A season of buts, almosts and should haves.
Starting off in June with Owen Coyle’s appointment earlier that month there was well…mixed reaction to the appointment. Fans were very fast to point out the obvious connections with Burnley and his record with previous club, Houston Dynamo. Others also looked at his experience in the championship a factor that had obviously been a big decider in his appointment in the first place. Myself I was indifferent, I couldn’t see a reason to hate him other than his Burnley connection but he was our manager now so you have to support him as long as you could.
With the transfer window open fan optimism grew (As it always does) at the prospect of players coming and going. However it was the word loan that would be repeated round Ewood with Blackburn bring in an eventual total of 5 loans in the summer and 2/3 in January. Blackburn fans however knew what we wanted, with the very real prospect of both our centre halves leaving (Which they eventually did) and the continued cry of “please for god sake bring in some decent wing backs!” Coyle didn’t disappoint in the defensive area of the field bringing in 5 defenders in the shape of: Tommy Hoban, Stephan Hendrie, Wes Brown, Derrick Williams and our lord and saviour Charlie Mulgrew. Yes I know, I forgot Hendrie was here as well, as well as Bryne who really never got a chance. Next up was the midfield which was well… completely forgotten about… the area of the field where attacks are built was left completely unaltered, leaving us with 4 defensive midfielders in Akpan, Evans, Lenihan and Guthrie plus occasionally Lowe and Mulgrew. Not the most attacking midfield I’m sure you’ll agree. Attacking wise we did pretty well, Gallagher, Emnes, Stokes and Graham all showing good attacking qualities and promising signs.
However fears of players leaving were confirmed as both Duffy and Hanley our two best centre halves left for Brighton and Newcastle respectively, Duffy having the greater success by simultaneously screwing us over and joining a team who are premier league bound, whereas for Hanley’s 7 appearances and generally angry Newcastle fans would suggest much less success. The exodus wasn’t quite finished though as those two would be joined by 7 others who all left on frees and Ben Marshall in in January.
Having received fees of over 10 million for the 3 players, usually this would open the opportunity for reinvestment, you’d think. But after spending only 250k on a single player the Venkys showed again their unwillingness to spend and there lack of football knowledge.
Moving on to the first games of the year and for the second year running Blackburn really set the tone for the season by not winning a game until the 8th game of the season, this run included a 3 – 0 loss to Wigan and 2 – 2 draw with Burton. And on a side note here, when you look through some of the results through the season you can tell why we are where we are, we have not been unlucky, results haven’t gone against us we have just been awful! From the start of October to the New Year we won 2 games! 2! In three months. It baffles me that we aren’t already relegated. The only redemption of those few months where doubles against Newcastle and Derby. Somehow.
Our best run of the season came the following 7 games after Coyle’s departure and Mowbray’s arrival as we went on a run that would see us climb out of relegation after a string of good results only to be dragged back in over the first 7 days of April.
Blackburn have drawn the second most amount of games in the championship this year, and as a result teams who have lost more games than us are above us. This season we have been the ‘close but no cigar’ team having lost 12 points from goals having been scored in the last 5 minutes of games. We almost won so many, almost against united, almost against Preston, almost against a 10 man Norwich and almost against Huddersfield. There have just been too many almost’s this season along with too many ‘should haves’ Emnes should have had two goals allowed that weren’t, we should have had so many decisions go our way. And with luck like this what hope can you have.
If you’re reading this in May and we have or haven’t been relegated then I urge you to look back at our results this season, see how many times you have to say almost or should have, I can’t bring myself to go down to Brentford because I’m scared, the worst possible scenario is that this goes right down to the last day of the season because we luck like ours you just know that every other team will get a result and you know that we will almost get ours. Over the past few years this luck has been prominent remember when we finished 1 point off the play offs? We almost made it. This year I really don’t want to have to say that line again because if I do then I might see you at Accrington away next season. See you next time. COYB! RTID!
Thanks for reading!