Not doing well with my Premiership team reviews, since at times I cannot be bothered to write my blog. Eventually I will get round to all of them, so for those who are reading (which probably means no one). In this entry I will be writing about Middlesborough and Blackburn Rovers.
I was not in favour for Gareth Southgate being appointed manager of Boro. I am sure he will make a fine manger eventually but there are rules against appointing people with no qualifications. Forget about Steve McClaren being appointed England manager or Gareth Southgate doing his qualifications, there are reasons why these rules are in place - to stop dimwitted, famous ex-players being appointed without having a clue what to do. Why not appoint one of the former assistant to McClaren as a manager with Southgate being assistant.
Whatever manager was appointed, I still think Boro will struggle this season with a new manager and young players with relatively few experienced players recruited.
GK: Mark Schwarzer, Brad Jones, Ross Turnbull, David Knight
A slew of keepers but keeping them happy will be difficult. I think Schwarzer and Jones will be the number one and two goalkeepers but Turnbull and Knight will have to move on if they want first team action or going out on loan will be another option.
RB: Stuart Parnaby, Anthony McMahon
Parnaby is one of the underrated right backs in this country. I think McClaren should consider Parnaby as an England right back. And the fact that McMahon is also very good, in the future he maybe considered for national duty.
LB: Emanuel Pogatetz, Andrew Taylor, Julio Arca
Getting Arca was a great boost for Southgate - a player who can play anywhere on the left flank and was considered one of the best players outside the Premier League. But letting Queudrue was a disappointing - probably the best left back in the league last season. But Boro still have enough quality players to fill this position
CB: Chris Riggott, Robert Huth, Jonathan Woodgate, Ugo Ehiogu, Andrew Davies, Matthew Bates, David Wheater
Probably Boro have the best young centre-backs in the country but having no experienced players in this position. That is the reason why they gambled on Huth and Woodgate. Even though they are relatively young and usually injured, they got experience at European and national level but massive amounts of talent.
RM: Gazieta Mendieta, Ray Parlour, James Morrison
This is one area that Southgate should improve during the next transfer window. Even though Mendieta, Parlour and Morrison are capable players, they are not true wingers and are better players in the middle of the park. They need some balance in the side and bringing in somebody with a bit of pace would be good. That would mean sacrificing somebody in this threesome and most likely it would Parlour, who is getting on a bit and probably should consider dropping down a division to continue his career.
LM: Stuart Downing, Adam Johnson
The best example of Boro's youth system, with two capable players in this position who could play in the first team and also in the England national team.
CM: George Boateng, Fabio Rochemback, Lee Cattermole
Another player would be needed in this position. Boateng and Rochemback are great players, whilst Cattermole is a capable player with bags of enthusiasm. They need another defensive player if Boateng becomes injured or suspended.
FW: Yakubu, Mark Viduka, Malcolm Christie, Massimo Maccarone
Another area that Southgate could impove on - not in the first pairing in Yakubu or Viduka but the quality of back could be improved upon. I think Christie should be given a chance but Maccarone should leave and go back to Italy.
I think this would a season of transition for Boro. If Boro can consolidate mid table, I think it would be a good season.
Now onto Blackburn...
After saving Rovers from relegation, getting them to sixth place last season was an incredible achievement for Hughes. But keeping the momentum would be the main test or last season could be seen as flash in the pan. What wouldn't have helped is changing the whole strike force. It would take an incredible amount of Hughes' management skills to maintain their progress. If they can do well in the cups and stay relative in the top half of the table, it would be a good season for the boys of Lancashire.
GK: Brad Friedel, Peter Enckleman, Jason Brown
When Brown came in, Hughes was obviously thinking of the future. Eventually Friedel would go but for now, he is still one of the best keepers in the Premiership.
RB: Lucas Neill (Zurab Khizanishvili, Brett Emerton, Steven Reid)
Probably Hughes might consider bringing another right back, such as Danny Mills, but with Lucas Neill playing all the matches and with other players capable of playing at the number two, this is not a priority
LB: Michael Gray, Jay McEveley
Hughes has a conundrum here - Gray is good but not great whilsst McEveley has 'potential' but not enough experience. Eventually if Gray continues playing, McEveley may decide to leave Blackburn and this is not a good situation for Hughes.
CB: Andy Todd, Zurab Khizanishvili, Ryan Nelsen, Andre Ooijer, Stephane Henchoz, Dominic Matteo
With Henchoz just signing, Matteo is all but confirmed to leave Ewood Park despite his experience and versatility. But you have to wonder why he didn't do it early instead of having to rot away for another four months until the transfer window re-opens.
RM: Brett Emerton, David Bentley
LM: Morten Gamst Pedersen, Steven Reid
The two wide midfield positions do not need any recruitment, with enough capable players filling in the positions.
CM: Robbie Savage, Tugay, Aaron Mokoena (Steven Reid)
With Savage and Reid being the primary choice, perhaps Hughes might like to bring in another attacking central midfielder to give some balance.
FW: Jason Roberts, Benni McCarthy, Francis Jeffers, Paul Gallagher, Shabani Nonda
With a new complete forward line-up, this could be the area where Blackburn cock up this season. It would take time for a partnership to bear fruit, so it could be until mid season when Blackburn eventually start to produce the results they want to.
Like Middlesborough, a major shake up in the staff would mean Blackburn would be happy just finishing in the top half of the table and bring a good performance in the cup competitions.
Now that my shoulders are starting to ache now, I eventually have to go to bed and get up tomorrow.