A fan's-eye view from Ewood Park, with Phil Lloyd

I'M GOING to talk about transfers this week.

Frankly, my comments on referees in general and Mr N S Barry in particular would be unfit for publication in a family newspaper.

I recall a time when new signings were rare events at Ewood and the fees paid

a hundred times less than they are now.

Signing an experienced striker from Northampton Town today would result in Rovers fans first checking the calendar to make sure it isn't April 1st, then seriously questioning the manager's sanity.

Yet the Blackburn End cheered Don Martin's arrival in 1968 - he'd scored goals in the top division with Northampton. (Sorry if this is hard for younger readers to believe).

Steve Archibald's signing was the first in recent times to make us sit bolt

upright. A seasoned international throwing in his lot with Blackburn was, in

those days, akin to Michael Jackson staging a concert at Oswaldtwistle Civic Theatre.

Latterly, we've become a bit blas, with £1 million Mike Newell, some chap

called Shearer who did quite well, then Sutton and Gallacher. Suddenly, it's a rarity if a week goes by and we haven't signed a striker! This poses real problems for us supporters. Until now, we've had the chance to get excited about the prospects of the new man, make up our mind on his

abilities or lack of them and then, in that cruel and one-dimensional way of

the fan, either accord him hero status, or pillory him mercilessly until he moved on.

Now' we're just confused. We've got four new strikers, none of whom has spent enough time wearing a blue and white shirt for any of us to form a proper judgement, though this absence of evidence was of no concern to a fellow Riversider who solemnly gave his verdict on Kevin Davies on Saturday.

It was short, damning and final. I just hope he's not on the jury if I'm ever the accused!

It is some comfort to know my confusion over our strikers is shared. When Matt Jansen capped a fine debut with a smart goal, the scoreboard credited itto 'Lee Boylan'! For a dreadful moment, I thought yet another signing had

slipped in while those of us who spend most of their waking hours thinking about Rovers weren't looking.

Welcome, Matt, indeed! Methinks we might quite enjoy watching this new arrival.

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.