Missed chances, leading the line and the Starman – 3 things learnt from Rotherham


After Mowbray’s men beat Rotherham 2-0, @camydeaks21 looks at what we learnt from the game.

Goals from Marcus Antonsson and Harry Chapman got Rovers back to winning ways with an impressive 2-0 win over Rotherham, a score line that doesn’t tell the full story of the match and somewhat flatters the opposition.

The first half header from the on-loan Swede gave Rovers the lead, whilst the on-loan Middlesbrough man’s goal killed the game off with 5 minutes to go.

We look at 3 talking points from our win against Rotherham.

Missed chances

On Tuesday night, Rovers played what was for me, their best performance of the season so far, they played with pace, precision and dare I say, creativity. However, I didn’t walk away from the match completely fulfilled as I usually would from a 2-0 home victory, because it didn’t feel like we got what we deserved. In the first 25 minutes we had hit the woodwork twice and Dack should have had at least a brace!

The theme of wasted opportunities continued right to the final whistle, when Whittingham side-footed his one on one opportunity wide of the post, and this is worrying to me because it almost feels like we got away with it. Rotherham have been shocking away from home and only had two shots on target all night, but had Raya not been as alert as he was then they could have found the net both times.

All night you could just feel frustration growing around Ewood Park with people questioning how we weren’t out of reach in the first 30 minutes and also the fear that our defence, as shaky as it is, could make a mistake at any time gifting Rotherham a goal. Luckily this never happened but on another day we may not have been so lucky.

Who should lead the line?

9 games into the season and to me, it doesn’t look like Mowbray actually knows what his starting 11 should be. When the line ups were announced I looked at the team and thought that we might actually have two up top. I learned very quickly into the match that Antonsson was actually playing left wing and Dack was essentially playing shadow striker, and with Samuel misfiring and a player of Danny Graham’s quality on the bench, it worries me that as of yet we don’t have a clear main striker.

Rovers have now 3 very capable strikers in; Dominic Samuel who has lost his form after his brilliant start to the year, Marcus Antonsson who has shown moments of class but also moments of madness and finally, Danny Graham, who has come nowhere near the expectations that so many of us through he was going to reach in this division.

We have primarily played 2 up top this season with the occasional 1 on his own and it looks as if Dominic Samuel has been chosen as the main man who will start every game, but should that be the case? Samuel has looked very lonely on his own up front at times and starved of support so you’d think that he would play better with a man beside him but Mowbray is playing our next top goal scorer on the wing so what is the answer? I believe it comes in the form of Harry Chapman.

Harry Chapman needs to start!

For whatever reason, Mowbray has not yet started on loan winger Chapman even after so many cries from fans to start the youngster. Well, yesterday’s performance will have only have increased his chances.

After coming on, he was Blackburn’s main threat, his speed and skill was just too much for the Rotherham defence which he went through so many times. He showed that spark and quality that we have been missing and which might just take us to the next level.

On Rovers Chat, we have spoken many times about how going back to basics might be the answer to a lot of our attacking issues – a solid 4-4-2 with whatever strikers Mowbray deems best and then Chapman on the wing.

Not only does this give Samuel a strike partner, but also means that Chapman’s spot isn’t taken up by someone who should be playing up front.

It looks as if Mowbray likes playing 3 central midfielders but that still isn’t an excuse not to start Chapman. If he had been on from the start yesterday, I genuinely believe that we would have been 3 up before half time. He has a drive and longing for goals which our squad has missed for a long time!

Mowbray needs to find his first team and fast, not knowing who your best players are after 10 games just simply won’t good enough.

But hopefully this win can mean the start of another streak that can take us into the top 6!

Come on you Blues!

Make sure you have read our review from the Rotherham game. It can be accessed by clicking the link below.

Click here to read our match review.

We will be discussing the Rotherham game, and the Shrewsbury game, on our 1875 Podcast. We’ll also discuss the upcoming Gillingham game and Bury in the Checkatrade Trophy game.

To send us questions, email us at roverschat@gmail.com or tweet us on Twitter at @rovers_chat or use #1875Podcast.