Calling for Tony Mowbray to be sacked is extreme. We are only 12 games into the season, and as everyone knows we are only two results away from thinking we are going to win the league again. But worrying signs are starting to show in the management team, and this needs to be addressed.
It is all well and good for the manager to come out and say it is ‘mental toughness’ that is required jn this league, and that ‘places are up for grabs’. Saying is one thing, but actually DOING is another.
We had the same thing after the bad result against Wimbledon, Mowbray promising changes, which didn’t materialise. There is one thing that is pretty obvious at the moment, we have become too predictable.
Opposition managers will pretty much know what team Rovers will play, the way that they will set up, which substitutions will be made and at what time in the game. Teams will know this a week before we play, and can work on shape and how to combat this in training. Each team successful against Rovers this year have been well organised, busy, tenacious and industrial. Usually, they set up with a traditional League One centre half; a big bruiser who is good in the air (how Rovers could do with one of these right now). And alongside him will be a centre half with pace that will sweep up behind.
In the middle of the park, will be a ball winner and then a creative midfielder. Jack Byrne provided this role on Saturday for Oldham and showed why he should have been given more of a chance last year, running the game and midfield. And upfront, especially at Ewood Park, they will have two quick wingers and a striker to hold the ball up. This is basic football, basic knowledge of lower league opposition. Something that I think Rovers underestimate. This will be no different on Tuesday night against Plymouth at Ewood.
Rovers have played well twice this year. Everyone will agree that the Rotherham game was the best we have played, and if Rovers had taken their chances, they would have been 5 up at halftime. The other was second half against MK Dons, where the team clicked and played some good football. The catalyst for this, Harry Chapman.
Opposition managers are wise to the fact that the manager will bring Chapman on in the 59th minute, he will play on the wing, and his team mates will give him the ball and say ‘go on lad’ to him. So what have they done, put two players on him. Simple, I’ve got an idea for the manager; do something different and start him! Take the opposition by surprise. Hit them hard in the first 10 minutes with pace and power, instead of passing the ball around the back and slowing the game right down.
Make some changes to the players that have been average or in and out. Give Bennett a rest and bring in Chapman. Antonsson isn’t the answer for me, play Dack as a floating ten with Chapman and Conway either side and Samuel upfront. Put Nuttall on the bench and reward his incredible start to the U23 season. Whittingham seems to be struggling, what does Tomlinson have to do to get a look in with Evans also injured? These are the games made for young kids to make their names. But with both involved against Brighton for the U23 game on Monday this, unfortunately, ill not happen.
It is pretty obvious that we can’t play Ward and Mulgrew at the back, and with Downing out until the weekend at least, this is worrying to say the least. The sooner Wharton is back, and Lenihan is back at Christmas just in time for the January sales, the better and we need to get him playing quickly.
I still believe that Mowbray is the right man, and with the track record of Venky’s past managers, who would we end up with would be my question! But it is time for the manager to take off the shackles. Too many times, especially away from home, we have gone into games looking for a draw or a scrappy 1-0. How refreshing would it be to sit in the Blackburn End and watch a team going out to win from second one? Rovers are the team with the most 1-0 wins in 2017 in all divisions. Wouldn’t it be amazing to watch a team play with freedom, pace and power? Something they are severly lacking.
Changes are needed, not just in personel, but in mindset. Change the mindset, you change the league position.
We’ve now released all of our buildup to the game. You can see all of the articles by clicking the relative link below
Click to read Rovers v Plymouth Argyle – Match Preview by @gtrowe31.
Click to read Plymouth Argyle Fan Preview – Argyle Away Days.
Click here to read Rovers v Plymouth Argyle: Ewood Expectant by @roversillitoe92
Thanks for reading, and all our reaction to the game will be up on tonight/Wednesday morning and afternoon.