Thursday, 10 November 2011

Does he deserve it?

As far as I have seen this morning, several papers have reported that Steve Kean has signed a new deal. It hasn't yet been confirmed by the club however, but although this is football and gossip should rarely be taken seriously, there's rarely smoke without a fire (Faroese saying).

A couple of weeks ago, reports started to surface that Venky's were preparing a new deal for Kean. Apparently they were so impressed with the progress shown by the team. It's not a joke, but dear lord it's funny!

As I wrote in my post yesterday, there has been massive improvement over the last few weeks, but surely it doesn't merit anything resembling a new contract. Of course the progress should loosen a couple of nails in the coffin, but a new deal is going a bit overboard with the support.

If and only if Venky's absolutely want to prove to the world of football, that there is such a thing as unconditional support for a manager (which I am all for, by the way) I would advise them to form out a contract. Make sure Kean sees it as a great offer, but only make the offer IF he can lead the team to a minimum of four wins and two draws in the next six games.

That's only my opinion on the matter. What's your?

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The Duracell Torch

The Blue and White Halves has been gathering dust for quite a while. Now I have finally decided to take out my imaginary Swiffer (Google it if don’t know it) and dust off the ol' gal'. I will of course mostly focus on the best team in chicken farm, but every now and again, there will be a post on some of the other teams in the EPL, La Liga and possibly even the dodgy UEFA, FIFA or FA.

So where to start? This is the first post since the January transfer window slammed, but all the drama at Ewood Park has been so well documented, that one might think the media doesn't like our little club, boxing out of our weight class. Anyway here's a little recap of the last 10 months - we got some players in on loan, signed two incredible young talents, played some horrible football, barely survived, didn't manage to sign JJ, lost PJ, started the new season horribly, signed some players, played more horrible football, won one match, a lot of people started booing, a airplane flew over Ewood Park and the media chose SK's side.

In all seriousness though, things have been looking horribly bleak and at times the candle at the end of the tunnel has gone out. BUT - thank God for buts - I think our beloved owners just might have found a torch running on Duracell. Although it is very early to be making this call, I can't help but feel, that since Paul Clement arrived, our performances have improved by a gazillion percent (and that is a lot!).

The game against Man City was horrible, weirdly enough resulting in Jensen getting the boot. The one against QPR wasn't that bad but ultimately not good enough. A day after Clement's arrival, the lads put on a great performance against high-flying Spurs, but the lack of ruthlessness meant we were left disappointed. Then came a monstrously good performance against the only unbeaten team in the Football Leagues and an equally good performance against Norwich, in which the ref obviously didn't want us to win. The last game against Chelsea wasn't half bad, but ultimately it didn't give us any points.

But what has changed in the very short time since Jensen's departure? For starters the vastly unfruitful partnership of the Zonz and the Serb, has been tweaked and turned into a very impressive partnership between the Zonz and Gamst. Nzonzi has done the dirty work, tackling and chasing, while Gamst has done the pretty stuff, passing and shooting. Out on the wings Rochina and Hoilett have been tearing up defenders with pace and trickery. Up front we have seen two strikers in the Yak and Gato. At the back - right back to be exact - Lowe has slotted in beautifully, making damn sure we haven't missed Salgado's impeccable lack of pace. But most importantly, the players seem to be playing for each other.

When Kean was appointed, we were promised that the football would be far more pleasing on the eye. What we got however was a circus. We were dropping points as if it was in fashion. Let's just say, that the overnight shift from Big Sam's hoofball to Steve Kean's supposed free-flowing football didn't work out as planned. But now there seems to have been a change in either the players attitude or possibly a change in the instructions they're receiving.

As I said, it might be a little bit to early to make this call, but I think there is a light at the end of the tunnel. From what I've seen in the last couple of weeks, I think Paul Clement just might be the right dose for our insanely optimistic Steve Kean.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Welcome to Ewood Park and thank you for your service!

In recent transfer windows, Blackburn have been among the least active clubs in the league and up until two hours prior to the window closing, that looked to be the case yet again, with only two loan deals. But then something started happening at Ewood Park, with the transfers of Fernando Torres, David Luiz and Andy Carroll taking up all of Sky's air time.

Just as people started getting flashbacks of prior windows with a lot of talk but no action, announced the purchase of 19 year old Barca player Ruben Rochina, who can play as a striker and as attacking midfielder. A player who could very possibly be a long term replacement for the creativity at Ewood: David Dunn. The reported value was around £1 mill, although no figures have been made official.

About half an hour later, still behind the scenes, Ewood Park was once again active. The long awaited purchase of 22 year old Argentinian playmaker Mauro Formica, was made official at a reported value of around some £3 mill. The player has been dubbed a young Batistuta by Steve Kean, but surely it wasn't meant in the sense that he's a prolific goalscorer, as his relatively impressive goal tally isn't exactly Batistuta status, at 20 goals in 86 appearances for Old Boys, compared to Batistuta's average of more than a goal every two games. However he is a very talented player, with loads of assists to add to his tally, making him a direct contender for Dunn and Gamst.

Shortly after the Formica deal was announced, a great servant of Rovers, EH Diouf, was loaned out to Glasgow Rangers, with a view to a permanent deal and Dioufy has already expressed his desire to become a Rangers legend. Personally I don't feel that this is a good move for us, as he has that impeccable work rate, decent technique and he really gets under the skin of his opponents. I know a lot of fans are applauding his departure, but I for one will miss him in the blue and white shirt.

All in all, it has been a very turbulent window with jokes about the likes of Ronaldinho and Beckham, endless waiting and some very exciting deadline day transfers.

With this I would just like to welcome two VERY exciting talents, that can rest assure to get a very warm welcome at Ewood Park and a heartfelt thank you to EH Diouf for his great service.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Senior citizens leading by example

In recent years, because of financial handcuffs, our beloved club has had a difficult time of holding on to its better players. With our newfound financial strength though, one would think it would be a whole lot easier. That hasn't been the case however, with our arguably best player, King Samba, expressing a desire to leave for greener pastures.

It was always going to be a difficult task for Steve Kean to keep all our players happy, as most of them were apparently very happy with Big Sam and the way he worked with the players. But it is common knowledge that wisdom is acquired with age and that also seems to be the case at the Brockhall training ground, as both Admiral Nelsen and Commander Salgado have both signed new contracts, thwarting speculation about unrest at the club.

Reports of Spurs coming in for England's true No.1, has reportedly made the club offer him a new contract, both as a way of fending off interest, but also as a way of proving to the fans, that we are no longer a selling club.

The contract extensions signed by our senior players, will also inevitably help the club attract younger players and supposed big name players, as there once again seems to be stability at the club. This is apparently already working, with Formica on the brink of signing, Roniel coming in on trial and so on.

The new signings, both loans and permanent signings, should also inject a feeling of excitement which in turn should motivate players like Samba to stay at the club and help it reach new hights.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Onwards and upwards

After more than a week of pneumonia, I'm back and will be back to full fitness in a couple of days and hopefully the writing will follow suit.

These last couple of games, and the days in between, have shown that sacking Big Sam maybe wasn't such a bad decision after all. Some claimed that having such an unproven manager might make it difficult to attract quality players. Some claimed that we were serious relegation contenders with Kean at the helm. Our current 7th position tells a different story.

Kean promised more attacking football and boy has he delivered. I am a fan of Big Sam's football and I think football is a man's sport. But I must admit we are looking more attractive now than before. With Olsson and Hoilett on the wings, Gamst and Dunn in midfield and a mixed front line, we are looking like a mean attacking force. The players are trying to exchange the long balls for short quick passes and they are adjusting to the new life slowly. This was easy to see against WBA where we lost too many balls because of sloppy passes.

The signings we have made so far are not flashy or big, but from what we saw last night, they are more than adequate. Although he didn't do anything incredible and was lucky not to concede a penalty, Jones ran his socks off, got stuck in and passed the ball well. The thing to remember is that he hasn't played regularly in several months. Roque Santa Cruz worked hard and was involved in several good things. He held up the ball well and set up a couple of good shots from Samba, Dunn and Olsson.

Player of the match could have gone to two players - Hoilett and Olsson. Both were immense! Olsson made several crucial tackles at the back and had a few good runs forward and was unlucky not to score on his long shot. Hoilett was a menace going forward with his blistering pace and good technique. He even helped out at the back. His goal wrapped up a great performance and he gets my vote for man of the match.

With only a week left of the window, I do have two wishes. The first on my list is Samba's new contract. He has shown time and again that he is invaluable to the team and we should do what ever we can to keep hold of him. Other than that, I would just like to see a creative midfielder coming in. It's not crucial and can easily wait till the summer window, but it would be nice to get an exciting talented player in.

Over and out - Onwards and upwards

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Return of the 'sewer rat'

First of, I just want to say that I'm very happy with the result today, as QPR are a decent team and our team is being stretched beyond the limit at the moment.

However, there was one very sad incident, which ended with Givet and Mackie being stretchered off. Mackie has unfortunately broken his leg in two places and I sincerely wish the best in his recovery. But the shit really hit the fan, when EH Diouf allegedly went to insult Mackie, while he was still lying on ground hurting. This resulted in Neil Warnock feeling the need to call him 'below a sewer rat'.

I haven't seen the incident myself and until I do, I'll reserve judgement. That being said, I would take Neil's word for much. Now you might ask me why and here's the reason:

Oh and one more thing - a little thank you to Diouf, for his assist tonight ;)

Over and out

Friday, 7 January 2011

We hate you, we love you, we hate you, we looove you!

Being manager of the greatest team in the World is never going to be easy. The fans are extremely picky, and rightfully so, the team never gets appreciation for any performances from the media and for some silly reason, the club seems to have a hard time of holding on to it's best players. If you then add all the controversy that has surrounded the appointment of Steve Kean, managing Blackburn Rovers just might be the most difficult job in the World!

From day one everyone has been against our new manager. "He's absolutely useless", "He hasn't got a clue", "He has no experience", "He is actually Spider Pig" and so on were among the comments he got. Well, maybe not the last one, but you get my point. Admittedly I may be the owner of one or two such comments.

After a draw against West Ham and defeat against Stoke, people were screaming for his head and some were even building gallows in their garage. Three days later a rare and very good and spirited away win against West Brum took the pressure of for a little while. People laid down their megaphones and hammers thinking there might be hope for him after all. That didn't last long though, as rumors of unrest in the dressing room appeared and a horrible performance against Sunderland, had people storming back to the garage and timber and nails were once more the most sold items in Lancashire.

Then came the visit of Liverpool. After their last minute win against West Ham, people were fearing another 7-1 defeat. Kean however had other plans. He fielded a very offensive minded 442 formation, with lightning pace on the wings. At half time Rovers were up 2-0 and after Scuba Steve had sent financial aid to Burnley, in the shape of a Premier League ball, Rovers won 3-1. As fans were singing "can we play you ever week", the media a.k.a Alan Hansen & co. said that the result was purely down to a sh*tty Liverpool performance. Unlike Hansen, Lineker had actually watched the game and tried his best to give the Rovers players some credit, although it wasn't nearly as much as they deserved.

Personally I don't really know how I feel about Kean myself, although I do love him for what he did to Liverpool - if only it was the last game of the season and it was the game put Liverpool alongside The Scum in the Campionships. I think we should reserve our judgment until he has had some time to get some new faces in and has put a real stamp on the style of play. After all we gave a much less experienced Mark Hughes a lot more time than Kean has had so far.

Once again the noise of hammers and nails are back to normal, but for how long?

Over and out

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The rumor mill goes round round round

The rumor mills are turning faster than ever at Ewood Park and the club's owners are surely doing their part to make sure that it keeps going. Talk of Ronaldinho and Beckham coming to Ewood have been laughed at in most corners of the world, but should we really care about that? This is after all what the fans, including myself, have been wishing for for the last 10 years.

Laughing stock or not, you must admit that these are exciting, although a bit worrying, times for Rovers fans. The owners are showing their ambitions with their £20 million bid for Ronaldinho and the tracking of David Beckham (I'm glad we didn't get Ron though).

I am however looking for more realistic talk and am actually delighted with what I've seen from the paper talk. Four of those that have left us for 'greener pastures' in the past are being heavily linked, along with players like Charlie Adam and even Gabriel Milito. These are all players that could come in and do a good job.

First up is Stephen Warnock who went to Villa, as there was a better chance of winning silverware. Let's just say that that didn't turn out too well. I guess that's been the case for all who left Rovers for bigger and better, except for Henning Berg and Damian Duff (please correct me if I'm wrong). He would be a great signing as he can play at left back and can do a decent job in our depleted midfield.
Then there are David Bentley and Damian Duff who both are players that we could use, as the delivery for our strikers hasn't been very good and our midfield is practically depleted through injuries and international duty.
Santa Cruz might be useful if, and only if, he can stay injury free and is willing to work his ass out of his pants for the club.
Adam would slot right into our midfield for reasons mentioned above.
Then there is Milito. Since he's able to do a decent job for Barcelona when needed, I'm sure he'll be good enough t replace want-a-way Chris Samba.

The players above are probably going to cost us somewhere between £20-25 million, but since the owners were willing to throw £20 million at Ronaldinho and a possible sale of Samba would bring in at least £10-12 million, I don't see it as much of a problem.

All in all, I think we'll be seeing some signings and some of them will be catching quite a lot of attention, like Milito who might go from Barca to 'greener pastures' at Ewood Park.

Over and out

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Supporters vs. Fans

Long time no write... Hope you all entered 2011 with a bang, unlike I who was stuck at work. Enough about us, let's talk Rovers - let's talk support.

This will be a short one, but I think it's a very important issue and maybe never more relevant than now.

We all know someone who's a mad Westlife fan, but has anyone ever heard of a Westlife supporter? Someone who turned up to their shows, even if they weren't playing to their best?
My point is that there is a massive difference between a fan and a supporter. The fans come and go in the same rhythm as success, but a supporter turns up when he's needed the most. When the team is down, the supporter will feel that it's partly his responsibility to get it back up.

We all know that all is not well at camp Rovers. If you take a look at the league table, you'll see that if the teams, that have played fewer games than we have, win their games, we are in 18th position. Although it's only possible mathematically, as some of the teams have fixtures against each other, it is still a very scary thought. So what can the fans and the supporters do?

Personally, I think the fans should stay away. I know it sounds stupid, but who is more likely to start booing the players, manager or the owners? It won't be the supporters, that's for sure! I know it's frustrating to see a team that doesn't perform, but booing certainly won't help.

The only thing we can do to help our boys, is to show up at games and give them the same backing as so many of you did at West Brom. Cheer them on and I'm sure we'll see results more often than not. If you aren't fans of Venky's, which no one can blame you for, don't boo them at the games, do it when the game is over.

This is where we separate the wolves from the sheep, This is where we supporters from the fans!

Come on you Rovers!