Blackburn blog: Planning is the key

"exactly what has happened to our beloved football club"

Blackburn blog: Planning is the key

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May 25th, 2012

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It has been almost three weeks since Blackburn Rovers officially lost their Premier League status and everyone associated with the club is still trying to come to terms with exactly what has happened to our beloved football club.

In many senses the reality of what has happened will not really hit home until the fixture lists are announced later this summer. Gone are the clashes with the Premier League ‘big boys’ such as Arsenal,Chelsea,Liverpooland the two Manchester Clubs. Instead the club now needs to focus their attentions in planning a route back to the Premier League.

Whilst there have been several stories emerging from the inner sanctum of Ewood Park the focus should remain on the team and the plans for next season. The Championship is a notoriously difficult league to get out of and whatever is or isn’t happening at the club needs to be resolved, and fast, if this is to be achieved.

For starters there are some quite obvious departures that will no doubt make the squad weaker. The transfer of Junior Hoilett is surely imminent; after a fantastic season the 21 year old is out of contract and will have caught the eye of several of the leading clubs both domestically and abroad. It is also likely that Paul Robinson will seek a return to the top flight too which will also deprive the club of much needed experience next season.

It would also be sensible to assume that the likes of Mauro Formica, Steven N’Zonzi, Martin Olsson, Ruben Rochina and Yakubu will all move on. Quite why Steve Kean seemed so opposed to playing N’Zonzi towards the end of the season mystified many but his good work prior to this season will have been noted. The 23 year old was rumoured to be attracting the attention of a couple of clubs last summer and will surely wish to play Premier League football next season.

One particular disappointment is that several of the promising youth players who have come through in recent seasons will not go on to play for the club at the highest level. Over recent seasons the club have brought through talents such as Grant Hanley, Hoilett, Phil Jones, Jason Lowe and Martin Olsson. Having watched the club for just shy of two decades it is the best conveyor belt of talent Blackburn have had and it is such a pity they couldn’t go on to achieve great things for the club.

Depending on who else may or may not decide to leave Ewood this summer targets need to be identified early and brought into the club (for more of a lift than anything else). A new goalkeeper will be high on the list with the likely departure of Robinson. Someone with experience of the Premier League or even the Championship would be ideal.

However, the two most important additions need to be a striker and more importantly experience has to be added. Too many wise heads were allowed to leave the club for whatever reason during the season and it certainly contributed to the relegation. It is not only at the top that know-how is a necessity; having the ability to hold out in important games can simply not be taught and there is a distinct lack of this within the current squad.

It has been an ‘annus horribilis’ this year forBlackburnand their supporters. I have not chosen to comment on recent revelations in this article as they have been commented upon by almost everyone at various stages. However, it is impossible to escape from all of it and much of the wrong doings have resulted in the club finding itself in the situation it is now. Positive steps have to be taken quickly this summer to balance out the club and ensure its swift return to the Premier League. It is by no means as easy as it sounds which is why the planning is so key.

Read the rest of Andy Hunter’s Blackburn blog

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