Saturday, 23 July 2011

Rover and OUT!

After months of broken promises and more drama's than a best selling Novel, Its very worrying times for everyone supporter of Blackburn Rovers.

Venkys since taking over have promised the World but to date have failed to deliver on those promises.

The National press have gone to town in breaking revelations over the last few weeks,  Rovers being in financial difficulty with the Banks, In house fall outs, Rovers inability to make any meaningful moves into the transfer market. More and more individuals leaving the club from the back room staff and Board and also a lot of rumours of players unrest.

Our Local Paper on the other hand has broken very little news and seems incapable of either asking the right questions or incapable of asking the right people.
As the local paper which many Rovers fans rely on to break the news especially those with no Internet its been a very poor showing and I'm afraid they should hang their head in shame.

There is very little point in writing a weekly blog in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph stating what fans are worried about if the reporter has not got the balls to ask the question, Maybe this is why he is still working as a local reporter and has not been given an opportunity at a more prestigious level.

Since the end of last season three players have returned to their parent clubs after being on Loan at Rovers, We have sold our best player and other players have either exited or are close to exiting.
Even today Niko Kalinic's agent has spoke of his disgust that Rovers have been unwilling to talk to the £6 Million star who has not flown out with the rest of the squad for their Asia Cup tour.

What are Venkys playing at?

Is this really the asset strip that so many fans predicted months ago?

Have they been stringing everyone along including the remaining members of the board?

Is there anyone left at Rovers we can honestly trust?

Whatever any one's stance is on Venky's no-one can disagree that we are in a lot weaker position now than we where before they bought the club.

 We don't appear to have any direction or any plan

We have a rookie Manager in Steve Kean which targets appear to be avoiding with the plague with even one Premiership player stating "He would rather retire than play for Kean". He should never have been appointed and he has to shoulder some of the responsibility.

The clubs owners know nothing about football, or the way it works or indeed how to negotiate with other clubs and agents for new players.

Has Blackburn Rovers really been bought with the best intentions or has Venkys bought us to market Chickens Worldwide?. After speaking to a few people who live in India their general feeling is the latter which spells further trouble for us.

How can this all be put right?

Get rid of the Manager, Bring in a Manager who has worldwide respect of players and the press alike,

Show us the money, We need at least four new players and not something you'd buy from Trotters Independent Traders.

Employ someone who can answer questions and not feed us Porky's after all you sell chickens not pigs!

If you have got it wrong, hold your hands up and find a buyer for the club before we disappear down the shoot like Wimbledon.

We don't need your lies, and false press releases, we want facts, and we shouldn't have to be going undercover to get them.

We are now sick of waiting for good news and actions speak louder than words
Venkys need to come to the party and if they don't I'm afraid that final nail may already be in the coffin, and Rovers position may just be irretrievable

Friday, 15 July 2011

11 Men who could make a difference

We are now halfway through the transfer window and although the wheels have been turning slowly they have been at least turning,

I thought I would have a little fun and look at Eleven players who could make a difference to our squad. These players are just my opinion and should not be looked at as current Rovers targets!

Goalkeeper-Matthew Gilks Free Transfer

Following the departure's of Jason Brown and Frank Fielding Rovers now find themselves with only one experienced goalkeeper as back up in Mark Bunn. Tony Warner has been linked with a move to Ewood but how about we make a move for Matthew Gilks?
The Blackpool goalkeeper had lots of rave reviews for some of his performances last season and is available on a free transfer. Despite him starting the season as Blackpool's number 1 he spent most of the season injured following a knee injury he picked up against West Ham United. He returned from injury in April and managed 11 appearances in total. Signing back up keepers can be hard as they want first team football, but at 29 with lots of experience under his belt he wouldn't be a bad choice.

Right back-Emmanuel Eboué £4 Million

Michel Salgado will be 36 in October and he was arguably one of Rovers most consistent performers last season. However in terms of natural cover Blackburn are really lacking on options. Its no secret that Arsenal are trying to raise funds so they can themselves move into the transfer market for players and one player rumoured to be available for around £4 Million is Emmanuel Eboue. The 28 year old Ivory Coast International has 61 caps and has a wealth of Premiership experience. His time at Arsenal has not always been plain sailing after he had sections of the crowds turn on him a couple of season's ago. Although he managed 27 appearances last season only 13 of those came in the league. He is comfortable at Right Back and Right Midfield and is a big powerful player. He would offer genuine competition for a starting berth and although not spectacular would be deemed a positive signing for the club.

Left Back- Erik Pieters £6 Million

Although the club already have Givet and Olsson at the club, neither player has always looked comfortable playing at left back. Olsson's main strengths are his forward burst which have proved fruitful for the team. Whilst Givet's distribution or lack of over lapping runs takes an attacking threat away from the team. Givet's future has been under the spotlight for  a number of months with  a move back to France muted.
Erik Pieters has been a revelation since joining PSV in 2008 and is now Hollands first choice left back. The Dutch league has always struggled to hold on to its better players and Pieters is already been linked with a move away. £6 Million could be enough to capture the player who PSV paid £2.5 Million for 3 years ago.
Known for being aggressive and attack minded Pieters would be deemed a top signing for a club of our stature, whilst being only 22 he would also rise in value if he can carry his current form into the rigours of the Premiership.

Centre Back- Jonny Evans £6 Million

With the departure of Phil Jones and the possible departure of Samba Rovers are finding themselves short of experienced options at the heart of their defence. Many players have been linked with moves to the club but one player who could be of interest to Rovers is Jonny Evans. The Manchester United centre back will ultimately now be 5th choice at United with Smalling and Jones waiting in the wings to replace Ferdinand or Vidic. Still only 23 Evans seems to have been around forever and has plenty of games under his belt, both at club level and Internationally. A bid of £6 Million would be enough to tempt United to sell and the player would welcome the opportunity for first team football. Blackburn could do a lot worse than Evans and he ticks all the right boxes being home grown and also only 23.

Centre Back- Steven Taylor £5 Million

The talented defender has had his injury problems in the past but his ability has never been in question. Former captain of the England under 21's Steven Taylor is now 25 and its not always been plain sailing for him at Newcastle. He asked for a transfer in 2010 after a breakdown in contract talks and a change of scenery may suit the player who came through the ranks at Newcastle. Taylor can play anywhere across the back four and being home grown is highly desirable. A sensible fee of a round £5 Million may be all it takes to get the player on board and his leadership qualities would certainly add a bit of steel to the squad.

Centre Midfield- Steven Defour £6 Million

Rovers have been heavily linked with his former team mate Axel Witsel, However Defour is the heart beat of the Standard Liege team and is their current captain. In July 2011 Defour was being linked with a move to Lokomotiv Moscow but rumours have since circulated that negotiations had broken down. English Premier League club Wigan Athletic are rumoured to have bid £6 million for the player. Which is a steal for a player who is just 23 and has over 30 caps for Belgium. Bigger clubs have been linked with him over the years and Manchester United have been keen followers of his development. Defour is described as a dynamic play maker with craft and vision and he would add so much to the Rovers midfield should we make a move for the player.

Centre Midfield- Leroy Fer £4 Million

Leroy Fer has already been capped by the Dutch national team and is only 21. Fer is a no nonsense defensive midfielder currently playing for Feyenoord in Holland, who has been likened to Patrick Viera. He is currently vice captain at his club and would not command a massive fee despite his potential. At 6ft 2 Inches Fer has played over 100 league games in the top flight of Dutch football scoring 13 goals. With Jermaine Jones return to Rovers looking ever increasingly unlikely due to the big fee being demanded by Schalke, Fer would be considered good value at just £4 Million especially with age on the players side.

Right Winger- Henri Saivet £2 Million

Saivet currently plays for Bordeaux but spent last season out on loan. At only 20 Saivet has much potential and Arsenal and Chelsea are just two of the clubs who have been linked with him in the past. Saivet is described as a player with the skill as Zidane, but with the pace and swagger of Henry. He has been capped at all levels from under 16's to under 21's by France and is highly rated over there. The club has never really replaced David Bentley and Hoillet's best form has come when he has played on the left hand side. At £2 Million Saivet would be a snip as he has the potential to be one of the next generation of World superstars.

Left Winger- Santi Cazorla £15 Million

Santi Cazorla would be deemed a marquee signing and one which is not impossible. Villareal are aware many clubs are weighing up bids for the Spanish international who is described as an out an out play maker. He can comfortably play down either wing or centrally and his vision to see a pass and change the pace of the game is amongst the best around at present. He has over 30 caps for Spain and has a keen eye for goal. Cazorla is now 26 and his best years are still ahead of him. He is not a player Villareal would happily sell and have tried to scare people off by slapping a £17.5 Million price tag on the player. However the player is keen to move to England and although Blackburn would not be his first choice of club, If the club can put the right deal on the table its not out of the question. Villareal would more than likely compromise on their valuation and £15 Million which is less than we got for Phil Jones could be easily financed by Rovers.

Striker- Lucas Barrios- £15 Million

After scoring 49 goals in 53 games for Colo-Colo Barrios Transferred in 2009 to Dortmund in Germany for a fee of just under £4 Million .He has had a similar impact in the Bundesliga in his two seasons their and is averaging more than a goal every other game. A Paraguay International is is equally as strong in the air as he is with the ball at his feet and has formed a potent partnership for the International team with Santa Cruz which is leaving Cardozo out in the cold. Dortmund are no longer the team of old and Barrios would welcome a move to the Premiership. He will also be well aware of Blackburn as a club due to being an International team mate of Santa Cruz who only has nice things to say about the club. A fee between £12 -15 Million would be enough to secure the players services and in some quarters he may be considered a Marquee style player.

Striker-Jermaine Defoe £8 Million

Defoe has been heavily linked this transfer window after it emerged Spurs were willing to let the England International go for a fee of around £8 Million. Defoe struggled for goals last season and found himself in and out of the side, however he excelled at international level and has 15 goals for England from over 40 caps. Defoe has scored goals wherever he has been and playing for a less fashionable club would not bother the player as it proved when he joined Portsmouth. Defoe is the type of player who just wants to play and if a club can offer him first team football he will be in the car to sign the deal. He would offer experience but most importantly he is a 20 goals a season player with regular football. He can be a fox in the box or can lash the home from 30 yards and would be a massive coup for the club. Rovers biggest weakness is up front and Defoe's capture would certainly put many an anxious fan at ease to where the goals are coming from next season.

So there we have it Rovers Revisited's 11 men who could make a difference if Steve Kean wishes to have some transfer pointers ahead of the new season.

Please feel free to leave comments on who you would like to see Rovers make a move for, after all the press has been coming up with bogus names for weeks

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Blackburn to capture Pavone

Blackburn Rovers are set to announce Mariano Pavone as their first significant signing of this window.

The once capped Argentinian will join the club on a Bosman Free transfer after spending much of last season on loan at River Plate from Real Betis. However following the Argentinian Giants relegation this past season the player who bought out his contractual rights from Betis in March 2011 for a fee of around 400,000 Euros has once again become a free agent.

Pavone, 29, arrived in Spain in 2007 from Estudiantes with a great goal-scoring reputation, but failed to shine and was put up for sale at the start of 2010. The player is now looking to rebuild his career in England and held talks with the club on Tuesday accompanied  by his agent Ohne Berater and his family, The player also underwent a medical and the formalities of this transfer are expected to be completed today.

So who is Mariano Pavone?

* Pavone is a two footed striker who has 76 goals in 270 appearances which equates to a goal every  3.5  matches.

* He has 1 International cap which was in April 2007 against Chile

* He spent 7 years at Estudiantes finishing the top scorer in the Argentine league in 2005 with 16 goals

*He moved to Real Betis for 6.8 million in July 2007 and suffered relegation with them at the end of the 2008-2009 season

* A move to Catania in Italy fell through in February 2010 and the player eventually joined River plate on loan for the 2010-2011 season.

* Pavone would suffer his second career relegation as River plate where relegated at the end of the 2010-2011 season, Pavone misses a penalty in their final match.

I'm sure there will be mixed opinion on the imminent capture of Pavone and message boards up and down the country are already doing overtime. Some fans very disgruntled whilst others open minded. This is a shrewd move by Blackburn in my Opinion, The player is not a journey man and has only two  full time clubs and a loan on his CV. Although things didn't work out for him Spain, he was at one of the more unfashionable clubs. Big players have gone to Betis in years gone by and failed due to the lack of quality within the squad. One player who springs to mind is Denilson , Real Betis broke the world record transfer fee when they paid Sao Paulo  £21.5 million for his services following an impressive Copa America in 1997. Denilson was regarded in some quarters as one of the best players in the world however his time at Betis was not memorable with the player only showing glimpses of his brilliance before Real Betis were relegated.

The Pavone situation is very similar to that of Denilson's and despite River Plates relegation Pavone was one of their shining lights in what was a poor season for the club. Blackburn are not getting  a player who has not featured for a season but a player who made 32 appearances whilst scoring 9 goals.

We also have to remember that Bosman signings are not free, So this is not a penny pinching exercise by the board, With all Bosman signings comes a large signing on fee, and as the player owns his own rights Rovers will still be paying a nice chuck to secure the player.

Other positives can be taken from this move, We already have Mauro Formica at the club who has yet to feature for the first team, and having a fellow countryman in the squad can only have a  positive reaction on his development.

Pavone Will join fellow new recruits Myles Anderson and young Paraguayan Rodrigo Baez

 Blackburn are also expected to hold talks with other players today as they look to tie up a few more in comings before the weekend whilst youngster Tom Hitchcock is due to join Plymouth Argyle on loan

Friday, 8 July 2011

Very difficult to remain patient?

So far this summer its been one of the most interesting ever in terms of teams strengthening, unfortunately all the hype and excitement has been happening at other Premiership clubs and NOT Blackburn.

Add into the mix a certain website who likes to portray they have very close links with Blackburn Rovers and Venky's PR Machine - They have started a rumour on their message boards that Venky's have had enough and now wish to sell the club, They claim to have got this information from a very reliable source who has always been on the money for them in the past. They also say that they debated long and hard before putting the rumour on their site, However bar the site in question no-one else has touched the story, That includes other Rovers site's, The National press, or even sites which are renowned for making fairy tale stories.

The big problem with Rumours is they spiral out of control and any type of mud which can be thrown at it makes it spiral out of control, However is there any meat being put on the bone to support such claims?

I looked into this story myself and asked the question to the sources I use for getting information for Vital Blackburn and the answer was simple, Venky's are still very focused in taking this project to another level, They have organised a trip for the squad to Pune in a couple of weeks as they wish to introduce their new venture to the people of India. The family have a long term vision, although certain things have been an eye opener for them, due to no prior Knowledge of running a football club, They are not the type of people who run at the first sign of disappointment. They bought the club for cash and not borrowed money like so many other takeovers. Any money generated from sales included the Phil Jones money will be made immediately available to the manager for new players in addition to the budget which was already set a side.

There is a wide spread opinion that their inability to communicate with the fans is causing real problems, The clubs official website appears to be running very few stories despite taking hard earned cash for subscriptions, whilst season ticket sales have been very slow as many fans refuse to commit for the new season until all these questions are answered.

So are things really this bad and has optimism turned to despair?

Its easy to get frustrated when you see one of your best players sold to Manchester United whilst other clubs appear to be buying new blood ahead of the new season. The truth is Rovers did all they could to get Phil Jones to stay at Blackburn, but his mind was made up, He wanted to join a club who could challenge for Trophies now instead of  years down the line. Would he of stayed had Big Sam still been in charge and we was under a different Administration? I very much doubt it, One thing which has always happened at Rovers is our better players have always jumped ship when a Bigger club has come calling, and this is mirror imaged at other clubs in our position up and down the Country.

If we look closely at the clubs who have actually bought players its mainly Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City who have been spending big, However these are clubs who have aspirations to win the league THIS season, of the other clubs Sunderland and Newcastle appear to be adding to their squads every other day, but have they really bought anyone who would wet the appetite had Rovers signed them instead?

Rovers hunt for players has hit somewhat of a brick wall in recent weeks, Clubs and Agents are asking the World for Players on their books, and although we all want to see new players being unveiled on a daily basis we can ill afford to jump in with two feet and buy the wrong player at an inflated price.

We have had reports that Rovers have anything between £5 Million and £50 Million to spend this summer on improving the squad and depending on what sources you believe this could include the wages/signing on fee's. Rovers have been linked with over 50 players in the press whilst there is targets which have not even hit the press rumour mill yet.

One player who looks certain to join Blackburn is Cédric Mongongu. The 22 year old Congo DR international has become available due to Monaco's relegation to the second tier of French football and will join for a fee in the region of £2.3 Million. The young Congolese defender's career has been monitored by some of Europe's elite clubs since his breakthrough into the first team at Monaco at the age of 20 and he has gone on to make other 70 appearances over the last couple of seasons. Those clubs include AC Millan, Juventus and Arsenal and this could prove very shrewd business for Rovers. The player has not suddenly come onto Rovers radar and he has been watched and monitored for many months, Rovers in fact made contact with the players representatives weeks ago when negotiations over a deal was put on the table, Mongongu will be the first of many new players which are expected to come through the door next week.

My stance has always been the same, Judge Venky's when the Transfer window closes at the end of August, They must be given at least this time to prove if they are Buyers or Liars, If September 1st 2011 comes and they have not fulfilled their promises then that is the time to ask the questions and have a full scale inquest, Unitil then I will remain with a glass half full mentality and remain hopeful that this window will be our best ever!