Blackburn Rovers midfielder Corry Evans states that he wants the club to achieve promotion back into the Premier League in the new Championship season. After being relegated to the second division of English football two years ago, Blackburn have been struggling to find consistent form that would enable them to compete in a play-off match or even qualify automatically to the top division. Their first season in the Championship after long time ended almost in a fight against relegation, while last season they finished a disappointing mid-table place.
A threat for the play-offs or even the automatic places never materialised throughout the campaign, but Evans says that he wants this to change in the new campaign. Last season, the club finished the campaign on a 12 match unbeaten run. Should they continue this in the new campaign, they could very well be in a position to finish in the top sides towards the end of the campaign. The club start the new season with a home match against Cardiff, who have just been relegated from the Premier League. Hence, this is a difficult match for Gary Bowyer’s men.
Upcoming matches against the likes of Blackpool, Norwich, and Wolverhampton Wanderers also look potentially tricky fixtures for the 1992 Premier League champions.
“We’re wanting to get promotion, be it automatic or through the play-offs; that’s our goal. It’s really everyone’s goal in this division because anyone can beat anyone. But I think the experience we had as a team last year gelled us well. We know our style and we know the way we want to play. Hopefully we can put that into good practice this year. It’s important we start with a bang and put a marker down for where we go from there,” said the former Hull City midfielder ahead of the new season.
After playing for 3 seasons atCampNou, Fabregas has completed his move toStamfordBridgeas he joins the Premier League club Chelsea and the Spanish midfielder revealed that this decision was his own and thatBarcelonaeven tried to stop the transfer from happening.
Some speculation was being created towards the exit of Fabregas from Barcelona as rumors was linking the former Arsenal player as to having a bad relationship with some of the members of the club but he has shut down those rumors by announcing during a press conferences that the only reason he is leaving Barcelona is because of a decision he made on his own and nothing else.
“I askedBarcelonato find a way for me to leave the club. The president tried to stop the sale, but I already had my mind made up. At the time, I spoke with sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta and the president Josep Maria Bartomeu and I told them I wanted to leave. Honestly, it all went really smoothly. I’m not leaving for any specific reason, if not for a multitude of different things, my own errors and that’s it. If I didn’t think that I’d be happy atChelsea, I would’ve never made this decision’’. Fabregas told reporters
During the last few seasons of Fabregas at the Emirates Stadium as a player of Arsenal he was given the captaincy armband which just represented the influence and importance that Cesc Fabregas had under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger but now that he completed a move to their Premier League rivals Chelsea, fans and supporters of Arsenal are starting to lose the admiration that they had towards Fabregas.
Even after Fabregas made his move toBarcelona, fans of Arsenal continued having a sense of respect and admiration of the Spanish midfielder but things have taken a turn for the worse since he moved toStamfordBridge. When the news of Fabregas joiningChelseareached the households ofNorth London, fans started burning jerseys of the midfielder as well as having a banner which was placed around the Emirates Stadium taken down.
Last season Barcelona fell short in just about every major tournament they entered which concluded with Gerardo Martino being sacked from his position at the club as they lost the Copa del Rey, Champions League and the Spanish League which was won by Athletic Madrid and the other 2 was secured by Real Madrid.
The downfall of Barcelona ended up with Luis Enrique taking up the position as the head coach of the club for the upcoming season and he has his work cut out as the summer transfer window has already seen players being transferred from club to club while other performers of the club are rumored to leave Camp Nou including Xavi Hernandez.
The veteran midfielder Xavi has already received offers from MLS andQatarand his performances since last season has been significantly underwhelming compared to others as he is reaching the last few years of his professional career at 34 years of age.
The future of Xavi is expected to be discussed and settled when the 2014 World Cup is over.
Barcelonahas already offloaded one of their midfielders as Cesc Fabregas was sold toChelseaas the former Arsenal player is expected to be replaced by the Croatian Ivan Rakitic but the team of Luis Enrique does not want to fall behind in the transfer window and they are being heavily linked with Arda Turan.
Arda Turan is one of the most sought out players in this summer transfer window with Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal are interested in signing the Turkish midfielder but it all will come down to whoever launches a higher and better offer for the player of Athletic Madrid.
Former Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova recently succumbed to cancer after several years of battle with the disease. His death comes within one year of him stepping down from the post as the Barcelona manager. Tito Vilanova guided the club to league success last season. However, he revealed that he would no longer be continuing as the manager after just 12 months in order to fight against cancer. He was suffering from throat cancer for several years. The death of Vilanova comes as a major shock to Barcelona fans around the world and also to the football fraternity.
Cesc Fabregas, who was bought back to Barcelona by Vilanova, paid tribute to the former manager on his Facebook account. He stated that the memories of Vilanova will forever remain with him. He has also thanked him for the trust he showed in him. Fabregas was brought back to the club for around £ 35 million from Arsenal. The club announced after the statement from Fabregas that they will be holding the funeral at 7 PM later that day. Barcelona are expected to hold a minutes silence before the next league match against Villarreal, while all the players will also be wearing a black band as a tribute for Vilanova.
“Personally, I met you 14 years ago and I can say that people like you there are very few. Thank you for always trusting me to help me improve and overcome personal and professional obstacles. All my condolences to Montse, Kelly and Adrian, and the rest of his family and friends. Always keep a place for you in our hearts. Rest in peace Tito,” said Fabregas on his Twitter account. The move back to Barcelona has not been always rosy for the Spaniard and he has been linked with a return to the Premier league.
Cesc Fabregas was brought back to Barcelona for around £ 35 million, which many believed was reasonable sum of money for one of the best midfielders in the world. However, many said that Barcelona did not need a player like Cesc Fabregas since they already had the likes of Andres Iniesta and Xavi in the midfield. Further, the emergence of Sergio Busquets has also made them extremely strong in this area. Despite this, Pep Guardiola went ahead and brought him to the Camp Nou. After being criticised for his performances initially, Fabregas has become a mainstay at Barcelona.
He has been so good for the club that they are believed to be looking at the possibility of letting Xavi leave in the summer. The 35-year-old has been linked with clubs from North America as he looks for one final payday. Fabregas, though, has rejected suggestions saying that he could be the Xavi by saying that the former Barcelona youth team player cannot be replaced. He says that there is no other option for the club but to change its style once Xavi leaves the club. Carlos Puyol has already announced that he will leave Barcelona at the end of the season and he is widely expected to retire.
The same fate could befall Xavi as well.
“I don’t see myself replacing Xavi. Xavi is unique. No matter how hard we look, Xavi is a one and only. Whoever replaces him [in the starting XI] will have to be very strong mentally and the team and the fans will have to get used to playing differently. The day Xavi is not in Barcelona, we will see a different team. I don’t know if it’ll be better or worse but it’ll be different for sure,” said Fabregas. Barcelona have already been looking to alter their style of play this season.