OK, so I thought rather than post one mini article after another, I'd bundle them all together and save some forests ;)
* First up today is the performances of our on loan goalkeepers over the weekend. Many of you may already know and witnessed what Peter 'Safe Hands' Enckelman had happen to him on one of the grandest stages of them all, bumbling a whipped low cross into the path of Kanu, allowing Portsmouth to score the only goal of the FA Cup final. What you may not have noticed is the performances of Frank Fielding, on loan at promotion chasing Wycombe Wanderers. They played Stockport County in the Coca Cola League 2 playoffs, losing out on a trip to Wembley and possible promotion, as the Edgeley park team defeated Wycombe 1-0. Otherwise it has been a good season for Fielding and has done his cause nothing but good with his performances on loan this season.
* Next up is a rumour about a Blackburn striker (SHOCKER!!!) Roque Santa Cruz, since the end of the season has been (rumoured to be) linked with....Liverpool; as Benitez looks for an established front man to partner Torres, Manchester United; as apparently Fergie concurs with Fat Raph's assessment also but now, lo and behold, the mighty professor; Arsene Wenger, has entered the argument. First of all, the price of Santa Cruz, a figure of £12 Million seems to be doing the rounds currently, is far far to little for a striker that has just taken the Premiership by storm in his first season. Add to that that Roque himself has said that he is very happy with life at Blackburn and you would think that this would be enough for the hacks out there to leave him alone but no, it seems that there is very little else to write about so they keep churning out this 'tut' in the hope that they might get it right rather than actually doing some real journalism. Finally, for the record, £12 million? Please! For a striker, in his prime, with a very good reputation practically around the world? I don't think so. If Roque is really to leave and personally I cannot see it but if he is to, then it will be a few pennies more than £12 million! So dig deep Mr. Wenger/Benitez/Ferguson!
* Alleged Rovers Target Michael Tongue of Sheffield United has been told by Kevin Blackwell, United's manager that he will not be sold in the summer. With interest from Rovers and Sunderland, time will tell on this one.
* The 'hacks' also have us eyeing up Derby youngster and England Under 21 Giles Barnes in an effort to inject some creativity in Rovers midfield. Given that Barnes will be on the treatment table til September at the very earliest hasn't deterred Mark Hughes....so far anyway. Whether Derby will be wanting to sell one of their best young players and arguably one of their prize assets remains to be seen.
* One of the more interesting items over the weekend was that Newcastle, in the wake of their interest in Galatasaray and Turkish player, Arda Turan, are to make former Rovers winger Damien Duff available and that Rovers and Portsmouth have shown an interest. No fee has been suggested (made up!) yet. Personally, I don't see the sense in this one as Duff's reputation as one of Rovers finest ever is secure and a return to Ewood Park, especially when I no longer think that he is the player he was when he left makes this a very risky deal for both Duffer and Rovers.
* Benni McCarthy has, over the weekend decided to declare that he could very well end his career at Blackburn. The South African international didn't enjoy the best of seasons when compared to his debut campaign in the Premiership, but he has signed a new deal at Ewood Park and is clearly happy. Forgive any cynicism but he was very happy last season until Mourinho managed to unsettle him/tap him up only not to follow it up with a concrete offer so maybe McCarthy is happy at Rovers...AT THE MOMENT. We all have seen how easily his head can be turned!
...and finally. It looks like good old Lily Savage will not be stopping long at Pride Park as current manager Paul Jewell has put his entire squad up for sale!!! Maybe the odds of us nabbing Barnes aren't as ridiculous as first though eh?
Thanks for reading!
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