Rovers heading for the sun after Ewood snore draw

THERE is a scene in classic baseball movie Field of Dreams where James Earl Jones tells Kevin Costner to build the baseball pitch in his Iowa corn field because “people will come, without even knowing why they come”.

Saturday at Ewood Park had much the same feel about it but for far worse reasons than the nostalgia hit that Jones was on about.

The 26,781 present must have spent the drive home wondering why they had bothered, why they stayed to the end, what was the point of it all.

Apart from a Roque Santa Cruz header that hit the post after 10 minutes, a Peter Lovenkrands effort that bounced off the crossbar four minutes later and a Fabricio Coloccini volley well saved by Paul Robinson after the break, this match contained zero other talking points.

It was about as bad as it gets.

Trawl through every dictionary you can find and scan a library full of thesauruses and you would still be found wanting when it comes to describing the sheer tedium and the unspeakable shabbiness of this 90 minutes.

Nine days ago, these two sides were involved in games that contained a total of 15 goals in encounters that oozed class, thrills and sheer excitement.

Blackburn’s 4-3 loss against Wigan and the Magpies’ stunning four-goal comeback against Arsenal showed the Premier League at its best.

This match showed it at its worst.

Newcastle’s four goals against Arsene Wenger’s side may have helped the Toon Army remember that there is life after Andy Carroll but performances like this will only make them miss their homegrown star even more.

It was the kind of occasion that Carroll could have thrived in because he might well have had the touch of class needed to muster — or muscle — a goal out of somewhere.

As it happens though, there was no Carroll, there was no goals, there was no flair, there was no joy.

“Everyone will focus on that now that Andy is away but we’ve got players who can come in and score for us,” Lovenkrands said.

“I got 16 goals last year, that’s only three less than Andy, and I played less games than him.

“Yes, he’s a big miss, of course. He’s a great player and good luck to him. We just need that bit of luck to set us off and I’m sure we’ll be fine.”

The consolation for Newcastle — along with the point that ended a sequence of six straight defeats against Blackburn — was that the home side were just as bad if not worse.

Blackburn now have almost a fortnight until their next encounter against Aston Villa and the Ewood Park squad will train in Dubai before that game in order to give their players a break from the bleak weather. It is a shame they could not provide a ray of sunshine in this encounter.

Blackburn manager Steve Kean said: “We have done it the last couple of years and any time we have done that there has been a big response, a spark, a number of points added to the board.

“Hopefully they can energise themselves and kick on.

“I don’t think it was a pretty game to watch and the lads didn’t think it was a pretty game to play in. At least we have got something from it.”

More in this section

Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Home Delivery
logo-ie

HOME DELIVERY SERVICE

Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox