Archives for October 2016

Blackburn Rovers 1 Wolves 1

Ironic that Blackburn Rovers fans were the ones staying away from Ewood Park while ours were subjected to Danny Batth, Jed Wallace, David Edwards, Conor Coady and co on the pitch.

This team, in disgusting green shirts, produced yet another vomit inducing performance to hopefully spell out to Fosun what Jeff Shi might have been denial over until 7.30pm last night.

Namely, that we are in a relegation fight.

We can deliberate how it ever got to this stage – after finally banishing Morgan and Moxey and pumping millions into the side – but it’s better to get our heads around it and start scrapping from here on in.

With Jorge Mendes’ grubby influence casting a shadow around the club – coupled with our inability to shift the deadwood that cost Jackett his job – and it’s doubtful a new manager would fare too much better anyway.

In this instance, Rob Edwards did ok. While I’ll never agree with Dave Edwards and Conor Coady in a three man midfield, his subs were at least positive and made some sort of impression. Eventually, we will probably play Costa, Texeira and Caveleiro in the same team from the start in a 4-2-3-1, which is patently the best solution for this hare-brained squad and the one we’ve all be calling for. (Heck, Jack Price might even make the bench when fit, too.)

Getting the job on a full time basis would be a major comedown from the early days when Fosun got the party started and promised world domination, though.

A new manager isn’t the biggest issue anyway right now. More pressing is the structure of the club itself, where literally nobody will take any responsibility for signing Paul Gladon and Ola John and a clear conflict of interest remains with Mendes, his clients and the stake he owns in Fosun.

While his mucky hands remain on the tiller, there may be more choppy waters ahead.

Whatever direction we will be heading, the journey is sure to be memorable. The tripe served up on the pitch like that up at Ewood Park, less so.

Blackburn Rovers Vs Wolves Preview

The Championship is ridiculous.

 

Although I wasn’t surprised or bothered about Walter Zenga being ejected, it’s amazing how quickly things unravel in this division.

To think just five games previous we were a point outside the play-offs with a game to come against the league’s bottom side and everything looking rosy.

And even within those five matches, it’s not a stretch to say we could easily have avoided defeat at Wigan and won at Villa park, which would still have seen us within one victory of the top six.

But I think the consensus in football, rightly or wrongly, is ‘nearly isn’t good enough’. And Wolves have been nearly for too much of this season.

Blackburn

Blackburn-Rovers-iconRovers looked dead and buried after the first five games or so, but credit to Owen Coyle for showing signs of turning it around.

I think he’s recruited well, particularly up front. Bringing in Marvin Emnes, Danny Graham and young Southampton forward Sam Gallagher has given them an edge. The three have 10 goals between them already.

Conway and Marshall are two very strong Championship midfielders too, so the supply line is there for those forwards to thrive.

Survival is a good achievement for them as they’re going nowhere fast under the current ownership. In my darkest moments, it’s the direction I fear we could be heading.

Their fans are planning to arrive 18 minutes into the game and leave after 75 minutes in protest against Venky’s on Saturday, which promises to create a strange environment.

Wolves

So what will Rob Edwards do? It’s always very interesting to see how a coach responds when given the opportunity to step up.

wolves-team-for-blackburn

He’s been in and around the team all season so will no doubt have his own thoughts about who should and shouldn’t be playing and a preferred system.

I look at this group of Wolves players and think it’s about finding that balance between work rate / physical power and technical ability.

Packing out the midfield with at least two grafters (in the above instance Edwards and Coady) and then trying to get the likes of Costa and Teixeira playing off Bodvarsson is how I would approach this game.

It will also be fascinating to see if Edwards brings anyone in from the cold like Price, Saville, John or Wallace, who’ve barely featured in recent weeks.

Rob Edwards

Predictions

Like Rob Edwards, I also think Blackburn are in a false position based on recent performances. This will be a very tough game.

My concern is they could prove a bit more streetwise than Wolves, depending on the team the caretaker sends out. And in a tight game, that’s often the difference.

But I’m hoping we get a few more per cent out of our better players going forward to ask questions ourselves.

I’ll go for a score draw – 2-2.

Up The Wolves!

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Project Big Sam

I want Sam Allardyce to be the next manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

As do 68% of supporters according to the E&S Poll at the time of writing.

He is the popular choice, the most qualified of the likely candidates and (as is my understanding), available and ready to go.

Lets be honest here, if the objective is success in anything close to the short term, there is no better horse to back.

To go with another experimental choice at this point in the season would be suicidal, so the likes of Marco Silva and Willy Sagnol should immediately be disregarded.

They may have achieved a level of success in Greece, Portugal and France respectively, but they don’t know the Championship.

Returning to square one with another coach who has to learn what the league is all about before working out how to win isn’t an appetising prospect.

Domestically, it’s hard to imagine Steves Cotterill or Evans making the fan base believe better times lie ahead.

The likes of Zola, Sherwood and Pearson might excite different sections but all would arrive with chequered CVs at best.

No, only Big Sam has the credentials, track record and personality to transform our motley crew into something credible.

He stands head and shoulders above the rest of the field.

Presumably those opposing his appointment would cite recent transgressions off the field as a reason to look elsewhere.

My own moral compass landed on the verdict that it was right he left his position with England, but there is no reason he shouldn’t be allowed a swift return elsewhere.

Allardyce’s perceived ‘brand’ of football is often used as a stick to beat him with, but given the choice, winning is my preferred brand and there certainly hasn’t been much of that in the last year.

Decisive leadership, a clear plan and a solid identity are what it takes to be successful at any level and only one man can guarantee all of these things.

Simply put, if he’s interested it’s the easiest decision anyone should ever have to make.