Saturday, April 23, 2016

Why I couldn't bring myself to celebrate a goal today - my Rovers is dying

An angry football fan of my acquaintance was railing against this team and that and I asked him if he hated every team?

"Yes."

"Except your own, obviously?"

"No, especially my own."

I feel like that at the moment. When Danny Graham's flukey second goal against Bristol City flew in this afternoon I stayed seated. I didn't applaud. I couldn't. At the end I'm pleased we didn't lose, but it's how I've come to feel. Numb.

I really, really find it hard to like anything at all about Blackburn Rovers at the moment.

A particular source of my ire is the search for green shoots and silver linings. There really aren't any. 

We saw a young lad Mahoney make his debut today. He was alright, my eldest lad likened him to one of his former team mates, a lightweight diletante, a tippy toes. He whipped in a couple of decent crosses in the second half and started to prove he was putting his marker under pressure. 

Then Lambert subbed him.

There were individual instances of professional incompetence that should warrant a formal warning for gross misconduct. Jason Lowe failing to take a throw in properly, Elliot Ward dribbling instead of shooting, Jordi Gomez backing out of challenges. Any of the midfield or full backs unable to turn an opponent and make a forward pass. 

In fact when Gomez got subbed I shouted that he should carry on walking all the way to Sunderland. His obvious skill and footballing brain is far outstripped by his cowardice and lack of application at this level.

There's that hopeless moment that you see mark out every struggling helpless team. A player holds his hands out as if to say - who can I pass to? Ward did it, Lowe did it, Marshall's whole body language is of a coiled spring wound tighter and tighter under the pressure of carrying a whole team. It's a terrible indictment of a team without a plan.

And what of the manager? He's a man running out of excuses. He's had plenty to say about Aston Villa's plight of which he must bear some responsibility. And I haven't heard a denial of any interest in the Celtic job. But if anyone from Glasgow was at Ewood wondering how a coaching genius could make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, they wouldn't have found him here.

We weren't going to come to Ewood today after last week's awful display against Huddersfield. But if there's one thing worse than sitting through another defeat, it's sitting at home and hearing about a spirited victory we could have gone to.

On top of this Louis broke his foot last week and needs an operation on Tuesday. He's not crippled, but is uncomfortable and not terribly mobile. We usually park in Lower Darwen and walk, which would have been a stretch. So I rang Rovers and asked about parking. Yes, £10, near the Darwen End. I didn't expect special treatment, but when I've been a corporate fan I've had my name on the list and been helped along by someone who seemed to care. I don't blame the lad who I spoke to, but it was a stark contrast to a Rovers I once knew. A time when this was a club that cared, where the default response would have been to bend over backwards to help. I don't particularly resent the £6 extra I forked out to park either, it was never about the money, but a one-off and slightly needy cry for a random act of kindness. 

We're off to Rotherham next week, mainly because it's a new ground to visit, but we'll want to see a good performance to add to the four we've seen in this appalling season. Maybe a decent parking spot to help the lad who'll be on crutches by then. But as it's not about the points, it will be about the manner of the performance. Some evidence to challenge my desperate view that we seem to be witnessing the collapse of an ideal.

 

1 comment:

Ian Herbert said...

The most serious charge I can level against Venky's inept regime is that their incompetence has stopped me from caring.
In the days of Kendall/Saxton/Mackay I was proud of the way the little Lancashire club battled bravely to return to the big time with all the main stakeholders pulling together to chase the dream. Every pound I spent in the shop I felt sure would be used prudently in search of that goal. I resented not a single penny so sure was I that everyone was giving their all.
The Walker years provided a completely different approach to the challenge but the determination and effort remained unquestioned.

Yet now, in 5 short years, I now care very little. It's not really club any more. I

I look down the road at Accrington Stanley and increasingly find myself rooting for them.

Venky's - you did this and for that I will never forgive you.