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6.07 aerial duels per game: The key Blackburn man making a different kind of impact this season



Following a difficult recent run, things are starting to look up again for Blackburn Rovers, with the club having enjoyed a run of three straight wins since the November international break.

Those victories have seen Tony Mowbray’s side climb to 11th in the Championship table, just four points off the play-offs.

One man who certainly seems to have had an impact on that is veteran striker Danny Graham, who many observers feel remains a key component at the head of Rovers’ attack even at 34-years-old, with his contribution to those wins suggesting he could yet have a big part in his side’s push for promotion this season.

So just how has Graham been making that impact at Ewood Park during the current campaign.

Here, we put the spotlight on the striker’s performances since August, in order to find out.

Despite the fact that he has started just six league games all season, Graham has still been someone that Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray appears more than ready to turn to when he needs him, with the striker appearing in 17 of Rovers’ 19 league matches this season.

Interestingly, the goals do seem to have dried up for Graham somewhat – the striker found the net 15 times on his way to being named the club’s Player of the Year last season – with the striker scoring just once so far in the current campaign, although that doesn’t seem to have reduced his all-round influence on the side.

It seems as though the main job that Graham has been assigned this season is to keep defences occupied, and he has certainly been doing that.

With the striker entering an average of more than seven offensive duels per game, and over six aerial duels per game, it does seem as though opposition defences have had plenty to do when it comes to keeping the striker quiet, thus relieving the pressure on those further down the pitch for Rovers.

In addition to that, with Graham averaging more than three touches in the opposition box per game, he certainly doesn’t seem to be a player that defenders can take their eye off at any point, which could allow more space for the likes of Bradley Dack to move into the area themselves in order to finish off moves for Rovers, just as he has been doing over the past few games.

With Graham also recording a pass success rate of over 66% across the course the season, the striker does also to seem to have maintained a fairly reliable connection with the rest of his teammates, despite his sometimes isolated position at the top of the pitch for Rovers.

Indeed, with that one goal Graham has scored coming in the form of a penalty in a 1-0 win over his former club Middlesbrough to earn Rovers their first league victory of the season back in August, the veteran has already had a significant and direct impact on his side’s campaign anyway.

If he can continue to put in these sort of pressure-relieving performances since then as well, then you imagine there are going to be plenty around the club, even with the striker now at 34-years-old, will be hoping to Graham at Ewood Park for some time to come yet.

UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, been writing for Football League World since March 2019. I've previously worked for the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Opta, among others.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 6.07 aerial duels per game: The key Blackburn man making a different kind of impact this season

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