POST MATCH RAMBLE: Blackburn -v- Wednesday

POST MATCH RAMBLE: Blackburn -v- Wednesday

Strange old feeling going into this game…the thoughts of the last home game against Bournemouth were still horribly fresh in the memory, the performance more than the result so any fan thinking about not making the trip over the Pennines could be easily forgiven…

However…Boxing Day always carries its own special piece of magic for Wednesday fans and if any fixture can blow away bad memories of a poor Wednesday performance then the day after Christmas is that fixture…regardless of the opposition.

All morning Wednesday fans had been tweeting about our own holy day, the Boxing Day Massacre and Facebook and Twitter were awash with messages wishing fellow fans a Happy BDM day….there were videos of the match, excited chatter and messages relaying our own personal favourite moments and everyone as usual was keen to be a part of it…it’s our own little festive miracle and it always works it’s magic…it’s just the sort of thing to get ya going and before ya know it ya mood is lifted and ya ready to take on the world again….

BDM Team

On this day…

Even though it’s on the wrong side of the Pennines I still like going to Blackburn…I like the area, the ground, all of it, the working-classness of the whole place always appeals to me and the Young Un and though some fans may moan about the place me and the Young Un aren’t amongst em…

So with our footy mojo having taken a good recharge we looked forward to the shortish drive…

An hour is neither here nor there these days and before ya knew it we were pulling off the motorway and turning into the car park…

…and then swiftly back out as we were told it was full…

OK then, we’ll have to stump up the tenner for the car park at the ground…I hate to do it as it’s a bit much but we turn in and approach the closed gates…

…only to be told it’s full…there’s no room…

Mary and Joseph

No room at the Inn

Hang on, I think I remember this tale….any room round the back mate? I ask…he looks puzzled…it’s like a Christmas joke and that…ya know…no room…he’s still looking puzzled…but he did give us directions to the next one…

…just round the corner…this time, just like proper Christmas, there was room at the inn…it wasn’t much, it wasn’t all posh with tarmac and what have ya but it was only a fiver! Result!

We parked up then had to leg it pretty sharpish as we’d been held up in traffic and it was looking as though we would miss kick off…which we did but not by much to be fair…
Badge Owl POST
THE MATCH

There’s no need to go overboard with this match report, even given my penchant for going overboard…it wasn’t the greatest game ever, though I suppose it’s also fair to say I’ve seen much worse 0-0 draws.

I admit it….my general footy mojo may have been on the mend but my ‘always expecting a win regardless of the opposition mojo’ was severely dented and I was half expecting a pasting today, certainly if we played with the same lack of spirit we had against Bournemouth then that was the only possible outcome…after all this is the same Blackburn side that had possibly the best natural striker in the division in Jordan Rhodes and two former Wednesday players and fan favourites Tommy Spurr and Ben Marshall….both still viewed with great affection and not forgetting of course in DJ Campbell they have a player that could guarantee a result …though not necessarily the right result. I’m not sure how his guarantees worked when he wasn’t playing, which he obviously wasn’t today.

All through their squad Blackburn, on paper at least, have a side easily capable of contesting at the right end of the Championship and I wasn’t alone in half expecting a drubbing today.

It didn’t happen though and instead of a team performance like that in the last home game we got one more akin to the Watford game at Vicarage Road…a performance of grit, determination, togetherness, and good old fashioned hard work…and had we seen this against Bournemouth there is no way we’d have lost that game…

A poor man's Gerald Sibon? Atdhe Nuhiu is proving to be something of an enigma

Hard working and unlucky not to score

Now let’s not get giddy here…we might not have won that game either because as is the norm with this Wednesday side, whether we play well, poor or indifferent the common denominator is that without Connor Wickham or Matty Fryatt we rarely look like scoring and for all that great team spirit and battling togetherness we never seem to have enough spark in the final third to make the opposition worry or excite the Wednesday fans…

HANG ON…

That’s not strictly true…the admirable work horse that is Atdhe Nuhiu did force the Rovers keeper into two stunning saves, one of them a fingertip effort over the bar but other than that the home keeper had a quiet day…he wasn’t alone though and Kirkland (recalled back to the side) could easily have put a lieu day in himself as our defence worked hard and well as a unit in keeping out the wonderful threat of Jordan Rhodes.

Rhodes had chances too but on the few occasions our valiant defence was breached for one reason or another he couldn’t direct his shots on target.

There is loads to like about Nuhiu, and once again up front on his own he didn’t stop…right up to being subbed five minutes from the end when he was absolutely spent and almost dead on his feet he was still plugging on gamely. I don’t think it’s in his armoury to be honest to stop working and down tools but he really needs more help up front. He’s a reasonable player, I’m convinced of that, to add to his good workrate, but he can’t do it all on his own, even if he believes he can and with the right strike partner alongside him we could see a decent player for Wednesday one day…or more likely for another team in the Championship.

I don’t know what the difference was that made this team performance so much better than the last one but at the back it was obvious…Glenn Loovens.

They say one player can’t make that much difference but for this battered Wednesday side we’ve looked every week to a talismanic player…whether it’s Wickham or Fryatt up front or now Loovens at the back, we need someone to hang our hat on.

Back in the side instead of Llera and the difference was incredible…he brings about a great response from Reda at left back too who now looks competent at least and the whole defensive set up has a nerveless, almost relaxed feel about it…OK…that may be going a little too far but it’s a far cry from that much maligned last game.

Loovens may not be the quickest in the world but he reads the game so well and rarely gets flustered, any mistakes are usually recovered easily and Rovers got very short change from him throughout the game and that transfers all the way along the back four

Gloovens

Gloovens

Of the 4 games that Loovens has started we’ve lost only one and conceded only 2  goals, both of those against highfliers and free scoring teams….he brings a stability and calmness…more than that he brings a feeling trust and reliability…long may it continue and if we can secure him on any sort of contract at least to the end of the season it must be high on our list of priorities

He is the Gloovens holding together our defence and one man CAN make a big difference.

The midfield looked livelier too as we played the ball from defence more often instead of aimleslsy lumping it forward with McPhail putting in one of his better performances, like his team mates with a high workrate and despite the odd mistake now and again we matched Rovers in the middle of the park for most of the game…OK, OK, every now and again they did show a little bit of quality in there over and above what we had but they did nothing with it and our defence coped admirably with anything they could produce.

At the end of each half there were different feelings for the Wednesday fans…and more than likely echoed by the Rovers fans too…most of us were left feeling we coulda/shoulda/oughta have done better with the chances and possession we had in the first half but by the end of the second we were all getting edgy and relieved when the whistle finally went. In those closing minutes of the game both teams had a bit of a go to snatch the 3 points but despite huffing and puffing they both flattered to deceive and the result draw was fair.

Despite some really off comments from our fans throughout the game and even moreso after the game  about various players and how we played as a team this was an easily deserved point…

I can understand the frustrations of fans in fact it was more than frustration after the last game, it was downright anger but this was a pretty good performance overall and not only a much deserved and valuable point but a confidence boosting clean sheet as well, the second of the season.

Surely that performance and that result was more than any of us expected when we set off for this game?

I’ll take that every day of the week thank you and move on to the next game with a little more purpose and more than that…a little bit of belief too.

Come on then Charlton…let’s be havin’ ya.
Badge Owl POST
Cheers
Steve:Beastie
Owls Alive
E-Mail: Admin@Owlsalive.com
Twitter: @owlsalive or @beastie_


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