Blackburn Rovers, Season in Review- D3D4football.com

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Blackburn Rovers, Season in Review- D3D4football.com

Post by WacoRover » Tue May 08, 2018 1:31 pm

This was my last article for the site; as always, I appreciate comments, & "helpful criticism." I hope y'all enjoy it!


Promotion at the first attempt- Blackburn Rovers fans are elated at the outcome, and the final result, which places them back into the Championship. However, most fans of the Blue and White will quickly admit the promotion provides feelings of relief, and gratitude, more than anything else.

Tony Mowbray stated way back in August, 2017, that it would be a grueling season. It was indeed that, and more. Beginning with consecutive losses to start the campaign, Mowbray may have felt the critics who scoffed at his taking the job were right: Perhaps rebuilding Blackburn Rovers was a task possibly not worth the undertaking.

However, the boss had some useful bits and pieces of personnel, left over from the Championship season before (a season in which Blackburn’s point total of 51 would have spelled safety most seasons)- David Raya, Ryan Nyambe, Derrick Williams, Charlie Mulgrew, Darragh Lenihan, Elliott Bennett, Craig Conway, and Danny Graham. So, Mowbray had a club, not bereft of talented players. For their perseverance and hard work, Raya and Graham received League One honors. Nyambe, Lenihan, and Williams all proved useful in defence. Bennett started most of the season in the midfield. Mulgrew set a Blackburn team record, with 14 goals by a defender.

To these holdovers, Mowbray added some great talent, capable of being very productive in League One, and most of whom he found for little to no transfer fees. Bradley Dack arrived from Gillingham, and the midfielder provided his new club with 18 goals, enroute to being named League One Player of the Year. Amari’i Bell arrived from Fleetwood, and the defender also received League One honors. Dominic Samuel arrived from Reading, and scored 8 goals during the season. Adam Armstrong was a loaner from Newcastle, and despite being added after the New Year, added 9 goals.

It was also a season as “Road Warriors”, as Blackburn found the strength to set a new team record, with 14 victories as visitors.

Of course, the credit for all this must begin with Tony Mowbray. He had an eye for talent, it is true, but also for players who could fit with the existing roster of players, and by augmenting a few well-placed transfers and loaners, would give him just what he needed to secure promotion.
Little did the players know when they lost their first game at home, back on August 12 to Doncaster, a 1-3 buttkicking, that they would secure promotion at Keepmoat, on April 24!

So, if we’ve learned anything from the season just completed, it is probably that past glories mean nothing; skill and hard work must occur each and every season in the EFL.

It wasn’t just the first team that enjoyed success, as the Rovers’ U23’s were also promoted, and the Blackburn ladies even got to hoist some hardware, too.

It’s been a breathless ride, and at times, the results suggested Blackburn Rovers would remain a League One side. However, in the final analysis, Tony Mowbray and Blackburn Rovers may have discovered that perhaps their best days are not behind them. There may be more mountains to climb, and some new achievements to add luster to the proud history of Blackburn Rovers.

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Re: Blackburn Rovers, Season in Review- D3D4football.com

Post by Duggywerefab » Thu May 10, 2018 12:37 am

Great analysis Waco!

If I could add one more thing it might be that someone, somewhere got the ear of the owners to leave well alone and let the manager do what he was hired and trusted to do. No more overseas consultants, no more agent's advice, just a well experienced manager doing what he thought needed to be done.

Let's hope that continues if we lose a couple of early games next season!

Once again thanks for a well-written piece.

Up the Rovers!

Duggy

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Re: Blackburn Rovers, Season in Review- D3D4football.com

Post by WacoRover » Thu May 10, 2018 2:20 pm

Duggywerefab wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 12:37 am
Great analysis Waco!

If I could add one more thing it might be that someone, somewhere got the ear of the owners to leave well alone and let the manager do what he was hired and trusted to do. No more overseas consultants, no more agent's advice, just a well experienced manager doing what he thought needed to be done.

Let's hope that continues if we lose a couple of early games next season!

Once again thanks for a well-written piece.

Up the Rovers!

Duggy
Duggy,
Many thanks for reading, & your very nice comments.

Of course, you are right, with your comments Re: Owners. I know I am not as knowledgeable as most of you about the situation, so I kept away from it. But, lets hope the owners have “learned their lesson” about the football side of the organization... and hope they don’t get tired of writing the checks! :D

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Re: Blackburn Rovers, Season in Review- D3D4football.com

Post by mcteeth » Thu May 10, 2018 5:28 pm

Nice review Waco, the only thing I'd add in terms of feedback would be to perhaps give some emphasis to how relegation last season and what has happened over last summer and this season has re-invigorated of the club and very much united the team and fans.

We'd been on a downward spiral for a number of season and a team that was accustomed to losing games and lacking the character to continually win, no throw away a lead or not be able to bounce back when going behind. Yes this is all within the context of dropping a division but it's been a big turnaround and the unity and winning mentality of the team is palpable. Equally from the stands the mood amongst the fans is a positive one and it isn't fractured and bitter as it very has been. The away support has been exceptional this season and it's fair to say with the pricing structure of the season tickets we may hopefully see crowds approaching 15-20k at home next season.

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Re: Blackburn Rovers, Season in Review- D3D4football.com

Post by WacoRover » Thu May 10, 2018 7:47 pm

Thanks, Mcteeth.

Yes, in my first article, & subsequent one at midseason, I gave a recapitulation of the previous season, the recent history, etc, of the club. Those may still be “up” at D3D4, not sure.

I wish I had said more about the fans; you are right, the fans have been amazing this year, particularly on the road. I think many of the fans may have finally realized that we have one Blackburn Rovers team. This is our team, we are not giving up on them, so wherever they are and whatever strata of English football, we will support them.

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Re: Blackburn Rovers, Season in Review- D3D4football.com

Post by Darth Rover » Thu May 10, 2018 9:10 pm

A positive article from Waco about a positive outcome to the season. A lot said too about the players who made the season a success. Several of them brought in by Tony Mowbray namely Dack, Downing and Smallwood and on loan Armstrong, Chapman and Payne. But what about about Mowbrays signings that didnt work out. Gladwin, Whittingham, Hart, Harper, and others like Bell, Samuel and Antonsson whose contribution was patchy. In all honesty if it wasnt for contribution of players already at the club before Mowbrays arrival namely Lenihan, Mulgrew, Bennett, Nyambie and Graham then Rovers might have been lucky to make the play offs. So on a plus we have to applaud TM for the good signings he made which made the difference. Because the season was a success it has not been highlighted the poor signings he made. We can learn from the past though. Kenny Dalglish signed many players but many where not still at the club when Rovers won the PL. Nice guy Tony Mowbray is if he wants to carry on Rovers success he cannot afford to be soft on under achievers.

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Re: Blackburn Rovers, Season in Review- D3D4football.com

Post by Gibbon » Fri May 11, 2018 5:57 am

It’s true of every manager, they’re all going to make both good and bad signings.

Mowbray got key signings right though. Excellent.

Great article Waco. And I wouldn’t rule out Venky’s having learned their lessons themselves.

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Re: Blackburn Rovers, Season in Review- D3D4football.com

Post by mrblackbat » Fri May 11, 2018 6:34 am

Darth Rover wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 9:10 pm
A positive article from Waco about a positive outcome to the season. A lot said too about the players who made the season a success. Several of them brought in by Tony Mowbray namely Dack, Downing and Smallwood and on loan Armstrong, Chapman and Payne. But what about about Mowbrays signings that didnt work out. Gladwin, Whittingham, Hart, Harper, and others like Bell, Samuel and Antonsson whose contribution was patchy. In all honesty if it wasnt for contribution of players already at the club before Mowbrays arrival namely Lenihan, Mulgrew, Bennett, Nyambie and Graham then Rovers might have been lucky to make the play offs. So on a plus we have to applaud TM for the good signings he made which made the difference. Because the season was a success it has not been highlighted the poor signings he made. We can learn from the past though. Kenny Dalglish signed many players but many where not still at the club when Rovers won the PL. Nice guy Tony Mowbray is if he wants to carry on Rovers success he cannot afford to be soft on under achievers.
What a bizarre way of looking at things.

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Re: Blackburn Rovers, Season in Review- D3D4football.com

Post by Rover the Top » Mon May 14, 2018 8:34 am

Darth Rover wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 9:10 pm
A positive article from Waco about a positive outcome to the season. A lot said too about the players who made the season a success. Several of them brought in by Tony Mowbray namely Dack, Downing and Smallwood and on loan Armstrong, Chapman and Payne. But what about about Mowbrays signings that didnt work out. Gladwin, Whittingham, Hart, Harper, and others like Bell, Samuel and Antonsson whose contribution was patchy. In all honesty if it wasnt for contribution of players already at the club before Mowbrays arrival namely Lenihan, Mulgrew, Bennett, Nyambie and Graham then Rovers might have been lucky to make the play offs. So on a plus we have to applaud TM for the good signings he made which made the difference. Because the season was a success it has not been highlighted the poor signings he made. We can learn from the past though. Kenny Dalglish signed many players but many where not still at the club when Rovers won the PL. Nice guy Tony Mowbray is if he wants to carry on Rovers success he cannot afford to be soft on under achievers.
Seriously what are you on about? We dropped down from a higher division, so of course we already had a core of players to build around. Quite different to the task Dalglish had, where the squad needed a complete overhaul to convert it from mid-table 2nd tier to national champions in just 4 years. If your point is that we'll need to continue recruiting better players to challenge for the PL title again, then that's true if stating the obvious. But it comes across as though you're cirticising Mowbray for not replacing the players we had who were already more than good enough for League 1?

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Re: Blackburn Rovers, Season in Review- D3D4football.com

Post by Darth Rover » Mon May 14, 2018 5:00 pm

Rover the Top wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 8:34 am
Darth Rover wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 9:10 pm
A positive article from Waco about a positive outcome to the season. A lot said too about the players who made the season a success. Several of them brought in by Tony Mowbray namely Dack, Downing and Smallwood and on loan Armstrong, Chapman and Payne. But what about about Mowbrays signings that didnt work out. Gladwin, Whittingham, Hart, Harper, and others like Bell, Samuel and Antonsson whose contribution was patchy. In all honesty if it wasnt for contribution of players already at the club before Mowbrays arrival namely Lenihan, Mulgrew, Bennett, Nyambie and Graham then Rovers might have been lucky to make the play offs. So on a plus we have to applaud TM for the good signings he made which made the difference. Because the season was a success it has not been highlighted the poor signings he made. We can learn from the past though. Kenny Dalglish signed many players but many where not still at the club when Rovers won the PL. Nice guy Tony Mowbray is if he wants to carry on Rovers success he cannot afford to be soft on under achievers.
Seriously what are you on about? We dropped down from a higher division, so of course we already had a core of players to build around. Quite different to the task Dalglish had, where the squad needed a complete overhaul to convert it from mid-table 2nd tier to national champions in just 4 years. If your point is that we'll need to continue recruiting better players to challenge for the PL title again, then that's true if stating the obvious. But it comes across as though you're cirticising Mowbray for not replacing the players we had who were already more than good enough for League 1?
I am not criticising Mowbray more hoping he is aware of the possible failure of next season if he is not allowed to strengthen the squad and if he stays loyal to some of his signings. Like other managers he has made some signings that didnt turn out has hoped. Thankfully the ones that did turn out has hoped made a big difference. The warnings are evident we only have to look at Bolton and see how they narrowly avoided the drop back to league one. I have a lot more faith in Tony Mowbray than Owen Coyle and still maintain Rovers would not have been relegated if he had been in charge for one more month than he was given. Anyway water under the bridge on that one but the only point i am making is yes some of Mowbrays signings turned out to be poor ones and i would suggest he does not give them another chance. At time of writing this the retained list has been made public. I dont know if the likes of Whittingham, Gladwin, Hart, Feeney, Ward have been retained but these players need to be told to find another club to make way for new signings and make way for Rovers impressive young players.

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Re: Blackburn Rovers, Season in Review- D3D4football.com

Post by WacoRover » Mon May 14, 2018 6:23 pm

I figure signings in EFL, like NFL, you are glad to hit about 50% success rate. I believe TM is an astute enough judge of talent, as y’all have said, he needs to be even better this summer, injecting new & better talent into the club.

With the “retained list” going out today, obviously, Graham has value to the club, & should be retained. Conway has done well here, but at his age, we may have reached a point of diminishing returns.

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Re: Blackburn Rovers, Season in Review- D3D4football.com

Post by WacoRover » Mon May 14, 2018 6:27 pm

By success rate, I mean more of an impact than simply making the 1st team; start, or contribute significantly over the course of the season.

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Re: Blackburn Rovers, Season in Review- D3D4football.com

Post by Rover the Top » Tue May 15, 2018 9:37 am

WacoRover wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 6:23 pm

With the “retained list” going out today, obviously, Graham has value to the club, & should be retained. Conway has done well here, but at his age, we may have reached a point of diminishing returns.
Interesting conculsion, given they're the same age... :yeahright:

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Re: Blackburn Rovers, Season in Review- D3D4football.com

Post by theadore » Tue May 15, 2018 11:58 am

True... but I'd say probably a fair assessment of their value.

Big fan of conway... happy if he stays but don't think he will be more than a fringe player.

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Re: Blackburn Rovers, Season in Review- D3D4football.com

Post by Thorisgodpoo » Tue May 15, 2018 5:45 pm

I don't think Conway can possibly make more than a fringe player in Championship squad. If he's down in League 1 again, maybe a starter for a mid-table club. But I can't see him being competitive for a starting position above that. I also do love his work ethic and think he brings so much value to younger players.

Personally would love to see him back if he comes at the right price and realizes that he is on the down-hill of his career.

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