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Blackburn Rovers blog: This diamond didn’t sparkle
Someone told me that Prince Albert of Monaco was a celebrity guest at the Rovers game against Newcastle.
Although I suspect he was simply having a change from Formula 1, what a marquee signing he would be for our new owners if they could sign him up as chairman?
Mind you, he didn’t pick a very good game to sample the delights of the Premier League. A 0-0 draw was more than we deserved, and if Newcastle could have called on a decent centre forward (with all due respect to Shefki Kuqi) they surely would have gone home with all three points.
It didn’t help that our own best hope of a goal, Roque, once again succumbed to injury.
The shape of our team was just not right and having Jermaine Jones and a below-par Steven Nzonzi in a supposed midfield diamond for me was never likely to make us creative.
Their midfield ran the show for the most part and though I hate to admit it, in Joey Barton and Cheik Tiote were head and shoulders above our lads.
A good midfield is all about balance and it’s only fair to allow Steve Kean time to try to find the right combination.
Two essentially holding midfielders together with a fading and not fully fit David Dunn was never likely to produce.
If he’s fit we might see if new signing Mauro Formica can give us that spark of creativity that we are lacking.
It’s easy to criticise our strikers but they were feeding off scraps, and no shots on target in a home game is a clear sign that there needs to be a rethink both in terms of personnel and tactics.
It was clear to anyone with any football brain that Michel Salgado was terribly exposed down our right wing and surely it would have been sensible to get Brett Emerton on earlier to try to deal with that threat.
Indeed, much as I like Salgado, it may be time to give him a rest occasionally and use Emerton as right back, which many see as his best position.
Well that’s enough of me playing Premier League manager, but with a two-week break to our next two tricky away games against Villa (we do better against them in the league than the cup) and then Fulham, it gives our manager time to ponder his options.
Our next home game is a full month away against Blackpool. Depending on how we do in our away forays that could be an absolute must win game for both sides.
Let’s hope we can pick up at least some points before then to render it less of a srain on the old nerves.