Date: 26th November 2008 at 12:36pm
Written by:

All I read everywhere, in the papers and media is negative press. ‘Ince Out’ and ‘What a load of rubbish’ is all I hear and frankly that isn’t going to help anyone.

Paul Ince has been appointed as manager of Blackburn Rovers because he is a good manager with potential to be up there with the best.

I for one am stepping out of the breach to back him. He deserves a chance to put things right, injuries have been terrible to him and literally since he came through the door he has no end of nonsense written about the team and his impact on it.

Stephen Warnock hands in transfers request and Dressing room mutiny are two of the most stupid things I have ever read. Both were totally false but still put a cloud over Ewood. The people that wrote those stories should be sacked and exposed for the liars they are – they won’t but I can dream.

Ince needs to address matters on the pitch, this is the main concern as there a few errors he has made, not fatal ones by any means but with a few tweaks the confidence and the ruthless streak we used to have can be regained.

This is what I do.

Use Olsson sparingly. By all means use Martin Olsson as a left back, however pick the type of opponent he plays against. Martin has been shown to struggle against pacey wingers such as Lennon and Ronaldo. For opponents such as these, use Stephen Warnock, Warnock has played both os these players before and has the experience and technique to deal with them. Martin can then be eased into Premiership life against more cultured wingers, they are there. Players such as Mikel Arteta are great wingers but don;t have the pace to cause Olsson trouble.

Stop playing players out of position when its not needed. I am all up for playing the odd player out of position if we are short but sometimes Ince has done this far too much. Against Sunderland we had Andrews on right wing, Ooijer at left back and Warnock in central midfield. Whilst all three are good players when you play that many players out of position the team’s balance suffers.

Keith Treacy is a good left back so play him there if we are short, he is naturally left footed and can defend well. This can allow Warnock to justifiably be left in central midfield as he IS doing a good job there and his original position is covered correctly. On right wing if the excellent Brett Emerton is injured then play someone who is suited to that position and has been trained to play there. There is no harm in using someone like Andy Howarth there – Keith Andrews is a better player than Andy Howarth but he is not a better right winger than him, if that makes sense.

Play Matt Derbyshire up front. He can make an average right winger but he is undoubtedly best at doing what we need most – scoring goals. Playing Roque Santa Cruz up front when he is half fit is not the right idea and doesn’t help anyone. Benni McCarthy has looked like a man reborn over the last few weeks and him up front with Derbyshire will bring goals.

We miss someone up top who chases everything down ala Paul Dickov, Matty does this and more importantly, his scoring record is very good. If sharp attacking play with committed playes isn’t going to win the doubters over then nothing will.

Stop overrelying on playing long ball at home. We have always had a good home record and this is because we got stuck in at home, the crowd got behind the boys and we didn’t let anyone think they were going to have any easy ride. We also used our wingers to good effect and got good quality crosses into the box.

This season we have sacrificed that for hoofing the ball up to Santa Cruz and A.N.other to scrap it out from the back and not pressing much from central midfield when the opposition had the ball.

Lumping the ball up the field doesn’t fit in with the type of players we have. Villanueva, Brett Emerton, Morten Gamst Pedersen and of course the immense Tugay are match winners – lets use them. Santa Cruz scored loads last year from crosses along the last line of defence, they haven’t been in evidence this season, lets start doing that again.

Come on Ince to me, this change of tactic should be done with immediate effect.

I believe these 4 main changes are the key to a rise up the table. The personnel we have are more than good enough for a top half side. All we need is a slight tweak to what we already have.

And most importantly a message to you all –

Back your football team, we can complain when things go wrong but they won’t change without the fans support, it’s partly down to us too, lets shout the Rovers onto victory.


21 Replies to “The Ince Action Plan”

  • Bob on Mikey…..Ince is the man in the hotseat and we have to back him. A fit squad is easily good enough to stay up….we do need to re-think our capabilities though…the money that has been spent around the league has left us lagging behind on depth and quality of player….the oweness has to be placed on the board and chairman who need to start digging deep if they want us to remain a top half team!!

  • may i add one more?

    bring in a quality right mid, i.e pennant, benitez recently fell out with him and no longer wants him, this would surely mean a cut price transfer, the only teams that have been linked are rovers and stoke, and i know one of pennant’s role models is paul ince, and would give everything for him when playing for him!! Give ince the money!!!!

  • Good call whitey mate. Pennant may not be what is needed for a Champions League team but he can sure help us out and would give us good pace and a vital option on the right… we could do a lot worse.

  • Not trying to put a negetive spin on things.. but.. Even though Mikeys plan looks good enough to keep us up if it all happens… but this will give us maybe a 15th place finish?? this is the same squad that came 7th last season is it not? give or take 2 – 3 players? and we got 18m from Bentley and Friedel? and We spent about 6m? We seem to have set out expectations lower.. We ARE a team who should be competing for Europe every year… Having said this.. Next season, I would like to see more money, so a new owner.. Otherwise we cant compete with the likes of Aston Villa Man City or Pompy or Spurs for 5th and 6th place

  • Mikey has great enthusiasm and this is a super piece of work, his best yet, but by identifying these valid points he merely re-affirms my belief that ince is out of his depth. I will back him as I always back any Rover but I feel so nervous with the way things are. We are bereft of anything remotely creative in midfeild yet we have creative midfielders. We have no consistency of selection and ince’s handling of the media is horrendous. The guy makes excuses for the following week’s defeat after the defeat of the current game. He summed up his lack of confience in his first ever Rovers press conference. I hope Mikey is right and I hope ince proves me wrong but with an unenviable game against Pompy on Sunday I’m worried!

  • We didnt get £18 million for Friedel and Bents rover 23. We spent net £1 million for the transfers of Brad and Robbo. Furthermore we gave £7 million of the Bents money to Arsenal as a sell on clause. That leaves us £10 million in my estimate. And thanks Roversman, thanks for the credit.

  • Good article Mikey…but I have to agree with sasman. There are some fundamental wrongs in the way that Ince carries about. First of all…all the injuries that has been used as an excuse. These injuries are nothing but the sign of a deeper and more fundamental problem with the current staff setup – the training are apparently not good enough i.e. all the injuries. We have alot of players who have a tendency to get injured, but under Hughes (and his training methods) we were able to hold the worst injuries at bay (exept Reid and Dunn of course) AND he was able to keep Roque and Bellamy injury free!!!! What has happenede with Ince in charge…Roque injured again!

    Furthermore his tactics are weird to say the least. Playing people out of position, making the wrong substitutions at critical moments AND not fielding the best side for the current task (ex inexperienced Olsson againgst Lennon) are all signs of a deeper and more fundamental problem – Ince is without the nescessarry tactical knowledge…we are being outplayed, outcoached and outmuscled…when we do not have a strong side to field due to injuries, we need a tactical mastermind to get us the draw! Ince is not that man, and that is why I say Ince out now!

  • redstarman. I think you’re being a bit harsh to blame Ince for the injuries!

    That said, I’m very undecided about Ince now. I have bee deeply unimpressed with him negativity and playing players out of position as Mikey mentioned. Particularly with regards to Derbyshire. I have no idea what makes Ince believe that our most natural striker (yes, even more so than Santa) is suited to a wide role. (Now some of you are going to tell me that this link is tenuous but…) Look at Anelka when he was playing out wide for Chelski, and then look at his record this season when played as a proper striker… I think Derbs will score a lot of goal if Incey just puts him where he belongs, even if it is only for 20minutes at the end of the game like it was under Hughes. I remember Derbs scored a bunch of important goals from off the bench last season.

    As for everything else. Definitely agree about Olsson and Warnock. I WANT warnock at left-back, he offers more threat going forwards and he’s better at the back – also totally wasted in central midfield, same as emo would be. Sigh, Ince has a few more games, everyone needs a chance to learn and the squad has been very disjointed.. That said, it really is only a FEW more games now before it’s time for him to move on

  • Mikey you just seem to have corrected everything is doing wrong and when a manager has a lost that long and its obvious to everyone then thats a problem. I don’t think Ince is the right man but I would love for him to prove me wrong.

  • Redstar thanks for agreeing with me, even though i havent said anything lol. Mikey great article mate, i do agree with all 4 points. However, we are simply just telling Ince he is wrong, and this needs to be done, still backs up our status on him simply not being ready for Premier League football as a manager.

  • Superb piece Mr Mikey, VERY well thought out and VERY well written. Incey has made some mistakes, Incey has said plenty of the wrong things but in many ways he is in a no win situation, no matter what he says and does at time he is getting a hiding from the media (I have my theories as to why!!) and some fans have never taken to him. Out of names linked at the time, he was the best one that was REALISTIC, which is the key thing. Others weren’t what we needed or wanted, and some others wouldn’t have stayed for long at all. Incey needs more luck with injuries and so on, but I’m sure he can and will turn it around.

  • I cant believe that giving the early records of our previous managers that people are calling for his head after a few games.I would be more inclined to make a judgment on him after 38 games.

  • Del – few games…he has been in charge for 14 league games…and the last 8 has been without a win! I will under no circomstances be inclined to make the judgement after 38 games, because I think by then we wil be relegated with Ince as our manager. As I mentioned earlier, there are really no signs that we are going to get any better with ince in charge…so why dont just send him on his way now, and let some other manager save the rest of the season. I did like the tones from Ince in the beginning af the season regarding “pritty football” at Ewood – something we have missed for many years – but not when this means a place in the dropzone. Results first – then pritty football. My loyalty is towards the club – not Ince.

  • but we are in the same position now as we have been for 4 out of the 5 last season under Hughes/Souness… how is this any different?

  • Cheers for agreeing with me Redstar and the compliment of confusing me with that handsome chap sas! I thought yester was an improvement and this came after players were played in their correct positions! Still I am very worried with Ince in charge. We have to beat United on Wed (which even Ince has forgot about – read his post match comments)!

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