Date: 27th January 2009 at 10:08am
Written by:

Mark McBurney is back with his fourth article for Vital Gas

There’s an old proverb that reads ‘To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail’. This could be something that relates to Rovers quite a lot in the not too distant future, should someone actually come in with a concrete offer for Rickie Lambert.

Only then will we see what work Lennie Lawrence and Paul Trollope (ok, and Paul Molesworth) have been doing behind the scenes. I mean, they must have right? Only a fool would come this far into the transfer window without having a suitable replacement lined up.

It’s been a quiet transfer window so far for the Rovers – although in fairness I don’t remember the last time we spent much money or indeed recruited any new faces at this stage of the season since its inception.

Away from the ‘glamour’ (stop sniggering at the back) of Bristol Rovers it’s been a lively old month, nowhere more so than White Hart Lane.

Predictably, ‘Arry has been busy bringing new (or indeed ‘old’) faces into ‘the Lane’, with Pascal Chimbonda the latest player to (re)join the ranks in North London, following Carlo Cudicini from Chelsea and of course Jermaine Defoe after his year long sabbatical on the south coast.

Elsewhere in the Premiership, we’ve seen the laughable pursuit of Brazilian playmaker Kaka by moneybags Manchester City. It’s been a bizarre phase for City though, as at the same time as courting one of the world`s best, they have also signed…..Craig Bellamy; and paid a ridiculous £18m for Nigel de Jong from Hamburg – a player who was available for just £2m in the coming summer. What’s the phrase about money burning a hole…?

With the busiest time of the window still to run, the total spent in the Premier League now extends to over £100m, further increasing the gap between themselves and the Championship – just ask West Brom who won the title at a canter last season.

The one thing that will arguably take us closer to the Championship is the new stadium which, thanks to this very site, we now know will be completed some time next year, all being well.

It’s quite bizarre that, in the current economic climate that forced the ‘one phase’ project to be cancelled, it’s actually helped our case for the building of it in separate stages – student accommodation is seemingly a booming part of the housing sector now that fewer people can and/or are buying property.

Credit must be paid where it’s due and in this instance it must head to our chairman, Nick Higgs. I must confess that I was of the opinion that he would be another mouthpiece for the previous regime when he took over, but if he can be commended for even one thing then it must be that the communication between fans and the club has improved immeasurably since he took office.

Fans can understand that there will be problems with a project of this scale, and what the Bristol Rovers board now appear to realise is that provided we’re kept informed, we will stay on side.

Perhaps the opposite effect is happening with on-field matters. A dismal (I’m told) draw against Colchester MUST be followed by a win tomorrow night against lowly Cheltenham, or Paul Trollope, or Lennie Lawrence, or both, will be living on borrowed time.

I wouldn’t bet on there being no employee movement at the Rovers in the next week…

Take care.


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