I’ve just come back from a bitterly cold game at Ewood Park feeling rather perplexed. I planned on writing an article on where Rover’s can improve given their recent takeover from Indian business Venkys finalising on Friday. However, watching Villa today, I would say there is a lot of work to be done.
1. Robert Pires looks old as hell
He looked like he needed a zimmerframe today. That said, he rarely gave the ball away but shied out of challenges and attacks when he could have been more effective. Villa looked weak today though and regardless of strength in depth, I’m not convinced it will be of any improvement to them.
2. Steven Ireland is awful
Ineffective, looks out of place, tired and a massive waste of time. The sooner Villa can get him out of the door the better, looked like he’d been out on the tiles last night. Get rid before he loses any more value.
3. Morten Gamst Pedersen is a lucky man
His brace today will have won him a host of plaudits, but he’s still not very good. A decent cross and standing in the right place at the right time, it’s rather fortunate really. He gives the ball away far too often and shadow chases when defending. I would certainly consider cashing in on the Norwegian at the end of the season if he keeps up with this form.
4. Sky must hate going to Ewood
Rovers can actually play football, as much as Match of the Day will have you thinking that they can’t. However, on Sky they are pretty dull, not exactly value for money for Murdoch’s men. Neither Villa nor Rovers looked like they could be bothered in the first half and only Pedersen’s cross could ignite the game.
5. Villa need investment
This was their bench today: Guzan, Lichaj, Lowry, Pires, Osbourne, Herd, Delfouneso. Can anyone point out a game winner there? At 2-0 down, they looked dead and buried with only Ashley Young having enough ability to possibly get something back for the boys in claret and blue. He won’t be hanging around for long if the club can’t make improvements fast.
6. David Dunn is unfit
I can’t believe he was left on the pitch for 90 minutes; he looked knackered after 15. Off the pace throughout, Rovers almost played the entire game with 10 men. Definitely gained a bit more weight in the past few months and it shows. Less pies please David.
All in all, I think Rovers had more of the game and probably deserved their result but I think they were helped massively by a lackluster Villa. I would be very worried if I was a Villa fan right now, sat in 13th on a poor run of form with 1 win in 8 with fixtures against Arsenal and Liverpool to come.
Blackburn are finally finding their feet this season and can look forward to a successful year, in which I can honestly see them finishing in the top 10. Time will tell.