Pleasing on the Eye, but for how long?
There is a strong South Yorkshire theme to The Two Unfortunates at the moment and no consideration of the chances of that region’s teams will be complete without mention of Doncaster Rovers, proud as punch as they must be after a diverting first season in Championship waters. Donny were second only to Roberto Martinez’s Swansea in the pleasing on the eye category last season and they are a club for whom it is very difficult indeed to feel anything but goodwill.
Sean O’Driscoll has won a lot of pals with an almost messianic devotion to keeping the ball atop the green stuff. Patience became a watchword as initial acclimatization issues were overcome and Rovers flowered delightfully during the late winter months. Former Newcastle winger James Coppinger’s deft tricks and feints were a defining motif of Donny’s play and long time O’Driscoll lieutenant Brian Stock helped provide the drive a passing team needs to avoid inconsequential, over elaborate noodling.
So will they push on? Unfortunately, Rovers’ recent achievements have proved to be well and truly on the radar of bigger clubs. The double hammer blow of losing Richie Wellens to Leicester and Matt Mills to Reading, two of their finest performers, will be hard to come back from. The novelty of performing up a level may also wear off as the hungrier likes of Scunthorpe and Peterborough overtake them. Neutrals will still root for them but it will take a mammoth effort to keep the red and white hoops out of League 1 come May.