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VBer pre-season preview

The coming season is a pretty tough one to call. With seemingly every other team in the league splashing out on new players, it would be easy to look at Rovers and think that we will struggle to compete with even the likes of Stoke and West Ham.

However, I do not see this being the case. We finished last season in 10th, with a total of 50 points. 36 of those points were gained at Ewood, with only 14 being gained away from home.

We had a total of 13 wins, 11 draws and 14 losses. Which is not a bad record, but there's certainly room for improvement. I think we will improve slightly this year, and finish 8th. As for our cup campaigns. I think we will make the semi finals of the FA Cup, and the quarter finals of the League Cup.

I see this seasons results panning out as follows: The new boys: This season sees the return of both Newcastle and West Brom to the Premier League, and also a first ever appearcance for Blackpool. I don't see any of these teams presenting a threat to us. 3 points home and away against Blackpool, 3 points at home and 1 point away against both Newcastle and West Brom will give us a total of 11 points.

The top 4: Generally a struggling point for us. Home wins against Man United and Tottenham and a home draw against Chelsea are all I can see us taking from those 4 teams, I can't see us beating Arsenal home or away. Giving us another 7 points. The other teams who finished above us last season: Birmingham, Everton, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Man City. 4 points against Birmingham (home win & away draw), 3 points against Everton (home win), 3 points against Liverpool (home win) and 3 points against Villa (home win) will gives us a further 13 points.

Again, I see us taking nothing from the City games. Last seasons surprise packages: Stoke and Wolves. Home wins against both, along with an away draw against Wolves will give us 7 more points. The derbies: Bolton and Wigan. 6 points from Bolton and 4 from Wigan (home win, away draw) will bring us 10 more points. The rest: Fulham, Sunderland and West Ham. Home wins against all 3 and an away draw at Sunderland and Fulham will leave us with a further 8 points. This will leave us on 56 points.

Last season 56 points would've only gained us 1 place, but the points totals were unusually high last season, and in every other season since the turn of the century (except for 07/08), 56 points would have placed us at least 8th. With the additon of Diouf from United, and the possibility of Benjani joining on a free transfer, our striking options will be bolstered.

Add to this another striker, who I am sure most of us think Sam will sign before the end of the transfer window, and we will finally start to score a few goals. Last season we only scored 41 goals, averaging just over a goal per game.

I think we can realistically score 60 this season. So much hinges on whether Sam can bring in an extra striker before the close of the transfer window. With the emergence of Jones and Hanley last season, we now have more options for when Nelsen and Samba are missing through injury.

If we can add Canella to the squad, we will have adequate cover for the whole back line. 55 goals conceded last season was not too great, I think we can improve again and concede 45. Our player of the season, I think will be Chris Samba. He has been a rock at the back for us since we signed him, and I think he will have his strongest season yet with us. Our top scorer, I think will be Kalinic but this may change depending on who we bring in before the beginning of September.

Our surprise player of the season, Junior Hoilett. He has shown lots of potential in the past (good grief don't let Rover23 see this Ben!) and I believe this is the season he is set to shine. So in summary, I predict that we will finish 8th with 56 points, 60 for goals and 45 goals against. What do you guys think? If any of you say that we will finish in the bottom 3, I will have to hunt you down and kill you! =)

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The Journalist

Writer: Mikey Delap Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday August 13 2010

Time: 11:52AM

Your Comments

I reckon you will finish in the top half, but more 9th or 10th, I just see a big gap between the top 8 (Man U, Chelsea, Spurs, City, Everton, Villa, Red *****e and Arsenal) and the rest.
Rob-EFC
I am not too convinced that Villa will do a great deal this season. They are going to lose Milner and gain Ireland (if Ireland stops being greedy) which is not a bad deal. But with the manager gone, I don't see them doing too much due to the settling in period the new manager will need. Everton are a decent team, but I really don't think they are THAT much better than Rovers. 11 points was the difference last season, I think Everton could take 7th spot but I only see the difference being 4-5 points this time around.
roversfanben
delap! you takin credit for someone else's work! you cheeky git :P.....super stuff roversfanben, keep it up mate
sasman
i think 8th is what we should be aiming for really as well. if we go higher bonus! we do need a good start and also to stop conceding the silly goals like last season and we'll be fine.
ITSALLROVER
Thanks, Sas. ITSALLROVER, I agree about us needing to stop conceding silly goals. We did that far too often last seaon. With Niko having had his season to settle, I expect to see him hit double figures next season too. Our top scorer scored 5 last season, I think?
roversfanben
No offence Ben, but Everton are far better than Rovers, different class, the only reason you were so close was becuase of our horrific injury list, but when we began to regain some of our stars e.g. Jags, Arteta we only lost 2 out of last 24 games.
Rob-EFC
I completely disagree, Rob. What have Everton won to prove this? I know Rovers have won nothing since 2001, but we are still a decent team that's hard to beat. We could all use injuries as an excuse, there were plenty of times last season where we had a makeshift back 4, but football is a squad game, so injuries need to be accepted and dealt with, not used as an excuse. We shall see what happens, but Everton are not exactly world beaters.
roversfanben
I know but we had a period of at least a month hereour 5 strikers were injured all at once, not to mention the other the injuries to the squad, as I said 2 losses in the last 24 games of the season with victories over chelsea and Man U, and Arsenal getting a late equaliser at emirates, to me that shows that when everton have a half fit side they are capable, but as you said we shall see, I personally cant wait for Saturday
Rob-EFC
Sorry I have just realised I have not put bens name at the bottom... slapped wrist!!!
Mikey Delap
TBF Rob we gave Man U and Chelsea a game too... you are not far better than us, not in a different class at all. Your league positioning suggests you are slightly more rounded and a better side but to suggest the gap is bigger than that is not true. Every team has to cope with injuries.
Mikey Delap
You gave Man U and Chelsea a game?? Actually football wise or Big Sam tactics?? We have been consistent top 5 finishers, whilst you have been bottom half (apart from this seaosn where you scraped into the top half) Just wait and see this season, as Sir Alex said Everton are the interesting team that have all their players back and they will be in and around the top 4 (no offence I would take Sir Alex's words over yours)
Rob-EFC
Well the scores were 0-0 and 1-1 in those games so please let me know which one you mean? I would also take Sir Alex's words over mine but I am not debating Everton are a good side am I? I am debating your rather arrogant claim that Everton are miles better than Blackburn... and by scraping into the top 10 do you mean the 05/06 season where we came 6th? Or the season after that where we came 10th again? And then 7th the season after that? In fact in the last 5 years we have been outside the top half ONCE... please explain???
Mikey Delap
02-03: Rovers 6th, Everton 7th. 03-04: Rovers 15th, Everton 17th. 04-05: Rovers 15th, Everton 4th. 05-06: Rovers 6th, Everton 11th. 06-07: Rovers 10th, Everton 6th. 07-08: Rovers 7th, Everton 5th. 08-09: Rovers 15th, Everton 5th. 09-10: Rovers 10th, Everton 8th. So we finished abov you in 02-03, 03-04 & 05-06. You finished TWO places above us in 07-08 and 09-10. 06-07 you finished 4 places above us (we finished in the top half) in only THREE of those seasons did we finish in the bottom half, and Everton also finished in the bottom half TWICE. So please, if you are going to act like Everton are so much better than us, know your facts first. We won the Carling Cup in 2002 and the Premier League in 94-95. The last trophy Everton won was in 1995 when they lifted the FA Cup. You are living in a dream world if you think Evertone can compete with United, City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham. Please, if you are going to talk rubbish, take it somewhere else.
roversfanben
Ok, that is your opinion I respect that, but we will have to see, I mean did do the double over your lot last season, to be honest, I dont really care that in 2002 and 1994-95 you did this and did that, the fact is your a different side from then to now and so are we. Also, a 0-0 and a 1-1 does point to Big Sam tactics and I expect that to be the case on Saturday. Also, Cahill WILL play on Saturday.
Rob-EFC
But what we are saying Rob EFC is if you are gonna come on here giving it large then please do your research mate. Think then speak...
Mikey Delap
The thing is if you take a look at the past 3 or 4 seasons EFC: 6, 5, 5, 8 compared to BRFC: 10, 7, 15 , 10 there is a pretty substantial difference and we only finished 8th because we had an absolute shocker of a season, as for competing with the likes of Chelsea, Man U etc, well as I sadi we beat man U, beat Chelsea and drew with chelsea, double over Man City and arsenal scoring a late equaliser at emirates, if that isnt competing then what is? and unlike your lot we actually didnt park the bus in front of goals, we actually went head to head with them.
Rob-EFC
Oh jeez. This guy is obviously too deluded and blinkered to see that Everton are nothing more than a decent team. What do I call competing? Winning something for a start. Actually pushing the likes of Man U and Chelsea for the title. Finishing 24 points behind United, and 25 points behind Chelsea is NOT competing. Hull and Burnley finished 31 points behing Everton, by your reckoning, that is competing right? You will never be good enough to win the Premier League, and you will probably never win the FA Cup again in my lifetime. 2 places seperated us last season, let's not forget that. And if you honestly think that a team with only 1 real star player (Arteta) can push the top 4, you are living in a dream world. Both the Manc teams, Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea are all better than you and all of them will finish above you.
roversfanben
I like how Rob is ignoring the actual questions I am asking him and just rambling on... And given the respective budgets of the club, what do you expect us to do??? Go flat out?!?! Stop being so deluded...
Mikey Delap
 

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