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Philly Rover ®

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    Boston, MA (but my heart's still at home)

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Premier League

Premier League (6/9)



  1. Hearing £3.3 million as the mooted fee for Santa Cruz has got me thinking about what a fantastic job Mark Hughes has done in the transfer market. I believe that his net outlay is small, but he's nonetheless managed to reshape the side with some real quality. I've done some searching online but haven't been able to find anything, so my question is: does anyone have a list of Mark Hughes' transfers in his two and a half years at the helm? If we're able to put together an accurate list, I think we'll be astounded at his success. Here's what I could come up with (going off Soccerbase and some of my own recollections): Out: Neil Danns Javier de Pedro (free) Barry Ferguson (£4.5 million) Ciaran Donnelly (free) Jonathan Stead (£1.8 million) Jay Bothroyd (end of loan) Youri Djorkaeff (free) Craig Short (free) Nissa Johansson (free) Garry Flitcroft (free) Matt Jansen (free) David Thompson (free) Paul Dickov (free) Richard Lee (end of loan) Florent Sinama Pongolle (end of loan) Craig Bellamy (£6 million) Vratislav Gresko (free) Jemal Johnson (£100,000?) Jonathan Douglas (£100,000?) Shefki Kuqi (£2.5 million) Dominic Matteo (free) Lucas Neill (£1.5 million) Jay McEveley (£600,000) Michael Gray (free) Andy Todd (£750,000) Total Out: £17,850,000 In: Youri Djorkaeff (free) Aaron Mokoena (£600,000) Ryan Nelsen (free) Robbie Savage (£3,000,000) Richard Lee (loan) Shefki Kuqi (free) Craig Bellamy (£3.75 million) Jason Brown (free) Zurab Khizanishvili (£500,000) Florent Sinama Pongolle (loan) David Bentley (£1 million) Francis Jeffers (free) Jason Roberts (£3 million) Benny McCarthy (£2.5 million) Andre Ooijer (£2 million) Stephane Henchoz (free) David Dunn (£2.2 million) Stephen Warnock (£1.5 million) Christopher Samba (£400,000) Maceo Rigters (£250,000) Gunnar Nielsen (£100,000?) Roque Santa Cruz (£3.3 million) Total In: £24,100,000 Net Outlay: £6,250,000 Wow, I really got a bit carried away with that. Anyway, I figure I'm probably off a little bit, as I did guess on some of the undisclosed fees, but Hughes' net spending is probably right around that mark. I also realize that wages aren't factored into any of this, but assuming that the wage bill hasn't grown astronomically (i.e. it has only grown in the manner budgeted for, maybe a few percentage points each year), then it's incredible to note that Hughes has turned this club from a bottom end side to a UEFA Cup side for the price of one Diomansy Kamara.
  2. Good spot digging up this thread Florida Rover. I think a move to Portugal will benefit Freddy more than a move to England or Scotland (although work permit issues would have prevented that anyway)... given his physique, he's certainly not ready to play in England or Italy, and while Holland would perhaps have been his best option, Benfica isn't a bad place to wind up. All that remains now is for him to live up to the hype he generated four years ago. Maybe European football training will help with that.
  3. I've done this rather quickly this year, so I apologize for any errors. Please let me know if you think I've made a mistake and I'll fix it as soon as possible. As I did for the last few years, I want to sample some of the preseason predictions that didn't quite pan out. Let's all have a laugh... "As far as I'm concerned, there is no chance that Chelsea will be anything less than champions this year..." --tcj_jones "As much as I want Reading to do well, they just haven't strengthened enough this offseason to avoid the drop." --American "7 West Ham U - a very serious threat. They've hung onto the players they wanted to and their signings are shrewd. Rovers dare not let the Whammers open a gap like Spuds did last year as we won't catch them either." --philipl "I have another prediction as well: Charton will go down within three seasons. I think Dowie is a very good manager, but I always said that when Curbs left they would slip back down to where he had taken them from, and I won't budge from that assessment." --Yours Truly (I suppose I overestimated them a bit with a three year time table) "Surprise team - Fulham if they can sort their away form out" --CAPT KAYOS It wasn't all bad, however. Shout outs to Cookiemonster, SIMON GARNERS 194, Shaddy, and RevidgeBlue for correctly picking Rovers in 10th place; congrats to Drakefye, americanrover, and AlamoRover, who did what no one last year could do (i.e. corectly pick all three relegated squads); and finally, well done Eddie, who was the only one to pick Man U as champions. Unfortunately, the bonus for picking the champs wasn't quite enough to push Eddie over the top. Without further ado, this year's results... 1. FourLaneBlue (28 points) 2. rog of the rovers (34 points) 3. Eddie (38 points) 3. Tango (38 points) 5. PABBY (40 points) 6. bazza (42 points) 7. bob fleming (44 points) 8. 3recurring (46 points) 8. brennanboy (46 points) 8. Philly Rover ® (46 points) 8. The1mattjansen (46 points) 12. CAPT KAYOS (47 points) 12. sleepyjack (47 points) 14. bluebruce (48 points) 14. krislu (48 points) 14. neekoy (48 points) 17. AlamoRover (49 points) 17. Drakefyre (49 points) 19. Oakland (50 points) 20. Scotty (51 points) 20. mohelger (51 points) 22. Alan75 (52 points) 22. Quack (52 points) 24. Cookiemonster (53 points) 25. American (55 points) 25. americanrover (55 points) 25. Foxxx (55 points) 25. Rover4ever (55 points) 25. Steven (55 points) 30. bboy (57 points) 30. tcj_jones (57 points) 30. Tooting Rover (57 points) 33. James No. 7 (58 points) 33. james19830822 (58 points) 33. nellby (58 points) 33. pleasure (58 points) 33. rebelzro (58 points) 33. vyeo (58 points) 39. Baz (59 points) 39. laughatthedingles (59 points) 39. pick32 (59 points) 42. AussieinUk (60 points) 42. cn174 (60 points) 42. Jim J (60 points) 42. RevidgeBlue (60 points) 42. Shaddy (60 points) 42. Threepenny Bit Foot (60 points) 48. greggyk (61 points) 48. Teemu (61 points) 50. AggyBlue (62 points) 51. philipl (62 points) 51. SouthAussieRover (62 points) 53. ihtd (63 points) 53. Seggie (63 points) 55. daveoftherovers (65 points) 55. Rovermatt (65 points) 55. roversmum (65 points) 58. Timmy (66 points) 59. ando (67 points) 60. modes98 (69 points) 61. Presty on Tour (70 points) 62. frosty (72 points) 62. kevinyip (72 points) 62. Mr. E (72 points) 65. AxesFirstTouch (73 points) 65. Gareth (73 points) 67. Perth_Rover (75 points) 68. rover6 (81 points) Hardly anyone seemed to get Reading or Newcastel right, and as I said, only one out of 68 predictors got the champions right. I think that's indicative of just how good FLB's table was: he didn't even have Man U correct, and he still blew everyone else out of the water. Meanwhile, the Observer's stab would have gotten them 49 points (good for 17th place), while The Sun would have checked in with 37 points (good for third place). And by the way: FLB, you've broken Scotty's stranglehold on the prediction game. Now that that monster of table prediction has been slayed, everyone has a chance! 2005-06 Results 2004-05 Results
  4. I was thinking this. Obviously I wasn't able to see how well Dunn played today, but it sounds like Mokoena is (quite predictably) out of his depth in central midfield, even against a side like Sheffield United. Hopefully Dunn can stay fit, because it seems Mokoena is certainly not the answer in the center. I still think it was a big gamble for Sparky not to pick up a central midfielder in the transfer window -- hoping that Tugay and Dunn will remain fit enough to play the majority of games is a huge risk in my opinion.
  5. Tchocky's right about the injury crisis. Still, it's disappointing to know that we still should have come away with a point: Sparky will be absolutely livid when he sees the replay on the play that led to their corner.
  6. Just depressing... especially with the way we controlled the second half. As a sidenote, listening to these announcers you'd be hard-pressed to figure that there are two teams playing. When Rovers dominate for a spell, it's, "Oh, West Ham look a bit tentative here." Edit: even more depressing when you consider that the corner West Ham got that gave them that goal actually came off Zamora's arm.
  7. Anyone else watching the Fox Soccer Network broadcast? I believe it's the Sky Sports announcers, but whoever it is is so biased it's making me sick.
  8. I'm also going for 2-1 Rovers. Reid to get off the mark, with Nonda scoring a late winner in his debut. It'll certainly be interesting to see the lineup.
  9. Bingo. Maybe Sparky's thinking is that this will give him a couple of months to assess Bentley, Gally, and Peter in wing roles? Hopefully one of them steps up, or else we could be in trouble. We MUST use the Kuqi money for a creative midfielder in January.
  10. Amen, SG194. Have to say I'm a bit disappointed by the window as a whole. I think Sparky made some good signings, but by failing to bring in even a single midfielder, I think we left ourselves woefully short of creativity in that area of the pitch. It doesn't matter how good our strikers are if there's no one to get them the ball in dangerous places. Quite frankly I'm very surprised. I really thought Sparky had a midfield signing up his sleeve. I'm a bit anxious about how things will proceed now. Tottenham and West Ham are starting to look a cut above, and it will be increasingly tough to finish ahead of the likes of Newcastle, Everton, and Villa.
  11. Sack Hughes for letting him go! I'm glad to see Jemal doing well. The Championship is probably more his level -- scoring against Burnley and Luton isn't quite the same as scoring against Premiership sides. I wish him the best, especially if the rumored sell-on fee exists!
  12. Exactly what I'd go for. Neill doesn't necessarily deserve his place based on reports of his Saturday performance, but I'd feel more comfortable with the Neill/Emerton combination on the right side than I would with an Emerton/Bentley combo. As you said, joey, more robust and more defensively sound (at least in theory). 2-0 Chelsea.
  13. This isn't necessarily aimed at you pleasure, but a lot of people on here have their mind made up to argue with rover6 no matter what's in the post. If most other people expressed the view, I guarantee people would not be so quick to slate the idea. Rover6 actually has a very good point here, and it's something I certainly think of. I too would like to see Andy Taylor and some of the other youngsters break through into the first team, but despite having squad numbers they've not gotten an opportunity to feature on the bench. The one thing I can say in defense of Mokoena is that he's still only 25, and a lot of defenders don't "get it" until they're about 29 or 30. He has some of the raw attributes needed -- he's big, and tough in the tackle -- and maybe Hughes still sees something in him. I would tend to agree with you, that we need better, but surely there must be some reason why this man captains South Africa ahead of Benni McCarthy and others, right? Douglas and McEveley should be offloaded as soon as we have enough cover at those positions -- with Taylor waiting in the wings, we can offload McEveley now, although I'd wait to dump Douglas until we have some depth in central midfield. Whatever the case, I'm very skeptical of Mokoena being offered a new deal. I'd love to be able to trust Hughes on this one, but blind faith doesn't get you anywhere.
  14. Well, a point's a start. Sounds like we should have scored in the first half, but at least our performance was much better than on Saturday. Chelsea will be pretty angry when we play them this weekend, unfortunately: Viduka scored in the 90th minute to give Boro a 2-1 win.
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