Date: 9th October 2006 at 9:14am
Written by:

It seems to be a case of one step forward; two steps back for Blackburn Rovers defender Lucas Neill. He builds bridges then contrives to burn them down…

The Australian International has had something of a reputation in the past but the club and fans have always stuck by him during his “over eager moments”, the times when he’s been more than a little over the top with challenges and situations he has been involved with and what have you.

Then we had the whole, will he, won’t he, should he, shouldn’t he move soap opera, making his thoughts clear back in the summer that he wanted to leave, but he won over the fans with his displays and was more than supported in his appointment as club captain. But rather than let it go and get on with his job like the professional Mark Hughes has said he’s been during this period he couldn’t help but go and spoil things again with his latest rant.

I am in no way suggesting that Neill owes the club because of any of the above mentioned things, but he should have shown the club, the fans and most importantly Hughes more respect than he has be making yet more needless, and frankly unnecessary comments, we all knew the score so why bring it up again?

This is a selection of the comments you, and I, the Vital Blackburn Rovers members have had to say on the matter since it came to light:

All of a sudden it’s kicked off and Neill looks like he is the one determined to go… so goodbye Lucas, so long and thanks for all the fish, he’ll be a small one in a big pond. At least Mikey Gray will get his place back.” Ex Ewood Resident

Good riddance to him, if he wants to leave so badly – let him. He is a good player (not great) and will be hard to replace but Hughes needs to move forward and line up a replacement for January and let him go. Emerton is doing well at the moment in his usual role and we still have Gray.” Wellsy

I think Neill should be dropped, I know he’s a good player but if he wants to leave then the team may as well start playing without him now!! Get the players that want to play for the club in the team now as I think he’ll leave in Jan. I think it`s the wrong way to go to play a player that has publicly said he wants to leave -as good as he is. Its time to get tough with Neill, just to prove that when he leaves he will be replaced like anyone else.” Clint

From comments announced today, Lucas I feel should play no further part. He wants to leave, we all know that but I feel a tail wagging the dog scenario is occurring. He should keep his mouth tight lipped, leave with the dignity he would have deserved for his services. Liverpool next game, should he be Captain??????? Should he play?????? NO to both (what do you think)?govtpros

I agree with you govtpros if I was manager I would drop him from the first team and he should play for the reserves for the rest of his rovers career.” marshinrover

Andy Todd had a go after being left out and hasn’t played since, Neill is playing yet he’s still running his mouth. If Hughes won’t drop him he should at least be stripped of the captain`s armband, he doesn’t deserve the honour of wearing it. I voted for him being captain in a poll recently, I’d vote against it now! If it is for the best of the team to play him then Hughes should pick him, if we can do without drop him, but PLEASE Sparky give someone the armband who will wear it with pride, who WANTS to be there!Hughes Da Man

The problem we have now is that Neill keeps shooting his mouth off. If he could just shut up for ten minutes things would have been okay. However, for Hughes to strip him of the captaincy now we lose a player and it undermines his decision to keep him for the remainder of his contract thus making him look even more stupid for rejecting £2million when we will now get nothing. This means Neill’s recent displays could have come at a huge cost to us!!!! Alternatively if he continues to play it doesn’t promote a great image of the club and many of the players who are giving it their all may feel a little annoyed when an individual who clearly doesn’t want to be here can continue to captain the side. Neill really has given Hughes a huge dilemma. I really don’t know what I would do for the best.” roversman

Some comments may have been made in the heat of the moment, but most are almost certainly how people feel, or felt or maybe even have felt all along? I would suggest that most fans are not angry, merely disappointed.

A poll suggestion from Vital Blackburn Member govtpros has been suggested to me, under the title:

Most fans knew Lucas Neill was heading out the door in the near future anyway, should he have kept quiet about his desire to leave the club again? What do the fans think Hughesy should do?

This poll, with four interesting options to choose from will be added later today, so keep a look out, I’m sure you will want to vote!

CLICK HERE – For Why You Should Sign Up To Vital Blackburn


27 Replies to “Lucas Neill – How you feel…”

  • I think the comments about him being dropped and left to rot in the reserves until he moves oin are the best ones and what your manager should do !

  • Hughes will have to do something now, he cannot and should not let this one lie, Should he make Neill the Captain against ‘pool on Sat, after Neill stating that thats the club he wants to head to and not get in the team, seems stupid to me but then footballers make stupid decisions, maybe have something to do with the increase of money a week when he’s signs for Liverpool, to sit on there bench. Best of luck to him!!

  • I wouldn’t play him against pool…he’s a good bloke is Neill but who knows what he might do to try and win a few brownie points? I would now play one of the youngsters in this game…throw them in at the deep end or maybe mceveley who as a decent amount of first-team experience.

  • If he captains the side against Liverpool I think Hughes may well even lose a lot of respect he’s built up, maybe not from the Rovers fans, but outsiders, potential future signings etc. Even playing him against the team he wants to sign for maybe not be a good idea. There are plenty of talented youngsters, who could play, and would love to play, not forgetting Gray and of course McEveley as you say roversman.

  • Let’s all just trust in Hughes to manage the situation… There is more to everything than meets the eye… I can’t believe that both Hughesy and Williams would have continued to flog the dead horse if Lucas hadn’t given the impression that he might have stayed… Remember we don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, we don;t know what crap Harrison has been whispering in Lucas’ ear and we don’t know what Lucas was thinking when he said what he did. Perhaps it was taken out of context perhaps not. Perhaps Lucas is a doofus. It will be interesting to see what Sparky does on his return… but he is remaining th eprofessional and is not issuing any comments to the media he is keeping it in house like a true professional, not like some of the othe rprem manager that donlt know when to stay quiet, the likes of Pearce, Redknapp and Souness spring to mind.

  • i think that you should get off lucas neill’s back. no disrespect to blackburn, i love them, but i think we should be greatful to have lucas neill. he is a fantastic defender and can create opportunities upfront as well. i think we should just be using him as much as we can while he is still here. hughes himself has said that everyone in the sheds looks up to lucas. another reason while people should keep their mouths shut is the fact that he said he was looking to move on and go in a new direction before the transfer window. rovers management wouldnt let him go they are stuck with him. im glad that he is here because he is a great player, and if he happens to move on good luck to him, im sure that rovers could still keep up the great form.

  • I understand what you are saying jordz_7 because we all love Lucas at Rovers and desperately want him to stay. However, he indicated his feelings during the summer but Hughes, Williams and the rest of the squad stuck by him and he has repaid Rovers in his typical professional manner with a number of excellent displays. Nevertheless there was no need for hhim to go and shoot his mouth off again about leaving. That is what incenses us. If he decided to leave at the end of his contract then so be it we would all wish him well and good luck for the future, its just he won’t shut up. There is no need to keep saying I want to leave it poses a huge dilemma for Hughes to sort.

  • Wow Barca have supposedly re-joined the race to sign Neill. I hope for his sake that he goes there as it would be a fantastic opportunity for him. I do though, think that this Neeskens fella loves Neill a little too much.

  • It’t true, the whole story isn’t known but what is coming out isn’t helping Neill’s course. The Rovers fans feel slightly betrayed jordz_7. We all knew he’d leave but would have hoped he would have with dignity and gracefully moved on, rants like this, and the summers make it hard for this. He will still be backed but he isn’t helping himself.

  • Surely he’d play less at Barca than he would at Liverpool? But that’s what I thought about Giovanni Van Bronckhorst when he left Arsenal for the Nou Camp and he was a regular, still is I think?

  • Van Bronckhorst played at Barca outta the need for a left back and made it his own, its about the only postion Neill would play for Barca, as they have Zambrotta, Olegur and Beletti on the rite. I hope that this story is true for Neill cos no-one would deny a player the chance to play for Barca of all teams and it wouldnt hurt as much as a move to ‘pool, Spurs or West Ham.

  • I agree with what Jordz_7 has said, Neill is entitled to his move at the end of the day but as one of the senior members at the club, wone who is looked to in the Sheds and has the young players look up to him, he should have gone about this move with more respect to the club that took a chance on a former unknown Millwall player. Im a great believer in the young players getting their chance’s so mite be a good way to introduce Taylor AND/OR McElvey

  • I don’t for one minute feel Neill isn’t entitled his move, it’s just the way it is happening that I, and probably most others object to. A move to Barca would be too good to refuse, but like most others, and myself have said a move to WHU, Spurs, or even Liverpool would be a different matter.

  • It was said that Blackburn should have taken the money that Liverpool offered in the summer, but I dont see Liverpool taking an offer that was a joke for one of their better players, can u imagine £10m for Gerard?? – £2 for the most consistant riteback in the league was an insult, Rovers were rite to turn it down.

  • Why would you leave him in the reserves to rot? Either play him or sell him i dont like it how teams leave them in reserves when they are just wasting quality talent.

  • It’s a tough call jono_forest but he won’t rot in the reserves that is almost certain, but he might not be assured of a first team place between now, and when he leaves. If it is best for Rovers to play him they will. Players rarely do rot in the reserves do they, people threaten this but it rarely happens.

  • i have heard lucas talk to the media about how his tranfer to liverpool failed and he definately wasnt shooting his mouth off. every single time he has spoken about his future he has always shot his mouth off about how great blackburn has been to him. they gave him the chance to start in the premier league and get his career going. he has the greatest respect for the club and fans and he will always be greatful for the chance they gave him. funny how the media always seem to forget to put that into the article. i think that lucas has actually carried himself really well through this whole drama.i can understand how the supporters can be dissapointed by what has been said but he honestly meant no disrespect to the club or the fans.

  • I don’t think Lucas meant any disrespect to Blackburn with his comments either. To be fair to him the media here in Australia have badgered him constantly about his future (because of the Liverpool interest in August) and as far as I can tell he made 1 comment at a press conference explaining what his options were… He hasn’t been “constantly shooting his mouth off” at all, though that is probably the impression given by the amount of articles that have since appeared. In all his interviews I have seen or heard he has been very positive about his time at Rovers, I’m sure while he remains with the club he will continue to give 100% because that’s the sort of person he is.

  • you have put it perfectly Dime. i agree with everything you have said. everything lucas has said about blackburn has been positive and the media have taken it all out of context and made him sound like an ungreatful, sterotypical footballer. they only do that so that their papers will sell. lucas is a great ambassador for the club and has no way made it sound insignificant.

  • Having said all that don’t know what state the Aussies will be when they arrive back in the UK with no time to recover from a 24hr flight and jetlag. Can’t see them getting back any earlier than Friday morning…

  • jordz_7 and Dime you both make good points, and the media can be a tool of distruction. Rovers fans in general have never doubted Lucas’ effort and the fact that he appreciates the chance the club gave him. He may have been hounded by the press, but re-itterating his determination to again leave isn’t as respectful as gracefully moving on. Having said this, the times when he has made his comments have always come when he is in Australia so maybe the press over their are really badgering him, and maybe as jordz_7 says the comment have been taken out of context, deliberatly or otherwise?

  • I’m not sure. Where you are correct, both Dime and jordz_7 about Neill being entitled to his move, I feel there was no need to comment on the situation further. Granted the media are terrible for manipulating words, stories and opinions (I should know) it seems a little unfair to the Rovers faithful that he has once again expressed his desire to leave. I rate Lucas very highly and we all know how highly he regards the club, he doesn’t need to reiterate that. He could though, refuse to comment on this issue.

  • I think the comments about him being dropped and left to rot in the reserves until he moves oin are the best ones and what your manager should do !
    good answer

  • Well it is now down to Neill himself to set the record straight, explain himself to Mark Hughes and John Williams, they will then relay to the fans if Neill himself doesn’t.

  • …rotting away in the reserves is pointless though really. If he is going to stay, be it January or until next summer Hughes should use him, but in both instances don’t give him assured football anymore and gradually bring his replacement in. Captaincy HAS to be taken away though.

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