With Manchester United facing Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, I posed several questions to Dan, the designer of the 4,000 Holes Blackburn Rovers fanzine. Dan also contributes a monthly ‘Loan Watch’ feature for SEA on Mame Biram Diouf.
Stretford End Arising: What are your thoughts on Saturday’s game? How are Blackburn likely to line up? What formation do you think they will adopt and what team do you expect to be selected? Which players should United keep an eye on? Which United player do you think poses the greatest threat to Blackburn?
4,000 Holes: I would expect we’ll go in defensively with one up front – probably Jason Roberts. We’ll sit back and soak up the pressure as best we can before assessing how/whether to attack. Unless Big Sam has a surprise up his sleeve … Personally I think it’s about the best time to play Man United. You’re always a bit vulnerable having played a midweek European match and are not in blistering form. So if we catch you off guard, we may have a chance. Having said that, I’d be delighted with a point and not too disappointed if we come away with nothing!
Pedersen has been in strong form recently, scoring five in five – if you count the goal he scored for Norway – and will relish the chance to score at Old Trafford. He has fond memories of the ground, having scored two in our last victory there back in 2005.
Although he has a poor record overall against Rovers (four goals in 14), Rooney is always dangerous and has scored in the last few games against us – he’s trying to win back the fans and the only way he’ll do that is by scoring goals. Expect our defenders to be all over him!
SEA: What were the feelings of the Blackburn faithful towards Big Sam when he was appointed Blackburn manager, following his tenure at Bolton? What is his relationship like with the Blackburn fans now?
4,000 Holes: It became apparent after Allardyce was overlooked for the job when Mark Hughes left that he was exactly what we needed. Paul Ince tried to get us playing football but we weren’t winning matches. Sam is the type of manager that will get Rovers results and, although he’ll never be liked by everyone because of his style of play, he’s won over a lot of us – myself included.
SEA: Which of the new summer signings have you been impressed by and who has disappointed?
4,000 Holes: A difficult question to answer as we only signed Mame Diouf on loan and he’s not been playing a great deal recently. He is quick but has done little since impressing early on in the season and has become something of a benchwarmer.
You can read Dan’s monthly update on Diouf here:
Loan Watch: Blackburn Rovers fan on Mame Biram Diouf
Loan Watch (September): Blackburn Rovers fan on Mame Biram Diouf
Loan Watch (October): Blackburn Rovers fan on Mame Biram Diouf
SEA: Which Blackburn youngsters are worth keeping an eye on?
4,000 Holes: Phil Jones broke through the ranks late last season and has surprised everyone by being a first team regular this time around. He’s a defender-cum-midfielder who is very strong defensively and gets forward quickly. Hopefully he won’t be overawed by playing at OT.
SEA: Favourite Manchester United vs Blackburn Rovers match?
Has to be that 2-1 win back in 2005. We shocked everyone with that win and it was a great performance, especially having to score again after van Nistelrooy’s equaliser.
SEA: Favourite all time Blackburn Rovers player?
4,000 Holes: Colin Hendry. A real lion at the heart of the Rovers defence for several seasons and a big character for the club. In the title-winning season, for every goal Shearer scored, Hendry probably prevented three!
SEA: Cheers, Dan. Thank you for your contribution.
If you wish to discuss this issue further with myself or other members of the Stretford End Arising community, you can do so in the Stretford End Arising forum.