Is everyone looking forward to the new Championship season? Thought not. Three months have passed since Rovers’ less than dignified exit from the Premier League & it’s safe to say nothing much has changed.
On the face of it bringing in eight new players so far looks like the club means business, but when you balance these off against player departures and some pretty nifty wage bill juggling, the outlay is minimal at best. Factor in the players who’ve been made available for transfer (Pedersen, Petrovic etc) and Rovers still look they’re trying to turn a profit on transfer dealings.
With the less than Special One Kean still at the helm, the club’s approach to squad building has been decidedly hare-brained. With the team clearly in need of strengthening at the back, Kean’s seen fit to add four midfielders & four forwards. Or maybe ‘global advisor’ Shebby Singh’s in charge of all that. Who knows? As for Shabby – we’ll return to him later.
A couple of the new additions – Murphy & Best – certainly looked the part in pre-season and the loss of Best to injury is bad luck Rovers could have done without. Replacing him has been turned into yet another circus by Kean/Singh/whoever, as we’ve lurched from one target to another. How hard can it be to identify who you need, ask how much and then pay the money? It seems simple, yet we’ve gone from Cox to Rhodes to Guidetti to Chamakh, without ever looking like we’ve any idea who we really want.
Typically, the most obvious target has never been mentioned – Southampton’s Billy Sharp. They want Scott Dann, Rovers need a proven Championship forward. Simple really, isn’t it? Then all that’s needed is to take whatever money the club were going to throw at a forward (around £6 million for Rhodes wasn’t it?) and go and buy a couple of defenders who can actually defend – because after being relegated twice in two seasons, it appears Dann’s not really up to that particular job.
So all-in-all, Rovers are still a shambles. Which brings us nicely back to Singh. No-one can really be sure just yet how much influence over proceedings Singh actually has. He’s certainly trying to make all the right noises but, if last weekend’s events are anything to go by, the signs aren’t promising. In front of a packed fans’ forum, Singh declared Kean would be gone if he lost three games in a row and Pedersen’s legs had gone. The day after he promptly apologised to the pair. Why? Kean’s record as manager means he should thank his lucky stars he’s still in a job, never mind getting the chance to lose another three games, while if Pedersen’s legs haven’t gone he’s been doing a brilliant impression of someone’s who have for the past few seasons.
Apologising for saying nothing more than what should be said, suggests Singh has no real clout. If that’s the case then the shambles is likely to continue for some time yet. It might actually be worth losing the first three games just to see what happens.