Season Previews 09/10 – Blackburn Rovers

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blackburn

Last Season: 15th

Say hello to your new teammates: Stephen N’Zonzi, Franco Di Santo, Gael Givet (knows them already to be fair), Lars Jacobsen, Nikola Kalinic.

Highly rated.

Highly rated.

Close the door on your way out: Roque Santa Cruz, Matt Derbyshire, Tugay, Aaron Mokoena

Predicted star: Stephen Warnock got good reviews last time out and a midfield role this season should reinforce that. Benni McCarthy could recapture the form of 2006/07. Kalinic could be an instant hit.

Needs a big year: Morten Gamst Pedersen. Has done for a while now.

One to watch: Franco Di Santo had the number 9 shirt at Chelsea but never played. Let’s see if he’s any good.

What they want to happen: Mid-table finish, something interesting to happen, two wins over relegated Burnley.

Nightmare scenario: Relegation battle. Defeat to the Clarets.

Plan A: Physical, direct football which isn’t the worst in the Premier League but by no means the prettiest either. Provide crosses from the wings to the strong men up front. Work those set pieces.

Plan B, just in case: Stick Christopher Samba up front and hoof it up to him.

Predicted finish: 12th

Why? I think Allardyce is an idiot as a person but as a manager I can accept he’s an effective manager. He stabilised Blackburn last season after the failed Paul Ince experiment and if his time at Bolton is anything to go by, Big Sam is good at punching clubs above their weight. The squad is full of good, strong players who have plenty of experience, coupled with the usual random signings who will turn out to be pretty decent. Roberts, McCarthy and Diouf and new signing Kalinic are a handful for anyone and Di Santo will be interesting to follow.

Fool.

Fool.

The midfield is on the workmanlike side rather than the creative side but players like Emerton and Reid can certainly turn it on when they feel like it. Defensively Rovers are solid, with Samba and Nelson forming a good partnership. Even Paul Robinson is ok these days. Comfortably mid-table results wise, comfortably bottom three fair play wise.

.

T.

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