Saturday, 7 August 2010

Premier League Preview - Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn Rovers

Somewhat of a surprise finish last season, after a few years of mediocrity and struggle, former Newcastle boss and England managerial candidate Sam Allardyce came in to take over the reins at Ewood Park from manager Paul Ince. He took Blackburn from relegation certainties to safety than to mid table security.

Now with financial constraints, the ambition at Rovers seems to be quite lacking. No real major signings to the club yet, it seems Allardyce is having to work with a shoestring budget and reinvest in the players in the club, with a perfect example being that of Phil Jones, an 18 year old English defender who chipped in with 9 appearances last season, including an excellent performance against Chelsea.

The Blackburn side is made up of hard workers and grafters, with the likes of David Dunn, Brett Emerton and Steven N’Zonzi all impressing in midfield, while Christopher Samba, Ryan Nelsen and Gael Givet providing an excellent base for impressive former England number one Paul Robinson to defend from.

However it still remains to be seen if this side are capable enough to continue to battle away and grind out results, without getting dragged into a relegation battle.

Key Player: Nikola Kalinic

The Croatian striker has performed impressively last year considering he is still finding his feet in the Premier League, and much more is needed from him next season in order to score Blackburn’s goals. Read more here

Manager: Sam Allardyce

Key Signing: None

Only one player brought in so far, that being Hugo Fernandez, a young defending from Spanish side Union Deportiva Cornella, on a nominal fee, believed to be thanks to the advice of Real Madrid legend Michel Salgado.

Aims: Staying in the Premier League, New Owners

Prediction: 15th

I’m predicting that Blackburn will struggle this season, especially since all the teams who finished around them last season , are using considerable investment and strengthening their squads. Allardyce will be able to keep them up, but not without a struggle.

First Five Fixtures: Everton (H), Birmingham (A), Arsenal (H), Manchester City (A), Fulham (H)

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