BLACKBURN Rovers were all style and no substance yesterday afternoon – as a watching Eric Black was left with little first-team salvation.
Diogo Rosado, Ruben Rochina and Paulo Jorge all demonstrated their obvious technical ability, but there was little of the steel and desire needed as they were dumped out of the first round of the Lancashire Senior Challenge Cup.
With David Dunn also in the side that was looking to impress, and the likes of Mauro Formica and Nuno Gomes in the first team squad, Rovers have no shortage of ‘flair’. ‘Luxury players’, you could say.
The problem is most squads only really have space for one of these types of players, maybe two at the most, while Rovers appear to be full of show ponies with no one there to do the fetching and carrying.
Ironically, it was Rovers’ old boy David Dunn who looked the most creative at Brockhall yesterday and the one ready for first-team inclusion.
Rochina showed his brilliance in patches, playing a deeper midfield role, but also frustrated with several sloppy passes.
Portuguese new boy Rosado played further forward than he is used to and, while he showed a good touch, far too often he slowed the play down.
Substitute Hugo Fernandez missed the decisive spot kick in the shoot out as an inexperienced Oldham side beat their older counterparts. There were few bright spots for the hosts, but the second half performance of substitute Raheem Hanley did suggest he will soon be pushing for a first -team spot at left-back.
Fellow academy product Josh Morris also impressed just in front of him, while Polish goalkeeper Greg Sandomierski looked composed between the posts.
Colin Kazim-Richards saw a fierce 20-yard strike in the first half cannon off the bar, while Morris sent a shot narrowly over the bar early on and Rochina hit the post.
Oldham’s Matt Smith spared Kellen Daly’s blushes as he struck a penalty wide, after the defender was penalised for pushing.
After the break Morris fired over and Dunn had a shot saved as Oldham deservedly held.
ROVERS: Sandomierski, Henley, Ribeiro, Henrique (Fernandez), Daly, Jorge, Rochina, Dunn (Edinho), Rosado, Kazim- Richards (R Hanley), Morris.