As Rovers return from their pre-season tour of Hong Kong there is a lot of positives to take. Maura Formica who was the big signing made by the club in January has been given some game time with the first team squad and did not disappoint. When Rovers purchased the Argentinian in January's transfer window Rover boss Steve Kean likened to the player to Argentina legend Batistuta, This was a big tag to stick on the player, however he failed to make a single appearance for the first team for the remainder of last season despite Blackburn paying nearly £4 Million for player.
During the tour Formica was outstanding during the 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa and looked Blackburn's biggest threat to the Villa goal. Showing good touches and movement. Rovers ended their tour by avoiding the wooden spoon by beating the host Kitchee 3-0 and once again the name left on every one's lips at the end of the game was Mauro Formica. He capped off a great tour by scoring the first goal of the game with a great diving header, whilst his creativity was evident throughout the game.
With Rochina also getting on the pitch against Kitchee we now have two players available to us who are like new signings due to their limited game time last season. Suddenly things look a little brighter especially as Rovers confirmed during the tour that Serbian International Radoslav Petrovic is set to join the club in a £3 Million deal subject to a work permit. Whilst David Goodwillie is expected at Ewood today for a medical as he rubber stamps a £2.8 Million pound move from Dundee United.
Steve Kean went over to India for clear the air talks and took Ryan Nelsen with him, to show a United front that the players are fully committed to the Manager. It also gave the owners the opportunity to give the players an insight into their future plans for the club. This resulted in the owners giving an interview re-iterating their support for the Manager and plans for the future of Blackburn. This was refreshing as communication to the fans is slowly improving especially as the clubs website is being update more often.
During the tour many newspapers quoted that Chris Samba wanted to play Champions league and he would welcome a move to Arsenal. Now Arsenal and Spurs interest in the player has been well documented since January and Rovers have been bracing themselves for a bid fro the player, however to date no bid has hit Rovers door mat. Samba said on Twitter that he had been mis-quoted and he never said the things which were written in the paper. Saturday's game against Kitchee fueled rumours Samba's exit is imminent as he was not involved in the game and watched on from the stands. Blackburn desperately need to hold onto Samba especially after the exit of Phil Jones earlier in the summer, and although Rovers appear to be active in the transfer market the only deal which has been COMPLETED Was the free transfer of Myles Anderson and this deal had already been agreed prior to the season ending.
David Hoilett has now been offered a new contract but to date this has still not been signed, although its widely reported its just a matter of time before the ink hits the paper. This will be a big relief when its finally done but until then its keep your fingers crossed time.
Throughout this summer the National press have took every opportunity possible to have a dig at Blackburn and in particular our Indian owners. The Daily Mirror has been one of the parties guilty of continuous digs at the new regime down at Ewood Park.
Constant references to the owners industry back ground , with every article using the term "Chicken Farmers" Is now getting beyond the joke, this puts a stereo type into readers minds and its being done purely to be malicious and disrespectful. I never ever read other clubs owners being mocked for their industry backgrounds so why single Blackburn Rovers out?
In addition to this references to Blackburn's current financial position has caused widespread panic, and the longer it takes for Rovers to secure new players, the longer this rumour will carry on.
El Hadj Diouf did not report back for Pre-season after he was told he never had a future at the club. His whereabouts where unknown by Steve Kean and the player has been hit in the pocket with a club fine. Rovers are trying to off-load the player as his time at Rovers has run its cause.
Blackburn's transfer dealings have not gone down well with the supporters. On off transfers, Last minute withdrawals, not following through with enquires and not communicating with the fans has fuelled the rumour that their is in-house turmoil. An example of this was the abrupt end to their interest in Mariano Pavone. The player came over with his family, passed a medical and agreed terms only for Rovers to pull the plug on the deal at the eleventh hour. Other live targets like Mongongu have also faltered as Rovers don't appear to be able to finalise deals for reasons which are still unknown. The season is now less than two weeks away and much work has still to be done to make the squad competitive for the up-coming season