Date: 14th May 2007 at 12:05am
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With the dust barely settling at the end of another Premiership season (already, where’s the time gone!) Blackburn Rovers have decisions to make on the futures of several senior squad members.

These issues involve players currently with the club, and whether or not they come for good, stay for longer or move on altogether.

Before the Reading game on Sunday Mark Hughes told the official Blackburn Rovers website:

We have a few issues to resolve, but they will wait until after the final game against Reading on Sunday.

I do not anticipate a busy summer in terms of transfers although, as ever, we will be keen to strengthen should the right players become available – that situation never changes to be truthful

What is to be resolved then?

* Shabani Nonda’s loan move is looking as though it will be made permanent one in a £2 million deal with Roma.
* Tugay is expected to sign a new one-year deal.
* Michael Gray and Francis Jeffers, who have been out on loan see their Rovers careers hanging in the balance, although I wouldn’t expect to see either in a Rovers shirt next season.
* Former captain Andy Todd is HIGHLY unlikely to be with Rovers next season, he has been linked with moves for the best part of a year as he has struggled to hold down a first team place.

What do we make of these issues then? Comments as always below?



33 Replies to “Rovers to Find out Their Fate!”

  • Nonda will sign, and although I must admit I am still not quite sure what to think he will (hopefully) have a better season next season and is a player that won’t rock the boat too much if he isn’t a starter week in week out. Tugay will sign his deal (thank god!) but Mickey Gray, Franny Jeffers and Andy Todd will all be given free transfers I think.

  • Yep fair cop, I see Tugay here for another year which I am glad of as he has been brilliant in some games even if the manager thinks he can only last 60-75 minutes. i wish he was able to play more but at his age i hope i can run for half that long (as I cant now:)). not sure if Nonda will give us that much more than he has although Sparky seems to think he will and OK i will deffer to his better judgement.

    The others mentioned as possible exits I agree with and hopefully there will at least be some change from their sale to fund a replacement right back as I see this as our only VITAL necessity. i say vital as Emerton is OK but not up to the rest of the defence, defensively that is, his runs are usually pretty good (pity about the crosses though.) Maybe the 2 million proposed for Nonda could be used to help strengthen that area. Although again Sparky probably knows more about what he has and hasnt got to spend.

  • PS. I actually dont mind if we dont get too much coin for Todd, i just hope he gets to go on to another club where he can have regular football as befits a former captain. i shouldnt think Mr Hughes will stand in his way if the right club comes knocking.

  • For the sort of money mentioned then it’s probably worth keeping Nonda – he has taken more time to get used to the Prem than Benni but he is certainly better than Pongolle was… You mention who might be out the door, but who do we see coming in? I can’t see anyone losing they place, except the weakest member of the team Mokoena… When Stevie Reid and Robbie Savage are both fit then he’ll drop back.

  • AustRover – Tugay isn’t going to play every minute of every game is he, but as he won’t have to play every game I still feel that the games in which he does start he could very well finish them as he does look after himself VERY well doesn’t he. The right-back area is certainly an area we need to look at but in Emerton and Andre Ooijer (who I still think will probably take this position next season) not forgetting Zurab and some younger members Sparky may decide not to invest in this area?!?! £2 million does seem a lot for Nonda based on what we’ve seen but is nothing really, only seems a lot compared with other bargains Sparky has picked up. Don’t forget, “in Sparky we trust!” 🙂

  • Ex Ewood Resident – As I say in my previous comments would tend to agree with you on Nonda to be honest. As much as I appreciate what Todd has done for this club (he’s raised out profile as a dirty team no end 🙂 LOL, no only joking he did a VERY good job for a time) I think his time has well and truly come to an end at Ewood Park and I’m not too sure he is Premiership standard anymore. We also pick up some cast off’s from Birmingham too though don’t we 🙂 I haven’t given much thought to who might come in, I’ll save this for the forum discussions I think but don’t entirely agree with the Mokoena “weakest member” thoughts mate. He’s come in and done a VERY, VERY good job for me and we’ve not missed Sav too much, apart from the early games. Reidy will get back in, meaning someone will dip out and Sav will get his place back but he’ll have to be on his toes, as if he isn’t the Axe will be waiting, and be waiting without to many worries from me as he’s done a grand job.

  • I feel Todd may be Wigan bound and Mickey Gray will make his Leeds stay a more permanent one.

    Tugay has earnt his contract extension and will hopefully sign it. Great game yesterday, Reading are a very good side but a draw was fair.

  • I wont be sad to see Gray go and prob Jeffers as well, I dont think he’ll cut it in the Premiership, hes been given enough chances with others clubs as well. Kinda sad to see Todd go, I know a lot of folk dont like him and he’s not the best centreback in the world but I like his attitude, sometimes takes it way too far but he was nothing but committed, I like that, although with wot we have at the back he isnt going to play again so its best for him to leave. I hope Nonda dosnt sign, I may be proven wrong next season but i think with the extra money from the Tv deal we can strenghten with better

  • Toddy would run through a brick wall if it benefited us (or whatever club he is with at the time) wouldn’t he so his commitment can NEVER be doubted. I don’t like his attitude when he isn’t playing, obviously ALL players want to be involved but he doesn’t always give the impression that he is happy to be part of this team when not playing, but a lot of this may be coming from his agent Peter Harrison, the same agent that Lucas Neill has!

  • Birmingham to offer 500k. Il take that any day for Toddy. Good luck to him, hope we dont sign Nonda, how bout a cash plus todd deal for Forsell, would be good and is still young

  • £500,000 isn’t a bad amount is it, not quite as much as we were being quoted with in January but this is an amount (£500,000) I would have been happy with even back then, so deal. Forssell is quality isn’t he and for hte £2 million we would pay for Nonda I think we could and would get Forssell if we gave Todd also, but Forssell would be wanting to play week in week out wouldn’t he? Interesting though, and Sparky WOULD know him from his time at Chelsea, hmmm… …

  • I’d rather see another young striker come in someone like Bendther for example, dunno whether Arsenal will use this season or not but he would offer Rovers something different, power and heading. Wot about Nugent as well, with this extra money we could go in for him, he’d be learning off Hughes must be tempting for a young striker

  • Bendther is apparently staying to fight for a first team place with Arsenal next season. I’d give a lot for Nugent, top, top class but we would be unlikely to sign him?!?! Dean Ashton is in a similar mould to Nugent, so wouldn’t mind him either, but I’m happy with what we’ve got, maybe Arsenal have a youngster they could lend us for a season, other than Bendther?

  • There are a few players about, just have to think about some, Dunno about it being unlikey to sign Nugent after all we have a good reputation for bringing through players and with Hughes and his coaching ataff he’d certainly learn from some of the best, add to that Benni and Roberts, the only prob would be the amount of games but think of Nugent and Derbyshire being our back-up strikers?!? all im saying is why not, my God Ashton went to West Ham. Wot about the wee man Healy as well from Leeds, maybe me being from NI and all there but he could do a job

  • Don’t get me wrong I would LOVE to see Nugent here as he’s a class act. Healy is a quality footballer too, you on’t score the amount of goals he has at International level (and against quality sides I might add!) like he has if you aren’t all that and more. He’s off to Fulham though so they say to link up with Sanchez again? WHY did he, or would he have wanted to leave Northern Ireland?!?!

  • If we are to spend 2 million, i seriously would rather it being on Forsell, a 26 year old striker, to Nonda, 29 year old.. At least forsell is a proven scorer in england, both in premier league and championship. I was rather surprised that Nonda has picked up 7 premier ship goals though. Who knows if he got a few more chances but is it worth the risk with Derbyshire having the golden touch

  • Sanchez hasnt left NI just yet but I doubt he’ll be offered the Fulham job. Dont think he has wot it takes for a Premier League manager although he’s doing a very good job for us at the min

  • sasman – I would like to think that Nonda would be a better player next season, some take longer to adapt, maybe he is one of them. Forsell’s deal to the German club feel through as he failed a medical didn’t he, so would that be worth our risk?!? Nonda wouldn’t kick up a fuss if he wasn;t playing week in week out would he, Forsell probably would. it’s all about back-up and quality back-up at that so Nonda still has something abouth im, I hope!

  • Clint – Has he not? I thought he has resigned last week to take the Fulham job full time, deciding he couldn’t do it part time.

  • sanchez has definitely left NI and he took the fulham job on a rolling contract! i wouldnt mind nonda stayin hope he can come on next year but its funny cos two million isnt a lot of money but with all the bargains sparky has got in we have all become penny pinchers!

  • I thought he had, WHY would he do such a thing they (Northern Ireland) are flying in their group, unless he feels they’ll slip away so wanted out whilst they were on top and he could get himself a job?!?! It is funny isn’t it durks, £2 million is nothing in football nowadays, lower League Clubs (granted not too many) can spent this regularly but with us not needing to spend much to get quality you hear amount like this and we think “jesus, we are breaking the bank here!”

  • thats what im saying for two million i think take a chance on him i think he has done ok for us this year but he will look weaker than he has been as everyone will compare him to benni and maybe even look as to how well derbyshire has done but for me he has done quite well!

  • Totally agree durks. Nonda is a confidence player isn’t he, if he’s wanted it will help him. You don’t become a bad player overnight do you, and Nonda has been up their with the best in Europe over the years. £13 million in one transfer is more than some players (and FAR better players!) go for in their entire careers. I’ll trust Sparky on this one.

  • Shows u wot I know about my own country there lads, granted I had other things on my mind last week but to leave the NI job for Fulham, please lol

  • It was the Indefinate rolling contract thing that threw me, who gets that nowadays. Anyway as I said above somewhere £2m isnt a lot of money these days in football, God its some of the players wage for the yr but I think its to much for Nonda, around £1m i’d still have a prob with him but it would sit better. I would just like to see a younger hungrier player bought for in and around the same money, Nonda never looks too bothered to me, although I dont see him in training

  • It’s not the smartest of moves for Sanchez, but I’m sure he’ll do a decent job, bringing in most the Northern Ireland side 🙂 I’d have been happier with a £1.5 million fee myself, but what’s £500,000, pocket change! I have to disgree to be homest Clint, I think Nonda looks very interested, looks very frustrated and disappointed with himself when things aren’t going right. I would say he wants to prove himself or he wouldn’t stay would he?

  • well I see Tugay has now signed the contract … Think he is an absolute class player myself , when I went to watch you guys one time he stood out by a country m,ile !!

  • The Maestro is one of the best players of his type of his generation. I’ve ALWYAS liked him, even before he became a Rover. You don’t get too many like him around.

  • Well HDM im never one to hide my feelings and I will admit to being wrong when im proved wrong, I did like the thought of Nonda when he arrived cos of his massive reputation I do hope he lives up to this and gives Hughes a seletion problem. The important news is Tugay’s contract extension, important both on and off the field

  • Tugay is such a huge influence on and off the pitch. Players like Reid, Dunn and “40 yard pass to row Z” Mokoena will find playing in the same squad as him invaluable….

  • Row Z? Thats a tad too accurate for the Axe isnt it? I wonder if he does the Jonny Wilkinson thing of picturing a woman’s face behind the goal before shooting into the Family enclosure?

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