#blog-pager{clear:both;margin:30px auto;text-align:center; padding: 7px;} .blog-pager {background: none;} .displaypageNum a,.showpage a,.pagecurrent{padding: 3px 7px;margin-right:5px;background:#E9E9E9;color: #888;border:1px solid #E9E9E9;} .displaypageNum a:hover,.showpage a:hover,.pagecurrent{background:#CECECE;text-decoration:none;color: #000;} .showpageOf{display:none!important} #blog-pager .showpage, #blog-pager .pagecurrent{font-weight:bold;color: #888;} #blog-pager .pages{border:none;} - See more at: http://labstrikes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/add-calendar-style-date-widget-for-blog-post.html#sthash.Js2lbh9N.dpuf


Rotherham 1 Fulham 3: 5 things we learned

Rotherham's start to the season went from bad to worse yesterday with a 3-1 defeat to Fulham, who were previously winless.

It means the Millers have taken just one point from their first five games and all the pre-season optimism has been shattered.

Here's five things we learned from the game.

Rotherham are in danger of becoming this year's Blackpool

When talking about the strength of the division this season, boss Steve Evans has referenced that there is no 'Blackpool' this year – a side in disarray who will quickly become adrift. Well on the evidence against Fulham and results in the first few weeks of the season, the Millers are serious contenders for that moniker. They are shipping goals with too much ease, the manager is unable to put a settled team out, they are not taking their chances and most concerning of all there appears to be very little fight or desire (see more below). As a result, the Millers are stuck on the bottom of the table and are already six points off the top half after just five games. A minus eight goal difference tells the story and no one has conceded more than the Millers' 13 goals in the entire Football League. The international break is timely.

We have seen all this before

One thing that could never used to be levelled at a Steve Evans side was that they lacked the will to fight until the end. In fact, it was often evident ahead of talent or skill. But so far this season something has gone drastically wrong as against Fulham there was little of that never-say-die attitude and will to win that epitomised the Rotherham teams of the last few years on show. And if there is none of that on show then it is no surprise that the Millers get beaten by teams with more talent. Evans' desire to bring in added quality this summer appears to come at a cost and it has all the hallmarks of how things started going badly for the Millers last time they were in this division. Of course, the landscape is completely different, but after three years of success with the 'Impossible Dream' side, Ronnie Moore tried to bring in players with supposed more quality, like Paolo Vernazza and Paul McClaren. It turned out that the fight and spirit was compromised and as a result the rot set in. Getting this side to want it as much as the fabled 2013/14 side could be Evans' biggest job yet.

Jonson Clarke-Harris was the only positive and Jordan Bowery might not have a Millers future

There wasn't too much to shout about against the Cottagers, but the performance of Jonson Clarke-Harris was one the them. Plenty has been written about the 21-year-old over the last few weeks but again, he showed that he may well be coming good. His physical strength and power in attack gives the Millers an added dimension and his finish for their consolation goal in the second half was highly accomplished. Clarke-Harris' rise to prominence seems highly timely as it looks as if Evans looks to have lost faith in Jordan Bowery. The former Aston Villa man was handed three starts earlier in the month but he has not been seen since coming off early in the second half against Preston. When asked whether his omission from the matchday squad was due to injury in the post-match press conference, Evans was incredulous in his response. His exit is surely only a matter of time.

What's the big deal about penalties anyway?

Finally after 29 games and a hatful of unsuccessful appeals the Millers were awarded a penalty in the second half when Paul Green was bundled over in the area. It should have been the lifeline which gave Rotherham the platform to launch an assault at attempting to earn at least a point from the game. But there was something all too inevitable about the outcome and there cannot have been too many people surprised when Andy Lonergan got down low to keep out Matt Derbyshire's effort. It took the wind out of the hosts' sail and also visibly knocked Derbyshire's confidence. The Millers miss enough chances anyway, without being able to afford to spurn such golden chances. It was a pivotal moment in the match.

Football can be so predictable

One of the reasons we love the beautiful game is because it can be so unpredictable, especially with the Millers, you never know what is around the corner. At the same time, it can be entirely predictable and there was nothing so sure as Ben Pringle scoring for Fulham. The reasons for the summer move to Craven Cottage has been well documented and the 26-year-old received a rousing reception ahead of the game. Well, the niceties did not last long and Pringle needed just seven minutes to score against his former club and that set the tone for another afternoon to forget. Pringle, who did not celebrate his goal, put in a solid display on the left hand side, working hard and keeping possession well. While his limitations were again obvious – he got muscled off the ball on several occasions – there can't have been too many people in New York who didn't wish he was wearing a red and white shirt.

Latest News




Copyright 2016