This is a crisis of management, first and foremost:
1) Fitness and strength. We are talking professional sportsmen competing against each other and at this level the odd percentage point of sharpness and muscle power is the difference between winning and losing. It is the difference between Rovers winning 50/50s and intimidating Premiership opponents last season and us losing every 50/50 and being intimidated ourselves this season. It is the difference between Burnley bossing the (better) Arsenal kids on Tuesday and Rovers not handling the Man U kids on Wednesday.
2) Supply. There is none worthy of the name to the forwards who are amongst the best on paper in the league. Huge mistake to even contemplate letting Bentley go without having a replacement. If a hero like Brad was forced to stay until Robinson was signed, why wasn’t a stirrer like Bentley similarly treated?
3) Movement. Ince says he wants to play attractive football but when we are in possession the movement off the ball to get into position is pathetic. Watch the Rovers string passes together and every pass we make gets more ambitious and more dangerous as the move goes on as we make it SO easy for the opponents to isolate the man in possession. After three passes, there are invariably no easy short options for the Rovers player with the ball.
4) Defending from the front. We saw this in spades in the Hughes regime and it is totally missing at present. No defence can withstand the opposition getting free runs at pace at it yet that is what our defenders face repeatedly every week. We saw it bring the opposition the winning goals for Sunderland and Portsmouth and it happened repeatedly for Man U last night.
5) Random selection. Ince is rotating his side like crazy- far more than injuries or suspensions warrant. What is our back 4 unit? There isn’t one. Why start Warnock as the player in the hole beside Santa Cruz and Derbyshire in some fuzzy wing position last night? So many players out of position EVERY GAME. Substitutions- Fowler- why?
This is 100% a crisis that starts, begins and ends in the Manager’s office and quite frankly is threatening to drag the Chairman down as well if John Williams does not act to end this farce.
3, 4 and 5 can be sorted pretty quickly- certainly this month- if we bring in qualified management and training who know and understand how to handle players at Premier League level.
Fitness and strength needs probably six weeks’ dedicated effort by people who know what they are doing to make Rovers one of the best and not one of the least fit outfits in the Premier League.
Supply needs action in the transfer market. It is no secret that John Williams has no faith in Paul Ince’s transfer judgment, the Board has no faith in Paul Ince’s transfer judgment, the Trustees’ unwillingness to release shows no faith in Paul Ince’s transfer judgment and you can be certain, the fans have no faith in Paul Ince’s transfer judgement.
That means there is NO ALTERNATIVE to firing Ince and his team now and giving the new Manager and team the rest of December and January so we are again a Premier League outfit by the end of January.
THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE.
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