Season Starts With A Bang

September 2, 2005

[image1]So the usual boring start to the season then? 19 goals in 6 games, two home defeats and our first win clutched from the jaws of defeat at Torquay, a prolific striker partnership in Walker and Agogo already on six goals and the customary early exit from the League Cup. Oh and we haven’t even played in the pink shirts yet!
The current atmosphere at Rovers however seems to be rather less entertaining than my opening paragraph might suggest. I haven’t been to the last three away games, usually I would go to Notts County and certainly Torquay but for one reason or another I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
I don’t think I have ever spent time in a pub watching Cricket but the Ashes is something that has managed to stir up some passion in me! I spent last weekend watching it in the pub rather than giving my attention to Rovers and it was great watching us win the 4th test at Trent Bridge. The nearest I’ve got to a Rovers match in the last few weeks has been watching highlights of our Watney Cup success from over 30 years ago. What a good goal by Frankie Prince at Burnley in the semi-finals!

One of the reasons I haven’t gone is due to the atmosphere when things starting going downhill on the pitch. Some of the fans chants towards the manager that we’ve heard recently, Torquay for example have just been below the belt.

The game at Plainmoor was a highly eventful one, another comeback and I’m chuffed we got our first win even if it did leave a slightly bitter after taste in my mouth. I don’t mind a good debate about tactics, formations and the like, I’ve got an open mind, and if people aren’t happy with things let them boo or be critical after a game. Not much winds me up more though than fans abusing the manager half way through a game behind a dugout when he’s trying to do his job or chanting what a load of rubbish at half time. It takes the support out of supporter if you ask me, and that only leaves you a…’er’, which isn’t much use on its own! The Torquay game was a good example of how fickle some of us can be.

Perhaps showing our disapproval during a game is a show of our passion in its rawest sense? Or is it just hypocritical for those giving out the abuse to Sing Goodnight Irene at full time after we’ve won? Who am I to judge, but it’s an interesting debate.
It seems the Rovers spirit is alive and well on the pitch after coming from two goals behind down in Devon, though I’m not so sure about on the terraces mind you! Either way it is nice to know that when we go two goals down, as we often do, then we are still in with a chance of winning. A comeback like the one at Torquay helps bring back some enthusiasm again you know? Though the defeats at Millwall and Notts County only have the opposite effect.

Despite me not liking or appreciating the comments towards the club and the manager at the minute by some of our fans I am just as frustrated as them. We’re leaking goals at the back, there are very confused messages coming from the board and manager, which indicates all, is not well, and to top it all Ryan Williams has packed his bags for Aldershot Town! Great.

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It seems that the poor start has also been a catalyst for peoples ill feeling which was suppressed from last season, however it can’t be denied that the performances so far has simply not been up to scratch. Although it appears that we’ll be able to rely on Walker and Agogo to chip in 35 goals between them the rest of the side don’t seem to be performing.

Too many sloppy goals are being conceded for a start that alone is obvious, long balls, set pieces and miss placed passes are causing us to face an up hill climb too often. We certainly seem to be missing Kevin Miller at the minute. Though the approach to games as a whole seems to be wrong, although this could be put down to the manager there must be a lack of confidence on the pitch to contend with. I am almost dreading the next home game, as we all know that if we’re not playing well or are behind after 20 minutes the crowd will turn which will hardly help things.

How do all these problems get solved then?

Sacking the manager is not the answer yet, a very expensive thing to do and there is a long way to go yet this season. Atkins must now start to deliver a winning team, and he knows that and I really hope he succeeds because we seem to be in a bit of a hole at the moment. Last season is now irrelevant as is moaning about not being able to strengthen the squad. We still have a good squad with good players not yet even playing like Bass and Carruthers the resources in the main seem to be there.

I don’t doubt the manager’s passion for the job for one minute, but with the transfer deadline now gone it’s sink or swim time. [banner2]

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