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Thread: The Return of the King

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    The Return of the King



    The Return of the King

    On Monday 12th September 2022 Blackburn Rovers appointed Samsami Sungo as their 'new' manager! Nothing could have come as more of a shock at Ewood Park and in the world of football at large!



    There is no need to remind you of last season's dramatic events.

    Under the helm of the Dutch manager Blackburn Rovers gained promotion to the Premier League and six years of blood, toil, tears and sweat were finally followed by that amazing seventh year which brought the success they had been longing for at Ewood Park.

    Rovers had 'done a Leicester'!!



    And not only that, Rovers also won the Europa League and after that match Mauro Di Bari said for the very first time that he was actually happy to remain in the UK and play for Rovers.

    And indeed, after that exhilirating season Rovers' star player showed off his football skills at the World Cup.



    But meanwhile, and much to the fans' dismay, the Blackburn Rovers Board denied the manager's most reasonable request to expand the Stadium. This came as a cold shower and a huge disappointment. After all, the club were about to play Champions League football and the likes of Real Madrid, FC Barcelona or FC Bayern might soon be visiting Ewood Park!

    But after a several-weeks-long pathetic soap about money all the Board eventually did was grudgingly announce to expand the Stadium by a mere 1,000 seats...



    All of this resulted in an awkward rift between the Board and the Dutch manager, who decided to leave the club and start working for the KNVB where he is currently active as national team manager.

    Of course this was all very sad, and in a way it reminded us of Leicester City's celebrated manager Claudio Ranieri who was sacked barely half a year after Leicester had won the Premier League.



    But of course, this is England at its finest. After all, in July 1945, less than two months after VE Day, even Winston Churchill ("I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat") was not re-elected, much as the voters respected Churchill's wartime record.



    Be that as it may, Samsami Sungo was replaced by none other than Massimiliano Allegri, former manager of big clubs like Milan and Juventus.

    To the delight of his compatriot Mauro Di Bari, or so one would think...



    Mr. Allegri immediately decided that Steele was past his prime and Lszl became first goalkeeper. And there were further controversial decisions but the strangest of all was that the Italian manager decided to have Di Bari play as right(!) midfielder in a 4-4-2 formation with Vera and Jordy Clasie(!) as striker pair!

    Pre-season matches did not go all that well. In fact, the opening match of the season was nothing less than a disaster. Clasie did score a goal but even so Rovers failed to beat ten-man Reading.





    But even after this weak performance Allegri refused to change his formation and the results were dismal while former key players like Mauro Di Bari, Jason Steele and Jordy Clasie were furious.

    Now after such a disappointing start to the season, how could the Board possibly expect success in the European campaign?



    So this explains the Board's change of heart. The big question is, though, will the return of the King be in time to turn the tide for Blackburn Rovers?
    Last edited by samsami; 28-08-18 at 10:54 AM.

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  3. #2
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    GUESS WHO'S BACK?

    I guess you couldn't just sit still and watch your beloved club fall into ruins?

    Best of luck mate! Will follow again ofc!
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    Good to see this back!

    Nice twist on the story to let someone else take over. Guess it hurts to see Allegri mess the club up so quickly!

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    So basically the board didn't sack the manager, you did

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    Great to see this back as you need to give more of a shot in the CL

    How the feck did they only have FOUR subs in a game?!

    How have the players taken the news?!

    How does this leave things with the National team - quit that job?

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    It pains me when I move club and they don't continue to do well.

    Look forward to see if things are done differently this time round! C'mon Rovers

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    Back at Ewood Park

    It is good to be back at Ewood Park!

    The Board had made sure that my office was freshly painted with shades of orange and the players seemed delighted to see me back. And Lszl, who never complains, said: Welcome back, sir! And he meant it, although he knows very well that he might lose his place to Steele again.

    The players agreed to let bygones be bygones and nothing was said about the Board, but some of the lads could not resist commenting on Mr.Allegri. Mauro Di Bari summed it up nicely when he said: 'He may be Italian, but he is a bit different, sir!'.


    The Board assured me, however, that Mr.Allegri had not seemed upset when he was told that he should leave. And let's face it, the Board probably filled his pockets with good cash so it is not strange that he left with a contented smile on his face, to quote our chairman.


    So when it comes to the current squad, what did Sander Huisman (assistant manager) and Ed de Goey (goalkeeper coach) and myself find at Ewood Park?

    Well, first of all three first squad players have left the club, but of course we already knew that was coming. Chalobah and Wahlqvist moved to Crystal Palace while Adam Henley signed a contract with Newcastle.

    Of course Chalobah had become redundant when Wanyama joined Rovers and when Clasie turned out to be such a good defensive midfielder as well, but Wahlqvist and Henley have both always been very important first team players so obviously they need to be replaced by quality full-backs.


    Fortunately the Board have had the wisdom to sign Juan Bernat and Lucas Marichez so the need for full-backs has been taken care of. However, Bernat cost the club no less than 11M - and he is already 30 years old - while Marichez (21) set us back another 3M but it must be said that he looks like a very promising young player!

    In addition to these two full-backs the Board also signed Danilo Cataldi (29) who could prove to be worth the money as central midfielder.

    This is the complete list of new players, including several youngsters.


    So this means that three first squad players have left the club, but they have all three been replaced, which is good news.
    Spoiler!

    It would seem that the other four new signings will mostly be playing with the reserves. Thompson is too old but we have plenty of defensive midfielders as it is. The others need to mature and Gavin Morgan particularly could be a very useful player for the future. In fact, he could even become a goal-machine, who knows?
    Spoiler!

    So for now we seem to have a good squad and come January we can always see if we would need to try and sign any other players.

    And so, apart from the two new full-backs and a new central midfielder our squad looks kind of familiar!


    Remarkably, even good old Sergio Agero and Nemanja Matic have not retired yet.
    Spoiler!
    Last edited by samsami; 12-05-18 at 08:00 AM.

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    Well it looks like Rovers only got stronger!

    Bernat and Marichez look world class so that's certainly an upgrade!
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    Full backs look great! Bernat indeed very pricey but hopefully worth it.

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    Full back look fab

    Bernat pricey and maybe ate into any budget you could have spent but should do well

    Morgan looks superb but raw - surely he should get some game time when possible?

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    I hear a certain Swansea manager is cursing his luck that he didn't sign this Morgan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    I hear a certain Swansea manager is cursing his luck that he didn't sign this Morgan
    Wahahahahahaha - assume he is a regen!

    And I'm on ODB

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    The Champions League

    Before Blackburn Rovers will play their first Champions League group match since 1995 we had to sort out a few things. With Mr. Allegri as manager Mauro Di Bari has only played as winger this season. The result: zero goals, zero assists from five appearances.

    For a player with the quality of Di Bari this is absolutely unacceptable.
    Spoiler!

    We had a good long chat with Mauro and he has been informed that he will be our number one striker again, just like last year. It certainly put a smile of his face!

    And then there is Jason Steele, who has been invaluable all these years, but who was discarded by Mr. Allegri and who has not played a single game yet this season!
    Spoiler!

    We have told Jason that he is indispensible to the club and that he will play in all of our Premier League games, at least until January. Lszl also knows about this and he has been told that he will play in all of our cup games plus all of our Champions League group matches.

    In January we will evaluate this together with Ed de Goey.

    So now the very first game we have to play will be our Champions League group game against Ventspils.

    FK Ventspils are a Latvian football club, based at Ventspils Olimpiskais Stadions in Ventspils city and they are one of the most popular football clubs in the country. The club plays in the Latvian Virsliga. FK Ventspils have won ten league titles and ten Latvian Cups.


    We will start with the formation we used last season when we won both the Premier League title and the UEFA Europa League.

    There will only be three new faces. Cataldi will start as attacking midfielder and of course both of our new full-backs will be playing as well. Cataldi especially will have to prove himself yet, though.


    As to FK Ventspils, they will play with their favourite defensive 4-4-2 formation. But even so we should be able to score some goals and win this important first group match.


    And let's face it, a good win in this first group match would already be a big step forward in the right direction!
    Last edited by samsami; 12-05-18 at 08:02 AM.

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    Looks a nice easy group for you to breeze through while you get used to things again

    Great to see this team sheet again

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    Good to see you sit down with both Di Bari and Steele! They were invaluable for you last season!

    I predict an easy 2-0 win for you against Ventspils because you have more quality and the team will be boosted by your return.

    Can you show me screenies of both Steele and Di Bari?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GFRay View Post
    Good to see you sit down with both Di Bari and Steele! They were invaluable for you last season!

    I predict an easy 2-0 win for you against Ventspils because you have more quality and the team will be boosted by your return.

    Can you show me screenies of both Steele and Di Bari?
    Here you go.

    Spoiler!
    Last edited by samsami; 12-05-18 at 08:02 AM.

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    It'll almost be a friendly/pre-season warm up for you, a chance for the players to settle back into the familiar formation

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    Di-Bari, thats a great player, how could Allegri eff that up!! even I may score 1 goal in 5 with my crappy tactics
    your CL group is so easy you could play the reserves!
    Good luck mate

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    Allegri made the European selection before he was out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vrkh View Post
    Allegri made the European selection before he was out?
    He left a week or so before that so, no he didn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evesham View Post
    Di-Bari, thats a great player, how could Allegri eff that up!! even I may score 1 goal in 5 with my crappy tactics
    your CL group is so easy you could play the reserves!
    Good luck mate
    To have Di Bari (F LC) play as right midfielder or right winger seems ludicrous, yes.

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    Rovers defeat Ventspils

    On Wednesday 14th September we played FK Ventspils in front of a very loud and enthusiastic crowd of 34,413 who had shown up for the first Champions League match since 6th December 1995 when Mike Newell scored that incredible nine minute hat-trick against Rosenborg.


    Rovers still finished bottom of their group that year with just four points, but at the time that was the fastest ever hat-trick in the competition although eventually Newell's time was surpassed by Bafe Gomis (Lyon) 16 years later.

    Anyhow, to-day, almost twenty-seven years later, the home crowd saw us score four goals again, just like 27 years ago!

    It was none other than Danilo Cataldi who scored the early opener with the assist from Nemanja Matic. And with barely twenty minutes on the clock Victor Wanyama provided the assist for Matic to double our lead with a fierce strike!

    And Wanyama was important again when he headed the ball down for Di Bari who scored his first goal of the season to cap yet another brilliant Blackburn move; Di Bari immediately sprinted as fast as he possibly could to the bench to celebrate with the whole team and coaching staff!

    And finally, five minutes later Wanyama found the net himself with a bullet header after Mahrez had centred the ball this time.

    A most spectacular first half, but in the second half our lads took the foot off the gas. And even when we brought on three substitutes (Praet, Clasie and Besic) that made no difference and so there were no further goals.


    An excellent team performance, especially in those first 45 minutes! Di Bari, Mahrez and Wanyama played particularly well with Wanyama being named Man of the Match.


    Of course everyone was delighted after the match. It definitely felt like a fresh start again!
    Spoiler!

    So this was exactly the kind of result we had all been hoping for. Of course Group H may not be the hardest Champions League group, but it's always good to start with a solid win and besides, we have to return to winning ways again after the dismal start to the Premier League season.




    Our next fixture

    We will be playing Bolton Wanderers at the Macron Stadium next. They are currently in 13th position and they have a competent team. And an away game is always tricky.


    We will not change our starting line-up for this match, but of course Jason Steele will be playing again. And it would be so good for him if he could keep a clean sheet!!

    Last edited by samsami; 12-05-18 at 08:03 AM.

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    Expected win and good to get some confidence back in the squad!
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    A convincing win and all over in first half, however the scoreline flattered you from an awful goalkeeping performance

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    Di Bari only got 1 goal and a 9 disgraceful, drag him off
    Hope you get a good result in the local derby match vs Bolton or the board won't be happy

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