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[Archived] Championship Survival? - What Next?


Stuart

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This is not a knee-jerk thread following a timely win but rather a look at what would become of Rovers - particularly the first team - even if we AVOID relegation and have a second season in the Championship...

Owners

With another bite at getting into the PL before the parachute payments run out, they'll likely stay. In some ways survival will serve to extend the pain rather than improve matters. Relegation is probably curtains but survival might mean the worst encore ever.

Manager

Will we get anyone other than Bowyer and is that a good or bad thing? He may have earned a chance (if we stay up) but time and time again it's experienced managers that occupy the top 6 spots - even without having a squad full of PL quality players. (Often the opposite in fact)

Players

OUTS - 22

Wantaways/Venkys Transfer Earners

Jordan Rhodes' agent - his stock is high and Rovers are not a team on the up. Can we afford his wages? Can we afford to lose his goals?

Dann - may have some stock in the Championship - high wages?

Martin Olsson - pop his eye back in and he's a good 'un - possibly PL (lower end)

Loans Ending

Kazim-Richards

Jones

Kane

Bentley

Stewart

Campbell

Rekik

High earners / Under performers

Etuhu

Best

Bad Eggs / Get Rid (Pay Off?!) / Leave to rot

Orr

Murphy

Dead wood / Old Legs / No Legs

Slew

Pedersen

Dunn

Forgotten Men / "Baggage"

Paul Robinson - injured and unwell after being "injured"

Givet - WTF?

Notable Loanees (out)

Rochina

Formica

Ribeiro

INS - 21 (First team and reserve squads)

First Team

Jake Kean - hopefully!

Lowe

Henley

Marcus Olsson

King

Williamson

Grant Hanley

Morris

Goodwillie

Sandomierski (Sub)

Portuguese Contingent

Nunes

Henrique

Rosado

Paolo Jorge

Edinho Junior

Gomes

Strictly Youngsters

Forrester

Raheem Hanley

O' Connell - York loan

Evans - Macclesfield loan

Edwards - Fleetwood loan

So we are 2 short (plus subs).

Dunn on a pay-as-you-play and various loanees and some of our Potugeezers? Possibly keep Pedersen and Etuhu for their experience. Possibly put all of our eggs into a "Keep Jordan" basket.

We are going to either have an opportunity to shed a lot of deadwood - especially on loan - or be desperately short! I still think we'll miss CKR and also Jones. Kane has done ok for his age.

An experienced manager is high on my wish list too.

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  • Backroom

Good post Stuart and whilst I don't think we'll stay up its a worthwhile discussion

The owners we would be likely to be stuck with but an experienced manager is absolutely essential

A lot of the players I agree with but I think we will keep Best, he's had a bit of stick on here but is only just back from a huge lay off, Etuhu is another I think we will keep and could be of use under a proper manager, I'd love to think we can keep Kane for another season and play him on the right with Henley on the left, Martin Olsson hasn't done enough to attract much attention so there's the possibility of Olsson and King on either wing and if we stay up there's no reason why we can't keep Rhodes IMO.

Kean

Kane Hanley Dann?? Henley

King Williamson ???? Olsson

Best Rhodes

Strengthening would be needed if we wanted to progress but promotion is a pipe dream any time soon

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  • Moderation Lead

I think much depends on what happens with this investigation, or if there are any penalties, implications and what not.

Think Givet will go (unfortunately, along with many others) as his contract is up, we'll not get any of the loanees, though I suppose I'd only really want CKR and Kane, and I can't see them coming back or dropping to League 1 if indeed that does happen.

I genuinely have no idea what I expect to happen, but one way or another, I'd just quite like a well run club with a good management structure in place again.

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Everything depends on Venkys. If they continue will they maintain the level of financial support they are making now?

If so we then need them to make the right appointments and the right sackings and the rest will follow.Anyone confident about this?

No, neither am I!

If they keep the club and don't breach the financial chasm then we will sink even lower.

If they sell, everything will depend on who buys it.

In short virtually no club will end the season in as uncertain a position as we are.

Finally the chance of them staying will probably increase if we stay in this fantastic division.

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For me, we need 3 experienced leaders. A manager, a CB, and a CM. Think Souness, Short and Flitcroft. Too often we concede and the heads go down, theres no inspiration.

Id be happy to keep: Kean, Henley, Orr(Back-up), Dann, Hanley, Edwards, King, Dunn, Rhodes, Best, Rochina, Formica, and also Jones and maybe Kazim permanently. Williamson as a sub would be ok too. With Martin Olsson i'd keep but if we get enough money im not too fussed, he doesnt look interested.

Etuhu, Murphy and Pedersen we will struggle to shift unfortunately. People like Kane, Morris, Stewart, Lowe, Markus Olsson are not good enough.

We really need to do up the midfield, and I'd play one of two ways. A 4-3-3 with Rochina one side of Rhodes, and some pace down the other, counter attacking. Or 4-2-3-1, with Rochina in the hole, perhaps Formica to the right and a pacy left sider. Preferably someone new.

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  • Backroom

For me, we need 3 experienced leaders. A manager, a CB, and a CM. Think Souness, Short and Flitcroft. Too often we concede and the heads go down, theres no inspiration.

Id be happy to keep: Kean, Henley, Orr(Back-up), Dann, Hanley, Edwards, King, Dunn, Rhodes, Best, Rochina, Formica, and also Jones and maybe Kazim permanently. Williamson as a sub would be ok too. With Martin Olsson i'd keep but if we get enough money im not too fussed, he doesnt look interested.

Etuhu, Murphy and Pedersen we will struggle to shift unfortunately. People like Kane, Morris, Stewart, Lowe, Markus Olsson are not good enough.

We really need to do up the midfield, and I'd play one of two ways. A 4-3-3 with Rochina one side of Rhodes, and some pace down the other, counter attacking. Or 4-2-3-1, with Rochina in the hole, perhaps Formica to the right and a pacy left sider. Preferably someone new.

Kane not good enough? He's been comfortably one of our better players recently and looked really sharp I thought

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He is a good athlete but you can tell he is limited technically when he runs, the ball bobbles off him, he also got caught out once or twice yesterday. He impressed me v Blackpool.

I prefer Henley or Orr there. Orr gets stick for what he says but he is solid enough and seems to wear his heart on his sleeve, yes he should have kept his gob shut but he at least kept on trying unlike many when we went down last year, and he is a solid squad player.

I don't see the need to loan Kane again when we have 2 right backs already.

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Good grief! Kane v Orr. No contest. One a youngster who is learning but looks full of running and as though he might, with the correct manager have a bit of a football brain and Orr, past it never had it and isn't going to improve. Know which I'd keep if possible.

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Is the OP asking what will happen or is he asking what will need to happen for Rovers to progress forward as a club in an attempt to gain promotion?

What will in my view happen:

- Owners stay as is. They are going nowhere as I don't think they have hit that crucial point yet where they have decided to cut their losses (if we don't get promoted to the Premiership next season then I can see them finally doing that).

- Shebby, Shaw and Agnew continue to run the club. The internal power struggle continues for at least another season as we see media articles of more infighting and individuals trying to gain more power.

- Bowyer is offered the job full time after keeping Rovers up. It's a no-brainer to take the money that is on offer, if he fails they he will get a decent payoff and still keep his reputation considering all that's gone on at Rovers and the way the club is run.

I think it's pointless to speculate too much on the incomings and outgoings on the playing side considering who is running the club. But I do expect the likes of Rhodes, Robinson, Hanley, Martin Olsson and most of the loan signings to leave. The Wage Drain Triumvirate (Pedersen, Murphy and Etuhu) are going nowhere as no other club will match those obscene wages. We will also probably sign another group of young foreign players (not Portugal this time as the idea has been rumbled) that will hardly play.

If all the above occurs then the best we can hope for is mid-table and at worst of course relegation.

What I would do if in charge:

- Owners are going nowhere but I would encourage them to reduce the amount of power and control they have. Stress to them that if they leave the day to day decision making to someone who knows what they are doing due to a background in football then they can just sit back and take the praise if it works out. If they are serious about making one final attempt to gain promotion they are going to have to be willing to pump some money into the club.

- Shaw, Agnew and Shebby need to be given their P45's. I can't see how Rovers can move on from the past with them there. I would then hire someone with experience at being a Chairman or Chief Exec at a football club. Williams isn't an option due to what's happened in the past and his new job but there are others out there with the experience to do a job. This individual is given full autonomy to make day to day decisions, be as that go between the owners and manager and offer support and guidance to the manager. No more trips to India during the course of the season by the manager, instead that will be the chief exec or chairman.

- Bowyer is moved back to being Reserve Team Manager. Rovers try and get an experienced manager, ideally someone with promotion experience but that's not essential. This manager has to be strong willed, willing to change a losing culture and mentality that has been at the club for the past few years. The manager has to go in with fresh ideas and willing to crack some skulls if needs be. The manager will have full decision making over team affairs such as tactics and team selections. When it comes to the transfer window the manager will consult the scouting system and various other sources and submit a list of players to the chairman or chief exec. That's where his involvement pretty much ends, it's down to the chairman or chief exec to pursue some of those players depending on the budget available and secure any deals.

- Once this is all in place I would get Venky's to do some publicity in the media especially the local media. They are going to have to swallow some pride and admit that a lot of mistakes have been made during their tenure as owners so far. They needs to stress that this is now a clean slate and point to the establishment of a proper footballing management structure and their willingness to take a step back from the day to day decision making.

If the above happens and Rovers make the right management decision then I can see a chance of pushing for promotion, either through the playoffs or the automatic places.

So two scenarios and two different paths to take, my money is on the former being the option that is taken.

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It was more the former of your two options, a realistic view (or educated guess) of what will happen, RVR, but that's a great post nonetheless.

Williams is no longer at City though, he is now chairman of the referees association, PGMOL.

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Surely its best to sign a left back then, instead of signing a right back and using ours as a left back?

Yea, but I've wanted us to sign a left back since we sold our old one to Villa.

We probably won't because we don't do things the logical way.

Rekik, Givet and Martin Olsson will all be off I'd imagine so really we need to get left backs in anyway.

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The owners, managers, board, players deserve to go down.

If we stay up, my hope is that at least the club would be more attractive to a potential purchaser (which looks a long shot at the minute)

If Venkys don't bring in an experienced manager then we've got no hope for the future. I've got no faith that they will get it right.

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Anyonewho thinks Orr is anywhere in the region of adequate for any footballing purpose whatsoever should be tied to a chair and forced to watch the first half against Peterborough on repeat until such time as they begin chanting "Bring back Ray Charter"

I can't stand Orr so I'm not going to bother arguing the point.

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I think Bowyer will be the Rovers 1st team manager next season.

I expect some players who big wages earners to leave like Murphy, Etuhu, Robinson, Givet(who is out of contract), Formica and Best to leave.

get rid of most of the unused portuguese players. would keep Nunes. Plus Orr aswell sell.

Martin Olsson will probably leave in the summer aswell for a mid table Premeirship team.

MUST KEEP Rhodes at all cost btw!!! Rhodes is crucial if Rovers are going to push for a promotion.

would bring back Rochina and hope Bowyer will develop him more.

from our loan players I would sign Kaz, Sandomerski Jones(out of contract in summer) and Kane on loan next season if we can.

give Dunn a new contract aswell for next season on pay as your play.

hopefully we will used some of our very talented players from reserves and academy like Ryan Ewdards, Hugo Fernandez, Robbie Cotton and Anton Forrester.

my squad next season would be

GK's

Kean, Sandomerski, Urwin

Defender's

Henley, Kane, Dann, Hanley, Edwards, Marcus Olsson

Midfielder's

Dunn, Lowe, Williamson, Jones, Nunes, Pedersen, King, Fernandez, Cotton

Striker's

Rhodes, Rochina, Kazim-Richards, Forrester, Goodwillie

in the summer, we need to sign back up centre back, left back, right winger, Good scoring centre midfielder and target man.

expect a very busy summer for players out and in. going to be busy for the manager whoever that is and admin department at Ewood Park.

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I think Bowyer will be the Rovers 1st team manager next season.

I expect some players who big wages earners to leave like Murphy, Etuhu, Robinson, Givet(who is out of contract), Formica and Best to leave.

Who would want them or pay money for them? They're crap and expensive. No one will take them (albeit maybe a foreign club for Formica perhaps) even on loan.

get rid of most of the unused portuguese players. would keep Nunes. Plus Orr aswell sell.

Again who would want them? They're rubbish and not up to it. At best we'd have to pay up their contract.

Orr is not very good, is a bad influence in the dressing room, is hated by the fans, and we've 2/3 other players better in that position (Henley, Lowe, Kane if he stays). Apart from that he should stay.

Martin Olsson will probably leave in the summer aswell for a mid table Premeirship team.

MUST KEEP Rhodes at all cost btw!!! Rhodes is crucial if Rovers are going to push for a promotion.

would bring back Rochina and hope Bowyer will develop him more.

Agree

from our loan players I would sign Kaz, Sandomerski Jones(out of contract in summer) and Kane on loan next season if we can.

give Dunn a new contract aswell for next season on pay as your play.

hopefully we will used some of our very talented players from reserves and academy like Ryan Ewdards, Hugo Fernandez, Robbie Cotton and Anton Forrester.

Would they really want to come here after experiencing the mad house? I'm not sure any of them really would, except perhaps Kane. Also wage wise not sure we could afford Kaz.

It all seems very nice and a decent in theory but the problem is that:

a) they players have not performed very well this season

B) the chances of improving the squad are minimal. Who will choose the players? What makes you think they can pick a good one? Or even know what a good one looks like? Plus can we afford them - I'd suggest not as we won't easily shift the dross on our wage bill.

c) All of this is irrelevant as long as the off field antics continue. We're in a bad, bad way off the pitch, which even if we were able to get all these new players and shift all the bad ones means that it'll all be undermined by off-field antics.

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How do you know Orr is a bad influence in the dressing room?

Well can't say with 100% certainty, but Berg sending him straight out on loan, and Appleton dropping him after the Peterborough debacle along with some comments to the effect that the players who'd be dropped are creating a negative culture. Plus the fact he's definitely a Kean fan - the interview - which can't have sat well with other players who were with him in that stage of our inglorious time under Venkeys.

Even without all of this being dross and hated by the fans is enough to give him the boot. However I strongly suspect he's not a helpful presence to have around the club.

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