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Blackburn Rovers blog: Defence must not be forgotten
TAKE a look at this list. See if you notice anything.
David Beckham, Ronaldinho, Luis Fabiano, Kaka, Robinho, Neymar, Elano, Ganso, Jucilei.
Add in Roque Santa Cruz, Jermaine Jones, Mauro Formica, Ruben Rochina, Charlie Adam, Sebastian Larsson, Oriol Romeu and Victor Vazquez and you might spot something. Not many defenders in there.
The first list are some of the names Venky’s have supposedly enquired about since taking over at Blackburn Rovers, the second batch are some of those identified by Steve Kean in January.
That is not to say that Rovers have not enquired about a few defenders since the arrival of the club’s owners, but what we do know is that defenders probably don’t sell chickens.
Rovers would not be the first club to go for the glamour purchases and forget the bigger picture.
Real Madrid decided long ago that defenders don’t win elections, while West Ham sign strikers, more strikers, any striker – even Benni McCarthy.
Besiktas, the Turkish club that were able to usurp Rovers to sign Guti in the summer, have also managed to acquire Ricardo Quaresma, Hugo Almeida and Simao this season.
Goal threats galore, yet they played Dinamo Kiev in Europe and lost 8-1 over two legs. You might want to sort out that defence, chaps.
On paper, Rovers appear strong at the back – particularly in the centre where they have Chris Samba, Ryan Nelsen and Phil Jones. Yet they have now conceded comfortably more goals away from home this season than any other side in the Premier League.
No-one should complain if Rovers do manage to sign a player of considerable creative talent this summer.
They do have deficiencies in front of goal but one suspects that, even if they didn’t, the focus – on the owners’ part at least – might still be the same.
If that is not an issue yet, it could become one.
Rovers must grow as a unit.
Chucking flair players alone at a problem sometimes works, but it could simply be papering over the cracks.