New Blackburn FanZoner Benedict Pirraglia questions the signings of Paul Ince, and sets himself for a season of struggles.
At the conference when Paul Ince was unveiled as the new Blackburn Rovers manager I could see that he did not seem comfortable and looked like he was a man of a nervous disposition. In that conference John Williams, the club chairman, stated, "We're not a club that struggles around the bottom half of the table".
When Williams spoke of our calibre and not being a struggling club Ince decided to casually joke, "Not yet". I laughed nervously along with probably most other Rovers fans. But at the time of writing this blog, we are a third of the way through the season and we sit in 18th and the dreaded relegation zone.
Ince started off fantastically, Goodison Park has not been a great place for us to visit while we were under the reigns of Hughes and Ince guided our team to a dramatic last minute win, Andre Ooijer scored in injury time to make it 3-2 against Everton.
I felt Ince may have been right in his previous comments saying he wanted to take Blackburn to the next level. But it was too soon to think such thoughts and get carried away and we then lost 4-1 to West Ham United, and 4-0 to Arsenal. Fear was within the Rovers fans.
We then beat Fulham at home and Newcastle away. Faith was restored. But it has been seven games since that victory away to Newcastle and we have not won any of those games (in the league).
However, Paul Ince, I feel, must be given time. We're not a club that has a history of sacking coaches after a string of bad results or just because we fancy a change, which in recent times seems to be a growing trend amongst Premier League clubs.
The fact of the matter is that Ince must be a good manager; he saved Macclesfield from relegation and going out of the Football League and then guided MK Dons to promotion and silverware. He was renowned for his all action, combative style of play. He implemented fantastic attacking football at MK Dons and he promised this to the Rovers fans. I just hope that this comes to fruition and it is proved to be the correct appointment.
Paul Ince has made some signings that many, including me, have questioned.
Paul Robinson had a torrid time at Spurs last season. I do feel though that, especially in recent weeks, his quality is shining through. He, like Ince, has big boots to fill with regards to their predecessors and looks the best of the summer signings.
Then there's Keith Andrews, is this a Friends Reunited kind of thing? I feel he has been something of a strange signing; tends to drift in and out of games and is similar to an Ince style of footballer but without the added class the gaffer had when he was 28.
As Andrews was Ince's captain at MK Dons I do feel the raised eyebrows around Ewood were understandable. However, Andrews rescued a point for us at the Hawthorns the other week when we were down to ten-men before half time and also scored for Ireland after coming off the bench to mark his international debut this week. He could yet be a shrewd capture for Blackburn? We shall see.
Onto Robbie Fowler and the question is should he still be at this level? The answer is not a chance. His performances in a Rovers jersey have been lacklustre and his age is showing through. Nice sentiments that Ince thought he was the right man to recapture the Fowler of yesteryear but it's plain to see he just can't cut the mustard at this level anymore.
Then comes Danny Simpson, the loan player from USA Utd up the road. In my opinion he has not shown enough, his hunger and desire seem absent from games. He does have pace and offers cover, but I feel Emerton is best at right full back and Simpson can go back to Manchester United if you ask me.
Finally we see Carlos Villanueva, the young Chilean, on loan from Audaux Italiano. This young player does have undoubted skill and talent waiting to be nurtured, the questions are, is this in the Premier League and will Ince ever play him in the correct position?
It is clear the boy is not a winger; he could be a second striker or an attacking midfielder. £5million in January is what the agreement is if we want to sign him on a permanent basis. I'd say wait until the end of the season then see if they still value him at £5million. I doubt he is worth this much.
Onto this weekend and the Tottenham game is a must win. Confidence must be low in the Rovers camp but we all know what a win can do for morale. Players must stand up and be counted and Ince must play them in their correct position. That means Warnock back to left back and not in central midfield and Emerton at right back.
Ince certainly does have different methods/approaches. The only thing we can do is sit back and hope. I feel we can nick it at White Hart Lane. Santa Cruz needs some good service and boy, do we know how good he is in front of goal. I know we are a club pundits like to hate, I know we have quality and what is more I know we can win to disgruntle those pundits.
So come on Rovers fans, lets keep behind our lads and believe. We know it's going to be a long season. Let the good times roll and let us give Harry Redknapp the blues!