soccernet blog
Blackburn Rovers
July 31, 2009

I think it will take some truly dreadful football to be relegated from the Prem this year, given how weak some of the squads look.

Yes, Stan, but a team can lose a few & then be subject to nerves and injuries, and fall among the weak. Look at Newcastle, Middlesbrough.

Unlike the Rams, who put out a weak side and lost the Bass Charity Vase at Burton last night. Deeney Beardsley Stewart Johnson Hanson Barnes Commons Mendy Neilson McLaren Grocutt

Jamaine Johnson gave away the penalty, from which Harrad scored, Commons dam' near equalised with a free kick over the wall which hit the post, goalie beaten.

After half-time Barnes had a good strong shot turned around the post, and continued to be involved. After 55 minutes, Mills took over from Kris, 63, Prijovic for McLaren, 72 Forde for Stewart, 75 Ojamaa for Hanson, 83 Roy of the Rams Carroll for Giles Barnes, but no fairy-tale ending, goalie scores equaliser, nope, we couldn't get past them. Son of Clough didn't know where to look. Not a full side, but let's hope it's better against Stoke on Sat'dy.

Son of Clough, you've made an offer for Blackburn's spare goalie, Frank Fielding?

"We see him as a No 2 and he fits into what we are trying to do - groom some young players.
We are just waiting for a decision back from Blackburn."

So Carroll will be on song elsewhere this Christmas?

"It is a situation we have been in for the last few months and Roy is aware of it. Financially, it would be best if he could try and get himself fixed up. I think he and his representatives are trying to do that. If one or two experienced keepers in the Premier League got injured or picked up knocks, I think Roy would be absolutely ideal to step in. He is probably too experienced and too good to be a No.2 in the Championship."

If you don't get Frank, Saul Deeney's on the bench?

"There is no change on Fielding but Saul we will get signed up this week. So if nothing happens, we will go with Stephen Bywater and Saul in the first game."

It's not easy to get news from Sam Allardyce, he's been after Pascal Chimbonda, Spurs' French defender, as well as Russia striker Pavel Pogrebnyak of Zenit St Petersburg - which is why he missed the Leeds friendly. On trial were Kamel Ghilas, Algerian Celta Viga striker, but Sam's backed out of paying €2m for him, and Christian "Methusalah" Vieri, aged 969 1/4, whose ability without his stick has been questioned.

Chelsea youngster Franco Di Santo on loan has been one option not finalised, while Michael Owen was left for a smaller club to risk, due to the number of injuries he's had.

Sam, are we fully focused here?!? "I should have been given the England job .. only ‘political’ reasons prevented me from being appointed in 2006. I was in the running to succeed Sven-Göran Eriksson after the 2006 World Cup, but the FA chose to …" Sam, it's alright, Sven's taken over as Director of Footy at Notts County, and I bet he needs a new manager.

Rovers have a plan to sort out Man. City in the opener. Benni? "The part where I struggled was the last 10 minutes of a match," says Benni McCarthy. "But I've been working really hard during pre-season to try and be able to play 90 minutes and not to be so tired as I was before."

Let's be clear here. If Rovers are relegated, and the Rams promoted, I'll still mention Rovers on the Derby County site next season, but what are the chances of that?

July 29, 2009

So you're saying Sek's appeal is somewhat limited as he tries to land a spot with Big Sam's bunch? Understandable.

Not sure what to make of Derby's results. The Rams are leaking a lot of goals, which was their problem for much of last season. But there are a number of new faces in the back, so perhaps that should be no surprise. Plenty of "gel" is needed or it's going to be a hairy start to the season.

Thanks Stan, I'm not sure how to reconcile the desire for sexy footy with the equal need for clean sheets, but we do need to improve foreplay and quit scoring at both ends, McEveley.

Big Sam's encouraged Gallagher to think that his loan days at Preston, Stoke & Plymouth are over. Under Souness, Mark Hughes & Ince he's been a Blackburn striker in name only, but Big Sam's persuaded him the job's his if he works hard. This make-do-and-mend approach applies to the Clough/Davies situation too, eh Nige?

"Steven has all the ability and attributes to be a Championship and above player, but he has to start putting 90 minutes together week-in week-out. If he does he will be getting a starting shirt rather than coming off the bench."

Gone are Andy Todd, Paris Simmons, Nathan Ellington, Mile Sterjovski, Tyrone Mears, Przemyslaw Kazierczak, John Eustace, Nacer Barazite, Barry Bannan, Liam Dickinson and Tito Villa, going are Roy Carroll, Claude Davis, Jordan Stewart and Martin Albrechtsen, so what's left are getting pretty motivated. The strange combination of bloated but sexy that characterised Paul Jewell's managership is becoming a distant dirty memory, eh Nige?

"It was not sustainable. The size of the squad, the wage bill and the amount spent on transfers - money was spent and it did not work so now we start again." Yes, Jewell, the size of your squad isn't everything.

New boys are Winger Lee Croft, 24, free from Norwich, 26-year-old defender Shaun Barker for £900,000 from Blackpool, left-sided Dean Moxey, 23, from Exeter, Jake Buxton, 24, from Burton and probably keeper Saul Deeney from the same club. Ben Pringle has also arrived from Ilkeston and Cloughie is waiting to hear from a couple of Premier League clubs about season-long loan deals. Crewe Alexandra defender John Brayford could be in once we've shed a couple more. To avoid the hairy start, Stan, it's a question of where and when the parting should be, then Nige will reveal the results of all that combing of the Premier for loan deals.

Big Sam's gone relatively quiet. Last night the Reserves beat Leigh Genesis 2-0. Interesting was Canadian (eh?) David Hollett, on Rovers' books since he was 13, only just received a work permit, linking well with Van Heerden against the Unibond outfit. Rovers: Brown (sub Fielding 71) Marrow Olsson (sub Jones 76) Khizanishvili (sub Flynn 71) Gunning Judge (sub Morrissey 76) Doran (sub Haworth 73) Gallagher (sub Lowe 71) Blackman Hoilett (sub Santa Cruz 73) van Heerden (sub Marshall 71).

Speaking of Accrington Stanley, as Nige was, with regard to Sven & Notts County, they're the next opponents for Rovers Reserves on Friday. Last night Hoilett scored both goals. Let's see how Sam does - if he turns up - on Sat'dy when they visit the Owls at Hillsbrough, a friendly (!); could it be he hasn't got the hump, but will come in parading his new Kamel Ghilas, the Celta Viga striker for under £2m?

July 28, 2009

ОВА :) Оцените пожалуйста Всю Архитектуру на данном сайте. Спасибо

is all the comments I get recently, it means "OVA :) Please rate all the architecture on this site. Thanks" according to Google translate, so I thought, get on with the job, get into the debate about the need for a striker, b4 the early points are lost, and we're into this October from Hell.

Sekou Baradji is on trial, yes a mid-field player. Sek Who? Well, he's a Frenchman, also holds Senegalese citizenship, born 24th March 1984, plays for Associação Naval 1º de Maio in Portugal. 4 years ago, signed for West Ham, loaned to Reading, has also trailled with Derby.

Speaking of the Rams, a DC XI struggled against Matlock last night, or else it was an entertaining warm-up and an excellent pre-season preparation? Team: Carroll (! for sale?) Albrechtsen Johnson Stewart Buxton Mendy Beardsley Varney Pringle Prijovic Mills

Luke Varney shot after 14 minutes, off the post! & Mendy GOOOOAAAALLLL scored 0-1. 14 minutes later, Nathan Benger banged one in, all he needed was to finish.

On 34 minutes, Mills GOOOOAAAALLLL scored 1-2, lovely run finishing from an acute angle.

Half-time. 2nd half, 49 minutes Benger bangs in another, 2-2.

67, Ojamaa's on for Varney. 71 Dudley for Buxton. 75 Kelly for Pringle. Prijovic has 2 great efforts saved. 80 minutes, a long ball from Johnson, Prijovic on to it, lobs their goalie GOOOOAAAALLLL scored 2-3. 81 Prijovic off for Garton.

Tonight, we're off to Sven's Notts County, who have already beaten Forest. We're taking a full side, apart from resting players with slight knocks or concerns. The big news is that Kris Commons starts on the bench at last: Bywater Connolly McEveley Addison Moxey Green Savage Pearson Teale Varney Davies Subs: Commons Deeney Buxton Pringle Beardsley Mendy COME ON YOU RAMS

Well, OK let's fast forward & see how it goes. Jay McEveley gets his name on the scoresheet first... for Notts County, 1-0, 19 minutes, no need for that, Jay, there wasn't that much pressure. Still, it tested our resolve, and on 25 minutes it was GOOOOAAAALLLL 1-1 as Notts County gave us one back, a rubbish back-pass which Steven Davies put into the net. Three minutes later, he was earning his 2nd goal, which was stopped on the line, hands - penalty! Davies blasted it over.

A weird script so far became totally unbelievable when Savage crossed the ball, and the keeper could only help it into the net. GOOOOAAAALLLL 1-2.

After half-time, Son of Clough waited until the 61st minute before putting on Kris Commons, and 3 minutes later Notts County seized on a blocked clearance from, yup, Jay McEveley and Hughes only had to square the ball for Rodgers to equalise, 2-2.

Still, the stage was then set for our hero, Kris Commons to put in another tricky cross which went in over sub goalie Russell Hoult GOOOOAAAALLLL 2-3, same as last night.

Seems to me if we can win 3-2 away every night, whoever we put out, it could be a decent season. Of the 3,859, 1,182 were from Derby, that's 30% and counting. That's it until next month, Sat'dy 1st August, home at last, and it's Stoke. We're ready, are they? Erm, since losing to St Pauli 3-1 away, they've just lost to Preston, 2-1 away. Could it be it's gradually coming down to 1-1 away? But then again, Newcastle beat them 2-1 before St Pauli, so maybe it's another 3-1 thrashing. Newcastle meanwhile have just lost 6-1 at Leyton Orient. Dream on.

Nige, Harry Redknap thought it was an April Fool when he heard Sven had been appointed Director of Footie. How did you see it? "I hope Ian McParland is happy with it because after all he is the manager. I would like to see Sven at Accrington Stanley on a Tuesday night, see if he fancies going up there to watch his team."

Fine, that's clear enough. Now, what are our chances this season? "We will just try to improve every season, there are no timescales. We are looking for some signs that we have got a team coming together. I think sustained success is built like that."

July 26, 2009

"I for one am pleased the Rams are not contemplating promotion from League One this season." Thanks Stan, someone's reading the detail. Leeds, Norwich out for revenge ('tho they wouldn't be there if we were), Saints already bottom with minus 10 will be looking more like sinners, Charlton, Millwall, MK Dons, I wouldn't fancy it at all.

Reading about Sven-Göran Eriksson 's Notts County beating Forest 2-1 is a double joy. I know, if your aunt had a moustache, she'd be your uncle, but Forest beaten by their other good neighbours, and yesterday's 3-1 at Exeter without three of our top team are straws in the wind for a better season, so let's forget about, 'look what we narrowly missed'. Rotherham on Tuesday August 11th in the Carling Cup is League 2, and they'll be keen to do as well as Torquay, but more of that after the opening game against Posh.

Still the main dish includes West Brom & Newcastle, who play each other in the late game on August 8th, Reading, against whom we've had many a difficult game, Middlesbrough, Cardiff, Palace, the Blades & Preston, with us and maybe Swansea? Ipswich? Bristol City? that's a rough top ten, but there's always surprises - like Doncaster last season.

Back from his loan spell at Plymouth Gallagher proved to be the oasis as the fans began to desert, scoring from the penalty spot in extra time to equalise. Rovers were fortunate that Leeds were only one up, as Fabian Delph's shot hit the post in the 8th minute, and Jermaine Beckford hit one on to the crossbar. In the second half, Beckford put Leeds 1-0 up from close in after a corner was headed on.

Well, it's an away score-draw, something Rovers will treasure this season.

I was at St James' Park, where Exeter impressed, at least with their feeding arrangements. Bywater, Connelly, Barker, Addison, Moxey, Randell, Croft, Green, Pearson, Teale, Porter started, and while Mr. Porter was the lone striker in the formation, Green scored first on the half-hour from close in. A lone singer began "Goin' up, goin' up, goin up..." We did not close them down however, and they moved ever closer, until Logan moved in to head from a simple pass to level the scores. After a decent £2.10 steak-and-kidney pie at half-time, I rejoined those Rams fans who had paid an extra £1 for a seat - it was only a tenner standing behind the goal - to see Steven Davies come on for Croft, score within 5 minutes, then, returning the favour of the assist, set up Paul Green for his 2nd of the day, 3-1 in bright sunshine. Liam - not Gallagher, but Sercomb - had a long-range shot which Bywater saved under the bar. Varney replaced Porter, Buxton came on for Barker, Green had a long shot for his hat-trick pushed over by goalie Jones, and was replaced by The Savage. They nearly hit back, hitting the inside of the left post from our view, and out, then back up the other end where The Savage looped a corner for Pearson to head down; again finding woodwork. Jay McEvely & Jason Beardsley replaced Teale & Pearson. Davies had one last curling shot which just touched the outside of their far post. I didn't stay to see Moxey awarded for player of last season when he was with Exeter, I found it just too weird when he's in a Rams' shirt. I exited Existentialist Exeter excitedly, as a codger of advancing years was giving out the unsold Cornish Pasties for free from a cardboard box, and mine was still warm and delicious. We were 18% of the crowd, 503 out of 2,785.

Nigel, I think we could get promotion from League 1 with this side? "It was a good team performance with some standout individual displays.

Green shoots of recovery? "Paul Green showed his importance to the team and he was fully deserving of his goals. His work rate and energy gives us an extra dimension. A midfielder who can find the back of the net - valuable to any team."

He also praised the Stev(/ph)ens, Davies & Pearson. Barnsey was around, on the bench, lounging his way through practice, presumably saving himself for the top Premier club that's about to sign him? We'll see how much these seaside awaydays have helped when we play Stoke next Sat'dy, then on to the real world, where Posh should spice up the season. The boss says he's extremely satisfied, so I'll take that and hope it continues.

Sam Allardyce, meanwhile, was watching a potential striker rather than his team at Leeds, and it showed. ROVERS: Paul Robinson, Lars Jacobsen, Stephen Warnock, Ryan Nelsen, Gael Givet, El-Hadji Diouf, Keith Andrews, Steven Nzonzi, Morten Gamst Pedersen, Benni McCarthy, Jason Roberts. I listened to Stephen Warnock describing the fixtures list as "The October from Hell" and saying the pre-season results don't matter, and felt vague concerns, then read a jealous Burnley fan's blog about the mighty Wovers can't beat a 3rd tier team.. in4 a long hard season.. kitty empty.. flogging off season tickets at £199.. delusions of grandeur.. think you can compete with the big boys.. us Clarets think 4th bottom would be an achievement, but not you, just to remind you, Leeds 1 Turdburn 1 and a lucky last minute penalty at that, HA HA HA. Yes, it could be worse, we need to make sure Forest don't get too many laughs.

As for our old friends Leeds, they've managed to sign Patrick Kisnorbo. I thought he'd gone to Palace after he played so well for us against Burton. Seeing the crowd cheer off ex-Leeds goalie Robinson after 60 minutes after a series of spectacular saves, I was thinking over their dominance. We'll be playing them in 2010-11. Who can say where it all leads? A funny old game. I think we'd have a better chance against Blackburn than Leeds on these showings, he said, at the risk of denting his tremendous popularity with all the Blackburn fans.

Thanks for the latest comment: Я слишком больна тобой
Темно за
Небо роняет звезды как слезы

Which means:
I'm sick of you too
Dark for
The sky is a star like tear drops

Yes, well, as Nietsche said in Thus Spake Zarathustra, "This sign I give you: Every people speaks its tongue of good and evil which its neighbour does not understand. It has invented its own language of customs and rights."

July 24, 2009

"Home to see my wife watching a Swedish film" sounds like a promising end to the day, but it appeared to be about murder and torture during army exercises, until the final scene, by which time wife had left for bed and will see it on the BBC's IPlayer service. She wanted to know how it finished today, so I told her how Wallander was sitting in the snow shattered by the deaths, especially his first girlfriend, and some kids were playing football, and asked him to pass the ball back, and this awoke him from his stupor and he said "you can't play footy in February" and one kid, his face shining with the hope of the future said "you can always play football". A great moment. I don't always get what these Swedes are all about, but this was clear. Footyyy!

I had been to Torquay where the abiding image was of an extra gull on the pitch, until it flew off. We must have been 1,000 strong, no seats in our section ("Stand up, if you hate Forest"), they had maybe twice as many. Little Saul Deeney warmed up between two sticks as we stood 10 yards away, in the line of fire, then stayed this end in the real goals for the start. He had his work cut out, they were keen. The local Herald Express headlined "Sturrock's back to face the Rams" on its back page, former Dundee Utd. Plymouth etc. forward and emphasised the "big" for their goalkeeper, Scott Bevan, who came over Crouch-size for the second half, reacting good-naturedly to our shouts, and wooooooooooaaaaaaahhhhhh as he took goalkicks, followed by "Oh S**t, arrrggh, arrrggh", a very West Country, parrot-on-the shoulder sound which kept us all amused.

It's great in these smaller grounds, you feel that when you yell "Come on you Savage" Robbie can actually hear you. Nige started with only him, Varney & McEveley from the winning team at Yeovil. In front of Deeney were Beardsley, McEveley, Buxton & Mendy; Savage was accompanied by Cambridge triallist Scott Neilsen plus Pringle & Steve Davies in the middle, with Varney and Giles Barnes up front.

The first half-an-hour had Davies just missing wide with a header from Pringle, and Giles falling over 4 times and winning free kicks twice. Look out Ronaldo, Giles does a great impersonation. He even did the pout when his free kick at goal bent over the top. Nearest to scoring in the first half was Robbie Savage? That's what my notes say, or was it a dream? A good low one for the gawky goalie to get down to, which he did. At this end, Buxton looked very sound, Mendy too for that matter, and diminutive Deeney had to stop one himself, not quite holding, but not quite allowing the rebound for their advancing striker. Nil-nil half-time. I remember one shot straight into their keeper's arms, and me yelling "hey, it's not supposed to be that friendly".

Just below a young blonde female Ewe/Ram with North Derbyshire family had been complaining about the stewards stopping them taking photos. I explained that it wasn't a copyright concern, but that primitive peoples believe that you take away their souls when you take photos. A smitten young steward came along with a pic. they had taken of said blonde taking a photo - with me so far? - as proof, but she could have it as a momento, friendly, friendly, and pretty soon after it had been passed around the family, she was waving the photo and four fingers at the steward to say "four more copies please". Her Dad was yelling "Play your subs Nige", when no longer chuntering about his right to take pics, so I pointed out that Nige was already playing most of them. "Come on Barnsey, Come on Barnsey, Get up Barnsey Get up Barnsey" seemed to keep them in good spirits. Who does he think he is, indeed? They have a town called Barnstaple in North Devon, and, no I think stretching that one to Barnes Staple would be too much, but he was rather stationery (get it?) when he wasn't falling over. Oh yes, he still has enormous potential, and he's not injured, but somehow I want more.

By coincidence, the second half was nil-nil too, as was the final score. They had the first great chance, a cross to the far post where Danny Stevens' shot was saved spectacularly with Deeney's fast feet - he has a great left foot boot for the goal-kicks, does the Irishman, and he had to react instinctively soon after, I don't think he could see it coming, even it was struck from well out by Wroe. McEveley pushed them out after that.

On the hour, Randall came on for Savage, and was a hot-shot immediately, 'tho the keeper was up to it, then Mendy came all the way from the middle before shooting wide. We were up for the kill, and a lovely corner from Randall had Steve Davies heading in, only for Great Scott! Bean Bevan to turn the ball on to the post - I can see it now, 20 yards away. The guy next to me took a fine action shot, and a yellow-coated steward had a few friendly friendly words with him.

Another Davies header went wide. The time slipped away with the sun below the horizon, a few more ooh arrrghs arrghhhhh to show we could speak West Country, the taste of hot Bovril lingering - they don't even do a pie at Plainmoor - as Pearson came on, reminding us of promotion at Wembley, for Varney; Croft Teale & Moxey replaced Barnes, McEveley & Neilsen. Finally with 10 minutes to go, our strike force of Pringle Davies & Mendy were replaced with O'Brien, Miles Addison & Shaun Barker. "Plainmoor fans may remember young Barker doing his best in a losing cause last season, when (Torquay) United upset his Blackpool team in the FA Cup." Thank you Herald Express, the voice of Teignbridge. Bywater & Connolly were unused subs.

"Well, it's a point", I remarked to the friendly friendly policeman at the gate, then strolled down to the car, and home for Swedish film. I know what that was about, it was footy, but the proceedings at Plainmoor, Dancing with Gulls, ws=a more mysterious (ws=a means was) [or it did when I wrote it, but time has of course shifted]. {shed if =t} s h i f te d.... Sh** I fed....

Nigel, what was your view? "Everyone participated and everyone took part in every task. Some of them were quite extreme; certainly the boys who don't like water or heights had to dig deep. It's important to get the boys doing different activities like this; I don't like the phrase team bonding as it sounds forced, but what we did today certainly helps to bring the team together."

Thank goodness for that, I thought you were going to say it was a good work-out.

July 23, 2009

A comment in Russian from a bleary-eyed blogger is the latest gift to the discussion on Blackburn Rovers' & Derby County's pre-season endeavours. It starts "действие, служба, предпринимательство, экономическая деятельность, нап равленная на достижение определенных результатов (получение прибыли)." which translates as "operation, service, enterprise, economic activity, for example governance to achieve certain results (profit)."

Accountants, Blackburn supporters, Comedians, Derby supporters, Everyone's welcome (A-E). Footyfreaks, Greeks, Hotmailers, Intellectuals, Johnny-come-latelys Join in please (F-J).

I spoke to Nigel Clough, who's taken the lads to Cornwall for some white-water bonding prior to tonight's game at Torquay, a place made famous not just by its own efforts to be the Riviera of England, but also by the owner of the Gleneagles Hotel, inspiration for Basil Fawlty of Fawlty Towers. John Cleese stayed there in 1971 and was fascinated with the eccentric behaviour of owner Donald Sinclair. Cleese later described Mr Sinclair - who died in 1981 - as "the most wonderfully rude man I have ever met." The Monty Python team stayed in the hotel while they were filming in Torquay. Mr Sinclair is said to have thrown Eric Idle's suitcase out of the window thinking it was a bomb. He is also said to have told off Terry Gilliam for not straightening his cutlery on the plate after he had eaten. However, Mr Sinclair's widow, Beatrice, has said her husband was totally misrepresented in the comedy. Beatrice, your view is welcome too.

Nigel, are you trying to re-capture your happy childhood trips to the seaside with this bonding lark? "I don't use the term bonding, it's just a get-together for the lads." OK, C U 2nite Nige.

Other news: A massive earthquake last week has brought New Zealand closer to Australia, scientists say. The 7.8 magnitude quake in the Tasman Sea has expanded New Zealand's South Island westwards by about 30cm (12in). Seismologist Ken Gledhill, of GNS Science, said the shift demonstrated the huge force of the tremor. But correspondents say that with more than 2,250km (1,400 miles) separating the countries, the narrowing will not exactly be visible. Nor, as the New Zealand media have observed, is it likely to bring cheaper air fares.
Sven-Goran Eriksson insists he can take Notts County from League Two to the Premier League after signing a five-year deal as director of football. For 24-hour party people a visit to the land of the midnight sun is a must. For one thing, the Swedes are serious when it comes to having fun - and at this time of year the sun never sets. And so it is that I find myself at the Peace and Love festival in Borlänge long after bedtime, negotiating a sea of tents which stretches far into the blood-red glow of a night-long dusk. I am here to try to find out what it is about Swedes that has put them at the heart of a raging debate about internet freedom. It is estimated - but nobody really knows - that at least one in 10 Swedes swap music illegally via BitTorrent file-sharing websites like Sweden's notorious Pirate Bay, and it is thought that in 2008, some 15m films were illegally downloaded here. 'Sharing is caring' Sitting in the shelter of a waist-high pile of beer crates I find my target demographic - a group of music-loving festival-goers. Out of the five of them, three voted for the Pirate Party in this year's European elections, helping to put a representative, Christian Engström, into the European Parliament. Falkvinge's Pirate Party won seven percent of the vote in the EU elections.Twenty-year-old Erik Lennermo explains why he voted for the Pirate Party. "Civil rights. Everybody has a right of privacy for their own e-mails, SMS messages and phone calls. File-sharing is just a small bit of the whole cake." Three former directors of Derby County have been jailed for their involvement in a fraudulent takeover of the football club. Ex-finance director Andrew MacKenzie, 55, from Derby, and former director of football Murdo Mackay, 53, from Fife, both got three-year terms for fraud. Northampton Crown Court had heard how they and ex-chief executive Jeremy Keith, 41, claimed "secret commission". Keith received 18 months for falsifying documents during the 2003 takeover. The 41-year-old, from Abingdon in Oxfordshire, bought the club with MacKenzie and Mackay for £3. The court heard that the trio claimed "secret commission" of £440,625 after arranging a £15m loan for the cash-strapped Championship club from a Panama-based corporation. Jurors had been told that the men used the loan as a "carrot" for the club, nicknamed the Rams, convincing administrators to sanction the takeover. Derby County were struggling in 2003 following their relegation from the Premier League the previous year. The Pride Park club owed more than £35m and was put into receivership by the Co-op Bank, the court had heard. The men were all found guilty at previous hearings. David Lowe, their legal adviser during the takeover, was convicted of helping to launder £81,895 of the £440,625 the trio tried to claim as a brokerage fee. He was jailed for two years. Around 5,000 new words have been officially added to the German language - many of them from the English-speaking world. The newcomers appear in the latest edition of the respected German dictionary, Duden. Germans can now go to "eine After-Show-Party", as long as it is not "eine No-Go Area", and meet "das It Girl" - if she does not have "der Babyblues". Fans of social networking can also "twittern", which means to Twitter. The financial crisis has inspired many of the new entries in the 135,000-word dictionary. Appearing for the first time are "Kreditklemme" (credit crunch), "Konjunkturpaket" (stimulus package) & "Abwrackpraemie" (car scrappage bonus). The word "Ehrenmord" (honour killing) also makes it into the dictionary, which was published on Wednesday. The German language is known for its extremely long compound nouns. The new edition includes a 23-letter example: "Vorratsdatenspeicherung", which means telecommunications data retention. The first Duden dictionary was produced in 1880 and consisted of just 27,000 words. A witness of the latest UFO sighting in Cornwall said "We saw seven amber lights hovering South East of St Agnes. They were stationery and after a few minutes faded away. I could not make out any shape but got the impression that the light appeared to be flames. I would be very interested to know if anyone else saw them!" [Stationery = office paper, hard copies n stuff; not moving = stationary Ed] Some­thing seems to have slammed in­to Ju­pi­ter in the last few days, cre­at­ing a dark bruise about the size of the Pa­cif­ic Ocean, as­tro­n­o­mers say. The bruise was no­ticed by an am­a­teur as­tron­o­mer on July 19, and pro­fes­sion­al as­tro­nom­ers fol­lowed suit. Un­ivers­ity of Cal­i­for­nia at Berke­ley re­search­er Paul Kalas used the Keck II tel­e­scope in Ha­waii to im­age the blem­ish in the early morn­ing the next day. The im­age in near-in­fra­red light showed a bright spot in the south­ern hem­i­sphe­re, a sign of re­flec­tive par­t­i­cles float­ing high in Ju­pi­ter’s sky, sci­en­tists said. In vis­i­ble light, the bruise looks dark against the bright sur­face of Ju­pi­ter. “This was most likely the re­sult of a sin­gle as­ter­oid,” said as­tron­o­mer Frank Mar­chis at Berke­ley. The Keck ob­serva­t­ion marks only the sec­ond time as­tron­o­mers have seen the re­sults of an im­pact on the plan­et. The first oc­curred 15 years ago, be­tween July 16 and 22, 1994, when more than 20 frag­ments of com­et Shoe­ma­ker-Levy 9 col­lid­ed with Ju­pi­ter. "Эта дискуссия не является игрой, сказал он. "Это не обо мне - я с большим медицинского страхования, а так же каждый член конгресса." Я бросился, потому что я получаю письма ежедневно с семьями, которые в настоящее время clobbered по здравоохранению расходы Президент США Барак Обама Скорее, он сказал, он был об обычных американцев, которые были вынуждены "нести бремя проблема, что Вашингтон не удалось решить в течение десятилетий". "Мы будет проходить реформа, которая снижает затраты, способствует выбору и обеспечивает охват, что каждый американец может рассчитывать на", сказал он. "И мы сделаем это в этом году." "Я бросился, потому что я получаю письма ежедневно с семьями, которые в настоящее время на clobbered затраты на здравоохранение, и они спрашивают меня, вы можете помочь", сказал г-н Обама.

Kings, Lesbians, Man City supporters, Nigerians, Obama Osama all welcome to join in (K-O)
Pacifists, Queens, Rams, Rovers, Supporters, Troops please, have your say (P-T)
U Volunteers Wearyanarchistswankersforshort Xmasshoppers Y&Ynots Zoos HI! (U-Z)

& now for something completely different

July 22, 2009

Ah, it's great to put that bit in brackets, just like the old days when editors presumably thought the readers would say - hey, they've put 7, I bet it's supposed to be 1, it's a typo, how can I check? There was no way to check if you were reading it abroad in some foreign land faraway on a Sunday.. unless you rang your Mum.. who would want to know what was wrong..

Atkins; Albrechtsen Stewart Dudley Beadsley; Johnson Davies; Mendy Pringle Prijovic Barnes.
11 Prijovic 0-1
20 Pringle 0-2
31 Barraclough, there's a fine Midlands name 1-2
36 Mendy 1-3
42 Prijovic 1-4
Half-time Forde on for Dudley, Mills on for Ben Pringle
54 Aaron Pride, what a name, half-time sub, scores from fully 30 yards 2-5
63 Ojamaa on for Giles Barnes; Hendricks for Prijovic
78 Buxton on for Davies
79 Greg Mills 2-5
84 O'Brien on for Stewart
87 Ojamaa 2-6
90 Mills 2-7 (Seven)

Tonight we're playing Yeovil in Somerset, I'm not going, I'll be at the Torquay & Exeter games.
We have Randall, a 19-year-old Arsenal player in tonight's team:

It's nil-nil at half-time. Come on, Nigel, let's 'ave a goal or two. Yeovil are only League One, start with Tranmere at home on 8th August, then it's off to Norwich, whom we relegated with 6 points.
Without those 6, we would have been relegated with 48 points, Norwich, with 52 could be playing Peterborough on August 8th.. All is not yet ready for the season of dreams Nigel.

July 20, 2009

Further comment from Stan...

That 3-1 thumping of Stoke by a Bundesliga 2 outfit was a head-turner.

St. Pauli's been known to pull an upset or two over the years, but it's still a second-tier, mid-table team....and had to do well last season to even manage THAT. And they are still in pre-season every bit as much as Stoke.

I'm not sure if that means Hamburg's "other" team is a threat for promotion to the Bundesliga, or if Stoke's going to pull a Reading and collapse back toward the table trapdoor after scaling to unexpected heights in its first season of Premiership football.

Of course, it's one pre-season it may mean nothing at all. Then again, Stoke hasn't exactly brought in tons of new players that need a turn on the pitch just to get acquainted, so.....

Not that any of this has anything to do with Blackburn or Derby County.......

It's all grist to the mill, Stan, as we say "Up North", & still do, despite the author of "The Road to Wigan Pier" expecting it to fade away - it's close to the American grits, too:

Grist is the corn that is brought to a mill to be ground into flour. In the days when farmers took 'grist to the mill' the phrase would have been used literally to denote produce that was a source of profit. An early figurative use of phrase is found in Arthur Golding's translation of The Sermons of J. Calvin upon Deuteronomie, 1583:

"There is no lykelihoode that those thinges will bring gryst to the mill."

There are many grist mills still in existence and they would have specialised in whatever type of cereal was commonplace in their location - wheat, buckwheat, oats, corn etc. Grist is usually referred to as unground corn. When the phrase was coined, in the UK in the middle ages, corn would have meant wheat, as opposed to what is called corn in many other parts of the world, which is known as maize in the UK.

Oats that have been husked but not ground are known as grit. This is the source of the name the thick maize-based porridge that is widely available in the southern states of the USA - 'grits'. There is clearly both a linguistic and culinary connection between grist and grits, although not as straightforward a one as a simple spelling mistake - they both derive from the verb 'grind'.

'Grist to the mill' is still used, although less commonly than when I was a lad in the 1960s. Were he alive to see it, this would give some satisfaction to George Orwell, who dismissed the phrase as 'a dying metaphor' in his essay Politics and the English Language, 1946:

Dying metaphors ... a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgels for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill...

I may well use all of those - after all, what's a meta for? - when reporting on my first live game of the pre-season - at last! - just as soon as we've finished off the Aussies in the 2nd Test & I can go up to Yeovil to see the Rams start their tour of the West Country tomorrow. Bring it on! Before that, the Rams will be ringing the changes to take up the cudgels as a Derby County XI to toe the line with Belper Town tonight. We should ride roughshod over them, 'tho I've no axe to grind, Belper are a good local team, and we're really standing shoulder to shoulder with them. Defeat would play into the hands of Nigel's critics after the Chesterfield loss, which of course he said was "a good workout" with "many positives", an "experiment with three in the middle" and he'd "sooner have us make those mistakes now and learn from them than happen when the Championship season gets under way"; "all that matters for us is that they are ready come August 8th for Peterborough at Pride Park".

Enough of the long hours hunched over a computer reading summer blogs, the English summer is fading fast, ready for Rams v Posh, Blackburn v Man City.

July 19, 2009

"Some hemmin' and hawin' there about Hulse. Interesting. I'm beginning to fear Hulse may have one of those injuries that will cripple his season. If he couldn't heal it up over the off-season, it won't heal with all the demands of the coming season. As for bad are things if the Rovers are hanging their hats on a Vieri??? No disrespect to a legendary player, but he's got soooo many miles on his pitch odometer. The Rovers may be saved more by the feebleness of other squads than Blackburn strength." Thanks Stan, perceptive comment.

It's pretty clear that Rovers will be in the position Derby crave next season or the season after - battling to save themselves from relegation from the Premier. While it's not yet clear that the Rams won't have their own relegation battle now, as we tend to expect top ten positioning in the Championship for most of this season, it's also not yet clear how Blackburn can do as well as last season, which was finger-nail-biting anyway.

Yesterday, after Hadjuk Split lost 1-0 to CD Nacional Funchal of Portugal, Rovers took on the winners for a half game with Brown Jacobsen Samba Khizanishvili Olsson Judge Andrews Nzonzi Treacy McCarthy Gallagher. The phrase neither goalie was troubled sums it up. Samba was up there challenging from the corners, but intimidation of goalies is less tolerated on the Continent. Nil-nil.

The second half against Split brought out Robinson Andrews Olsson Dunn Nelsen Givet Roberts Doran McCarthy Diouf Pedersen, with Nzonzi on for Benni Mc after 27. Jason Roberts had the best early chance, but was beaten off, and Diouf put the rebound wide. Up the other end amid flares and fireworks, Robinson was going the wrong way as Bosnian international Senijad Ibricic scored out of nothing after 12 minutes. Rovers looked better as the game progressed, Givet drawing a save off the line just before the end, but Rovers lost 1-0.

Sam, back home to lick wounds, and Leeds next Sat'dy? "I thought the first eleven were very good against Nacional, apart from good crosses going in without creating any chances."

The lack of a good young fit striker or two is apparent already, friendly or not? "Hence the reason we are looking for another front man to add power up there."

Still, it wasn't just that area in the second game, Sam? "I thought the second eleven with the Dioufy's, Jason Roberts, Morten who has only just come back and Dunny, all looked a little jaded to me and we were outplayed by Hadjuk Split in midfield."

He confirmed the goal went in off Ryan Nelsen, sending Robinson the wrong way, but hey!

Sam also used up a whole range of excuses, and revealed that his manager-mouth is not yet fully match-ready for this season: "one of the weirdest goals I've ever seen scored against us.. thought it was a back-pass, Robinson didn't bother diving and there it's gone in the back of the net.. like all games at this time of the year, it's about the work-out.. setback today.. time difference.. hot and humid climate.. I hope that is the excuse that they have got, because if not, then I'm very disappointed in that performance..

Having taken responsibility for man-management of fitness this summer, you'll defend this trip as more than a jolly then Sam? "We've enjoyed our time away, I think overall looking at Cambridge, Roma and Nacional, perhaps not Hajduk, our fitness is looking okay."

OK, contrast that with Man City's preparations to be the billion-dollar team...

Still, as Stan says above, there may be enough feeble teams amongst Hull City, who've just scored 6 against Ferriby Utd., Wolves who won 2-1 over Fury in North Queensland, down under, Wigan, who have signed Jason Scotland from Swansea, and were beaten 1-0 away to Crewe, the Brummies, who have signed a tearful captain Barry Ferguson from Rangers, and who face Dagenham & Redbridge in their next friendly, Bolton, who have just drawn 1-1 with Borussia Mönchengladbach, West Ham, who could only draw 1-1 at Cambridge, Stoke, playing the Rams on 1st August, and who have lost 2-1 in Newcastle, and 3-1 to St Pauli of Germany, Sunderland, who lost 4-1 to GATESHEAD yesterday, or surely favourites for the drop, Burnley, sunning themselves in California, getting ready to play VC Fusion and Portland Timbers....


& speaking of the Trees, I pick Forest to struggle in The Championship, but hope we can keep them for the six points they'll give us, much as Rovers should feast on Burnley...

July 18, 2009

DERBY COUNTY: Bywater; Connolly, Addison (Barker, 46), Buxton, Moxey (McEveley, 46); Green (Pringle, 19), Savage, Pearson (Beardsley, 81); Croft (Barnes, 74), Varney, Teale (Mendy, 66).

CHESTERFIELD: Crossley (Lee, 46); Gray, Breckin (Page, 46), Austin (Hall, 46), Robertson; Goodall (Picken, 46), Niven (McDermott, 62), Lowry, Currie (Harsley, 46); Lester, Gritton (Bowden, 46).

A great start as we dominated the first half, Three central midfielders in Robbie Savage, Paul Green and Stephen Pearson, Lee Croft and Gary Teale filled the wide roles, and the absence of attackers Hulse, Commons, Porter and Davies left Luke Varney as the lone striker.

There was no Patrick Kisnorbo - the Australian international has been training with Derby but it seems the 28-year-old defender is now likely to sign for Crystal Palace.

Green scored but shot himself in the foot, and had to come off after 19 minutes at 1-0. In the 2nd half, our fine new £1m signing from Blackpool, Shaun Barker, was beaten on the left by Lester who squared for Bowden, one of six subs made by The Spirites at the interval, and he scored from close in. Six minutes from time, Robertson centred for Page to win it.

Turn the page.

asks Stan.

I had a word with young Nigel, our Saviour, Son of Clough, in a roundabout way.

Nige, you still have injury probs. with both Hulse & Commons?

"It's difficult because injuries are dictating that at the moment. We can't formulate too much until we get a clean bill of health. Kris has not trained because of his hamstring but he also had a sickness bug. Rob Hulse trained on Thursday but it flared up over night and he won't travel to Chesterfield on Saturday."

Well, you've said before that they're both needed in the team, so even a million plus wouldn't change that, from Boro for example? Nige? Nige? After all, Boro have £12 million for Stewart Downing from Aston Villa? How much would it take?

Meanwhile, Blackburn are persevering with Christian Vieri, at 36 older than Beckham. Sam? "We'll see how long he wants to give it to see if he can get to Premier League level, We'll take as long as it needs, hopefully to get there in the end."

Yes, well, my prediction is he'll be useful until October, and from Easter next year, which is not quite as long as Santa Cruz.. Or am I still bitter about Fabrizio Ravanelli after all these years?

1st Half Brown Jacobsen Samba Givet Warnock Grella Nzonzi Andrews Gallagher Roberts Diouf

Brazilian Rodrigo Taddei caught Nzonzi in possession, went on for 1-0 after 20-odd minutes.

Brazilian Artur saved Roma's lead, a familiar ex-Liverpool defender, John Arne Riise doubled it.

A minute before the break, Jason Roberts rounded Riise, passed to Paul Gallagher for 2-1.

2nd Half Brown Khizanishvili Nelsen Warnock (sub Ollson 49) Dunn Doran Judge Treacy McCarthy Diouf (sub Pedersen 60)

Treacy to Diouf headed on for Doran 2-2. Jason Brown saved well from Barusso's free kick.

Sam was satisfied - they lost on penalties, but no serious injuries, the odd knock, and the heat.

Next stop Split in Croatia for 2 x 45 minute games.

July 17, 2009

"No exclamation marks or capitals this time Mr. Derby County. But as you can see there are some Rovers fan who are interested to take the job, so it's time for you step aside."

Thanks, each of them has been offered the job, No-one's taken it yet.

Maybe some-one would like to write an occasional report? If so, now's your chance - as a comment, or to my e-mail address for publication. Cheers

July 15, 2009

Two goals in each half showed Rovers' dominance at the Abbey Stadium as Cambridge sunk without trace. Sam Allardyce used a different side in each half apart from Bunn in goal.

1st Bunn Marrow Nelsen Givet Gunning Doran Andrews Grella Blackman Diouf Gallagher. Their top left corner bulged from 25 yards, with an Andrews free kick past Danny Potter*, then Diouf was allowed space and defensive confusion to finish in fine style, 2-0 in 37 minutes.

*yes, Stan, I was reminded of your comments by their goalie's name, but at least they've stood up to the Cambridge kiln which was half-baked... Big Sam better hope he hasn't lost his Bolton touch, or Blackburn could totter on the precipice of relegation this year. That band-aid approach to the end of the season should not be confused with a long-term answer. It will never stand up to the kiln that is a Premier League season. Still, first the holidays...

2nd Bunn Jacobsen Brown Samba Khizanishvili Warnock Judge Dunn Nzonzi Treacy (sub Brown 79) Roberts McCarthy and some familiar passing pairs set up two for Roberts to tap in. What was unfamiliar was goalie Jason Brown coming on for Treacy after he went down to a powerful tackle, and Jason brought more cheers than he normally gets all season every time he touched the ball. Treacy & Warnock provided the passes for Roberts' first for 3-0, Judge & McCarthy for his 2nd for 4-0, while Dunn was out-done with an overhead shot saved and one just over. So it's see-you-later Cambridge as their boat went down, and on the plane to Italy for a performance of Arriverderci, Roma# on Thursday. Come on, you've surely heard Dean Martin?

#Arriverderci, Roma
Goodbye, goodbye to Rome
City of a million moon lit faces
City of a million warm embraces
Where I found the one of all the faces
Far from home

Arriverderci, Roma
It's time for us to part
Save the wedding bells for my returning
Keep my lover's arms outstretched and yearning
Please be sure the flame of love keeps burning
In her heart

& for those few Rams' fans who follow this site, the trip to Arnold ("who?" - they're north of Nottingham) also brought a 4-goal win, 5-1. Ben Pringle's free kick set up the first for Academy graduate Jamaine Johnson to finish, then Ben cracked the 2nd from 20 yards so the Rams were also 2-0 up after 38 minutes. They started with Carroll Albrechtsen Stewart Johnson Nordberg Mendy Pearson Pringle Beardsley Prijovic Davies, found an active goalie in good form in Broster, cruised to 3-0 through Prijovic, used all their subs Ojamaa Atkins Dudley Mills & Forde, and had just rested Roy Carroll with Ross Atkins when Arnold's Freestone converted a free kick for 3-1 to maintain interest. Henrik Ojamaa made it 4-1, Ben Pringle got his 2nd, 5-1. Next are aspiring but twisted Chesterfield on Sat'dy, our Derbyshire friends/rivals. Speaking of the County, our dear cricket team is going for promotion trying for a win over Gloucs. today, to mark the 125 year celebration of Derby County, founded in 1884, as an offshoot of Derbyshire County Cricket Club. Something to do in the winter when the holidays are over, right?

July 14, 2009

Can't hear you out there - Hello Cambridge!!! - guitar riff - and now, it's Big Sam & The Rovers...

Ryan Nelsen, still captain, says Sam's caught between a Roque & a hard place, and is looking for early Christmas presents from Santa Cruz: "If Roque's funds become available we're probably looking for a big signing, obviously a striker. You never know who could join. With Sam's reputation in the market it'll be interesting who he brings in. What the manager did last season, all the players have complete trust in him and who he's going to bring in and the system he sets out. We're just excited to get going."

Yes, Sam, what have you done for us recently is the obvious question. Not Peter Crouch, not van Nettlerash, now you're sniffing around Kenwyne Jones from Sunderland, and keeping abreast of Alharbi el-Jadeyaoui who wants to be weaned from Brest - testing testing 1, 2...

Christian Vieri is 35, Sam. "He's obviously out of condition compared to the rest of the lads, but at this stage of the season, joining us in the pre-season shows a certain amount of commitment from him that he wants to try and play football again, and he fancies a go over here in the Premier League. If he has got that desire and dedication and can adjust to the physical levels of the Premier League at his tender age* then we have got a major player on our hands. There is no harm in my point of view in watching his progress and then seeing if there is a situation where we can have him for next season. He also has a desire to try and get in the Italy squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa."

"at his tender age" used to refer to someone who was a bit young, Sam, "in my point of view", but never mind the fractured English, the harm done is using up the time without a result, mate. I guess it's mid-field as well as strikers if you're after Alharbi, as one mid-fielder, Josh O'Keefe has signed for Walsall, after being on trial with the Rams, and rejected after Blackburn.

Tonight's game is against managerless Cambridge. Gary Brabin, who took them to the play-off final against Torquay, which they lost 2-0 in May, was named Blue Square Premier manager of the season in June and relieved of his duties today. Assistant manager Paul Carden has been asked to take charge of first-team affairs in the immediate future.

Sam, for your own sake, read the Board's statement about him "There have been a number of issues between the board and the manager in recent months, culminating in a position where it has become untenable for the board and manager to work together. " OK, you would pocket loadsamoney, but it's the first friendly today, the August presence of Man City looms large with or without John Terry, and the terrible example of Newcastle dying a slow and painful death, as Steve Harper their goalie puts it, is focussing Board attention. They've not found a buyer, and can't even get their pre-season sorted, as they've had to cancel Utrecht, because Sunderland are 30 miles away at the Amsterdam tournament, and it would have meant double Dutch death doom destruction and damnation.

So how's your reputation in the market? "Interesting" isn't good enough? Up until the distractions took over, you had 4 foreign signings this summer: Rovers have paid an undisclosed fee for French midfielder Steven N'Zonzi, who follows defenders Gael Givet and Lars Jacobsen and midfielder Elrio van Heerden to the club. Who's going to get the goals, Sam? Today it was announced that Academy Manager Bobby Downes is to leave the club "by mutual consent." What are your excuses, Sam?

"We are hearing rumours that are scooting around the press that we have to sell more players. John Williams said that the sales of Santa Cruz & Derbyshire were enough to satisfy the bank. If I was going to do any more, it would be because I want to move one player out, and bring two players in... I certainly don't want to lose any more of my best players..."

Rovers' Latin motto "Arte et labore" means by "art and by labour", Sam, it doesn't mean blame the press, the bank, and ultimately your employer. The bird of time is on the wing, and it's no good going cheep cheep and flapping around on the ground, or the cat will get you, and you're no spring chicken#, Sam.

*(tender age) bloom, budtime, early years, florescence, flowering time, jeunesse,
juvenescence, juvenility, my burning youth, my green age,
prime of life, salad days, seedtime of life, springtime of life,
tenderness, young blood, youngness, youth, youthfulness, youthhead,
youthhood, youthiness
#(spring chicken) 1. a young chicken, which is tender for cooking
2. he or she is no spring chicken Informal he or she is no longer young
Noun 1. spring chicken - a young person (especially a young man or boy)
young person, younker, youth
juvenile, juvenile person - a young person, not fully developed
blade - a dashing young man; "gay young blades bragged of their amorous adventures"
hobbledehoy - an awkward bad-mannered adolescent boy
pup, puppy - an inexperienced young person
school-age child, schoolchild, pupil - a young person attending school (up through senior high school)
slip - a young and slender person; "he's a mere slip of a lad"

July 12, 2009


Unlike Footymad, who write: Derby County sneak a one gola win in their first pre-season game against Burton Albion

I wonder if they know about spell-check? Or has it been called a gola from this season?

It was very much a game of two halves, Nigel experimenting with the ingredients at his disposal, and Patrick Kisnorbo, on trial with the Rams, had a particularly good game playing more than an hour for Derby. Patrick Fabio Maxime Kisnorbo was a favourite with Leicester, and was born in Melbourne, County of Bourke, to a Mauritian father and an Italian mother from Trieste. Because of his mother's birth place, Kisnorbo holds an Italian passport, which allows him to bypass European Union restrictions under the Bosman ruling.

Good to see Giles Barnes playing, not yet to potential however. In the 19th minute, Patrick Kisnorbo headed a corner from Dean Moxey, going in or just wide until headed in by Chris Porter for the opening goal of the pre-season, and the winner.

First half team: Bywater, Connolly, Kisnorbo, Leacock, Nyatanga, Croft, Savage, Fotheringham, Moxey, Porter, Barnes, subs Mendy & Pringle.

Shroots free kick from 25 yards was saved by Bywater.

Second half team: Deaney, Beardsley, Kisnorbo, Buxton, McEverley, Davies, Green, Fotheringham, Teale, Dickinson, Varney, subs Addison & Pearson.

Aussie Kisnorbo headed one off the crossbar, as we headed to a draw with the Aussies in Cardiff in the first test. Teale looked as if he might double our score, Pearson replaced Fotheringham, who is worth taking on, with 10 minutes left, and it was good to see Miles Addison returning, replacing Kisnorbo, who impressed. Aussie Aussie Aussie!

Arnold Town on Tuesday, with more goals or golas promised. Blackburn are at Cambridge, so we're still at the ABC stage.

July 11, 2009

A Blackburn Correspondent's Diary

Albion Burton vs. County Derby

ABC, it's easy

Easy as123
It's like counting up to 3
Or simple as Do re mi
Sing a simple melody
That's how easy love can be!

So today's opening friendly is a tribute to Michael Jackson? Duh... do re mi me me it's Nigel, Son of Clough. This is the team he took into the Football League, this is the team that was better than Derby County in his view when he made the switch. Early days then, not exactly Thriller.

& the Rams? Still a work-in-progress. Nigel's bringing along Mark Fotheringham for the first half, an ex-Canary, who's impressed in training, and ex-Leicester Patrick Kisnorbo, yet to train with the Rams. Kris Commons & Rob Hulse are out injured already, and it's only July.

Nigel? "Rob's had a nagging groin problem from the end of last season. He did quite a lot of work on it during the summer and did the first few days of pre-season and then felt it again. He's had an injection which we hope has settled it down and we're hoping he starts training next week. Kris Commons dropped out during the week in a running session with a tight hamstring, so we hope to get him back training next week as well."

We're keeping them both then? There have been rumours that we'll cash them in, so I'm glad they're injured! "It's a possibility, but something we're not dwelling on too much as we want them here and in our squad." We're close to selling Liam Dickinson to Brighton after the two clubs agreed a fee. The midfielder spent time on loan at Huddersfield and Leeds last season.
Meanwhile, former Notts County and Burton goalkeeper Saul Deeney is training with the Rams with a view to securing a full-time contract.

Yes, It's humble, down-to-earth, honest-to-goodness man management, just like his Dad, only without the hysteria so far.

Contrast that with Big Sam, a man who's orchestrated (nothing painful, no high voices) a few campaigns up at the top, and is getting ready for the next wave of top teams - no, not the Leeds friendly, mega-bucks Man. City for starters. How are your walking wounded, Sam - Steven Reid, Brett Emerton and David Dunn could all be in contention for the start of the season? "The timescale is certainly back fit in time for the start of the season. Whether they get selected is a delicate matter, though."

They'll be keen as mustard, though? "I always think when a player returns from a long-term injury they come back like a new player. It's because they've been through such depression by trudging through gym work and around the training ground on their own. So the delight they feel when they're given the all-clear and start getting involved in the banter again means they're totally refreshed."

Allardyce is being realistic about Van Nettlerash now. "I think probably Ruud, from a salary point of view, is out of our reach and I think he is not going to be fit until September. We need someone right now who can join up with the squad as soon as we can."

Rovers' first friendly is away to Cambridge on Tuesday.

July 7, 2009

I guess, Robbie, you've been one of the revelations of Son of Clough's reign at Derby so far?

"I didn't think I'd be playing at all, but since Nigel Clough has been in charge it's an extra special thing. My own aspirations are just to get in the team and then stay in there."

Let's see, you joined Derby from Blackburn Rovers for around £1.5m in January 2008, but couldn't stop the Rams being relegated to the Championship. Paul Jewell seemed to deliberately cut your first-team chances but under Clough, you starred in the Rams' FA Cup victory over Forest and helped us stay up. Now you're back to pre-season training last week with midfielder Lee Croft the only new face to join the club so far. What are our chances?

"We're looking forward to a season where we can finish first and foremost in the top ten, and hopefully a play-off spot. One thing you can promise here is that, if you work hard in training under the manager, you'll get a chance. We're all delighted and we're all enjoying pre-season training. It's been very hard but it's been great. The older you get the harder you have to work to keep up with the young lads."

Do you miss Blackburn?

"No comment."

Summer reading: William Congreve, in The mourning bride, 1697:

Musick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast,
To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.
I've read, that things inanimate have mov'd,
And, as with living Souls, have been inform'd,
By Magick Numbers and persuasive Sound.
What then am I? Am I more senseless grown
Than Trees, or Flint? O force of constant Woe!
'Tis not in Harmony to calm my Griefs.
Anselmo sleeps, and is at Peace; last Night
The silent Tomb receiv'd the good Old King;
He and his Sorrows now are safely lodg'd
Within its cold, but hospitable Bosom.
Why am not I at Peace?

The hills are alive with the sound of footy at Blackburn's summer camp in Austria, and the need for an extra striker - or two - is an open secret. Christian Vieri has joined the pre-season training sessions, without a club since being released by Atalanta, the 35-year-old speaks his mind in fluent English with an Aussie accent, Sport, having spent much of his childhood there. He & Mark Viduka would make decent additions, until the winter sets in anyway...

I spoke to Big Sam about Paul Gallagher back from helping to save Plymouth from relegation. Sam says it's up to Paul, but maybe gave away the game by saying it was Souness who visualised Paul up front with John Stead. Hey, the lad's only 25 on the 9th August, 10 years younger than Vieri. Big Sam says he has talent but questions his desire to play in the Premier.

Next Tuesday 14th is the first friendly away to Cambridge where they can display their Austrian sun-tans, then Thursday 16th it's off to Bolzano where they'll play A C Roma. Very similar to Austria, the south Tyrol area used to be part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and the museum houses Ötzi the Iceman, a mummy from 3,300 B.C. No jokes, please, I'll freeze them all out.

Saturday 18th Rovers play a Split game, one half vs. Hadjuk Split in Split Croatia, split with one half vs. CS Maritimo. This leads to Leeds away a week later, the Owls on August 1st away, Hibs home Wednesday 5th, Dundee awa' the noo Sat'dy 8th. Then reality hits: Man City a week later, and away to Fulham for our 2nd 3rd & 4th points on Tuesday 18th.

July 5, 2009

"Please stop writing about Derby County here!!!!!! That's really annoying!!!!! Ok maybe you support both Rovers & Derby, but here you are holding the title of BLACKBURN ROVERS CORRESPONDENT!!!! Try to respect that!"

Exclamation marks & Capitals to show annoyance, as well as "That's really annoying!!!!!"

Let's go over the basics again.. What you have, Rovers' fans, is a team in the Premier, so you get this site. What you don't have is a fan who wants to be your Correspondent. Until you do, I'm here like honeysuckle on your rose. If you don't want to be annoyed, just read the Blackburn comments; or volunteer to be the Correspondent. Simple stuff. No exclamation marks or capitals unless we score.

July 1, 2009

"Plenty of matches" says Son of Clough "before we start with Peterborough on the 8th August".

So never mind the quality, feel the width.. Burton Albion we play twice at the Pirelli Stadium, 3 p.m. a week on Sat'dy 11th, then again Thursday 30th 7.45* in the Bass Charity Vase. Between those two, there's Arnold, 14th, 7.45*, Chesterfield 18th 3 p.m., Belper 20th 7.45*, Yeovil 21st 7.45, Torquay 23rd 7.45, Exeter 25th 3 p.m., Matlock 27th 7.45*, Notts County 28th 7.45.

These are not all first or even second choice teams, as all games marked * are just "Derby County XI" as is the one against Alfreton at the Impact Arena on July 31st, 7.45*. After coasting through the West Country, the climax is the home game against the Potters - KILN them... - 3 p.m. at Pride Park, August 1st, a month today, when we'll see how fired up we are, whether we're ready for the white heat of the Championship, or if we're going to glaze over and potter about near the bottom...

Recommended holiday reading: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

And strange to tell, among that Earthen Lot
Some could articulate, while others not:
And suddenly one more impatient cried--
"Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?"

Other verses perhaps more well-known...

Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly--and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.

Or this one, which of course should stop no-one from bringing his own predictable comments:

Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
About it and about: but evermore
Came out by the same Door as in I went.

& as for drinking to forget...

I often wonder what the Vintners buy
One half so precious as the Goods they sell.

From Comments..."Big Sam better hope he hasn't lost his Bolton touch, or Blackburn could totter on the precipice of relegation this year. That band-aid approach to the end of the season should not be confused with a long-term answer. It will never stand up to the kiln that is a Premier League season"

Yes, I like kiln as a metaphor, it brings in burn and black as imagery. Initially, I thought it would be better for the Potters, but hey! After all, kilns are used to burn dead wood for charcoal, and there's some of that in the team, and even a crematorium is a type of kiln. Kiln him....

I guess you know that Big Sam's just signed his 4th foreign signing of the season? Young French midfielder Steven N'Zonzi, 20, who was with relegated French side Amiens last season, has signed a four-year deal at Ewood Park. He follows defenders Gael Givet and Lars Jacobsen and midfielder Elrio van Heerden in joining Rovers. Big Boss Sam Allardyce is still keen on Real Madrid's Ruud van Nistelrooy. Van Nettlerash would add some sting to the attack...

Sam, seriously, I know he's a big name, but he's as old as Stanley Matthews? You're not chasing celebs are you? This is Blackburn Rovers, not Big Brother? "Who'd have thought Bolton would get Anelka? Nobody," he said. "It would be a major coup if I could pull it off." Sam, 'arry Redknob can afford the £1.5m, and the wage bill at Spurs. Just 'cause you've all that Santa Cruz lolly burning a hole in your pocket... "The sort of salary he would be on at Real Madrid may be beyond us," Allardyce said. "But maybe he wants to come and play in England again and take less of a salary - then we'd be interested."

Yeah well, at least you're not buying Michael Owen eh Sam? "I need a striker that's going to be available for 30 games next season. That's not happened for Michael over the last four years."