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RUST Ramblings 24th July 2002 Issue 2
Welcome to another week of rumour gossip and opinions from a fellow Miller. As the season draws ever closer, I suppose that it's inevitable that the amount of news worthy of discussion increases so here goes.
Firstly, I'm not altogether surprised that Chris Sedgwick's agent has advised the player not to sign a new contract. Apparently, he has been offered an improved deal but his agent wants more, much more. When will these prima donna's and their agents return to the real world and realise that the days of huge wages for players outside the premiership is a thing of the past. All those footballers out of work and still agents representing the likes of Sedgy want more. He had a great season last time around and should continue to improve. However, he has some way to go before he's ready for elevation to the premier league. According to reports, the player wants to sign, so why doesn't he tell his agent to get lost? Come on Chris sign that contract and keep on improving!
Another of those players that was supposed to be a target for our manager has signed for another club, Simon Grayson, released by Blackburn has been snapped up by second division Blackpool. Surely we could have at least matched their offer and would have been able to offer the added bonus of first division football. That elusive midfielder that everyone associated with the club so desperately craves for seems no nearer to being signed.
Since last week's newsletter, we have played three warm up matches. Two "friendlies" at the training ground have resulted in victories, 4-0 against Mansfield and 1-0 against Lincoln. Reports suggest that the team performed well and looked good. Indeed, Ronnie has commented several times already on the fitness of his squad. I can't really say anything about either game, as apart from the official line, I've not heard anything. I suppose that two wins out of two is satisfying no matter how we played.
Last night, I travelled the short distance of around 15 miles to Belle Vue, home of Doncaster Rovers. It was our first public appearance and I was keen to see how the squad was shaping up. News that two trialists, Peter Blomberg and Jean Louis Valois would be playing for the Millers added spice to the evening. My other half decided to come to the game, so I feared the worst as the last time she saw the team in action was a year ago at Lincoln in a pre-season friendly, which we lost 1-0. It was great to see so many Millers turn out for the game and with a good home support, the atmosphere wasn't bad for a pre-season affair.
When Doncaster took the lead just before half time, it was no more than they deserved; they had been the better side for long periods and appeared to want to win more than the Millers. I was particularly impressed with their two wingers, who constantly caused panic down our flanks. Beech and Scott both lacked pace and were found wanting. Fortunately, McIntosh was having his usual commanding game. Of the two trialist involved, both played the first half, Blomberg looked out of sorts and was often caught in possession. He struggled against the big Donny forwards and was withdrawn at half time. On the other hand, Valois, the Frenchman was classy and caused all sorts of problems to the home defence. He was one of our better performers on the night and despite poor service was always looking for the ball and offered that bit of flair that we have so often lacked.
Talking of service, we desperately need a midfield general type of player, Mullin had an absolute stinker and might as well have not turned up. Garner did well for twenty minutes or so but faded badly and was withdrawn at half time. He didn't look all that fit to me. Sedgwick had a poor half by his standards and struggled to beat the full back. Ritchie Barker had a nightmare half and couldn't do anything right. Byfield did show occasional touches of class but was often crowded out.
In the second half, Ronnie made nine changes and the team had a better balance. Lee and Robins did well up front and always looked likely to score. Warne had a storming half and created both goals. Valois continued his impressive debut until he was crocked late on. At the back, Branston and Swailes did reasonably well, although the pace of the two Doncaster wide men continued to cause us some problems. Hurst and the other Barker, I think his name is Shaun also lack pace and although an improvement on the first half fullbacks, really didn't do too well. In the middle, Hudson looked out of his depth and Daws was steady but lacks that bit of class.
In conclusion then, two well-worked goals gave us a rather fortunate win against a Conference outfit. Doncaster did well and will do well in their league but surely we ought to be capable of beating a team three divisions below us much more comfortably than this. I realise that it's just a warm up and at least we are winning, more than we did prior to last season. In my opinion, we urgently need a quality midfield man, a full back with pace and another target man, Ritchie Barker will struggle in the first division and needs to be replaced. I'm sure that with some good service, the likes of Byfield, Robins and Lee will score the goals if they have someone in the middle to supply them. Before any doom and gloom sets in, remember that it was just a pre-season game and not too significant. Let me know what you thought about our side's performance, I'm sure that many of you will disagree with my comments. Those Doncaster supporter's celebrations after they had scored were a bit over the top, particularly that big fat lad and his enormous belly! Incredible! (He had nowt on me mate - Bigrich)
After the game, Ronnie intimated that neither trialist would be offered a contract and sure enough, both were released this morning. I can understand the reasons behind releasing Blomberg but Valois looked class and might have provided that flair we so obviously lack. Ronnie appears to like a certain type of player, a workhorse, and has no room for anybody with individual flair! Whatever happens new signings simply MUST be made and soon.
Changing the subject, I was amazed at two snippets of information emanating from first division clubs. Firstly, it appears that the administrators at Bradford City are so desperate to reduce the massive wage bill, they have reportedly offered Carboni a golden handshake of £800,000 just to quit the club. He's currently on £40,000 per week and is bankrupting them. Unfortunately, his agent has turned down the offer and is demanding the club see out his remaining contract, which still has quite a while to run! I suppose that you can't blame him, he's going to receive much more than that if he sees out his contract. On the other hand, if the club folds, he may not receive anything!
Another interesting deal in the offing is the proposed transfer of Ravenelli to Portsmouth. According to reports, the Italian earns £40,000 per week at Derby and the Midlands club are so keen to offload him and reduce their wage bill that they have agreed to continue to pay half his wages. Pompey will get the player for a meagre £20,000 per week with Derby continuing to pay the other £20,000, even after his transfer to the south coast club! Imagine it, Ravenelli scores against Derby and they are paying half his wages! Has football finally flipped?
All this talk of huge salaries does not augur well for our little club, on the other hand, we survived last season so let's wait and see.
Millers World was launched last week and so far, hasn't been all that well received. I don't know what the take up is so far but according to feedback that I've received, and there's been quite a lot, most Millers fans aren't too keen on coughing up £35 per season for the privilege of accessing the new style web site. I should imagine that it would appeal more to Millers in exile, particularly those overseas. Thanks for the feedback and keep it coming, it really makes a difference. I will try and write more on the subject of Millers World after I've had more time to assess the comments to date. Any comments, particularly from those of you that have subscribed, will be most welcome.
Finally for this week, RUST are to introduce a new prediction league in the next couple of weeks, so look out for that on the web site. Thanks again for that feedback and keep the e-mails coming. I won't be able to go to Boston on Saturday due to work commitments, so any comments from anyone attending the game would be appreciated.
Cheers for this week,
The views and opinions in this newsletter may not be the same as the Rotherham United Supporters Trust.
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