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Thread: The comeback of Samsami

  1. #951
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
    I don't know what is up with Chalz. He has always been brilliant as a DMC for me. Perhaps he needs to play regularly.
    Yes, perhaps, but since we have Besic he won't get that chance, I'm afraid. And he was not convincing as defender.

  2. #952
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    Can't win 'em all!

    Dust yourself off and get back on the horse.

    (Enough cliches in there for you )

    Also, amazed no one went for an Hello Vera (Aloe Vera) pun!

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  4. #953
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    Rare run out for Henley? He must be rusty!

    You can do Palace, easy! Then set yourself up nicely for the home matches.
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  6. #954
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Rare run out for Henley? He must be rusty!

    You can do Palace, easy! Then set yourself up nicely for the home matches.
    Palace are the runners-up right now! And it's an away game for us!

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    It's just a false start, they'll end up in the bottom half eventually
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    Rovers upset Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park

    On Saturday 22nd December we played the runners-up in the Premier League with renewed vigour and energy and after a great team performance and a late goal by Fekir we left Selhurst Park with the three points in the bag!



    With Besic back from his injury we played with renewed confidence. Besic did not even play all that brilliantly but as a team we knew we had to win this game and we did!

    In the first period we were the attacking team and created a few chances. Lens' free-kick looked dangerous enough but the ball was deflected by the wall. Aké came close with a header but it went wide and so there were no goals in the first 45 minutes.

    In the second half we brought on Dueland for Lens who had been shown a yellow card. And Dueland played well again. With 66 minutes on the clock he crossed the ball low from the left and Besic blasted it towards the top corner but the shot went just wide.

    Five minutes later Fekir piicked up the loose ball after a goal kick taken (too) quickly by Mandanda and our striker got into the area and hit a fierce shot and scored!!

    And although there were still twenty minutes remaining Palace never came close to equalising. We defended well and twenty minutes later the three points were in the bag!

    A great team effort again, although Chirivella had a rare off-day.
    Spoiler!

    We are still in sixth position, but we do have a tough run of fixtures coming up now! First it's Man Utd and then Everton, both at Ewood Park. A lot will depend on the results of those two crucial matches.


    Spoiler!

    Chirvella injury blow mars Rovers' progress

    The day after the match Chirivella suffered a groin strain in training. Apparently his groin was already bothering him during the match. That would certainly explain his mediocre performance against Palace.



    A full month without Chirivella is a huge blow for the club and the big question is, who should replace him? Grimes would be the obvious choice, but can he deliver on command? Or is Duelund perhaps ready for his big chance ?

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  11. #957
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    Great result which opens up the European places

    You would have to say that United are away and clear and that Chelsea are odds on favourites to take one of the other top 4 places. The other 2 are certainly up for grabs after that result. Plenty of games to play and no reason why you can't secure a Champion's League finish.

    Chirivella is not irreplaceable. Either Grimes or Dueland will slot in with ease.
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  13. #958
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
    Great result which opens up the European places

    You would have to say that United are away and clear and that Chelsea are odds on favourites to take one of the other top 4 places. The other 2 are certainly up for grabs after that result. Plenty of games to play and no reason why you can't secure a Champion's League finish.

    Chirivella is not irreplaceable. Either Grimes or Dueland will slot in with ease.
    Not irreplaceable perhaps, but one of our best players nonetheless.


    Spoiler!

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    Boom! Called it, never in doubt!

    Big blow for a month but Grimes is ready to fill in and make up for his red card
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    Another goalless draw against the League leaders

    On Wednesday 26th December we played Manchester United in front of a crowd of 32,957 and for the second time this season we held the Premier League leaders to a goalless stalemate! However, it didn't come easy. In fact, it came at a price as both Jon Flanagan and Jordy Clasie had to go off injured.

    Still, on a day when Chelsea finally lost again and Arsenal was defeated by Liverpool, our draw against Man Utd is a result to be cherished!



    We started out with Grimes replacing the injured Chirivella and with a disappointed Duelund on the bench. But in the second half Dueland received game time as well since we ended up needing the maximum number of fourteen players to hold the Premier League leaders to yet another goalless draw.



    Man Utd started with a 4-5-1 formation with Rashford as their lone striker, so we had Nyambe mark him and Nyambe did exceptionally well, even though Rashford still produced four shots on goal, two of them on target.

    We struggled to withhold the pressure as our opponents tried to get an early goal. The best chance was for Michitaryan who hit the ball on the half-volley, but Steele managed to beat it away. And then Flanagan had to go off injured. Aké replaced him and it must be said that Aké did remarkably well again. He has become a supersub for us, as it were.

    Man Utd should have scored, though. Rashford escaped the attention of Nyambe for a moment and he hit the ball on the volley from 25 yards out, but Steele made a superb fingertip save and the ball went wide of the goal. Michitaryan struck a free-kick through the wall, but Steele did brilliantly do turn it away and so somehow we survived the first period with Grimes playing a very decent game.

    Henley had received a yellow card, though, and so we brought on Dueland after the break with Marshall moving into Henley's position and with Dueland playing as right winger again. And like Grimes, Dueland did well enough but then it was Jordy Clasie who had go off injured! We brought on Claesson, who is actually lacking game time, to replace him.

    Claesson did not disappoint us, but things did get a bit nasty now. Gonalons got free in the penalty area and he took the ball on the bounce and shot, but Steele got across to tip it wide. And when Marcelo jumped with Lens and won the ball and headed it down for Fosu-Mensah it was once more Jason Steele who went down to smother the ball. Martial hit one final fierce shot in injury time, but again it was well held by our goalkeeper.

    So with Steele playing his best match of the season so far, we miraculously managed to keep a clean sheet and hold Man Utd to a goalless draw for the second time this season!

    It's nothing less than a miracle that Man Utd did not score. Steele was very rightly named Man-of-the-Match!
    Spoiler!

    Now because Everton lost to West Ham we are still in a solid sixth position and, in fact it's Everton we shall be playing next!


    Spoiler!

    The bad news is that we shall have to play Everton without Martins Indi, who is banned for one match, without Flanagan (out for about ten days with strained knee ligaments), without Jordy Clasie (out for just a few days with a bruised shin) and, of course, without Chirivella who is out for about a month with a groin strain.

    So two of our defenders and both of our central midfielders will be unavailable against Everton, which means that Grimes and Dueland will have to play alongside each other and even Derrick Williams will get game time again.
    Spoiler!

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  19. #961
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    Duelund in the middle of the pitch? Does that even work?

    Anyways, fine performance against ManUtd, a point well deserved.

  20. #962
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ View Post
    Duelund in the middle of the pitch? Does that even work?
    Probably not, but we have little choice.

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    A good point

    I also have to question Dueland in central midfield. I would have thought that Besic in that midfield role and Chalobah at DMC would be a better lineup for that formation. I might even be tempted to go with a 4-4-1-1 and push Dueland to AMC and Besic to right MC.

    What is Williams like as the DC, better than Chalobah ?
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  22. #964
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
    A good point

    I also have to question Dueland in central midfield. I would have thought that Besic in that midfield role and Chalobah at DMC would be a better lineup for that formation. I might even be tempted to go with a 4-4-1-1 and push Dueland to AMC and Besic to right MC.

    What is Williams like as the DC, better than Chalobah ?
    You're right. Chalobah will be the better choice.

    As to changing formation, I'd rather not do that for one match. Clasie will be back in a few days. But perhaps next season a new formation may be necessary depending on the players we have then.

  23. #965
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    Looking more like your old solid defensive selves after that display.

    Playing Duelund may pay off, could be the creativity needed in the middle of the park. But then, you may get overpowered. We shall see!
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    Rovers defeat Everton who end with nine man

    On Saturday 29th December we played Everton in front of a crowd of 32,980 lively fans.

    And we needed their support with four of our regular squad players unavailable! But after a good fight we managed to beat our opponents who had two players sent off in the final ten match minutes!



    Everton had drawn four games in a row and then they lost to West Ham three days ago. They badly needed a win and they set their stall out to attack. And the Toffees had the first good scoring chance when Coleman floated the ball into the area from the right. Lukaku headed it down for Van de Beek, who unleashed a volley at goal, but he put it high and wide.

    Their next attack ended with a swerving shot by Lukaku but Steele pushed it away. Lukaku got to the loose ball first and he smashed in low but again Steele did well to turn the ball away.

    And then it was our turn. Grimes came forward with the ball and because he had no space to shoot he fed Fekir who never hesitated. With a low shot our striker scored his 15th goal of the season!

    We seized control of the match now, and remained in control also in the second half, even without Clasie and Chirivella until Alexander suddenly lifted the ball ahead of Curtis Davies who tried a volley and scored his first ever goal for Everton.

    Now perhaps we would have been content with a draw at this stage, what with all our absentees, but Fekir thought otherwise. He took the ball out of his own half and continued his forward advance until he spotted Grimes in the area. Fekir then fed the ball to Grimes who turned nicely on the ball, tried a low drive and scored!!

    Of course, Everton tried to get back into the match but it was all to no avail. In frustration Funes Mori barged Bilal in the back and the referee called him over and showed him the second yellow card and so the defender could take an early bath.

    And as the frustration level rose further McCarthy slid through Henley and he also was shown his second yellow card!

    So the Toffees ended the match with nine man. And in the dying seconds of the match Duelund almost scored when he attempted to shoot from distance, but he put it just over the bar.

    So with four subs we still played quite well as a team with Grimes providing an assist and scoring a goal. But it was Fekir (also with an assist and a goal) who was named Man-of-the-Match.
    Spoiler!

    Another very important win to help us stay in the race for European football, although Liverpool and Spurs are now winning their games as well.


    Spoiler!

    Next we have to play Newcastle at Ewood Park on 1st January. Martins Indi is back from his ban, but Clasie will not be 100% fit yet so Duelund and Grimes will most likely start out as central midfielders again.

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    yeah, big win that. Get in!

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