Good Ol’ mate Jon from local Chorley steps into the hotseat……
Boy its been a while….ever since Morten Gamst Pedersen sat in the hotseat and took on the man they know as Sas, there has been nobody to take on the challenge, until now!
Step Up, Chorleyblue!!!
1) Welcome to Vital Blackburn Jon. Tell us a little about you, who are you, what do you do and why Blackburn!
I am a local lad – born in Darwen, went to school in Blackburn and have lived most of my 41 years in Chorley. I am married with 2 kids (both girls and Rovers Fans!!) I run a business selling Hygiene disposables and Protective Equipment. Rovers and Football have been my passion all my life, I still play 5 a-side once a week. I started watching Rovers in the old Blackburn End in 1983-4 regularly although I went to a few games with my old fella in the late 70s early 80s????. I saw Howard Kendall as player manager. I have loved the highs and lows of Rovers over the years. And I have been lucky enough to be at all the successes of the last 25 years? I was at Wembley in 1987 to see Colin Hendry score as we won the Milk Cup (the day before my driving test !!!) and was at Anfield in `95 to see us lift the Premier League (was in with the scousers next to the Kop – in Rovers shirts of course !!) and made it to Cardiff to see the triumph in the Worthington Cup in 2002. We met Matt Jansen on the way back the next day at the Services near Birmingham and I still have his autograph on the ticket for the final. I have had a season ticket for the last 23 years although I don`t get to as many away games as I would like these days. Why Rovers, its great to support and watch local football and after squeezing on the Blackburn End in my school days to watch Rovers take on the might of Man Utd in the Cup???.. there was no hope for me I was always destined to be a fan.
2) Now we are in the Steve Kean era at Blackburn Rovers. How has Steve started his campaign as the Gaffer?
I think Steve Kean has started really well. I was comfortable with him as manager from the start, I understand the concerns about lack of experience but I would rather have someone new like SK who has potential than drag up an old name from the long list of failed managers. I wasn`t the biggest fan of Sam, although I appreciate that at the time he kept us up when most others would have had us relegated and for that I will always be grateful. The style of play and approach was for me though, acceptance that when we play Utd we are going to be beaten its just by how many didn`t sit well with me – I was at Old Trafford this season and the display was awful. Kean has made some shrewd signings and he speaks sense and seems to have the backing of the players. The fact he seems to have got Samba to sign a new deal is probably the biggest plus of the transfer window. Good luck to him, I think he will do well.
3) Roque Santa Cruz, Jermaine Jones, Mauro Formica, Ruben Rochina, have been added to the squad. What role will they play in shaping the rest of our season
I think all the signings look very promising. I cant wait to see both of the young lads Formica and Rochina – if they adapt quickly and have an impact this season we will be excited to see the pace and style of their play, particularly Formica who looks a real talent. Jones is just what we need to hold the midfield together and should allow Phil Jones when back to play at Centre Back, which in my opinion is by far his best position. Santa Cruz if we can keep him fit will score and create goals as he did in his last spell at Ewood. We have done good business in the areas that we needed to strengthen and if we can progress for the rest of the season and move up the league, the future looks very bright for us fans? I hope we give the likes of Formica and Rochina the time to settle in and the games to get used to the Premier League and then they will really show what they can do – perhaps more so next season.
4) It appears we are playing a new brand of football, moving the ball quickly and using the pace of Hoillet and Olsson on the flanks. Do you think we can maintain this against the so-called bigger clubs? If so, expain, If not, how would you prepare the lads for those games
I think you have to adapt the way you play for each game, certainly away from home. At Ewood its up to us to take the initiative more and press the opposition, and our fast play through midfield using the pace of Hoillet and Olsson and hopefully the new lads as well will be a real threat to most teams. It will be interesting to see how we fair against a good Spurs side this week. That attacking fast play combined with a solid holding midfield and strong defence will be a match for most teams. Away from home is more difficult and we have struggled to defend well and not concede silly goals and then have to play catch up. We need to be more solid as a unit and play on the break using the pace of our forwards. I think we have improved over the last couple of months and we are looking like a solid team pushing for the 7th or 8th and perhaps slightly higher?. The addition of John Jensen could be really positive if he can start us playing flowing attacking football but with the bite he used to play with.
5) Realistically, where can Blackburn finish this season. What would be a dissapointment?
This season for me is a sign of where we can realistically get to next season. If we can maintain a 7th – 9th position that would be great, it would mean we can attract a few players in the Summer and look for a step on again next season. If on from that we can be competing for Europe every year, then great. This season – 10th would be ok but any lower would be a disappointment.
6) Who will win the EPL, and who will get relegated!
I don`t think you can look passed Man U for the title – and as I heard someone in the media say recently – anyone who finishes above Utd will win the league. My dark horses to go on a run, now they have Torres, are Chelsea -I don`t think they will be able to make up the points but if they get him scoring they will make it interesting !!
Relegation this year well there is I hope and I think. I hope West Ham, Liverpool and Newcastle???.. but I think West Ham, Wolves and West Brom. I just hope Wigan and Blackpool stay up, local games are always good to have. I am chuffed that Blackpool managed to hang on to Charlie Adam – they would have struggled without him.