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Beef Up the Rovers Midfield

Vital Blackburn's most recent poll, suggested by MikeyGamst asked, "Which area of the field do Rovers need to strengthen most by the start of next season?" Most concede the Midfield department needs addressing.

With injuries effecting Rovers throughout the side during the 2006-2007 season we did cope, but the most notable area that needs looking at during the summer is midfield, and 54% believe this.

We eventually coped but injuries highlighted the need for something else to be added to the midfield during the summer, something we needed last summer but wasting so much time on Mido eventually cost us this!

Defence gets a surprisingly high 22%, as for me this is a VERY solid foundation for us, obviously when all are fit! I would suggest this is simply as a result of so many feeling we need to bring in a right-back?!?!

Attack is our strongest area according to this poll, and rightly so and least needs looking at. 21% do believe we need change, but I would suggest A LOT depends on what Sparky decides to do with Benni McCarthy, who could be whinging all summer…

As much as I admire the thought, the 3% that feel we are looking good in all areas need a re-think? I'll say we are not far from this, a few players coming in, some more youngsters maybe coming through and others already here staying and yes we are nearly there.

So in summary
Defence - 22%
Midfield - 54%
Attack - 21%
Nowhere, we're looking good all over the pitch - 3%


With only a few games played in May we won't do the usual positional break down before deciding a Player of the Month, we'll dive straight in taking ALL that played into account, so the current poll is asking, "Player of the Month for May?"

As for what you think, cast your vote and why not have your say on the latest polls findings…


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The Journalist

Writer: Walker Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday May 17 2007

Time: 11:42PM

Your Comments

How useful would the likes of Jonathan Douglas (pictured above) have been this season in our hour of need in midfield?!?! I ALWAYS liked the guy and felt he was unlucky not to get more game time, thought that maybe this season could have been his time, but it wasn't to be and he left.
Hughes Da Man
I guess we now look for names of potential signings, particularly midfielders, as this area needs the most work this summer? Anyone got any realistic names in mind?!?!
Hughes Da Man
My take on this, we will be overrun with midfielders come august with reidy and sav due back. If there is quality available then by all means lets bring them in, but no need to strengthen there otherwise. We need a right back and cover for centre half unless Henchoz stays OR berner is competent there, just in case! Up front, with Jeffers and possibly Gally leaving, never mind Moani McCarthy, we could still do with another quality acquisition, whether this turns out to be my fellow countryman, Craig Bellamy, we will have to see. I would be looking, if i were Sparky anyhow, to provide some depth in some key areas (by key, i mean right back!!) and maybe the luxury of a "big" name maybe?
BomBom
As for names, well, strikers I would like to see sparky looking at would be Gabbidon, classy centre half and can play RB too, Robert earnshaw, Freddie Eastwood maybe? David Nugent is another altho I think he will go to Everton and NO i dont want Beattie back, thanks.
BomBom
yep right back is the go for the defence. I am surprised the midfield got such a high rating.... I think Mokoena has filled in pretty welll, Dunn will only get better once his fitness/match time increases. As well we have two of the best wingers in the prem league playing week in week out. Add to this mix the experience and poise on the ball of Tugay and that is without mentioning Savage and Reid to come back into the side and Peter doing his back up thing. No I think now if we can keep this squad together i.e. Benni and Gamst not sodding off to every club under the sun if you believe the tabloids then I think Hughes is in a great position to add QUALITY to the squad. I think the caliber of players we have at the club means that if we buy we are in the position that anyone who comes in will have to be bloody good to get in the team - bar right back, and dont get me wrong I think Emo has done a great job filling in there (far better than he ever did as a winger). a right back and quality hmmmm Im excited about next season already :) Isnt that a wonderful feeling, I hope it lasts the whole summer?!?!
AustRover
And the award for the most Carry on style double entendre filled Vital article headline goes to......
nikolaijns
I think we've fine in midfield.. We have 2 quality wingers and Peter and possibly Gallagher as cover. Up front, assuming all stay, we should be fine too: the only question mark hanging over Nonda's ability (I think he'll probably be ok as a 4th choice tbh!).. If Benni does leave we'll obviously have to look elsewhere, but Sparky can deal with that if/when it happens. At the back is the only area I see needing better cover. We still have no real right-back... and although Emerton's done a good job... he's no defender (warnock's evil right-footed twin would be perfect!). Overall I don't see a massive summer of signings unless we let some go. Most likely I think we'll see a few more youngsters like Berners coming in who we'll forget about until they come good in 3 years!!
Bents4eng
I'd go for: Danny Murphy- 30.5, Giles Barnes-19.5, Jason Koumas-28
IsraeliRover
BomBom - When you think about it like that with the midfielders we have coming back from injury we are looking pretty strong aren't we, the chages (touch wood) of having another injury riduled season like we did this aren't that great (again touch wood!) so with players coming in an doing a job we know we can rely on them, and with others, such as Warnock and Emerton that could push up if REALLY needed we should be sound. If we could pick up someone cheap then why not, if not I'm pretty happy with what we have really and maybe we could look to really bringing someone through from the academy or reserves in the next year or so as some of these come to the end of their days?!?! Nugent WOULD be a top, top signing but I also doubt we'd get him. Gabbidon is class but wouldn't be willing to stay out of the side and I'm still not convinced about Earnshaw, Eastwood is unproven but I get a good vibe from him but I'd rather Sparky turned to himself coming out of retirement than bringing back Beattie, even though he hasn't played for a few years he would probably do a better job lol!
Hughes Da Man
AustRover - Couldn't agree more, I think most of us are excitted about next season aren't we and genuinely feel that the current squad of players we have, with maybe one or two additions (maybe if this even came from within the current set-up, academy side etc?!?!) are as good as ANY below the top four, and WILL give ANY of the top four a game on the day. Keeping players is crucial though isn't it, lets keep our fingers crossed.
Hughes Da Man
Bents4eng - We'll not see a lot of additions will we, unless we see a mass exit of players (which again I think, or at least hope is unlikely!) I've said it within another thread but if we are looking for a goalscorer, on the cheap (wages aside, which could be a problem but with him not short of a few quid might not be too bad?!?!) and who is most importantly proven what about someone like Robbie Fowler who is leaving Liverpool? I also feel, although maybe it wouldn't be bad looking at this are is right-back as much of a problem as we seem to think? Brett's done an OK job, Andre Ooijer will without doubt do a job and is still the man I feel most likely to play their anyway, not to mention the Monk (Zurab) who can fill in, add some youngsters that we have at right-back that have been mentioned for a while. I assume you are talking about Bruno Berner? There seems to be this idea from quite a few people (from what I gather) that he is a youngster but he's late 20's, early 30's isn't he? A quality football who gives us cover at left-back, centre back, left-midfield and even an emergency striker, a utility player in the Warhust mould but not a young talent though is he.
Hughes Da Man
IsraeliRover - Finally in my round-up of addressing posts :) I do like Murphy and do genuinely feel he isn't rated as highly as maybe he should be, let's face it you don't score against Manure year after year and play for Liverpool as many times or for as long as he did without having something about you. He's lost his way after some awesome form for Charlton early on in his career with them that SHOULD have seen him recalled by England, but since then he's gone off the boil, maybe his lovely, lovely missus is wearing him out :) lol. So as much as I rate him, not sure he'll offer too much different to what we have. Barnes, great talent but I've not seen a lot of him. Apparently he'll stay with Derby whatever happens. Jason Koumas, If I'm honest I wanted the guy to arrive when Dunny came back in January but it didn't happen, not that I'm unhappy Dunny came back now. If WBA go up we don't have a prayer, if they don't the £5 million they want is WAY too much. Overally though I'm not convinced he offers anything different to what we have now though, and if he'd even fit in to the side?!?!
Hughes Da Man
Murphy would be a decent signing for us, has vision in midfield, Koumas would be my choice, think he's a more rounded player overall, we dont need Gabbidon, well not at the min anyway, Barnes would be a great signing and we could get him but he'd more than likey want to move on after a few years. Hdm u asked for a cover player, well we have one already - Steven Reid, if we can keep him fit. I think Berner is 29
Clint
Have just read that Celtic are intersted in Koumas, now seriously - Rovers - Permier League or the Hoops, 4 decent domestic matches a season. This is all null and void if WBA beat Derby but please given the choice and any way Koumas is only 27!!
Clint
Reidy is certainly a ultility player also but unlike ("the youngster" :) lol) Berner isn't a genuine out and out player who could do virtually as good a job in any positon he filled in as Berner could, obviously just my opinion and probably total rubbish :) Is Koumas really only 27, that surprises me. The Premiership WOULD be the better move but the Scottish Premiership would be the easier one, and bring much, much more success wouldn't it. Koumas would be good to have but not at £5 million, but SURELY WBA wouldn't really be expecting this, if they don't make the Premiership anyway?!?!
Hughes Da Man
Lol.. I was sure he was a youngster.. evidently completely wrong!!! oh well.. he's only as old as he feels I'm sure ;)
Bents4eng
dont know if the midfield does need beefin up tbh if you look at it we have reid, savage, tugay, mokoena, pedersen has played in the centre on occasion(semi final fa cup) bently can play centre and each wing has cover in the shape of peter and treacy on the left and emerton on the right so i think we are ok there i feel right back needs sortin more than any other position!
durks de rover
I wouldn mind another mokoena type player, capable playin in the middle and in the back. Gonna be a long season and um sure we can do well in a few of the cups
sasman
rite back can be filled, with Emerton, Zurab, Oojier and possibly Mokoena there, ur rite though midfield dosnt really need beefing up but it does need someone with the flash of brilliance ie A young Tugay, who wont play every match and there are still ? over Dunn and his fitness for me. We hahve very good honest ball winners in teh middle but with Ried out no-one to make the forward runs to support the strikers, this is also not Dunn's natural game, well from wot i can remember anyway, he's more of a passer
Clint
I think maybe Ooijer will be able to adapt to right-back... but I'm really not sure about Zurab or Mokoena in that role (but the axe did show he could adapt this season I think he'd probably live up to his name at right back). I seem to remember that at his peak Dunny could make good runs forward.. I personally can't believe he hasn't scored yet!
Bents4eng
yeah i know but I think from Jan on was used to build up his fittness, next season we will see him back to his best, injuries permitting!! I would just like to see someone else in there, as this was our dodgy area this season. Oojier has played rite back at PSV so has Zurab at Rangers so they all could do it there, though the two of them will not be a quick at getting forward and helping Bentley as Emerton
Clint
Ooijer and Zurab can both play centre-half or right back - Didn't Ooijer play there for Holland? (I think) left back we have warnock and Berner - Forwards are pretty much covered (provided either Nonda or AN Other comes in, and no-one leaves), both sides of midfield are solid, with cover in Emerton (thanks to the extra utility backs), Peter, Treacy et al. The only potential problem is down the middle. Savage will be a plus, but can we bank on him to stay fit, along with perennial sicknotes Reid and Dunn - Tugay is getting long in the tooth, and Mokoena, although he has come on leaps and bounds, doesn't strike me as the saviour just yet. Nope, it's the centre of the park that needs attention - A protege for Tugay, and a couple of engines is where the concentration has to be.
Head Rover Heels
Would of been good to sign Muamba, i hear Flamini is on his way out, why not grab him for a free. Personally, i would sign bresciano or grella, they both want out of italy, comonn we need more aussies lol
sasman
I'd like to mention Alan Smith again, i did b4 and I think it would be worthwhile, he's the kind of plyer I'd like to see at Rovers, would of said that fella Jagielka ( mite be rite ) from Sheffield Utd but im not sure we need him, but he's a great player, or indeed the wee striker Eastwood from Southend
Clint
alan smith is a quality player who would be good for us but i reali cant see it happenin fergie has a way of makin de bit part players at manure happy nd make dem feel wanted i couldnt see him give up possible CL football for uefa TBH but would agree in that i would be happy if he came to rovers!
durks de rover
I ahve two words... Jason and Koumas.
MikeyGamst
Muamba would have been the dogs nuts, Birmingham have got a HELL of a player their! Tugay desperately needs that young apprentice to pass his knowledge onto, I still can't help think that maybe, just maybe Emerton could still be cultured into such a role?!?! Ooijer DOESN'T have the pace that the all round, modern day full-backs have but he's played A LOT, probably half his career as this and although I'm not certain I'm sure he was converted from this to a central defender but can easily play right-back. Still agree Eastwood may be worth a punt if the price is right but not too keen on Alan Smith.
Hughes Da Man
Jason Koumas and £5 million don't really belong in the same bracket though do they?!?! So for that money not for me. That's what WBA apparently want isn't it, but surely they don't REALLY think they'd get that do they?
Hughes Da Man
we could prob get bresciano and grella for 5mill all up, ohhh comon sparkyy one attacking mid and one defensive mid, perfect replacemetn for tugay
sasman
Can we replace Tugay though???? If we get Koumas for 3 million that'll do me.... £5 million is too high. As we always say, Sparky knows best.
MikeyGamst
I'd rather split the amount and pay £2.5 million tops (but I'm a tight ass lol!) Tugay can NEVER be replaced can he. We (Rovers) know what he is about, the Turkish nation and probably Rangers, and in fairness a fair few other teams' fans but until he stops playing on the whole people won't recognise him until he's done, and maybe not even then?!?! You can rest assured that if he'd played for Manure, Barcelona etc. (as he could have!) he'd be right up there as we speak.
Hughes Da Man
OK, lets put a few truths out there. Koumas is NOT and will never be worth 5 mill. Period. Ive seen the lad play for Wales and Cardiff and yes he has begs of talent but if he was THAT good, why is he still at west brom when Cardiff were all over him but couldn't meet the valuation at the time, of 2 million. For 2 mill down i would say go for it, but for any higher, stick it up their collective arses. He's good but he is NOT that good. I wouldn't want to see Smith in a Rovers shirt thanks very much. He was in a leeds team that went down and went to United and has done what exactly? Granted injuries haven't helped him but if Louis Saha can go to United and score goals then what's Smith's deal? Oh, and he is not a centre midfielder in the Roy Keane mould either! I would rather the Axe thanks. Cannot say i know much about Vinnie Grella but bresciano is an average to decent player but his versatility would appeal to me if it was at a decent price as the guy is approaching 28. Mathieu Flamini, again maybe a decent signing and versatile but can you see him holding down a regular spot in te first team? That would be, i'd imagine, his reasons for wanting to leave Arsenal and i wouldn't say that we could offer that. Gabbidon for a decent price (lets be fair WHU have too many centre halfs and with more money to burn this summer, could see him leave for a nominal fee) would be a very good signing, Sparky blooded Gabbs at international level so he knows his capabilities. Ernie would be another great option up front and would offer something we do not currently have there, pace. For a decent price i could see this happen. I personally like Freddie Eastwood and think he could make the step up but to my knowledge, we have never been linked with him before. Giles Barnes is going to take his crack at the prem with Derby probably, if not, i know that Bolton and Everton have shown an interest in the guy and we could not offer immediate first team opportunities, which could well rule us out as an option. Murphy would and could be a valuable cover buy, again for a nominal fee, i don't want to see us blow £3 million of our reported £14 million summer kitty on a guy who only has 2-3 MAYBE seasons left in him. Phil Jagielka is a good player but offers us nothing different than we currently have on the books. You all have to remember that we have reserve team players like Tony Kane and Eddie Nolan to throw into this mix too, I would like to see Kane get some pre season opportunities to see if hes capable of making that step up yet and Nolan offers us decent cover at centre half and sparky obviously rates him as hes given him a few games last season. For me the jury is still out on Sergio Peter, he has shown flashes of his talent, but reproducing on a consistent level in the premiership is another, just ask Gamst!
BomBom
I do rate Gabbidon, but personally I would see his signing as almost wasting some of our budget if I'm honest, we have NO need in my opinion to sign another central defender. He'll not be happy to sit on the bench, but wouldn't get in ahead of God and the Wall for me, not overly keen on Earnshaw either really, would certainly more than consider Eastwood though. Kane and Nolan will hopefully get more first team chances next season, even if this comes from the bench, I could see this. Andy Taylor needs to be given a bit of a chance now too or shown the door. It's hard to judge Sergio isn't it as we've not seen a lot, but I am thinking he could be as good as MGP.
Hughes Da Man
While i primarily agree regarding gabbidon, Ernie is a banker who would do a job for us and already has Prem experience plus international experience too. The Peter comment is a very brave or very foolish one mate, I am reserving judgement until he gets a decent run in the side to be honest, there's too many variables to say that he will or wont be a decent performer, never mind as good as Gamst!
BomBom
im being left out lol. I really think bresciano and grella can be bought on the cheap, and wage demands would not be too high, i really dont c how koumas can be preferred to bresciano
sasman
I like to live life dangerously BomBom :) Putting my neck on the line is good lol, I've got another bold prediction coming up elsewhere in what will soon be a NEW article. As for the two Aussies sasman you will clearly know them better than us, and although I've heard good things about both, I don't really know enough to say too much. If the price were right from what I know one, or both could be good signings for Rovers ON and OFF the field.
Hughes Da Man
Hmm, I agree with HDM I don't really see a need for another centre back at the moment... be it Gabbidon or anyone else.
Bents4eng
Just read David Thompson has been released by bolton. What ya guys rkn, bring him back just like we did with dunny? They also released quintin fortune, i rate him much higher then kishinisihvilli as a reserve
sasman
I liked Tommo but let's leave things as they are with him, as for Fortune NO WAY! He probably is better than Zurab but at least Zurab stays fit, we've paid out enough wages for players than don't or won't play, Fortune wouldn't come overly cheap and if we got a handful of games out of him we'd be lucky!
Hughes Da Man
Fair enough hughesy, what happended to the transfer section of the forums, its that time of season again
sasman
It's been put out to pasture mate! Simply start anything you want on transfers you want to see, gossip speculation etc. in a new thread YOU (sasman or anyone else) want within the 100% forum.
Hughes Da Man
Oh dam thats a shame, i would of thought that section would be the focus now being the off season
sasman
You can have too many sections, and as I plan to add more this season the forum could become VERY confusing?!?! As I say use the 100% forum dude and start your threads, they'll be picked up on and then we'll discuss :)
Hughes Da Man
 

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