Date: 11th November 2010 at 12:07am
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Well who can honestly say they saw that coming?

Everything heading into tonight’s game indicated a routine Newcastle victory. Rovers heading in were borderline awful on the road and Newcastle were fresh off a cracking win at the Emirates at the weekend and lying fifth in the table.

But watching the opening moments of the game you would have been forgiven for wondering who was who? Had the teams swapped shirts prior to kick off as opposed to after the final whistle?

For all the flak he gets, it must be made clear that for all his faults, Big Sam Allardyce got the trip to Newcastle absolutely BANG on.

Rovers lined up in an unfamiliar 3-5-1-1 formation with Samba, Nelsen and Givet operating as a back three and Chimbonda and Givet doing the wing backs roles. If the line up didn’t look confidence instilling it was only due to the sheer number of defenders in the line up.

The midfield three of Jones, Pedersen and Emerton were employed to cut off the supply line to in form Andy Carroll and to combat the dynamic midfield of Newcastle, primarily Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton. The attacking intent was to counter attack.

In the first half, Rovers played more or less the perfect away game (god it has been a while since we have said that) and came at Newcastle with purpose and took an early lead through Morten Gamst Pedersen.

Newcastle new boy Tiote faffed around like nobodies business in his own area with the ball, was robbed by Aussie convict Brett Emerton and MGP lashed a great effort into the far corner.

The rest of the first half was played out in relative comfort by Blackburn as they contained Newcastle well, were very disciplined and stayed strong. It was only in the second half where the sucker punch would strike.

Only minutes after I spoke to VBer Rover23 to comment on how well it was going, the jinx struck and didn’t I hear about it. Slack marking and a severe lapse in concentration gifted Andy Carroll a leveller and Chris Samba, who was otherwise excellent, was the chief culprit.

It was a big blow for the Blue and White Army, who have got a bit of a reputation this season for throwing points away. Lightning striking again? Enter Jason Roberts, a man on a mission.

Whatever has fired up J-Rob as much as this, whoever it is, just keep doing it. Roberts was a raging bull of a player and wreaked havoc in the Geordie defence by doing what he does best… using his strength to his advantage.

Roberts is massively out to prove a point, his lack of goal celebration proves that much, but that point is driving to play as well for Rovers as he has ever done.

His rampage for the goal and his sheer determination created an opening and his finish was very ‘un-Roberts’ like. He deserved the winner for his endeavour since replacing Kalinic early in the second half. I would even go as far to say that a Jason Roberts playing like he has done in the last two games would never have seen him up for sale. He would be a dead cert for a starting berth.

Rovers were full value for the win in the end, they normally don’t travel well but St James’ Park again proved to be a happy hunting ground for the Ewood boys.

Sadly the main talking point won’t be Roberts or Blackburns fully deserved victory but again the childish behaviour of one Joey Barton who will surely be punished by the FA after his thuggish punch to the stomach of Morten Pedersen in the second half after Junior Hoilett’s rubbish dive.

Barton retaliated to Morten brushing shoulders with him by fisting the Norwegian in the stomach… to make matters worse he then proceeded to lie about his actions five minutes later.

Good night sweet prince, enjoy your 0 points.

Player Ratings

Robbo – 7
Another faultless display from England best goalkeeper.

I think you have his mobile number Fabio.

Michel Salgado – 8

Man of the Match.

Ryan Nelsen – 6
Steady as she goes for the New Zealander.

Actually benefited from being in a 3 man defence.

Chris Samba – 7
Apart from the Carroll goal which he was at fault for had a commanding game.

The battle with the Newcastle hitman was an absolute ding dong of a fight which was just about won by our guy.

Gael Givet – 6
Did nothing especially stand out but was a willing worker and kept it simple at the back.

Mr six out of ten.

Pascal Chimbonda – 7
Restored to the starting line up and provided no reason for him not to be considered again.

Genuine width was offered when needed and looks cultured on the ball. Could do with being a bit more rigid at times but only a minor criticism.

Morten Pedersen – 7
Great goal and set piece delivery was a constant source of problems for those wearing Black and White stripes.

Enjoyed a moral victory over Joey ‘Haymaker’ Barton.

Phil Jones – 7
Another disciplined, dominant and forceful display from the lad of the moment.

Offered little going forward but was a beast in front of the defence.

Brett Emerton – 6
Did his job. Tried to get forward when he could but at times struggled to make a serious impact.

Storming work rate and held things together in midfield at times.

Junior Hoilett – 7
Could be a cracking prospect if the end product matched the industry and pace he can display.

Reminds me of a young Shaun Wright Phillips. Which is a good and a bad thing.

Niko Kalinic – 6
Hard work for the Croatian but there were glimpses of confidence restored after a few weeks off to recharge the batteries.

No real chances to score but a good bit of link play with Hoilett was promising.

David Dunn – 5
Bought on to shore things up and to do his usual and was functional.

Ten minute cameo.

Jason Roberts – 7
Annoyed as hell at Sam Allardyce and is using that to show him he means business.

This Jason Roberts is only a boon for Blackburn Rovers. Has scored the decisive goals in 2-1 victories twice in four days.

Sam Allardyce
Round of applause for you Big Sam.

Spot on.

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18 Replies to “Rovers stun in form Magpies”

  • great report… what a difference a week has made. Good points against wigan and now this against Newcastle. Still think we should hold onto J-Rob- he was our best striker last year and he is still delivering. Also loving his goal celebrations *extends middle finger to BSA*

  • Excellent performance and result. This formation could be very potent with Olsson instead of chimbonda. Only complaints are with that thug Barton staying on the field. Plus the ref wasn’t great and juniors dive was a bit stupid although he did little else wrong

  • Great result and the table looking alot more rosey, Can understand Roberts frustration but he is paid to give his all for the team and the second goal he has scored in a few days and the second time he has decided not to celebrate which not only sticks two fingers up to sam but his team mates and the travelling fans that paid good money to go to Newcastle tonight. I’,m pleased he is scoring but there is NO I in team and if he had been delivering the goods regurally in a rovers shirt since he joined then he would not have been frozen out, These two winners is not more than he owes us fans after a cataloge of bad misses in his time at rovers

  • i am guessing roberts was angry he didn’t get the start…honestly, i always think roberts plays better off the bench. i’ve always supported him until the chelsea match, but it’s quite stunning how he responded the last two games. it’ll be interesting to hear his side of the story…

  • Great first half!! Second half not as good but hey we got the win. Bartons punch on Morten was absolutely disgusting! Nice to see Jrob bag another one. Wish his team spirit was better. I’m sure he and Samba had choice words in the change room after he gave him a couple of shoves after his yellow card!!! Be a good blue to see that one!! Samba V Roberts lol

  • Good well fought 3points and sure JR isnt happy but if he scores goals like lastnights then i dont ever wanna see him smile again lol, Nice to see Gamst scoring yet again. 1st half we played gr8 attacking football and kept Nufc on the back foot, 2nd half not so good but we held on and bagged another winner. November is lookin to be a good month for Rovers. Out of the relegation zone and into 13Th place, another 3 points and we could be in 5th lol (Albeit if everyone above us loses)

  • Great report and great result. Really will give us confidence going to spurs, which will be even harder. Got to say I thought Nelly was more than a 6 and my Motm was Pedersen though, however it was a great team performance and hard to pick just one Motm! You can see the confidence in him. His finish was decisive and his game was full of those little tricks and touches to create space for himself and others. His delivery was more like we expect from him as well. Also think that Junior was an 8, although the dive might go against him. He terroroised Danny Simpson showed bundles of pace, got past him man on numerous occasions and looked sharp.

  • Jason Roberts should show a bit more respect to his manager, his team mates and those loyal Rovers supporters at St James’ who were awesome last night. Whatever gripe he has should be played out in Big Sam’s office and not on the field of play. Congratulations Jason, you’ve played a great part in two excellent wins…….now grow up and act your age. Well done to the lads and a special well done to MGP for his fantastic performance and his calmness in reacting to Barton’s punch. That thug needs to be hounded out of football for good.

  • I hear the Rovers crowd were very good? I must say that whenever I have been in attendance recently the fans have been excellent…

  • There appears to be a new positivity and a will to sing throughout the game. The Darwen End Singing Section are to be thanked for their wonderful support at home as well as the effect it’s having at away games . “Supporters not spectators”

    No moaning allowed in the Darwen End. Leave it until after the match in the pub.

    Jason…..take note!!!!

  • i don’t think jrob was moaning nor being disrespectful. he simply played hard and scored a goal.he was trying to prove a point with his celebration, and it’s understandable given the situation. i am more concerned that he is not happy at the moment.

  • Great result!! Not seen the highlights yet but heard we played decent. Well done JR keep scoring and make us all eat our words lol

  • Rabit, Newcastles in form player is Andy Carroll. He is a big lad and you lot play to his strengths. You are also a long ball team, not as good as us but no shame in that.

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