Enough of these transfer rumours, lets do a Getting to Know!
1) Welcome to Vital Blackburn! Fill us in a little, who is Matty Holden, what does he do with his life, and why Blackburn!
I am 28 years old and been supporting the blue and White army since 1992 my first game properly was in 1994 a bore draw against Ipswich at the end of the 1993/94 season and liked it so much I begged for a season ticket for the following season, which turned out to be our championship winning year. I had a season ticket up until the end of the 1999/2000 my last match was the invasion of Ewood by all them City fans.. The following season I applied to become a steward at Ewood Park and I have been doing that ever since. I am now a senior steward at Ewood having worked in the Riverside and Blackburn End and out looking after search stewards, this season I will be working in the Jack Walker Stand which I am looking forward to. People always say ‘you’re just here to watch the match for free’ or ‘ you’re only here to make us unhappy’ we`re not any of those things, quite the opposite actually, We are there to make sure you’re safe and happy with your visit and nothing serious has happened at Ewood and that is wholly down to the professionalism and safety consciousness of the Blackburn Rovers safety team. Most of us down there are fans as well so we do share a common goal that we like to see Rovers do well. So we like to think we look after our own as well as the visiting spectators although sometimes it may be challenging with what’s going on the pitch, but mostly it`s an enjoyable way to spend my weekends, I really do enjoy working for the club that I support.
2) David Goodwillie, Myles Anderson and Radosav Petrovic, What are your impressions on our first 3 signings of this window? Do you think they have the ability to cement a first team spot?
Both have come into the squad from a challenging but not as intense league as the premiership so it`s going to take time for both Miles and David to settle in, I don’t know how Miles will be used if at all maybe he will have to bide his time playing reserve team football for a season which I know might be frustrating for him but maybe of benefit as it can sometimes be very intense as players look for opportunities to shine and impress the first team coach. David is used to playing week in week out like he was at Dundee United so how Steve Kean chooses to use the young Scot will be interesting to see. Also we have Radosav Petrovic coming in as well who I’ve been told to expect good things from so it looks as though we are getting things together however it’s been a tough summer to be a Rovers supporter
3) Many have been alarmed at the amount of ‘deadwood’ we have in our squad. Do you think the likes of Grella, Andrews, Diouf etc have a future at the club?
Well Andrews looks to have a bleak future and has gone out on loan. A lot of people will give me stick for it, but the way Keith was treated by supporters was appalling we should support our players while they wear the blue and white shirt. He has saved his best games playing for Ireland probably because he doesn`t have the pressure and stick Rovers fans give him. It was a big ask of Paul Ince to buy him, excel him 3 divisions and expect him to slot in and sadly it looks as though it’s not worked out for him I really do hate to see players leave our club on bad terms. Vinny Grella, well this guy must feel like he’s the unluckiest guy in the premiership consistently injured and not enough game time but when he has played he’s added bite and he showed during the Asia trophy he still wants to succeed in England so hopefully he can stay injury free and get some game time. Dioufy well nothing really surprises me with him.
Some fans say he was our best player up until November when Sam was sacked and then just didn’t seem to be happy and fit in to Steve Kean’s plans before being shipped out on loan to Rangers. His AWOL episode at the start of pre season and the emergence of Junior Hoilett and Mauro Formica makes his position at Rovers very bleak indeed and I can see this being a very messy divorce between club and player maybe a reunion with Big Sam at West Ham might be on the cards
4) We have been promised the biggest budget in recent history, but Venkys have yet to deliver. Do you think the names will roll in by the close of the window? Or are we being taken for a ride
I don’t really know what to say to this. We’ve heard so many things this summer alone about finances, who’s pulling the strings, who’s in charge of transfers, Kentaro, SEM, Jerome Anderson, Steve Kean and I am still none the wiser of who is the deal maker or makers. We are not most the straight forward of clubs anymore. That’s not criticism of the owners because they are new to the industry but we no longer have safety net of John Williams looking after our purse strings and liaising with the manager over budgets. But we have a new management team coming in of Paul and Simon Hunt who I believe in time will do a good job for Blackburn Rovers. I believe that the money is there but not as much as we were lead to believe at first. Rumors are Mr. Balaji wants big names and is willing to fund it himself, if that is so all, well and good but any world class ‘ marquee’ signing must be made aware that playing for Blackburn shouldn’t be just about picking a lovely cheque every month.
Everyone knows we need another striker and a prolific one at that, David Goodwillie does have future potential but as I said he’ll need time to bed in to premiership life and we really need a player who can try and hit the ground running.
5) Pick 5 attributes of players to wear the Blue and White Jersey over the past 10 years to make 1 super Rover. (eg- so and so’s finishing, so and so’s fitness, etc)
The head of Chris Samba he uses his big frame at both ends of the pitch, the fitness of Tugay how that guy kept going in the top league for so long I don`t know along with his technique and passing a ability and he didn`t exactly score tap-ins did he. The pace of Damien Duff between his hamstring problems he could be like flying down that left hand side and weaving in and out defenders with ease his goal against Arsenal that time was immense and had everything, the loyalty of David Dunn wears the club on his sleeve always liked how down to earth on is as well always speaks well of the club in the media and of course the finishing of Alan Shearer, as far as boyhood heroes are concerned he was right up there. Goals were what Shearer was all about I am proud of seen such a player play for my club, I was distraught when he left for Newcastle, even locked myself in a Florida hotel bathroom I was that upset. I don`t honestly think I’ve ever seen any player, in particular a striker of Blackburn Rovers, come as close to emulating him at the club, I think Matt Jansen had the potential to, but unfortunately injury curtailed that.
6) Predictions for the upcoming season?
Let`s be honest it`s hard to predict what the season has in store for us. We let Phil Jones go which leaves a big hole in the centre of defense and with the future of Chris Samba still unclear we will have a massive gap in our back line if he goes. Grant Hanley needs to step up and be counted this year if he is to make one of the positions his. But we do need new bodies and I am sure they will come before the end of the transfer window. I am positive enough to say we will be still in the premier league next season, provided we make a few more additions to the playing squad that benefit it. Final position 11th