OLDER readers will recall the last minute robbery at Old Trafford on Boxing Day 1993.

Those not out carousing later that evening may also recall the Christmas special of a much-loved sitcom featuring a cameo from the peerless Peter Cook, entitled ‘One Foot In The Algarve’.


Well, I think we saw some Rovers players ‘performing’ a live re-make on Saturday.

The whiff of Ambre Solaire stung the nostrils and it was fortunate that the ball-drying towels weren't strewn about as one or two players may have seized one, commandeered one of those canoe-stretchers and taken their ease.

And there were no shortage of auditionees for the role of Victor Meldrew among the 13,000 Rovers fans.

Although Rovers season has flat-lined there is no excuse for phoning in a performance. As professional sportsmen, who lately have under-achieved, the players owed us a gutsy performance. Instead we got a ‘dull’ 3-3 draw, outfought and outplayed.

Lately I have been accused of not being a 'true Rovers fan' as I have excused players who are less than Tugay-esque or Shearer-like, but work hard to compensate.

Leaving aside the irony that I am dubbed less of a fan for supporting players who ‘do a shift’ – since the default setting for Rovers fans is ‘glass half-embedded in own wrist’ this accusation could be accurate – the Forest game saw few players worth defending. Nor good at it.

The reasoning behind playing Tommy Spurr not only out of position but on the wrong side may have been laudable (better to have one player in his preferred position of left centre-half and one far out of positon than both centre-halves being uncomfortable) if both didn't look as stable as Katie Hopkins.

The sheer lack of cover for the full-backs was astonishing. Both required the Boy Scouts to come and unknot them every ten minutes and while Craig Conway can be somewhat excused since his attacking play was excellent, Adam Henley must wish he had put grit in Ben Marshall’s Ambre-Solaire.

Saturday pointed to Bowyer draping an arm around Gestede and telling him that a few big performances would put a couple of million on his price tag and secure a move away.

Because, in the words of Mr Meldrew, Rudy still in a blue and white shirt in August? I don’t believe it.