Welcome to a new weekly feature for Rovers Chat called The Rovers Spotlight.
In this series, I will be covering all topics involving Blackburn Rovers. I would also like you the readers to come up with any ideas on what topics you would like me to include, all requests are welcome and encouraged.
In the third edition, the topics covered will be the form of Bradley Dack & the resurgence of Marcus Antonsson, my thoughts on the Bury game & the importance of a settled back line.
The New Show In Town: Ant & Dack.
One player who has been crucial to Rovers’ recent good form has been Bradley Dack. The attacking midfielder had a frustrating start to life at Rovers following his £750,000 move from Gillingham after suffering from a hamstring injury, now with the injury firmly behind him the Rovers No. 23 is now showing his new fans the form he can produce.
Bradley has scored four times in seven games & laying on several assists for his teammates, it’s clear to see he is enjoying his responsibility in the #10 role behind the striker & going into those little pockets of space to score & create chances.
One of the main beneficiaries of the ex-Gillingham man’s great form is the Swede on a season-long loan from Leeds United, Marcus Antonsson. It’s fair to say he’s got his detractors amongst the Ewood faithful since his arrival (myself included for being too lightweight as a striker) but in the last few games, he has come to the fore.
Marcus has come into his own playing out wide recently, and The Swede has seemed to be more comfortable taking on opposing full-backs00 rather than competing as a lone striker against the opposition’s centre-halves. The Swedish International has bagged four in the last three games.
It’s fair to say these two have forged quite an understanding on the field with the ability Dack has to bring others into play & pick a pass & with Marcus’ willingness to run at defenders. These two have scored nine of Rovers last seventeen goals between them, they also lead the goalscoring charts with Marcus (6) one goal ahead of Bradley (5) & may the good form of this partnership continue.
Bury Match Review
As I entered The Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane, I was a little nervy because of past history with Rovers for two reasons. The first is because Bury managed to beat Rovers in the last meeting between the two & I refuse to say it was because of playing youngsters. The second is because everytime some team is struggling & needs a win badly, Rovers just happen to be the team they beat.
My nerves weren’t helped by the shaky start in the first ten minutes, but once Rovers went ahead, I felt we would win the game comfortably. The performance was good to go with a positive attacking display & the team now has a settled look to it with everyone knowing their roles & responsibilities in the team.
Another reason the trip to Bury was enjoyable for me was the “invasion” of the Blue & White Army. Over 3,600 of us packed two of their stands while a few others got into another. The atmosphere in the two stands was incredible & the sight of the phone lights in the West Stand was a sight to see & a standout memory even though I was in the East Stand.
The Importance Of A Settled Back Line
There’s an old saying in football, build from the back. Many teams that go on to win league titles, cups or promotion often stress that having a solid defence is key to success.
Ever since Paul Downing has come into the side in place of the useless Elliott Ward, the Rovers defence has been hard to break down. The loanee from MK Dons has been a rock with solid displays & his calmness on the ball is rubbing off on the back four. Early on in the seasoned skipper Charlie Mulgrew was struggling for form but now with Downing alongside him, he seems to be in top form again organizing the back four at all times.
The return of Ryan Nyambe has also been crucial with his ability to support the midfield from the back with his pace & power, very few wingers in League One will get the better & if they do the experience of his fellow defenders will likely deal with any danger. Derrick Williams is a steady hand, just does his job with no fuss with defending his first priority.
These four seem to understand each other & where one is going to be. Rovers do have some good back up in case (apart from Ward) but it’s important for these four to stay together & stay clear of injuries. If they do manage that & continue to learn off one another then Rovers won’t be far off in the promotion mix come the end of the season.
Until next week. Take care.