Alarm bells ring for Rovers

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It is incredibly easy to jump to conclusions where football is concerned.

Looking at the Premier League, the club in crisis tag has passed from Arsenal to Manchester City and now Manchester United after just two games of the season.

In all likelihood, not one of those three will at all resemble a crisis club by the end of this month.

But beyond the hyperbole, there are genuine concerns about what the future may hold. And Rovers are included with that.

There has been plenty to be impressed with at Rovers over the first month of the season. It is clear that at their best, this is a team that can hold its own against anyone.

But the concern comes when they are not at their best.

Signs appeared in the Capital One Cup clash with Leeds that there were cracks. And these were exposed fully in the disappointing defeat to Bournemouth.

Rovers at their best can be boiled down to one factor: energy.

It is energy that drives the pressing game out of possession and the thrilling counter-attacking football within it.

Energy creates the space for Richie Wellens to pick out a pass, Theo Robinson to run into and Chris Brown to charge down a defender.

Take energy out of even a small portion of the side and Rovers are somewhat exposed.

Against Wigan and Blackburn, Rovers looked to be returning to a side who could be considered as greater than the sum of its parts.

But the difference between the sum and the individuals can quickly narrow.

Against Leeds, it was the opposition who made it difficult for Rovers to play with the same tremendous energy they had brought to previous games.

There was no obvious structure to Brian McDermott’s side with Rudoplh Austin drifting in front of the back four and Ross McCormack was incredibly difficult to track.

Leeds constantly created space Rovers could not close with Dean Furman in particular caught short on a number of occasions.

Rovers’ pressing game at its best starts with the forwards and Theo Robinson has at times shown himself as a capable partner in this area for the tireless Chris Brown.

But Robinson’s energy dropped against Leeds at a time when it was needed the most.

Against Bournemouth, the problem was not one or two lacking energy, it was that a few more did as well.

And there raises a problem for Paul Dickov.

Just six games into the season Rovers have shown they are unable to maintain the same levels of performance.

And there are at least 43 games to go.

The plan B for Dickov could be a return to the 4-2-3-1 that he started the season with.

The intensity in attacking play is still there but it requires short bursts rather than constant pressure.

Faith in this system wavered due a lack of chances created but is there anything else to turn to?

It is not time to press the panic button just yet. But watch this space and hope someone closes it down.