Date: 3rd August 2007 at 1:05pm
Written by:

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been ravenously devouring pre-season reviews online, scoffing at any lowly pundit who predicts anything but Premiership glory for the Rovers come May.

But something troubling has caught my eye over the last week: it’s a consistent theme in these reviews to characterise the Rovers as a dirty team. Chief culprit: Football365.

Phillip Cornwall, who wrote the Blackburn Preview for Football365 said (just a few things) this on that Website:

A couple of years ago it was very much a case of ‘J’accuse Mark’ughes’ in this piece, after the God-awful display in the FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal set the seal on Blackburn’s reputation as the dirtiest and one of the dullest teams in the top flight.

Rovers fans were unhappy. Hughes was obviously completely unaware of my criticism, but he reacted strongly to the universal verdict of the national press on the negativity of his side.

Has much changed? Hughes has spent much of the time since claiming a )we’re not as dirty as we used to be, but b) we’re were not as dirty as you claimed, not dirty at all in fact, stop being mean.

Rovers fans have voiced similar views. Reader James Greenwood was objecting to the notion that ‘Blackburn will be able to kick their way out of trouble’ in Mailbox on Tuesday. Though he issued what observers of the late President Nixon would consider a non-denial denial: he emphasised the calibre of football played at Ewood, rather than addressing the issue of whether Blackburn try to kick their way out of trouble.

The facts are that in the Premiership only Bolton picked up more bookings than Blackburn last season and the two clubs were tied for total cards thanks to the latter’s 7-4 lead in reds. Fans have suggested this is a case of referees acting on reputation, of ‘give a dog a bad name’. In this case, Rover. But few outsiders are convinced

Nonsense, right?

Obviously we’d all spend as much time as we can watching the lads in action and as far as I can see we’re no worse, but probably no better than any other team in the league. Still, we finished bottom of the fair play league last season and some would say the figures don’t lie.

Is our reputation still suffering from the impact of Andy Todd’s elbow on Robin Van Persie’s face? Or…. is there a bit of a rough streak we’d rather not admit to?


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17 Replies to “Rovers Season Preview (From Others!)”

  • Rovers ARE NOT a dirty team (anymore) simple as!!!
    Yeah, they picked up A LOT of cards last season, but how many were GENUINELY for dirty challenges, and how many were for decent shown at some POOR decisions against us?!?!

  • Down more to reputation than anything else, some individual players get it, some teams get it. I don’t see how you are any better or any worse than the rest.

  • I thank you dude, exactly right. Reputations are OFTEN hard to get rid of aren’t they. Rovers are a phyical side, but NO WAY over physical, as they once were.

  • We are def not a dirty team, but we give away some stupid yellow cards. We recieved so many for dissent, and it all builds up

  • Can’t believe this is still going on thought we had shook that reputation wasn’t anyone watching the semi final against Chelsea last season. We should have got so much credit for that display but didn really did we, we are not dirty maybe for a while, but if it ment staying up then it is worth it. Its the press bias to London clubs and the top four. Look at when Spurs came to Ewood last season Hossom Ghaly. First game of the season too Andy Todd sent of wrongly and that was proved. Then their are the plain stupid cards we get like JR versus Spurs second from last game last season, really was no need for that. Refs, don’t like Rovers and i think Souness, might of started it whenhe mouthed off at every ref in the premiership, causing us not to get a penalty for about two whole seasons.

  • Great article. Strange that in my mind Rovers are completely the opposite.. but then the figures don’t lie. I see Rovers as playing a very hard working, did in deep, English style of football and in this day and age when players fall down at the mere sight of a challenge then maybe its understandable. Plus we do have Robbie Savage in the side..

  • Cheers lads. I’d honestly think that there’s a bit of small-club bias about it, a bit of a hangover from the FA Cup Semi against Arsenal and a squad which, up until recently, was composed of too many “hardmen”. The departures of Todd, Neill and Bellers has helped in that department but the fact is that the club and management are tarred with the same brush, which is a shame.

  • I’m REALLY glad you hunted this down theirishrover, as it WOULD have been criminal had it slipped by unnoticed, nice one.

  • Err the west ham sending off? the Spurs sending off? Sav in the team for half a season? I rest my case! We have been victims of some poor refereeing and the “naughty boy” tag with some players, a la vieria. As the article says, we are neither better or worse than the other teams in the prem and i would be surprised if we are in the same position in the fair play league next season.

    I hope everyone thinks we are a bunch of thugs cos when Sparkys Blue n White army roll into town we gonna turn so many over if they do have that attitude!

  • Good article. I have to admit that it really gets to me when people say we are the dirtiest team in the league but then i think, why should we care if we have a bit of a reputation for kicking people. If the PL was full of honest players like we have at Rovers then there would be no need to get peed off and put the boot in on them.

  • This is a top article! The stats don’t lie and it is easy to compile a view-point based solely on them. Alas, we did have a reputation, one perhaps deserved, and it has stuck. I wonder whether Phillip Cornwall did his research properly when producing his views. I would suggest he didn’t an article produced in either zoo or nuts (credible I know) towards the end of last season intimated that Rovers players along with Wanderers committed the leats fouls per booking, ie our lads are more likely to be issued a card after a couple of discrepencies opposed to the persistent fouls of other clubs. Now does that say we are dirty or suffering from an old reputation?!?!?! Wake up Mr. Cornwall and do some proper research, not the selective type!

  • The review that 365 did was very short sighted and just spouted cliches based on 2/3 years ago. Bit disappointing as that is my 2nd fav site as well…

  • roversman – Dude that is a GREAT stat that I didn’t know. If I had seen that issue of zoo or nuts I must have probably just skimmed it for the tottie LOL!

  • It’s a bit more difficult to make other uses for it when you are on the tain isn’t it dude LOL, so you HAVE to read it!!! 🙂 LOL!!! Obviously I’m only kidding, of course it is for pure reading purposes ONLY!

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