Saturday, 16 July 2011

3. Blackburn Rovers FC

The next step in my quest. Blackburn Rovers FC.

Last season saw change at Blackburn as they were taken over by Indian owners - Venky's who are said to have money to spend and decisions to make- which they were swift to do - with the release of Sam Allardyce which led to the inexperienced Steve Kean taking charge. Finishing 15th at the end of a long season was somewhat triumph considering they were the tip of many to face the drop on 'Survival Sunday' but was it how the fans had invisaged the season to pan out?

Considering the money their owners are said to have the only transfer activity which has been on the way out with Frankie Fielding leaving to Derby and most notably Phil Jones leaving for Manchester United for a considerable fee. There is rumours linking big players with Rovers including the like of Jermaine Defoe and only time will tell to whether they can pull of such signings.

I again asked the questions to Rovers fans on twitter of what they think of the state of their club currently, thoughts on transfers and the manager and the big one, where they believe they'll finish come the end of the 2011/2012 campaign.

As i continue with my blogs fans seem to give me more detailed accounts of their thoughts ahead of the new campaign; either as we go through the teams fans become more passionate or they just enjoy giving me more to go on, regardless, its helping a lot!

@roversally- ' very apprehensive '

After just sneaking past the trap door at the end of the season to keep their place in the Premier League many Rovers fans have become apprehensive about the season ahead as @roversally told me. She did however, go on to mention that 'the Venkys are behind us' so has belief they can turn the club back onto the right path but stressed 'attractive football is required' - maybe a good job they got rid of Big Sam after all!

@michael_dennis_ - 'i predict a tough start'

@michael_dennis_ is less confident in the 'backing' of the Venkys and said they could eventually reach 11th by the end of the season but 'need more signings now though - Venkys havent shown their money yet.' Seems to me there is already a split about the new investors amongst the Rovers fans.

@Raeljames - 'Prediction 14th.'
The Venkys are definitely hot topic around Ewood Park @raeljames said 'Our new owners arrived with a lot of talk about investing in players and pushing for the top six' this excited the Blackburn fans as it would any football fans but this excitement was soon drained quite quickly for many fans including @raeljames.

He was not impressed with the way they have conducted themselves within the club - 'They then sacked a proved Premier League manager, who might not play pretty football but at least gets results.' - Sam Allardyce was liked by many fans even if his style of play was not so popular his release was still not overly welcomed especially when a big name was not set ready to take over, instead Steve Kean was their choice. 'They replaced him(Allardyce) with a manager who while he seems like a decent guy, has no experience, and managed to take us to the brink of relegation.'

@raeljames - 'Its only 3 years since we finished 7th'(mental!)
Transfer talk comes hand in hand with the Venkys with their promises of bringing in 'players like Ronaldinho and Ruud Van Nistelrooy' yet they have actually not signed anyone and simply sold one of the most promising young players in the country. @raeljames is not impressed with the transfer goings on however did highlight £20M for Phil Jones was good business and believes 'reinvest that money and more in 4 or 5 new players to add much needed quality to a squad thats a bit short now or we'll face a relegation battle again' He also made an interesting point when saying 'Most of our transfer business gets conducted through the media, all speculation no end product.'

@St_Jimmy_77 - 'Rovers will finish around mid table'

@st_jimmy_77 also picked up on the inability of Blackburn to get pen to paper in speculated deals he mentioned instances where they have been linked with players such as Piatti and Witsel and the lack of 'pulling power' to complete these deals. He gave possible explanations for these failings saying it could be because 'we seem to be too slow at getting bids together or our inexperienced manager' but either way it is not keeping the fans happy.

On the subject of what people think their club needs in the transfer market to be ready for a successful season i think the Rovers fans were united in the fact they need some extra strike power up front - all of @st_jimmy_77 @raeljames and @xargle15 highlighted this as a serious issue - surely something Kean must therefore be aware of. @xargle15 went on to say 'If we can buy a striker and not lose any major players, we will start well.' whilst @st_jimmy_77 believes 'with a few good signings we could push higher but i'd be happy with midtable'

@xargle15 'hopeful me says top 10'

Even though the fans seemed to agree on the transfer topic of the need of at least one striker due to their obvious lack of goals they do seem to oppose each others view when it comes to manager Steve Kean. @St_Jimmy_77 did mention how he was sceptical when Kean was appointed even though he is a 'respected coach' but said he was almost turned around through performances at certain games last season 'He is very positive and you can see that in the teams tactics. I hope he continues because he is getting the best out of Junior Hoilett who looks top class. He deserves a chance!'

Where as @xargle15 does not have so much faith in Kean, she said 'I certainly don't think he'll attract big players!' which worries her a lot as without a squad with strength in depth which she feels Blackburn do not have they will have another relegation battle on their hands - and this is from someone who said 'I always approach a new season with some (usually misguided) optimism.' - i wouldnt like to see her pessimistic side!

Blackburn are one club I really felt i lacked knowledge on, this has really opened my eyes to the goings on at the club and the expectation surrounding them. I was one of those many people backing them for the drop last season but in fairness do seem to big a club for the drop and do have some quality players. I am feeling positive about their chances next season - but a few new players will need to be signed for this feeling to work out - i am giving a prediction on 11th which i am sure will go down well with many Rovers fans (I may go back on this closer to the season so dont hold me to it) but i do feel a more realistic shout is 13th.

Again, i'd like to thank the Blackburn fans that gave me their views for this - some gave big detailed views which although hard to get everything in it does make my life easier as i have more to blog about!

@beckytLCFC 'fans view blog quest'

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