beautiful game.

How did she get on?

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New signings new start? (Or same old for Paul Lambert)

Rovers have been busy in the transfer market today, securing a double deal of Premier League cast-offs.

The performances had got progressively worse – saying something! – and they are slipping dangerously close to the bottom three.

With that appalling run of no wins in six and only one goal scored (before the FA Cup on Monday) something had to give.

And besides, with Paul Lambert getting his first chance to change the outlook of the squad, the stakes are high to try and turn around Rovers’ form.

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Little Kickers

I’ve been dreaming about it for a long time.

Our little girl taking to the football field, dribbling round a host of stranded opponents before burying the ball past a despairing goalkeeper and wheeling off to celebrate winning the World Cup Final.

And, if you rewrite the sentence as “taking to the school hall, dribbling through some cones and toepoking into an unguarded net” then you have some idea of the joys of Little Kickers!

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