With uncertain times at Ewood Park regarding a takeover, manager Sam Allardyce again faces the unglamorous task of being responsible for securing the club’s Premier League status.
Position Last Season: 10th
Transfers In: Hugo Fernandez, Mame Biram Diouf
Transfers Out: Steven Reid, Yildiray Basturk
With the club surrounded by so much takeover speculation, Blackburn have so far been unable to make any significant moves in the transfer market. A protracted takeover by Indian entrepreneur Saurin Shah remains up in the air, and until something is confirmed, Sam Allardyce will have to make do with his existing Blackburn Rovers squad.
Blackburn defied the odds last season, finishing in a solid tenth position. Allardyce worked his magic, giving players such as David Dunn the confidence to play to their full potential, and with shrewd signings such as Michel Salgado, the player who many thought was past it became a firm fixture in the team’s starting eleven.
Allardyce may just have to trust his current crop of players this season, which would not be as disastrous as many would believe. He has a fantastic goalkeeper in Paul Robinson, a sturdy defence consisting of players such as Ryan Nelsen and Christopher Samba, and a talented midfield; Morten Gamst-Pedersen, Brett Emerton and Steven N’Zonzi are three players that many Premier League managers would love to have in their squad. Allardyce also has the option to start introducing younger players such as Phil Jones, Martin Olsson and Junior Hoilett into the side.
The obvious problem, however, is the squad’s striker situation. Allardyce does not have many options up front, and has been very public with his frustrations regarding this matter. It is unlikely that recent loan signing Mame Biram Diouf will solve the problem, and the young Nikola Kalinic who showed potential last season, is currently injured and will be in need of a quality strike partner on his return.
It is unclear as to how much money, if any, Allardyce will have to spend on any new aquisitions, but with the season only a few days away, it seems unlikely that the club will be making any high profile signings. If this is the case, the club may just have to rely on goals from midfield and hope that players such as David Dunn steer clear of injuries.
Caughtoffside prediction: If a quality striker is signed, a repeat of last season’s finish is a realistic target. Allardyce will not let his current squad get involved in a relegation battle, but expect a bottom half finish.