Chirivella is a neat and tidy player and could do well for your midfield depending what his atts are like (he looks very good in my current game but not so good in another and was homesick)
I just signed Dylan Watts for my Swans team as he looks promising as well
Is thata cheeky bid in from yourself for Yokuslu?
Lens injured as Leicester hold Rovers to a draw
On Saturday 30th December we played Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. The match ended in a reasonable 1-1 draw, but it was Lens' injury that everyone talked about after the game!
Bennett should have scored after just four minutes. Lens laid the ball off and Bennett, who had plenty of time, blasted the ball towards the top corner but it went clean over the bar. Other than that the first half was uneventful.
It all happened right after the break. Bilal had just come on the replace Bennett when Lens had to leave the field injured. And it did not look pretty! We brought on Zeqiri to replace Lens and so we had to play the second half with Bilal for Bennett and Zeqiri for Lens.
There were a couple of shots on goal by both teams. Kapustka had a good chance, but he put the ball well wide of the goal. Besic almost scored for us but Schmeichel did brilliantly to parry it. And then Amartey passed the ball into the area and Vardy scored with a great volley!
Within a minute we had already squared the match, though. And it was Zeqiri who scored the important equaliser! Henley flicked the ball out left to Besic who found Wisdom with a low pass left. Wisdom tried to hit the ball towards Akpan in the area but Zeqiri got to the ball first and he drove it in low and found the net!
Leicester now tried to push forward in numbers but our defence was solid and there were no further goals.
Not a bad game, but obviously losing Lens is a huge blow, although Zeqiri's goal does help to soften the blow somewhat.
Chelsea have no mercy on Rovers
And just two days later, on Monday 1st January we played Chelsea in front of a crowd of 32,979 but without Flanagan, Nyambe and Lens - all of them injured - and without Besic (one-game ban) we were simply no match for the Blues.
It took our opponents less than ten minutes to score the opener and when Eder doubled their lead just before half-time the game was over.
Chelsea took it easy in the second half but they stayed in control of the match. Deep into the second half we brought on Bilal for Marshall, but it made very little difference. And when Zeqiri scored in injury time it was little more than a consolation goal. Although, on a personal level it was obviously an important goal for Zeqiri. With Lens out for two more weeks that second goal in two days may just be what the young Swiss striker needed!
Akpan did remarkably well again, replacing Besic, and Steele was absolutely brilliant, but Chelsea have so much more class and they clearly deserved to win. Steele was named Man-of-the-Match, though.
We dropped to seventh place and we do need to win a game again soon if we want to prevent a major dip, especially with Man City visiting Ewood Park next!
Unfortunately the Celina deal fell through as he was not granted a work permit. This is a pity, but we need a central midfielder more than we need a winger so we can live with it, more or less.
Meanwhile, Huddersfield paid quite a bit of money for Scott Wharton. Not sure why they were prepared to pay that much for a youth player who has never performed above average with the reserves, but the money is more than welcome!
And just before we have to play Man City the news came that Liverpool's Chirivella has decided to join Rovers on loan!
Chirivella is a 21-year-old central midfielder who, according to some pundits, is extremely talented. However, he feels that at Liverpool there is too much competition for a first team place. And he is right, of course. Besides, Chirivella only earns £400 a month at Anfield!
Our coaches, though, all firmly believe that the young Spanish midfielder has a great future ahead of him and that we should try and sign him as soon as we possibly can.
So even with the Celina deal being cancelled, the new year still started reasonably well for us, transfer-wise. However, we cannot sign any further players on loan besides Zeqiri and Chirivella.
Chelsea was probaby to be expected, but I think that Leicester was probably 2 points dropped. As you say, you do need a win to stay in touch with the European chasers.
I was always dubious about Celina, but I think that the squad has moved on since you first tried to sign him. Chirivella looks to be a much more important addition to the squad. How long will Lens be out for ?
The artist formally known as The Eejit
Ugh on those 2 fixtures a huge blow losing Lens
Wow - Chirivella does indeed look good - 20 passing - What's his in game value/contract situation?
It's Allan you want to be after
You can then be Liverpool 2 in disguise
Looking back at those finances on the previous page, it seems the £13m made in the year is really low.
Need to pick up those points to stay as high in the table as possible.
To be fair though, only 6 defeats in 21 games is not bad at all.
Wonder why the finances are so low - Did you increase the stadium capacity?
You were always going to experience a tough run of games at tough point, this may be yours. Hopefully you'll pull through it and Chirivella will be the new Grimes!
Rovers hold Man City to a draw
On Wednesday 3rd January we played Man City in front of a crowd of 32,953 - still without Lens and Nyambe, but with Besic back from his ban and with Pedro Chirivella making his debut at Ewood Park as central midfielder alongside Grimes.
And for only the second time this season we managed to hold one of the big six clubs to a draw!
City started positively. They have a world class team but they have had an extremely busy schedule in December and it has cost them lots of points in the League.
Even so, the first good scoring chance was for Sané, who came close but Flanagan did just enough to put him off. Iheanacho also had a opportunity. He fired a shot at goal but the ball clipped the bar and went over.
Chirivella played well on his debut. He showed a lot of potential but he lacks match practice. Nevertheless, he looks like a winner to us already!
Our best scoring chance came when Aké tried a low drive, but it was saved in style by Bravo.
The opener was finally scored by Sterling, just before half-time. Wisdom could not stop the skillful attacker going past him and score with a fine strike. The crowd was silenced for a minute, but immediately Besic found Flanagan with a low pass right and Flanagan fed the high ball forward for Marshall to collect it, hit a speculative effort and score the equaliser less than 60 seconds after Sterling had scored the opener!
In the second half many players on both teams seemed to be getting tired. Man City brought on three substitutes. We also brought on Bilal for Bennett and Henley for Flanagan and a little later we brought on Akpan for an exhausted Matt Grimes and we survived! But only by the skin of our teeth and because Man City had to end the game with ten men after Kompany had picked up an injury and had to go off.
Besic was superb though, while Chirivella had a decent debut. And although many players were tired, it must be said that as a team they fought like tigers until the final whistle was blown.
It's good for our morale, a draw against one of the Big Six. That doesn't happen all that often. And we can finally go back to our normal training schedules after the FA Cup match against Brighton. Lately we have had to play way too many games in a very short period of time and there was simply no time for proper training sessions.
In the meantime we managed to sell two more youth players, both of them for a reasonable fee. Not that it makes too much difference on our budget, but every little bit helps.
Really hard fought draw there
Are you getting new youth coming though as seem to be selling a few - if so, any half decent ones appeared yet?
Great to see Besic back
The rest of them are very mediocre, I'm sorry to say. Callum Hendry is the only one I am keeping an eye on. He's a talented striker. We are getting new 15 and 16-years-olds so I will keep an eye on them as well.
Callum Son of Colin?
Awesome. Colin was one of the stalwarts of my all-conquering Blackburn in CM 93/94!
Hendry's wife, Denise, died on 10 July 2009, aged 42. Her death is believed to have been caused by a long-term infection resulting from nine punctures to internal organs inflicted during cosmetic surgery performed by Swedish cosmetic surgeon Gustav Aniansson, at the private Broughton Park Hospital in Preston, in April 2002. Hendry has four children by his wife: Rheagan, Kyle, Callum and Niamh.
Excellent draw after a few poor results. I'm not the biggest fan of Lens, but I think you have missed him.
I have to say it is rare that I ever see a 15/16 year old from the academy that I ever want to keep. Usually I release them the day that they join.
The artist formally known as The Eejit
Hope you've got 25% sell on clauses for those youth players you're selling. Just in case!
Besic takes Rovers to FA Cup win over Brighton
On Saturday 6th January we played our sixth match in just thirteen days in front of a small crowd of 16,158 and with two goals just before half-time Besic was the one to lead us to the FA Cup Fourth Round!
We gave some players much-needed rest and as usual Raya did very well again as goalkeeper, but Bilal continues to struggle as winger. He has had an exceptionally good start at the club, but he seems to lack confidence lately and he certainly does not deliver anymore.
However, our other winger, Marshall, scored a very early opener and the crowd expected more goals, but instead it was Dicko who unexpectedly found the net to cancel out Marshall's opening goal!
And it could easily have become a tough afternoon against a very fanatical Brighton side, if it had not been for Besic. Just before half-time after a poor goal kick by Fón Williams, Wisdom headed to ball to our defensive midfielder and Besic scored with a fierce strike! And before Brighton even had a chance to recover our star player found the net again from a free-kick from 20 yards out in the dying seconds of the first half!
In the second half we brought on Akpan for Besic to give him rest as well, but the game simply petered out and so we comfortably qualified for the FA Cup 4th Round.
Besic was absolutely brilliant. Chirivella played well again but he will still need some more match practice. Zigiri seems to be going through a minor goal drought.
After the match the physios informed us that Marshall will be out for no less than three weeks. This means that Bilal will start as right winger against Ipswich, Reading and Watford (our next opponents in the FA Cup).
At least these three opponents are all supposedly 'weaker' teams so hopefully Bilal can find his form again. This is when we could have used Celina!
Unfortunately, Henley is also injured. He suffered a twisted knee in training. As long as Flanagan is fit that should not be a major problem, but it is high time that Nyambe (and Lens!!) return from their injuries. We have way too many injured players at this stage of the season!
The good news is that we signed another defender/defensive midfielder, Nathaniel Chalobah, on a free transfer!
Chalobah used to play for Chelsea but he was never given game time and so he was looking for a new club. This gives us more much-needed squad depth.
Like Chirivella Chalobah also lacks match practice but obviously he is a very welcome addition to the team!
We have a full week's rest now before we play Ipswich Town. Ipswich currently reside at the very bottom of the Premier League so this is a match we need to win!
Don't be confused into thinking that he is anything other than an emergency defender. As a defensive midfielder he is phenomenal.
Who next in the cup. Wem-ber-ley Wem-ber-ley !
The artist formally known as The Eejit