Thoughts: How do Blackburn fight out their relegation crisis?

With half the season over not many expected Blackburn to be where they are now. Having earned just fourteen points from nineteen games and winning only three this season Blackburn Rovers find themselves in the wrong end of the table at the beginning of the New Year.

Steven Kean has his task cut out from here on. Being able to withstand a tirade of  boos and abuses from the Rovers faithful is one thing but he really needs to get his team out of a one way path to the Championship.

The recent results (draw with Liverpool and beating Manchester United) was proof enough that the players do have a sense of belief of seeing themselves in top flight football next season and this should help them build up confidence in their game play. Although the results are good, without proper reinforcement Rovers might not be able to continue their mini-surge.
Ahead of the transfer window opening Kean has called for his owners’ financial backing to strengthen his depleted squad but is expected to be disappointed by the cash available. The owners have stated the cash would be raised only after the sale of some of the existing players.  And without selling, Kean may be forced to rely mostly on the signing of loan players.

Blackburn has conceded a goal in every match so far and although they have a decent striker in Yakubu who has scored nearly half of their entire league goals so far but a weak midfield and a slow defense. Yakubu tends cut an isolated figure up front during the course of game.

What Blackburn really need is someone who can support Yakubu and another player who can feed the ball through to him. Also during the January transfer window players tend to have a more than bloated asking price so the best bet would be to look for players nearing the completion of their contract or those looking to move out of their current clubs. The first name that comes to mind is Andy Johnson. Andy Johnson is out of contract with Fulham and is a proven goal-scorer. He is well capable of holding up the ball and would be a good partner to pair up with Yakubu.

An option also being seriously considered by Rovers to raise money is the sale of in-demand Canadian starlet Junior Hoilett, as negotiations over his new contract continue to stall. Junior who plays as a winger for Blackburn has scored three goals this season and is wanted by Tony Pulis. Given Blackburn’s reported financial troubles, and the fact that Hoilett’s contract expires next summer, owners Venky’s may be tempted to part with their star asset.

Blackburn also faces the possibility of Michel Salgado leaving the club and there will be the requirement for a full back to replace him. Christopher Samba has proved his worth with commanding performances at the heart of the Rovers defense, but with big names interested in signing him Blackburn would also be parting with him to raise some cash. Thus, defensively Rovers would need someone as well. The name linked most would be Manchester City’s Nedum Onuoha, a typical centre back but can play left or right back as well. An experienced player who is currently not finding his place in the City squad; Onuoha is behind the pecking order of Kompany, Richards, Lescott and Clichy and might as well be looking for a way out.

The main gap which Blackburn would need to plug is their midfield. With their creative midfielder being 32 years of age, David Dunn would not be someone’s first option and Kean would definitely be in the market for someone to help strengthen the weakest area of their game.
With Esteban Granero out of favor with Jose Mourinho, Kean might be interested in the attacking midfielder, but might have to battle it out with a few of the other clubs who would also be  ready to snap him up.

A few more names come to mind which might help bulk  up the Rovers attempt to stay up, Billy Jones who currently plays for West Bromwich Albion would be a good buy in defense and WBA who got him on a free transfer might as well look to make some money of him. Jermaine Jones who was on loan to Rovers from Schalke last season would also be a decent signing and could well continue from where he left off. With Radosav Petrovic still unable to make an impact and Vincenzo Grella out for what seems a long time Jones would be an ideal defensive midfielder to strengthen up the defense.

In the end a lot depends upon the top management of Rovers and how they decide to handle the current situation. Barring extraordinary circumstances Rovers would not last another season in the top division and unless changes are made their eleven season long run might come to an end.

 

The article can also be found on the website: http://www.topkorner.com/editorials.aspx?ID=48

 

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