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Man City 3 - 1 Blackburn

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The Allardyce Way is a step back in time

 

WATCHING Blackburn can be as attractive as a day trip to a Mexican pig farm.

Five seconds on the clock and El-Hadji Diouf passes to Stephen Warnock at left-back and he unleashes a 60-yard diagonal ball towards the 6ft 4in frame of Christopher Samba.

 

With one move, a century of tactical variations are deconstructed and all sense of joy from watching football drains from your soul. Welcome to the Sam Allardyce Way.

 

Forty-five minutes later, the Blackburn players were heading for the tunnel heads bowed, with a 3-0 deficit, asking themselves 'Where has this gone wrong?'.

 

Robinho, Elano and, most reassuringly, the home-grown Stephen Ireland had restored the lost faith of that opening Blackburn salvo.

 

They resisted it and punished it, not only for the sake of their own fans but for the neutrals who want the Stone Age brand of football brutalised out of existence.

 

You wonder what Blackburn's players think when they hear their weekly game plan. Are they overwhelmed by a sense of admiration for such a well- considered ploy as aiming high balls for the big defender up front?

 

Or are they simply compelled to follow orders due to their perilous position, while privately cursing how they've found themselves playing such an unimaginative game?

 

In Stephen Warnock, Tugay, Benni McCarthy and Ryan Nelsen, Rovers have players who possess the class to do so much better. Tugay's show of dissent when he was subbed on 64 minutes hinted all is not well in the Blackburn camp.

 

"Ugly, but effective," Allardyce's supporters will say. Not this time. Just ugly.

 

Despite this hammering, Blackburn will survive and deserve congratulations for doing so given the mess they were in at Christmas.

 

They probably do not need to win another game as the five teams below them in the league are so bad and the end undoubtedly justifies the means, for now.

 

But avoiding relegation because there are three abysmal teams considerably worse than yours is as hollow as it gets.

 

The survival drum can be beaten by Allardyce with justification but the substance-over-style argument will wear thin for the Blackburn faithful the longer they endure it.

 

If Big Sam's history with Bolton is anything to go by, the notion this is just a necessary-but-brief evil to avoid the drop should be treated with caution.

 

There is little to suggest any side of his will ever play differently and he would probably rage against the suggestion there is anything wrong with his approach anyway.

 

He claimed his side played well for all but two corners here, yet the only save Shay Given made was from Diouf's penalty.

 

Even his directors will tolerate his myth that the percentage game is worthwhile since he has kept his side of the bargain by getting the club out of the bottom three.

 

But if they are confronted with more of the same next August, they will surely be asking themselves why they bother going to matches. It certainly cannot be to enjoy themselves.

 

Some of us think football should be played with the feet, not on a calculator by those who worship at the altar of Prozone statistics and the relentless pursuit of the 'second ball'. The fans who endured this defeat could at least keep their sense of humour.

 

Sub Carlos Villanueva had Rovers' first shot an hour into the game. The fans greeted his deflected free-kick with the same enthusiasm as their Premier League title of 1995.

 

Only when the Samba-as-a-striker experiment was abandoned did Rovers grab their consolation, although that was courtesy of a generous penalty decision.

 

Given saved after Nedum Onuoha tripped Morten Gamst Pedersen but sub Keith Andrews knocked in the rebound.

 

Rovers had long been punished for their self-inflicted errors as their former boss Mark Hughes continued his bid to prove he is the man to take City to greater heights than the Europa League next season.

 

There was a jazz band playing near the Eastlands' main reception but it was the Samba beat in full volume on the pitch.

 

They always have the best music at City. A plethora of modern indie classics from the superior Manchester music scene builds the atmosphere.

 

No ground in the land whips you into more of a frenzy of anticipation.

 

You could close your eyes and listen to the sounds all day, which for recent generations has not been such a bad idea given the quality of football.

 

For too long, the music has died when the players take to the field, leaving you yearning for the PA to come back on.

 

Boss Sparky is bidding to be the first manager in decades to change the record.

 

You certainly get entertained by City nowadays.

 

His side did not have to be at their best but their attacking midfield trio hit all the right notes in a dominant first half.

 

Felipe Caicedo punished woeful defending by Andre Ooijer to nudge home the first on 27 minutes.

 

Then seven minutes later, Robinho provided a reminder that a single moment of genuine class lives in the memory longer than 89 minutes of alehouse football by an opponent.

 

In first-half injury time Ireland's clever back-heel forced Ooijer to handle, allowing the outstanding Elano to secure the points from the penalty spot.

 

City's form suggests the end of the season has come at the wrong time and their supporters could not contain their glee at the expense of a manager once linked with their hotseat.

 

"We've got Robinho, you've got Sam Allardyce," they sang, triumphantly.

 

They were not alone in being thankful for the gulf in style.

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gormless lazy reporter, 50/50 with these journos whether then exceptionally spuds biased or newcastle biased.........no fit strikers means one way of playing..................home games to wba and pompey the only ones to give a monkeys about..........small town team winding some random hill billy journo up even as the losing team is great what a fucking tool he gives a shit more than rovers fans do fuckwit journos have greater expectations for us than the fans do,

 

good luck to fernando and stevey tomorrow by the way..........5 or 6 would be very nice, see how its reported as brave unlucky geordies in mondays exceptionally biased rags

 

draw with boro next week and bobs your uncle fannys your aunt tour down, just like that magic

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gormless lazy reporter, 50/50 with these journos whether then exceptionally spuds biased or newcastle biased.........no fit strikers means one way of playing..................home games to wba and pompey the only ones to give a monkeys about..........small town team winding some random hill billy journo up even as the losing team is great what a fucking tool he gives a shit more than rovers fans do fuckwit journos have greater expectations for us than the fans do,

 

good luck to fernando and stevey tomorrow by the way..........5 or 6 would be very nice, see how its reported as brave unlucky geordies in mondays exceptionally biased rags

 

draw with boro next week and bobs your uncle fannys your aunt tour down, just like that magic

 

I dont know how you dare call that journalist gormless, then post that heap of incoherent nonsense.

 

;)

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It's the Sam Allardyce school of internet posting, it's not pretty and it's not effective, but by goly it looks good on the prozone stat sheet. plenty of effort, a few crunching phrases, no guile wit or skill... Bitterness and ignorance too, it's a Fat Sam Grand Slam.

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gormless lazy reporter, 50/50 with these journos whether then exceptionally spuds biased or newcastle biased.........no fit strikers means one way of playing..................home games to wba and pompey the only ones to give a monkeys about..........small town team winding some random hill billy journo up even as the losing team is great what a fucking tool he gives a shit more than rovers fans do fuckwit journos have greater expectations for us than the fans do,

 

good luck to fernando and stevey tomorrow by the way..........5 or 6 would be very nice, see how its reported as brave unlucky geordies in mondays exceptionally biased rags

 

draw with boro next week and bobs your uncle fannys your aunt tour down, just like that magic

 

 

Really ? this is exactly our argument about Allardyce from the start, jeesh, some folk are the first to recognise but the last to admit, you'll come around sooner rather than later after watching Neanderthal hoofball.

 

Put some Pro-zone on it.

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Guest alex
gormless lazy reporter, 50/50 with these journos whether then exceptionally spuds biased or newcastle biased.........no fit strikers means one way of playing..................home games to wba and pompey the only ones to give a monkeys about..........small town team winding some random hill billy journo up even as the losing team is great what a fucking tool he gives a shit more than rovers fans do fuckwit journos have greater expectations for us than the fans do,

 

good luck to fernando and stevey tomorrow by the way..........5 or 6 would be very nice, see how its reported as brave unlucky geordies in mondays exceptionally biased rags

 

draw with boro next week and bobs your uncle fannys your aunt tour down, just like that magic

Are you just on here to cheer us up btw? What a spacka ;)

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I honestly would rather get relegated under Shearer than stay up with that foo'.

 

Fucking hell ;)

 

I don't like Allardyce's approach, it's not how I want to see football played. I don't like his over-complication behind the scenes and I don't like the way he sets out his teams to "play". I don't enjoy his post match interviews. You listen to Robson, Keegan or Shearer after a match (and there are many others in the game who have nothing to do with Newcastle) and you hang on their every word. You feel that they are doing things the way you would if you were able to. Allardyce may appeal to some people and good luck to them but I can't bear the way he sees the game.

 

 

I want to see a side giving it everything and playing attractive football. Of course not every game can be like that but Allardyce appears to put no value on entertainment whatsover. Again, some people are happy to stay in the league and be hard to beat. I personally don't get off on that at all. 11 grafters hoofing the ball in the air for an hour and a half? No thanks.

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I'm not saying he's a worse manager than Kinnear and Houghton. :) He's evidently a competent manager in a lot of ways. I just prefer a different approach and I desperately hope Shearer stays and builds a pacy, attacking side that can defend but doesn't only hope to win by hoofing. I realise that's what we all want btw. ;)

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Guest alex
SA had more or less the same shit we have now to work with.

He bought a lot of it though.

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Yeah, we were shit Saturday. Good thing I was at the laundrette and not watching Soccer Saturday. Sam's tactics are sometimes too...................stodgy and defensive to be polite. He played a defensive 4-5-1 against Stoke with a midfield of Andrews and Mokoena for example. Warnock has been playing quite well in midfield, but he is no Hoddle. The result was no invention or class of any kind in midfield. If only we could somehow get Tugay to age in reverse then we'd be sorted. Anyhow, the football has not been too bad, the Wigan game was good for example, but we have the odd crappy game such as Stoke and Man City. It also doesn't help when your best striker is injured, your second best striker is a lazy sod who is only occaisionally interested, and your best central defender has to be used up front as the other strikers are injured.

 

I hope the Barton rumours are rubbish, and he can find someone to finally replace Tugay, the oldest outfiled player, if not the oldest player in the Premiership.

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Yeah, we were shit Saturday. Good thing I was at the laundrette and not watching Soccer Saturday. Sam's tactics are sometimes too...................stodgy and defensive to be polite. He played a defensive 4-5-1 against Stoke with a midfield of Andrews and Mokoena for example. Warnock has been playing quite well in midfield, but he is no Hoddle. The result was no invention or class of any kind in midfield. If only we could somehow get Tugay to age in reverse then we'd be sorted. Anyhow, the football has not been too bad, the Wigan game was good for example, but we have the odd crappy game such as Stoke and Man City. It also doesn't help when your best striker is injured, your second best striker is a lazy sod who is only occaisionally interested, and your best central defender has to be used up front as the other strikers are injured.

 

I hope the Barton rumours are rubbish, and he can find someone to finally replace Tugay, the oldest outfiled player, if not the oldest player in the Premiership.

 

This says it all.

 

It starts with defensive formations against the big guns, then it's the mid table clubs, then the likes of Stoke, soon every game will be the stage for hours of joyless defensive clogging shit football.

 

Trust us.

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I'll judge him when we are around this time next season. Ince left us in so much shit we would be making West Brom look good if he stayed. And the arrogant tosser still refuses to aknowledge that he and his coaching team were not up to the task, whilst his tame media friends such as Oliver Holt claim he was not given enough time because the Rovers board are all racist. I'm hoping Sam can work wonders with our budget in the summer which is likely to be £4.50 and whatever John Williams can raise at car boot sales.

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don't trust Fat Head in the transfer market mate.. look what he's left us with.

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He did drop a bollock over there. He was OK at Bolton though. I think he is one of those managers that operate best when his club has no money. And we have no money at all. Blackburn have no debt worth mentioning though. I think with all the hype, money and expectation Newcastle brings, Sam just lost it. Same with Souness and Mark Hughes, and Hodgson, although he sadly was at Blackburn when he went mad and wasted loads of cash.

 

Actually, you guys should go for Hughes next season if Shearer does leave. The football may be a bit Allardyce-esque at times, but he will organise the team and sort out the crap without chinning anyone. He'll be out of the council house in the summer.

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Allerdyce maybe can replicated (or even surpass) his success at Bolton elsewhere, given time. The issue is whether the club in question can survive the change into a Bolton Mk2 (and I think this is all he will ever do wherever he goes).

 

Certainly NUFC's squad struggled with his "vision" and he left the squad as a bit of a Frankenstein's monster (not entirely his fault admittedly).

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