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,
#(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"