Wednesday, 28 August 2013

CollinsBeans Big 2013/14 Fans Preview: Edition #4

With the season now well underway we’ve come to the final part of our fan previews for 2013/14. It may seem like our final fan is a bit lonely but really, given the crazy soap opera that was Blackburn Rivers last season we thought that they deserved a section all to themselves

Happily it seems that Blackburn are on for a somewhat more understated (and thus optimistic season) so welcome friend of the blog and former contributor Gareth Thomas to our big preview and his thoughts for the year ahead...  

Fans Preview No. 10 – Gareth Thomas: Blackburn Rovers

1. New season, new hope (or new fears...) - how are you feeling heading into season version 2013/14?

New season is one of optimism for me, the off the field soap opera seems to be over...almost.  Gary Bowyer has got some commitment from the board and looks like he will be given the necessary time to reshape the squad, and the way we want to develop.  Rovers spent millions of the training facility at Brockhall in the 1990s and we need to start getting more players out of it – which means giving a chance to players who historically have been loaned out etc, particularly now we are in the Championship and therefore have diminishing TV revenue etc.  We also managed to get a shirt sponsor before the season kicked off which is a bonus....

2. Everyone enjoys some 'wheeling and dealing' (TM H. Redknapp) so how would you assess your teams summer transfer business?

Bowyer has made some shrewd signings, and not spent a penny yet.  His first priority was offloading the high earners, so it was pleasing to see Nuno Gomes, Danny Murphy and Martin Olsson leave, and Morton Gamst Pederson to the Portuguese contingent is down to one, Fabio Nunes who looks a good prospect (albeit more a EPL player than the championship).  Mauro Formica got a secret transfer to Cruz Azul in Mexico prior to kick off at Doncaster, and we got a fee so that was a plus.  The only remaining fly in the ointment is Gael Givet, the French nut job.  He screwed up his move to Livorno by demanding a pay off from Rovers before signing, even though we waived any transfer fee.
On the additions side, David Dunn resigning was important, the returning youth players Alan Judge and Alex Marrow have points to prove, Tommy Spur and Tom Cairney looked like the sort of hungry young players we need to progress.  Chris Taylor is a winger we have been crying out for, and Matthew Kilgallon will be a solid backup for Dann/Hanley, and can cameo at left back too.  DJ Campbell is a slight concern due to his injuries and reported wages (agreed prior to Bowyer being appointed allegedly).  Still honest enough player and provides competition/backup to Rhodes and Best.  Would love to have seen Jay Spearing sign but his wages were beyond our limits and a sign that the club is sticking to some sort of financial wisdom.  Todd Kane is one to watch, future England right back by all accounts and Jose Mourinho is keeping tabs.

3. Come May 2014, your team will be...

In the playoffs potentially, if we keep Dunn fit and tighten up defensively.  Paul Robinson returning from his blood clot could be a turning point.  Rhodes to score 25+...again.  

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