Predictions made as the big kick-off approaches

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Some pre-season musings for the Loft For Words website…

How was last season? 

Once more Rovers toy with our affections like a 70’s rock lothario promising his wife that he will remain faithful on his upcoming World tour. From a position where Rovers seemed perennially to be just a couple of wins away from the play-off spots, the all-too inevitable crash arrived right on time to eliminate hope in even the most optimistic Roverite. Defeat at the hands of Rangers at the beginning of February triggered a dreadful run incorporating just a single win in fifteen games. Relegation picked up its binoculars and spied a potential victim on the horizon. Relative respectability was assured only following a couple of consecutive 5-2 home wins at the tail end of a dismal season. A finishing position of 15th ultimately was flattering and disappointing in equal measure. 

Sensing from the Blackburn accounts, I follow that Mowbray is on pretty thin ice now? 

Mowbray is in the last season of his current contract. The term “current contract” is used advisedly as it is not impossible to see the current owners sanctioning an extension despite the mounting evidence. The club is stale from top to bottom, the manager is but one element of the malaise that afflicts the whole operation. He is though, of course, the most visible and his demeanour is increasingly world-weary even by his standards and the overwhelming sense is that his time was up some time ago. Whether it is the FFP challenges that prevent Mowbray’s premature dismissal and pay-off, or his close relationship with CEO Steve Waggott; the net result is a club that seems to be limping towards oblivion. 

Transfer embargo, not a lot of new arrivals, how's the summer been? How's the squad shaping up? 

The Rovers squad that ended the season has lost eleven players. At time of writing we have signed nobody; though rumours abound that Rothwell will be leaving soon and another former Middlesbrough player, Adam Reach will be incoming. It is a fact that due to a little-known Football League bye-law, Rovers must at any point, in any given season, always have at least four former Middlesbrough players on the books to make Tony feel at home. Releasing Stuart Downing has created a vacancy, Reach for the stars you might say. 

How do you see the season going? 

Bluntly… badly. The deadline is still a month away, who knows, Rovers might still bring in half a dozen superstars and storm the league; but in all probability, the first instinct next season will be to look down the table rather than up. Hard to see a finish higher than last season. Hard to see a finish comfortably clear of relegation. Hoping for 15th, expecting 18th, fearing 22nd.


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