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Blackburn Rovers Blog: Experience could have been crucial
ALAN Hansen once famously said ‘you don’t win anything with kids’.
He was wrong, as Manchester United romped to the Premier League title.
But you got where he was coming from.
Now it is up to Blackburn Rovers to prove that statement wrong once more by securing Premier League survival without many of the key faces that have helped the club enjoy such a golden era.
I’m all for injecting a new youthful look into the side but there is a difference between doing that and getting rid of almost all of the senior players on the club’s books.
David Dunn, Morten Gamst Pedersen, Yakubu and Paul Robinson remain, and they have a key role in getting the youngsters through this tough period for the club.
Off the field as well as on it.
Jason Roberts, Michel Salgado and Keith Andrews may not have been everyone’s favourite players but there is no doubt their old heads would have been invaluable for what will inevitably be a tense run in.
Add to that the loss of El-Hadji Diouf, Ryan Nelsen, Chris Samba and Brett Emerton, and the club have seen an incredible amount of experience and know-how leave Ewood Park.
Rovers’ kids have come in and done brilliantly in their absence.
The likes of Grant Hanley, Jason Lowe, Steven Nzonzi and Martin Olsson have become men in recent months. Through necessity.
You get the feeling we would not be in this posiion had Rovers looked to blend experience and youth in more delicately, rather than just the wield the axe in the way they have.
Rovers have never replaced Emerton, Diouf, Andrews or even Nelsen and that is something they must look to do this summer – as long as they can win their current battle against relegation.
If someone had told me Rovers would have been ending the season without all the players I have mentioned above, I would have thought they were crazy.
I would have written the team off and said that squad would be relegated. It is to the players’ credit, the youngsters especially, that they still stand a great chance of getting out of it during the current campaign.
The question now is how will they deal with the pressure that will crank up a few notches as the season draws to an end?
I know I would feel a lot more comfortable with a bit more experience and I’m sure a few of the younger lads would to.