Thursday, 23 December 2010

Once upon a time

I would just like to say that I haven't written today's post myself. It was posted by Craig Haydock on Facebook. After reading all these posts about our beloved club's imminent doom, this post was like a fresh breeze on scourging summer day.

On Thursday, 16th September 2004, Blackburn Rovers appointed Mark Hughes as long-term successor to the departed Graeme Souness. While Sparky was undoubtedly the peoples’ choice having finished his playing career at the club and had achieved relative highs as Wales coach, he was still an unproven prospect with no prior experience at neither coaching or management at club level.

He took on the challenge with Rovers lying 19th in the Premiership and without a win from their opening five games. A late, and by that stage rare, Matt Jansen goal from the subs bench claimed an opening victory in his first match – although Rovers wouldn’t win again under their new boss for two whole months, including 4-0 hidings at Middlesbrough and Chelsea and an embarrassing penalty shoot-out exit at home to Bournemouth in the League Cup.

Despite a plucky start, Hughes was afforded patience to stamp his mark on the side, owed in no small part to the backing of the fans and their obvious affinity for a player who had rolled back the years via the club’s League Cup Final success two years previously, filling in for suspensions and injuries in a holding central midfield role.

From a team that had shipped 29 goals in their opening 14 games, Hughes managed to carve out a disciplined side (they would only concede 14 goals from their next 24 games), unearthed an unknown New Zealand defender from the MLS on a free transfer in Ryan Nelsen and infused the side with the combative qualities of Robbie Savage and Aaron Mokoena, two players who may as well have been cut from the same stone as Hughes himself.

Perhaps Hughes’ greatest legacy to the club that season was to be found in the lost-property box at Ewood, allowing a young Morten Gamst-Pedersen the opportunity to shine and subsequently score for fun in the FA Cup, which would see the club reach the last four of the competition for the first time in 45 years – including the winner over Burnley in the dying stages of a Fifth Round Replay.

Rovers would go on to finish 15th with their top-flight status long-secured; rather disappointingly, they had once peaked at 11th in April only to see a small squad stretched by a long season, petering out without a win from their last five games.

The rest they say, is history. In seasons to come, the club would enjoy 6th, 10th and 7th finished places respectively, including two forays into Europe and a host of impressive and surprisingly economical signings that saw the likes of Craig Bellamy, David Bentley, Stephen Warnock, Chris Samba, Benni McCarthy and Roque Santa Cruz pull on the famous blue and white halves.

Given time, patience, ambition, a belief that an inexperienced manager needn’t always be a negative nor a hindrance – and evidence that success can be achieved without excess, the future could be rosy after all. Red rosy, with Arte Et Labore underneath. 

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Only One Jack Walker!

This post will not be about Uncle Jack Walker or Venky's. It will be about Saturday's game and the crazy reactions it has received. The title is merely to show how I feel about the current way of our owners.

First of all, I would like to make it as clear as shot of vodka - I am disappointed by the result against West Ham. That being said, I think it is absolutely outrageous how people have reacted to the performance and the result that came with it. The number of times I have read, 'this would never have happened with Big Sam' or 'how can they justify appointing Kean, after a performance like this', is astronomical! People that were screaming for a boot in Sam's rear, are all of a sudden defending him and hoping they can get the boot back, so they can use it on his successor.

These same people have been asking for a quick tempo passing/possession game, instead of Alardyce's direct long ball game. What I am about to say, might come as a shock for these people, but you got what you asked for, the result just didn't follow.

But isn't it a bit much to ask for, when you consider all the details that add up to this utter, ridiculous chaos? I certainly think so!

First of all, Steve Kean, the players and the rest of the staff, had about 3-4 days to overcome the shock of Big Sam's 'out of the blue' dismissal. Furthermore they had to change the game plan almost from top to bottom, to please both fans and owners. Three injuries to key players also meant that Kean wasn't allowed to make any tactical changes in the second half, when West Ham pretty much took control of the game. For all this, I think our players and staff deserve something more the verbal stoning and beating.

The fans, the blood and life of the club, the owners, temporary governors, got what they asked for. They got that illusive, forward aiming, fast paced, short passing, possession football that we have been screaming for. After some 25 minutes our 'soldiers in the trenches' had some 70% of the possession and West Ham hadn't had a  half decent run at our goal.

In the second half, our players looked tired and although the Admiral managed to scramble home a goal, they looked like they were confused, whether they were playing Big Sam football, or the type of football we saw in the first half. This resulted in a lengthy West Ham attacking spell, that eventually made us concede a very good goal by any team's standard. The soldiers in Blue and White, however, took over again and got a solid goal that was dismissed for one reason only - Mike Dean. I have looked at it time and again and I really can't see anything wrong with it. There was a West Ham player that probably thought he saw a penny and dropped to the floor, hoping to have a bit more for the Christmas shoppings, but other than that there wasn't a single thing that could justify the dismissal.

All in all, I am disappointed by the draw. I always am. I expect us to win every single fixture and anyone that is satisfied with a draw, lacks a very fundamental thing in football and life in general - winner mentality. That been said, I'm not disappointed in our boys, or our caretaker for that matter, as they were working under circumstances none of us could ever imagine.

Only One Jack Walker!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Well that was a shock!

The sacking of Big Sam is one of those things, where you remember where you were, what you were doing and what you had just eaten. Kind of like 9/11. Well for me it was anyway.

I was on my way home from school and, as the Facebook addict that I am, checked the 'book for some news. One of my Icelandic friends had posted something resembling this: "Big Sam has taken his stuff and has left Ewood Park. Now what the hell are we supposed to do?" not in those words, it was actually in Icelandic. I literally dropped my jaw and thought "These Indy's are gonna lead us to ruins!"

The following day rumors started flowing about John Williams's imminent resignation and that the Raos didn't have a new manager lined up. Lets just say that it didn't improve my view on the current owners. Making rash decisions without a definite plan isn't very Rovers like. It's more the department of say... Newcastle, West Ham, Pompey and co.

At first I though that maybe the meetings between our owners and JW, might be about who his successor should be. Now I have a sneaky feeling, that the meetings were about JW demanding, that Steve Kean was given a chance at the helm; if only to show that he will not tolerate having these kind of decisions pushed over his head and to prove that he doesn't appoint staff members without reason.

So what can we say about Kean's managerial record then? Zip - squat - absolutely nothing! He's been assistant manager at three clubs - Fulham, Real Sociedad and Coventry. What does that say about his managerial ability? Zip - squat - absolutely nothing! It just might be so, that we have the next Pep Guardiola on our books, but we could also be so unlucky that we have the next Paul Ince. Now that is the stuff of nightmares!

What I'm trying to say is, that we haven't got a clue about what Steve Kean is capable of and therefore we must do what real fans do and more importantly - we have to do what real Rovers do - we must stick by our team, our manager and most of all, we must always stick by our ever so loyal chairman. We show up to the games and show our undying love for our club, no matter how much we dislike the current owners!

Rover and out

Saturday, 11 December 2010

I am Sam

Great movie isn't it? I think it's bloody brilliant! Oh well, that's not what this is about. Let's pretend, just for one moment, that I am Big Sam. What will be on my to do list come January?

January 1st, 2011 - 00:00.01. Make new year resolution to lose 20 pounds... again.

Oh well jokes aside. We all know that we are desperately lacking players in two thirds of the field - midfield and attack. After all the papers and fans alike have been telling us for months/years, that we need someone with a touch of class in midfield and someone lethal in attack. I admit, I too was one of those fans, until very very recently.

While at work tonight, playing Football Manager 2011, enjoying massive success with MY Rovers team, I started wondering who could get that fits the so called bill. In midfield there are some players I would gladly welcome. Milijas at Wolves, Kranjcar and Bentley at Spurs to name a few. In attack I think should go abroad. Pavel Pogrebnyak or maybe Jelle Vossen from Belgium, although Vossen is young and upcoming. These are all affordable targets, although Wolves probably won't sell one of their better players to a rival team.

But then I thought, who do we have among our own players that has that touch of class? We have Dunn, Gamst, Emo, Diouf, Hoilett and Olsson. So is that really what we need? I say no. What we need is someone who can play all across the midfield and can actually stay fit. Just an average player, although a world class player is preferable. Our team is by no means short of creative players. It is however a bit short of fit players at the moment.

What I think we desperately need is a left back (don't think I have to explain that one) and that lethal striker. Who knows, maybe Robbie Keane is that striker, but somehow I doubt that he would make a big difference.

Over and out

Monday, 6 December 2010

Correction - Winning IS everything!

Time and again, you'll hear Newcastle fans stating that winning isn't everything in the world of football. Football is about passes and bla bla bla. I can only think of one reason why a football fan would ever say such a ludicrous thing - they haven't experienced winning! And if, by any chance, you are a Toon fan - the Championships don't count! Anyway, this won't be about anything connected to any small club, but only, as usual, one of the true big 4. One of the four teams that have actually won the league!

What made me start on this post, was the re-appearance of Anuradha Desai's comments about football vs. entertainment. The comment really pissed me off to say the least! Now I don't know about you, but to me there's nothing more satisfying than a victory and if it's gained by playing fast, forward play with a few passes and a shot, then you won't hear me complain. Yes I like direct "Sam Alardyce" football! Football with real men, as Salgado put it, that aren't afraid of a challenge and are willing to work their ass to pieces for their club. However, you'll hear me whine like a little girl, if my beloved Rovers manage to stitch some 1,563 passes together, in and around the middle of the park, without being able to score, rolling around on the floor and crying for a free-kick. That to me is not entertainment, but merely a waste of precious time!

What I'm trying to say is, that if we were to sack Sam Alardyce because of fast, direct, effective football and appoint someone like... someone like... Paul Ince who got our players playing this so called"entertaining football", then the Rao family will lose my support!

But until then, all is good at Camp Rovers and I'm looking forward to a very productive December, with at least 12 points.

Over and out

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Have... to stay.... positive!

I haven't posted since on Friday, as I didn't want to join the endless convoy of rant wagons, hoping that if I waited long enough, there would be something positive to write about. It might seem like I'm desperately grasping at straws here, BUT I have found some things worthy to write about... I think.

First of all, there were positives with the United game. One of our many bright talents got his first Premier League game and while other players were hanging with there heads, he showed real will and managed to set up our goal, with a magnificent cross. He really grabbed the opportunity with both hands and I actually think that he should be starting against Wolves. Both as recognition for his effort and as a penalty for the other players's woeful appearance.

The following could be seen as a positive and as a negative, but since I have set out to write something positive, I have chosen to see it as such. His absence has proven that Gamst is absolutely invaluable to our team, as we desperately missed his long throws, passings and set-piece ability. Of course it's not a good thing to rely so much on one player, but it proves that he has returned to the form that caught the attention of the entire World. I'm not even joking with that one. If we are to challenge for Europe, which apparently is the goal of the Rao's, he will be a key player.

Just as much as Gamst is a key player, Chimbonda is not! Don't get me wrong, I will always remember him for the goal against Scum and that alone was well worth what we payed for him. BUT he is at most a back up player and I feel that we have seen the best of him. I hope he leaves in January, for our AND his own good. Have I gone negative? Absolutely not. If this wasn't brought to our attention now, we might have relied on him for later games, against teams that are in and around where we want to be. So it's all good ;)

Over and out

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Match performances

Let's just get straight to it! It's the usual 10 being the best 0 the worst.

Robbo - 4  - got some saves, one or two were fantastic, but was let down by the defense!

Salgado - 6 - one of three players who gave a damn!

Nelly - 3 - he tried, but that was just too many goals

Samba - 3 - why? One goal can't make up for that horror show!

Chimbonda - 1 - Absolutely outrageously awful, but gets a 1 for showing up.

Jones - 6 - He gave his all, but was let down by his team mates.

Emo - 4 - nothing wrong nothing right.

Dunn - 2 - too slow, too heavy and was just too lazy and just an all round awful performance!

Goulon - 4 - was the victim of a panic subbing, but didn't impress while he was on...

Diouf - 4 - gave too many passes away.

Roberts - 3 - was he there? I didn't notice him, but since he was on the starting sheet, I guess he must get a grade...

Hoilett - 5 - pace, skills and tried to get forward, but nothing really payed off...

Morris - 8 - a fine debut... a definite player for the future. some good crosses and a fine assist! Should absolutely get more time on the field!

Linganzi - 5 - no one deserves a debut like that, but he didn't really show up in the same way as morris did.

To sum it up - I honestly think that if I were a United fan, I would have left early! That's how horrible we were!! But let's end it in a positive way - I can only get better...

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

1.15 billion Rovers!

This has been a long time in the making, but a dear friend of mine died recently and I haven't really been in the mood for anything. But as they say, life goes on and Blackburn Rovers are thundering forward!

We are now on Indian hands and Big Sam can begin doing what he does so incredibly well - buying the right players! But just how might the takeover affect us, the fans, as Venky's will be trimming and optimizing Rovers in a reach for longterm success?

One of the things that I, as a Rover, am very proud of, is the "family club" tag. It is in fact one of the things that I am most proud of. Being a part of something so small, that has achieved such tremendous success, is very special to me. But will this all change in the next couple of years? Will the prices be reaching new highs, or will the Rao's settle for renaming Ewood instead changing the ticket policies, as people are raging about?

Personally I hold Ewood Park as something of a treasure, although I have never been there. It is among those things on my so called "bucket list", which has been drastically updated of late. Like so many other Rovers, the thought of going to a home game at Cadbury's Fun Park, or what ever it might be, is unbearable. However, I really do think that this whole debate has been blow WAY out of proportion! A very basic question from a reporter (will you be looking at the possibility of changing the stadium's name, to increase the income?), was answered in a direct way (It's something that we might have to look into). This has been turned into: we will be changing the name to whatever brings in most money. To me it's not much more than the same usual lazy journalism, that we associate with Rovers.

Although there are stadiums that have ridiculous names, there are some sponsored stadiums that haven't hurt the club in any way - Newcastle's Sports @ St. James's Park - being the prime example. If that were to be the case for our beloved Ewood Park, I say go for it! That way we could change the name at any given time, to the highest bidder. Sound plan me thinks!

The headline: 1.15 billion Indians! What a huge potential for growth!

Over and out

Monday, 15 November 2010

There were positives after all

I won't be jumping on board the bandwagon with all the endless rants today, although our beloved players did cost me some hard earned £10. Yes I did put my money on a 2-0 victory for Rovers, but I'm not too upset by the game, as Spurs aren't amongst the teams that we should demand three points from. Even though we at times looked like the Faroese national team, there were some positives that I think will be more important for us in the long run than three points.

Positive number one: Junior Hoilett. He was a real menace - again! His blistering pace and obvious skills were there for everyone to see, as he took on their defenders and beat them on several occasions. If only Sam can get his final touch just a wee bit better, he will be banging in goals and assists in bucket loads. He does lack a bit of footballing intelligence, but that will only increase as he gets older and gets a couple of games under his belt.

Number two: Nikola Kalinic. He must have been doing something right in training, as he looked really good and full of confidence again. He worked his ass off, held up the ball well, got himself into a great position to score, but just lost his balance as was pushed by both Gallas and Kaboul (it think it was). I still back him to become a key player for us in the near future.

Three: David Dunn and El-Hadji Diouf. After Diouf came on for Salgado, we looked a bit better, both at the back and in the front. When Dunn was brought on, no one could say that we weren't a creative force going forward. The flair was there and, ultimately, so were the goals.

Four: Phil Jones. Yes I know that he had his worst game so far and that he almost gave that Russian a goal, but every young player as good as him, has to be reminded from time to time that they are not unbeatable. He too can make mistakes. I truly believe that he will work even harder to make sure that it won't happen again and since it didn't cost us a goal, it can only be classed a plus.

Five: Three balls were swiped off their line. We could so easily have scored five goals, if just luck was on our side and that is something that we don't see too often nowadays.

Six: Robbo. I don't think I have to explain that one.

So all in all, I'm not too beat up about the game, as I think there were plenty of positives to build on and I feel fully confident that we will be adding points to our tally against Villa and United.

Over and out

Friday, 12 November 2010

Half a team vs. (almost) a full team

No it won't be a game of 5 vs 10, but today before I was going to put my bet on tomorrow's game, I stumbled across a rather interesting article in the Guardian, titled Tottenham's preparation's for Blackburn hit by injury crisis. I'll tell you, my face lit up like a Christmas tree!

First let's take a look at the ones who won't be entering the field in the blue and white: Olsson, Grella ( I know what you're thinking, shocking news!!), Andrews, Benjani and N'zonzi. Five injured players out of which three will be sorely missed by the fans. That is a lot for any team that is as limited in attacking options as we are. However, it could be a lot lot worse, which you will find out in about 12 seconds. Oh yes I timed it!

Here is the list of injured Tottenham players: Tom Huddlestone, Roman Pavlyuchenko, David Bentley, Robbie Keane, Aaron Lennon, Giovanni dos Santos, Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate, Jermain Defoe, Michael Dawson and Jamie O'Hara. If you put all those players together, you would have a fine team, capable of at least a mid-table finish, although one of them would have to play as a 'keeper. It wouldn't be that different from having Gomes I guess.

However, with that in mind I went amok and put a whooping £10 on a 2-0 victory for our boys in Blue and White, which will give me some very nice £290 (knock wood). Hopeful or hopeless?

Remember to vote ;)

Thursday, 11 November 2010

EPL, the circus

I'm not gonna talk much about the game, as there are other bloggers that do that far better than I can, but here is a short summary: 2-1 away win against a very in-form team, is always welcome and that goes for all teams. Although we played some booooooring football, we took the home side by storm and got in front straight away. Their goal was the usual lack of concentration, but other than that, we defended to perfection and I don't think Robbo was ever really tested..? I have been giving Roberts a lot of stick in the last couple of seasons, but in the last two games, he's came on and has been simply awesome. I can't say that I'm too bothered by his lack of celebration, or rampaging attitude, as there was a clear smile on his face, in the first seconds after the goal last night. Keep it up! All in all, a good result and fully deserved. But then there was Barton!

I have been reading people's opinions, on the matter, all day and I must say that there really are some stupid people watching football! Quotes like: "Pedersen is a sissy and deserved it", "He didn't hit him that hard" and even "Pedersen leaned into the punch and threw himself to the floor, making it look worse than it was". Errrh... it seems like it was Perdersen's fault? Personally I rate the incident alongside Cantona's infamous karate kick and Zidane's hilarious World Cup headbut. It had nothing to do with the game, or the entire sport for that matter, at all and he should be given a lot more than a three match ban! Something resembling a ban until January 1st and a massive fine would do the trick. On the receiving end though, Gamst was admirably cool!

Asked whether he was taken by surprise by the sucker punch, Gamst simply replied: "I'm here to play football..." He didn't try to get revenge on the field either, but just got on with his great display. Well done!

The Loony Toons vs Rovers wasn't the only game filled with controversy. In a 3-2 loss against Aston Villa, Ian Holloway had made 10 changes to his side since their last game. The FA are now looking into the matter and are trying to find out if it is legal or not, suggesting that Ollie was resting players, as Blackpool would have a better chance against West Ham than Aston Villa. His reaction can be heard in the link below and I must say, I agree with him and support him 100 percent! Who are they to say how he should pick his team!? Who are they to say that Blackpool stand a better chance against West Ham than against Villa? If I'm not mistaken Blackpool have had some fantastic results this season, proving that nothing is certain in the world of football. I encourage you all to listen to the interview, not only to hear his reaction, but also to hear just how silly football journalism has become.

Throw in a comment about this crazy midweek round and please do rate the post. Thank you!

Over and out

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

A bag of mixed potatos

What a surprising week! First we give Chelsea a run for their money and then we have a problem with beating a very poor Wigan side, but no surprise there really. The surprise was to be found on the pitch on Saturday. More precisely among the goal scorers.

First of all , Morten scored a screamer of a goal, which I truly believe wasn't a fluke. It was hit with such power and the precision was so incredibly venomous. But even better yet Jason 'can't-hit-a-parked-double-decker-from-five-yards" Roberts hit home the winner and it was even a sitter, which we all know isn't his strong side. And yes it gets better yet! Roberts has been in the media saying, "Let me play and I will keep scoring". I fell on my buttocks laughing and I had to be rushed to the hospital, to get some oxygen as I couldn't catch my breath. True story...

In all seriousness though, I don't think many Rovers fans expected the hard working man to clinch a victory for us ever again, especially after that horrible miss against Chelsea. But credit where it's due - he got himself in the right position and, although he almost missed the goal, he capped his 23rd goal in 118 games in the Blue and White Halves. Our favorite Norwegian, alongside Henning Berg of course, scored his 39th goal in 203 games, which almost makes it one in every five games. Not that bad for a player who has been in shocking form for quiet some time. Speaking of which - what on Earth has happened to Emo!? He's been in fantastic form in the last couple of games, scoring one and assisting one so far this season, with everything pointing for more to come from Down Under!

A thing that's hopefully going down under, is the horrible rumor about our favorite youngster Phil 'back-off-or-I'll-take-the-ball-from-you' Jones. He's being linked with every team in the league, with more money to spend than Rovers... Eeerh... let's just say every team in the league. A sum of £10 mill has been reported, which would be to spend in Januaru, although I very much doubt, that Jonesy would be willing to take his career a step in the wrong direction. On the other side of rumor-mill, Rovers are being linked everyone who's scoring a couple of goals at the moment. Among those is Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak, who Rovers almost signed two years ago. He signed for Stuttgart instead but was considered a massive flop last season. He has however managed to score five goals in his last seven games, alerting heavyweight clubs such as Man Utd and even Blackburn Rovers.

Over and out

Friday, 5 November 2010

135 years of class!

First of all - Happy birthday all Rovers fans! Today on November 5th, 2010 is Rovers's 135th birthday. In those 135 years, we have witnessed a lot of ups and downs and that is what today's post will be about.

Little more than a month after its founding, Rovers played their first match. It ended in a 1-1 draw. Three years later, along with 22 other clubs, Lancashire Football Association was formed. After only seven years Blackburn played in its first FA Cup final, although now so famous, Old Etonians won. The first trophy was won in 1884, the second in '85 and the third in '86. The club was awarded with a silver shield along with the privilege to have the crest on the corner flags. The first season of professional football was 1885-86 in which Blackburn spent a whooping £615 on player wages! That's almost enough to cover an entire half a day's wages for a below average EPL player nowadays

In 1888 Blackburn were founder members of the Football League and in 1890 Ewood Park became the clubs permanent home. The FA Cup was won for a 5th time already in 1891. 1897 was Bob Crompton's first season at the club, the first of 45 which included League Champions twice and winning the FA Cup for the 6th time in 1928! In 1905 the Darwen End was built, for a mesmerizing £1680, which nowadays will get you about a handful of gummy bears!

Rovers didn't win a single major trophy in nearly 70 years. But then came our savior - Jack Walker - and it took him and Kenny Dalglish only four years to get the team from the Second Division to Premiership Champions. A footballing feat shadowed by none. In 1992 the club signed Alan Shearer for a record £3.5 mill, making it's intentions to become the club in the country clear to everyone.

In 1994-95 Blackburn won their first top league title in 81 years. Since then there have been a lot of ups and downs, including relegation in '99, the death of Jack Walker in '00, promotion in '01 and League Cup glory in '02 and most recently the passing of Ronnie Clayton. In the last ten years, we have seen players like Damien Duff, Tugay, Friedel, Cole, Bellamy, Roque, Salgado, Nelsen, Robbo and David Dunn - all world class players!

To top it off - 31 YEARS!!!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The rumors are flowing

A couple of weeks ago, Venky's made their interest in Rovers public. Since then there have been some mixed signals, regarding their intentions with the club, including changing budgets and ambitions. Although I believe it's been a case of something being lost in translation, or just lousy journalism, there are some fans that are still a bit unsure. However I couldn't care less and this post will have absolutely nothing to do with that, as I'm as calm as ever, because I would trust John Williams with my life. No, this post will be about transfer rumors and what I think will/might be happening in January.

I think we have already been connected with three or four strikers, all fitting the bill of "battering ram". I believe/know that the entire World's population knows that we are lacking in the striking department, which makes it easy for lazy journalists to write something about us. However only one rumor has stuck with us. The man in question is 21 year old German striker Nils Petersen. The young striker managed to score 11 goals in 23 games last season and has already scored 8 goals in 9 games this season, in the second tier. Petersen has allegedly been on Rovers's radar for some time, but now rumor has it, Big Sam is preparing a bid for January. I don't know much about the guy, but in my book 8 goals in 9 games is pretty good for a 21 year old.

What I think/hope will happen, is first and foremost that we get rid of Jason 'I score goals for a living' Roberts. No matter what, you can never fault him on his effort, but effort alone isn't good enough for a striker. Then we should get another striker in (and not the other way around), maybe Petersen will do, I'll let Big Sam decide on that. Last but certainly not least, we MUST get a playmaker in. I know it isn't very popular to say that Dunny isn't enough, but he isn't fit half the time and he isn't getting any younger. Although we do have a very promising playmaker in Michael Potts, he just isn't quiet there yet. We need someone in the mold of Brett Emerton, who's strong, quick, always fit but has a better imagination/flair.

The reported price tag on Petersen's head is around £2 mill and if Big Sam's so called war chest, isn't bigger than the reported £6 mill, he only has some £4 mill left to spend on a playmaker. That obviously rules out most EPL players, so I'm sure we'll be seeing another unknown foreigner, but that has worked pretty well for us so far. With that leave you these three words.

Over and out

Sunday, 31 October 2010

18, living with mum and dad and bashing Chelsea for a living

Less than a year ago, Phil Jones made his EPL debut against none other than Chelsea FC, helping Rovers to a 1-1 draw and almost destroying Chelsea's title run. Today, just 10 months on, he is a regular starter in the blue and white halves and personally I have never seen him play a bad game. He's known by Rovers fans as the future of England and has already earned rave praises from no other than Alan 'there are only four good teams in England/anti-rover' Hansen!

From time to time in my 23 years of living, I have thought to myself, why oh why didn't I work harder in practice as a kid? But today I think even the neighbors heard me thinking that! There I see this modest 18 year old kid, running around like a lunatic, throwing himself at every possible tackle and winning most of them. Now I'm not saying that I'm unhappy with where life has taken me, but bloody hell!

People have been talking about him being a defender and that he shouldn't be in midfield, but today he really put those comments to the ground. His tackles were the usual impeccable tackles, his passing was good and his movement spotless. What more can we ask for? Yes we have some other, more experienced players, who are primarily midfielders, but he's been good so far this season and today he was just awesome! He did get some great help from Emerton and the others, but he fully deserved his MOM from the sponsor, though it could easily have gone to one of the others like Benjani, Mame, Samba or even Emo.

Like so many others have said previously, the boy is fantastic and unless he really really wants to become a second Ronnie Clayton, he can easily end up at teams like Barca or Real, though that would obviously be a step in the wrong direction.

Over and out

Thursday, 28 October 2010

From 10th to fourth, from £5 mill to what is needed

Over the last couple of days we have been (over)fed, with reports of low budgets and no ambition. A £5 million war chest and a 10th - 12th target. In an exclusive interview with the LET though, which I encourage everyone to read by the way (link is at the bottom of the page), Venky's chairwoman Anuradha Desai put all the speculation to rest.

While reading it there were some ups and downs, some cheers and jeers and afterwards it I felt a bit restless about the whole thing. However after a bit of chewing and digesting, I feel 100% sure. This is the right move for Rovers, unless of course as Mikey Delap said in his blog today, "They could be the biggest con artists in the world."

I know a lot of fans will be worried by statements like, we are buying the club to raise people's awareness of Venky's (not in those exact words, but you know what I mean) and we will not be pumping in money, but rather let the investment grow on it's own strengths (again not in those exact words) and this is a business investment. I must admit that I was a bit worried too, but then I thought, with my impeccable business mind, "those are all positives, right?" The conclusion after arguing with myself for about four hours is (drum-roll): I was right!

Here are some reasons why:
Awareness: Who had ever heard of Roman Abramovich before he bought Chelsea? Now people all over the world know him, although mostly it's for ruining football, but who cares! If or when Blackburn regain the tag as one of the big teams, everyone with a slight interest in EPL football will know the name Venky's. It will even serve as a motivator to the new owners to make sure that Blackburn will be a top side, without overspending and therefor jeopardizing the whole operation, for years to come.

Grow on its on strengths: The strengths might not be that obvious right away, but let it sink in for while. The biggest strength, in my opinion, is the fact that Rovers have an average attendance of some 25,000, income from merchandise is very limited and we are among the worst sponsored teams in the league. However Blackburn are one of the least debt ridden clubs in the league and have been able to attract players like Santa Cruz, Robbo, Diouf and Hoilett and Kalinic who certainly weren't short of options.
We already have a pretty good and stable youth system, which is home to some very exiting prospects at the moment. Add to that the young team we have at the moment and the expertise from the alleged 'partner in crime' Kentaro and we have a pretty solid source of income.
Then there is the fact that Rovers are relatively unknown in the big bad world. I'm sorry to say it, but that's the truth. However I'm sure that it will work in our favor, as it means that there is an enormous amount of people that we potentially can 'brainwash'.

Investment: If you were to buy a company, any company, you would look for a company with a potential for growth, one that isn't too expensive, has a good management and isn't in need of major investment. I bring you Blackburn Rovers. It could just as well have been Stoke, Blackpool or some other club, but Blackburn is the only one with recent success. If they were to buy a club like Liverpool or Man Utd, who are ridiculously expensive, debt ridden beyond imagination and limited regarding growth, as they are already known throughout the entire world.

Or you could just be a 'day trader' and buy Pompey.

Over and and out.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The long wait is over (knock on wood)

At last! The long awaited takeover is now looking to be finalized. Venky's have announced that the club has been bought for some £46 million, while they will be taking on a debt of some £15 million. They say that the deal will be made official in 10 days.

Venky's are reported to be working together with Kentaro in bringing in young talented players, introducing them to the league and then selling them on, hopefully with a big profit, making Blackburn a footballing hatchery (did you get it?). Kentaro is also reported to be responsible for negotiating lucrative TV rights, bringing the club to new television heights. Venky's will also be coming with a cash injection, which will be spent on the club's training facilities and the infrastructure as a whole, along with a so called war chest of a whopping £6 million.

It has also been reported that the best chairman in the league, John Williams, will be keeping his job, meaning that Blackburn Rovers will continue to be the best run club in the league, or dare I say the World!? But in all seriousness, I would not trust another man in the chair. JW staying also means that Big Sam will most likely be the manager for the foreseeable future, which also means that there won't be any big shake-ups in either the coaching or playing staff. That being said, I do believe that there will be some changes in the playing staff. As I said yesterday, I truly believe that we'll be seeing some comings and goings.

The players that I expect will be going, are Chimbonda, Roberts, N'Zonzi and possibly Emerton or Nelsen. Of those I must say I would be very sad to see Emo and The Admiral leave. They have both been iconic to Rovers, although Emo has been dodgy for a couple of seasons to say the least, he has been a firm fans favorite for several years. Nelsen has been a fans favorite ever since he joined and he will be for years to come and rightfully so. That being said, I can't say I'll be remembering Chimbo, Roberts or The Zonz for too long. Although N'Zonzi was immense last year, he hasn't played regularly this season due to a lack of professionalism and work rate. He has apparently been unable to keep his feet on the ground, following all the hype and that is not acceptable according to Big Sam.

I must say I can't see many negatives with the takeover, although I was hoping for a bit bigger budget for January. The part of what I've heard about future plans sounds really good, as it will give us a steady stream of exciting talent and hopefully big international fan base along with some big TV revenues in Asia. I must say that for the first time in a long while, I really do feel that the future is bright, it's blue and white!

Over and out!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Lets get this blog up to date

I know I'm a bit ahead of schedule, but it's just so exciting!

So far this season has been rather turbulent to say the least. In the pre-season Rovers were linked with just about every man on earth taller than 6'2" and every other striker in the game. Then there were about 500 possible new owners, of which half were mentioned by name and each one richer and more exciting than the other. The friendly games were a bit shaky and after a very promising start to the EPL, we're now 17th in the league and some fans are already screaming for Big Sam's head.

First off, let's take a look at the linked players that actually made it to Ewood Park - Benjani... (do let me know if I missed anyone). We were linked with so many strikers, that after a while, I just stopped listening to the transfer talk altogether. Out of all the players that were linked, I only remember a handful and most of them I only remember because I didn't like 'em. The only striker I was really excited about, was a crying North Korean called Jong Tae-se. Rumor even had it, that he had been at Brockhall. He had a work rate unlike anyone else at the WC (hihi) and on top of that he had bags of skills. Then there were the likes of Jò, Benjani, two fellows playing for Portsmouth, Marc Janko, Zigic and even Matt Derbyshire who Big Sam had sold just twelve months earlier. The list goes on for miles, but basically I didn't care all that much. OK, I'll admit I was a little excited about having Matty back, but then again we got... oh, that's right we got Benjani who I have never held in any high regards. Then we got Mame Biram Diouf on loan, which might not be that bad, when considering he's our leading goalscorer after playing a couple of games and a few of days ago we signed French midfielder Herold Goulon.

Following the insane number of linked players, were all the bidders for our beloved club. I distinctly remember a Blackburn fan who was interested about a year ago, but after that there have been a gazillion Asian based groups, looking to get their hands on our club. First, I think, was some unknown Indian whose name escapes me at the moment, then there was self proclaimed billionaire Ahsan Ali Syed, then some Australian groups and now, in what looks more and more like our new owners, Indian based chicken company V.H. Group together with football media giant Kentaro. The deal is even said to be closed within 10 days, but more on that note tomorrow.

The friendlies offered little optimism to the fans, with four wins, two draws and four losses. However, Rovers were on a three match unbeaten run, when the first game of the EPL started on the 14th of August at 15:00. Big Sam emerged as victor, but Rovers were given little credit, as Everton were missing some midfield Spaniard I think. That was followed by a rather dubious loss against Birmingham, a win against Norwich and a loss against Arsenal. A draw against high flying Man City meant that the sky was the limit amongst some fans. However it has all gone down hill from there, with the only victory in two months being against Blackpool. The last time our Rovers put on the shirts, they were swiped of the field, by a nervous, lackluster Liverpool side. The next few games are against Chelsea, Wigan, Newcastle, Tottenham, Villa and Man Utd, which realistically can only give us about four points.

Now I know that reading this, you might get the impression that I want Big Sam out sooner rather than later, but nothing could be further from the truth. If anyone knows how to grind out results on scarce resources it's Big Sam. Although boring and over mathematical in his approach, he is the right man for job. Let's wait and see what he does with money between his fingers and what he will spend it on and then let's judge him. Although he has been in the papers today, stating that there will be no spending in January, I firmly believe that we will see one or three players coming and going. If there's anything that we know Big Sam is good at, besides the grinding thing, it's manipulating both the press, other clubs and players. I am convinced that this is nothing but an attempt to cover up the fact that he already has his targets earmarked.

Over and out

Here we go!

As this is my first blog dedicated purely to Blackburn Rovers, I would like start by to telling you about my relationship with the greatest club on Earth.

At the happy/ignorant age of seven, I learned that there was a thing called the Premier League. Like in most other countries, all my friends started following the likes of Man Utd, Liverpool and Newcastle. I just followed my closest friend and called myself a Man Utd fan. However, I never felt a real connection with the Red Devils, so naturally I didn't care all that much if they won or lost.

When I was nine-years-young, some random boy had started a Fareose Blackburn "fan club" and in exchange for 100 DKr/month (around £10), I got a thin newsletter. For an entire year, it was mainly about Per Frandsen, as he is Danish and us being Faroese, are proud of those Danes who make it in international football.

After two years of meaningless "newsletters", the so called fan club was terminated, due to lack of interest. I, however, continued to follow The Pride of Lancashire and will to my dying day! There's only one thing that I know I will be true to to my dying day and that's Blackburn Rovers Football Club!

Like most other fans, I have my favorite players and managers. But since I only started following Rovers in 96-97, my favorites aren't the same as the usual fans of my age.
My favorite players are in a tie - Matt Jansen and Colin Hendry. The skills of Jansen and the work rate and no-bullshit approach of Hendry, resemble everything that I want in my team. Though I must say that Savage, Friedel and (drumroll) Mokoena, are right up there as well. My favorite manager is Graeme Souness. Although the team was utter rubbish when he left, he got us back to the EPL, won us our most recent trophy and brought in players such as Tugay, Friedel and Gamst.

And with this, I leave you for today and will return tomorrow, with my take on the action in the recent weeks and the proposed V. H. Group/Kentaro takeover.