After the most ludicrous season in their history, Blackburn Rovers have wasted no time in making a raft of signings in preparation for life in the Championship. At first glance it looks as though they've done some good business, with a couple of high profile signings and some youth having been brought into the squad, but I'm not so sure things are as rosy as Steve Kean would have everyone think.
Danny Murphy, signed from Fulham, is certainly one of the better additions. He may be 35 but he's an intelligent player who should be able to run a midfield with the best of them in the Championship. He and David Dunn should form a sturdy partnership in the middle.
The capture of Nuno Gomes looks impressive at first but he is 36 years old and this seems a bit too good to be true. I can't believe I'm writing this, but Leon Best is a much safer signing given his age and experience at that level. This is the sort of logic that Venky's have reduced me to. Blame them, not me.
They've also signed a trio of young Portuguese players; Paulo Jorge from Porto, Edon Junior from SC Olhanense and Fabio Nunes, a Portuguese under 19 international, from Portimonese SC. That these are all permanent deals rather than loans suggests that the whole of Portugal has seen Rovers coming and said: “Yeah... um, we've got this 19-year-old player who's the same age that Ronaldo was when he was 19... you know, Ronaldo, he's Portuguese too... We'll sell him to you if you want him. You do? Great, we've got a couple more out the back if you want to have a look...”
They're chasing QPR's Jamie Mackie, who'd be a great addition, but he'd be mad to want to go there at 26. It's understandable that older players seeing out their careers and young players trying to catch a break would sign for Blackburn, but given all of the clownish things that have happened there someone in the prime of their career should be wary of wasting precious seasons at a mismanaged club.
They will of course be losing players too. Junior Hoilett has already left for QPR, Scott Dann has been linked to moves with Southampton and Ajax (although the latter possibly only in his own dreams), while Steven N'Zonzi is attracting interest from Seville.
Ever the optimist, manager Steve Kean has said: "We would like to think that going into the season we're going to have a better squad than we did last year in the Premier League." I have no doubt that he will think that, but thinking something and it actually being true are two different things. It's a distinction Kean has regularly struggled with.
I have no affiliation to Blackburn at all but last season I found myself regularly outraged at the way their fans were subjected to the utter ridicule brought on by Venky's clueless stewardship and Kean's insistence on taking positives from inept displays then failing to learn from them. He seems to think that he's a master of spin, but the more he insists that something is true, the more it seems that he's delusional.
On paper the signings they've made look good but under the slightest of scrutiny most of them are gambles, the biggest of all being the name of the manager on the team sheet. It's inexplicable that Kean is still there after the shambles he made of last season. He may be telling everyone that things are about to get better, but he's proven over and over again that he's completely out of his depth as a manager and as long as he remains in charge Blackburn Rovers won't be getting anywhere near the Premier League.