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Lowdown on Blackburn

Posted on 31 December 2001  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

The arrival of a World Cup year can also signal a loss of patience in players - particularly strikers.

While previously seeming to accept that some sort of a rotation policy is good for the team and the individual, the prospect of the big prize looming appears to throw that logic out of the window.

This might go some way to explaining why one Andrew Cole is likely to be spearheading Blackburn's attack at the Lane on Tuesday, rather than pining for some involvement in Manchester United's encounter with his former club Newcastle on Wednesday.

Cole says he wants to play, he is now 30, has a cupboard full of medals and, in all probability, a healthy bank balance.

But he has swapped the possibility of an extended Champions League run and exciting title run-in for what looks, at the moment, the battle to retain Ewood Park as a Premiership venue.

But then there is also that little event taking place in Japan and South Korea this summer. Cole did admit that it crossed his mind. He might have been prompted by seeing Robbie Fowler do a bit of queue jumping with his five goals in two games for Leeds.

After all, the England manager, even Sven, would find it difficult to assess the form of players who are sitting in the stand.

So Cole is now a Rover and Graeme Souness publically pondered that he could emulate Alan Shearer's achievements at the club. He will have to go some to enable a repeat of Blackburn's Premiership title win, but Cole's goal record in the competition is second only to the former England captain.

Cole is certainly a natural born goalscorer, but his all round game improved so much during his time at Old Trafford, shaping him into a more rounded player. One that does his bit for the team as well as knocking the ball into the net.

No wonder Blackburn are overjoyed with their coup. On the face of it, the prospect of a Matt Jansen and Andy Cole front line looks a tantalising one. The creative and unselfish Jansen looks the perfect foil for the prolific hitman.

But Cole might have to accustom himself with the fact that newly promoted Blackburn, with the best will in the world, will not boss teams like his former employers do - and they are in desperate need of his imput.

After an encouraging start to the season they have stuttered of late, losing their last two and winning only one of their last eight in the league - scoring five goals during that period of time.

Prior to that, however, they did share six goals with Arsenal and hit West Ham for seven. Souness will be hoping that the arrival of Cole the goal will trigger a similar response from his team.

On paper, the Blackburn attack looks to have a perfect balance if all fit and in form. A natural leftie in Damien Duff, Keith Gillespie down the right, Jansen dropping off and now Cole at the sharp end. Ledley and co will be acutely aware of the threat - particularly as we could meet again in Cardiff this year. Hopefully.

But for now it is points that win prizes and Glenn and the boys will be hoping to erase from the memory bank perhaps the worst performance of the season at Ewood Park in August.