31st July - 6th Aug 06
Yet another day and yes a new week of football speculation. Andy Webster has caught the eye of Mark Hughes, so his agent says. The 24-year-old Scottish international centre-half would cost us about £200,000. At that price he isn`t exactly going to break the bank and should be worth a try. We have a little competition from Wigan but the prospect of still playing in Europe might just swing him our way!?!
A former player of ours, England U19 international forward Jerome Watt was given a run about at Northampton Town. Their boss John Gorman gave him a trial in a pre-season friendly at Luton Town today. Good luck to him I say and all the best. Just don`t come back to haunt us one day.
Tuesday 1st August 06
More news on Webster...Wigan seem to think they got him in the bag, well at least confident of getting him. We`ll see hey! Birmingham are keen but would think it would be a two horse race with us and Wigan as we are up there with the big guns!
An even bigger target for us is Chelsea's Robert Huth? Let`s hope we can nip in and gain the services of this big strong centre-half. Middlesbrough want him on loan but maybe Hughes can grasp him from the clutches of our Premiership rivals with a cash offer? After our defence was ripped apart against Olympiakos in our weekend instantly forgettable friendly we could do with the likes of him surely. Full article click here
The signing of Benni McCarthy has excited me. After losing Bellamy to them Scouser`s I thought oh no. But I`ve done my research and boy this kid appears good; great international strike rate and natural goal scorer at champion`s league level. We must obviously have something that these other teams didn`t have in the past that appeals. (Sparky Hughes.) Full article click here
He pledges that he is going to shine and cannot wait to get started. Benni describes Hughes as one of the best strikers to have ever played in England, which he was of course and if Benni has even half that quality then I am sure he will come good.
I`ve also heard that Hughes is after Egyptian international Wael Gomaa. To be honest I have never heard of the chap, all I know is he`s Egyptian, a defender and also that he plays for Africa champions Al-Ahli. Other than that he is a mystery to me and will have to do my research.
Yet another name we are being linked with is Ecuador's 20-year-old World Cup star Luis Valencia. As far as I know he wants a move to England and we are apparently interested in him. I recall seeing him play in the World Cup and he didn`t look a bad little player which no doubt put him in the shop window, as well as getting him a nomination for the Best Young Player Award at the finals. Let`s hope Villarreal agree to let him go and we can get him here as there is always room at our club for young talent.
Wednesday 2nd August 06
I awoke from a wonderful dream where we were playing the UEFA final. The score was 1-1 with ten minutes left and our new boy Benni was on a blistering run! I wonder what would have happened…
Anyway, there is news that Brett Emerton is to go Middlesbrough? As far as I know this is only a rumour. Let`s hope it stays that way as we do not want to be losing any more of our wanted players.
One of our youngsters Matt Derbyshire is apparently set to go out on loan but to who we do not know? There`s a chance he could go to Luton and no doubt a successful loaning will bring him back an even better player. Full article click here
There was good news for our 'keeper Jason Brown. He is again included in the Wales squad to face Bulgaria in a friendly on 15th August. It`s always a good thing to have international players in the team, looks as though he is to be a regular fixture in the senior squad. Well done lad.
More international news was the decision of Jay McEveley switching international allegiance to Scotland after playing at England U21`s. He has been called up by Scotland U21`s for their European Championship Qualifier.
Mido is "grateful" for his second chance at Roma. The transfer saga seemed to go on forever, ending up with him turning us down despite us agreeing a fee and the fact we were able to offer him a better deal. Still, in the end we got our man (Benni) and all appears to have worked out quite well. His loss!
It appears at the moment that the talk of the club is no doubt Benni McCarthy, not just amongst fans but also the players. Aaron Mokoena has backed Benni to impress. Mokoena knows Benni well as he is a fellow compatriot and goes on to tell of how well Benni has performed at top level over the years. He is a natural goal scorer and personally I feel that he can do the business for us as I have watched him closely ever since Hughes showed an interest in him last year. COME ON BENNI and bring us those goals.
There are still concerns over Lucas Neill and Brett Emerton and their commitment to the club. Hughes has told them that he wants them to sign new deals and hopefully they will. They are both in their final year and could walk away for free next summer so should Hughes cash in on them now?
Both players have been linked with moves, but Hughes says that there is always speculation when players enter the last year of their contracts.
Thursday 3rd August 06
As always I was eager to see what was happening at Ewood Park so was straight on text and the net finding out the latest.
I wasn`t least bit surprised to see that again talk was of Benni, but this time it was Hughes who was speaking highly of his latest asset. He believes that he has been worth the 12 month wait and that he has all the attributes to move us on to the next level. Hughes has great faith in him claiming that he has great technical ability and that he will make a great impact. He has always played in top competitions in Europe and is use to winning; he will bring that mentality with him.
No doubt Benni has waited a long time to play in the greatest league in the world with many deals slipping through, but like many other fans I feel that perhaps this is fate in our favour.
Friday 4th August 06
Luis Antonio Valencia has signed for Wigan so we have missed out on him. He has signed on a one year loan. It is a shame as he looked a decent player at the world cup. Full article click here
As the rest of the squad flew out to their training camp in Holland, Ryan Nelsen remained at home due to a minor hamstring problem. It makes sense to nurse him to full fitness back home. Peter Enckelman also stayed behind with an ankle injury but our player on trial Jorge Acuna will be getting another chance to impress. Full article click here
Bad news: Peter Harrison has confirmed that client Lucas Neill is considering moving on. Neill has been made a new offer but will not be signing a contract. It is good to know that it is nothing personal to do with the club and money as he states that he loves the club and us fans. It`s fair enough that he wants a new challenge in life, we all get like that. I still hope that he stays though and gives us his all. If we do keep him then we risk loosing him on a Bosman but as he is in his final year, I don`t think we would get much for him. Full article click here
Today Mark Hughes has finally confirmed his interest in Robert Huth. Hughes has commented that the club are looking at a number of players and that if the quality is right then they will be interested. Obviously Huth is one of these 'quality` players he is on about as he comments about players of his ability not coming on the market very often. Full article click hereHughes has also mentioned today that he is still hopeful of Emerton and Neill signing new deals despite Neill`s agent claiming he is edging to the exit. Emerton has been linked with Middlesbrough as well as West Ham taking an interest. As for the West Ham link, Hughes is adamant there`s been no word from West Ham about him and don`t anticipate it either.
Hughes has also said that they are in a position where they do not have to let anyone leave the club as they are under contract and the choice of anyone leaving is down to him. Good on him.
Saturday 6th August
Two weeks until we kick off the new campaign against Portsmouth and I can`t wait.
Talking of Portsmouth, they have apparently made a take it or leave it £4.7m offer for Ryan Nelsen. The 'sceptics` out there will put two & two together (him missing the tour and a supposed fresh offer) meaning he will be leaving. I guess we`ll soon find out when the two teams meet at Fratton Park!
Nelson has not said that he will be going, neither has he said that he will not. All he has really said is that he wants to be playing football. Could he be making way for Huth? Full article click here
We played another friendly today with a good result. Played German team Alemannia Aachen away and won 3-2. I feel this is a good result as they are an up and coming team. They also had a good run in Europe last season, so for us this is also good practice for our UEFA campaign. Emerton did not play as he was injured but was good to see Neill playing; I just hope he remains in our kit.Benni had a good debut match and went on to score a goal in first half and setting up another in the second. I`m sure there will be many more to come. Full article click here
Sunday 6th August 06
Typical Sunday today with everyone who is anyone being linked with moves all over the place...
Shefki Kuqi is off to Birmingham, think his brother plays for them or at least used to. Brett Emerton will leave us for Middlesbrough (who reportedly lead the chase) should he not sign a new deal. One player on his way will be Andre Ooijer! The Holland International will sign from PSV if you believe the papers.
Sunday is a great day for gossip if that is your thing, if half the deals came off players would end up with two or more teams at once!