Date: 21st August 2011 at 2:53pm
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The Clarets are still looking for their first league win of the season after only managing a 1-1 draw against Cardiff City at Turf Moor on Saturday. Once again there were some positives to take from this match both in terms of the team and individual performances but let`s not get carried away. The Bluebirds looked a distinctly average team and were certainly missing key players in midfield. Burnley did boss them for long periods of this game though but once again we could not make the possession count and again we were incapable of keeping a clean sheet despite having gone ahead with just two minutes on the clock. An Earnshaw goal five minutes before half-time levelled things up for the Bluebirds and neither side could find the winning goal in the second half.

The result, although of course it is still early days after just three league games of the new season does leave us in a precarious situation. With just two points from a maximum nine, we are currently fourth from bottom, outside the relegation zone by just one place on goal difference over Watford. Only Coventry and Doncaster have so far got fewer points. It is certainly worrying despite some improvement on Saturday. It is crucial we get our first win on the board soon to restore confidence to both team and fans alike but the trouble is we now travel to high-flying Derby County for our next league game and they are currently in 2nd spot with maximum points from their opening three matches. They are just behind Southampton on goal difference by just one goal.

Of course many fans are pointing to the fact that we went five games without a win in our promotion season. That may be but lightning rarely (if ever) strikes twice and frankly to put a dampener on things there is absolutely no way at the moment in my opinion that the quality in this team or the experience in the side is better than our promotion season under Coyle. If we continue to play like this the best we can hope for is midtable mediocrity and I think that will be an achievement. You would expect nothing more from a side that Howe freely admits is in transition and being rebuilt. I just hope that we are not in a relegation battle because so far I have seen nothing that would rule out that possibility but then I never was one for rose-tinted spectacles and blind faith.

Clarets fans however were boosted in midweek with news of two new arrivals both in the striker department. Young 19 year old Danny Ings arrived on Monday from Bournemouth to be followed later in the week by West Ham striker, Zavon Hines. So what would our line-up be up front against Cardiff City and would Howe give any of his new lads a debut?

Howe had hinted all week that he would be tempted to ease Ings in gently so it came as no surprise when he wasn`t even mentioned in the sixteen. What we didn`t know though was that he wouldn`t have been selected anyway having picked up a serious cartilage injury during training. The grim news we found out after the game was that the luckless Ings would now be sidelined until early 2012 and that his knee would require surgery to fix the problem. I suspect that had Ings been enough fit to play, he would have been named on the bench along with Zavon Hines who was! The reason I think this was the fact that Alex MacDonald was named on the bench as another striker along with Hines suggesting Howe had intended to select two substitute strikers and had built his tactics around that option during the week before the injury to Ings struck. It was Charlie Austin, making a return to the starting eleven and Jay Rodriguez though who led the attack with Howe opting for 4-4-2.

Howe also made some further changes to the side that went down 2-0 to Palace at Selhurst Park a week earlier. There was yet another change to the centre of defence with Duff coming in to replace Amougou. The artiste formerly known as Bikey did not even make the sixteen. Conspiracy theorists started putting about the rumour that his car was not in the car park and that he might be off somewhere but this was categorically denied by Darren Bentley. The club`s media man ‘tweeted` the news that he had been dropped purely for tactical reasons so that appeared to put pay to the speculation. Edgar who started last week`s game in midfield might have been hoping for a central defending role too but instead he had to be content with a place on the bench with Marney returning in midfield.

Wade Elliott also found himself back on the bench after a start inside midfield against Palace. Wallace and Treacy kept their place on the flanks and in summary we lined up as follows:

Grant, Trippier, Duff, Mee, Easton, Treacy, McCann, Marney, Wallace, Rodriguez, Austin

Subs Not Used: Jensen, Edgar, Elliott, MacDonald, Hines

Stoke referee, Tony Bates got the game underway on a bright and sunny but rain-threatening day in Burnley.

It was the Clarets who stormed out of the blocks and it was during this impressive opening spell that they took the lead with just two minutes on the clock leaving the Bluebirds shell-shocked and reeling. Our wingers were causing them all sorts of problems but it was Trippier who caused the greatest damage in this opening period. Charging down the flank from full-back position Trippier first left Taylor for standing and then got over a delectable cross that was perfectly weighted for Austin to head down past the keeper`s left hand to claim his third goal of the season.

The double act of Trippier and Austin then nearly made it 2-0. This time though Austin could only head the ball from Trippier`s cross wide of target. Burnley were buzzing at this stage playing some dazzling football, certainly their best so far all season. Austin was on fire and tried a stunning shot from 30 yards out. The Bluebirds keeper, David Marshall did not look at all confident as the ball whizzed towards him despite being successful in parrying the shot away.

The Clarets looked to be in complete control now but a sequence of bookings and bad tempered exchanges seemed to disrupt their concentration and we lost the momentum. Cardiff embarked on some dodgy challenges and suddenly found they had three of their defenders booked with McNaughton, Gerrard and Hudson all picking up yellow cards. Gerrard`s foul in particular and his reaction afterwards incensed the home crowd after he charged into Austin from behind with the ball going out of play. Mind you, we were lucky not to lose Marney after he came close to picking up a second yellow for a high tackle but at least we were giving both their full backs a torrid time.

Treacy, despite by Howe`s admission still not being fully match fit, looked impressive in the first half and in the 30th minute gave the hapless McNaughton the slip yet again to get in a low shot which agonisingly bobbled across the face of goal.

Cardiff though now seemed to be coming back into the game more and more and they were rewarded with five minutes of the half remaining. Taylor got over a cross to find Earnshaw who had been given far too much space in the box to control the ball and with his typical poaching skills the Welsh international shot home to level from eight yards out.

It was 1-1 then at half-time and Eddie Howe decided to make no changes for the start of the second half. Burnley again started strongly with Wallace skimming a shot just wide from distance. The Clarets continued to press in the second half with Wallace involved in a number of the attacking moves. A sublime cross from Wallace cross field found Treacy bearing down on goal. Taking the ball inside past McNaughton, he let rip with a shot that need an outstretched leg from Hudson to block the attempt.

Howe decided to freshen up proceedings just past the hour mark and on 65 minutes on came debutant, Zavon Hines to replace Charlie Austin. The Clarets though just could not get the breakthrough and Cardiff always looked a handful on the break. Hines though did look to have some pace and at times threatened the Bluebirds defence cutting in a number of times from a wide position before bearing down on goal.

Cardiff came close to nicking it though on a couple of occasions. Our former loan, Peter Whittingham attempted a long-distance shot putting the ball just wide and then Ben Mee had to come to our rescue heading away a dangerous looking attempt from Kenny Miller.

We should have stolen all three points though with eleven minutes to go after some nice work down the flank from Brain Easton. His sublime cross looked certain to be converted by Chris McCann but somehow he managed to put his downward header wide of target when it looked easier to score.

In the end Burnley had to be content with yet another disappointing point and their second consecutive one at home this season in the Championship. Yes, this was a much improved performance but no, it was not one that would give you much optimism that we could be on for promotion this season. In order to be confident of that, we would have to play like we did in the first 20 minutes of this game for a full 90 minutes and at the same time try and plug the gaps in defence. We have conceded in every game so far this season and we have to tighten up significantly in that department if we want anything other than an average season.

Match Stats

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Mee, Easton, Treacy (Elliott 77), McCann, Marney, Wallace (MacDonald 84), Rodriguez, Austin (Hines 65)

Subs Not Used: Jensen, Edgar

Goal: Austin (2)

Booked: Yellow card for Marney

Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton, Taylor, Hudson, Gerrard, Whittingham, Cowie, Conway, Miller, Earnshaw (Gestede 75), Mason (Blake 69)

Subs Not Used: Heaton, Keinan, Quinn

Goal: Earnshaw (40)

Booked: Yellow cards for McNaughton, Hudson, Gerrard and Miller

Possession: 55% Burnley, 45% Cardiff City

Ref: Tony Bates (Stoke)


32 Replies to “Burnley Better Bluebirds But Still No Win!”

  • We desperately need our first win under our belt before confidence plummets! Not a good time to be going to Pride Park is it? We will need that Burnley moment and ‘against all odds’ spirit against the buoyed up Rams!!

  • Can’t argue with you tmp, you’ve been to the matches and seen them first hand, and as yet I haven’t. But I’m still not as pessimistic as you seem to be, but that could be my rose tinted glasses and the Blind Faith LP moving around at 33rpm on my turntable. Trippier, Mee, Easton,Treacy, Austin and Hines, that’s 6 new players introduced into the side so I think we can expect a bedding in period at the very least. The reports I’ve heard are encouraging regarding the new players and they could still surprise a few of us once they get the team act together. The Radio Wales pundits which included Kevin Ratcliffe remarked that there was the making of a good side at Burnley this season and we could be a ‘surprise package’ ! Time will tell of course, and you’re right that we need a good win and soon, to get the feelgood factor and confidence moving in the team. What better place to start than at Pride Park with a 3-1 away win ?

  • Taken only 22% of available points, Have to say yesterdays first half was exciting to watch, that was of course until the physical side of Cardiff was brought to bare ! hopefully that wont be our Achilles heal, the really sad thing is with fox,cork and Eagles this team would have had the making of a championship winning team ! still early days but the we still need players and good ones at that, Howe confirms he will be pushed into the transfer market again for ANOTHER striker given this issues with Danny Ings, please dont post the usual Easton is good enough tosh, we need a good left wing back not a left back and we need one PDQ

  • Good performance unlucky not to take all three points and should of if McCann header was on target, this could be our problem this season teams kicking us of the park. After watching there goal on the box Mee defo at fault for there goal and like Welsh says this team will need time to gel together. Hope the rumour floating about that Bikey is of to Leicester is wrong because time is running out to get signings.

  • We should not be in transition and rebuilding at this stage we should be showing ambition and trying to get this club promoted. That is where this club continually fails to deliver and whether this team is good enough to achieve it is not the point we shouldn’t even be even having to debate it! Sick to death of blind faith optimism, sick to death of seeing Saints do better than us and get our players, sick to death of looking for a few scraps of optimism when the bottom line is simply..we are not good enough!

  • Totally agree tmp we should not be rebuilding now should have been the end of the last season.

  • We will soon be picking up points on the evidence of Saturday, I have every confidence, we will finish in the top half, perhaps higher?.

  • At what point do you stop being a critic and start being a constructive editor tmp? You are constantly looking for the negativity in evrything and anyone who looks for a positive is a happy clappy or wearing rose coloured specs. From where I sat yesterday I thought Eagles, Cork and Fox would have struggled against a side hell bent on a scrap. I saw a young full back more eager than Mears and someone who got the fans txt vote but you are loathe to admit it. Yet you praise Duff who hoofed the ball out anywhere on perhaps a dozen occassions, mostly into row z and at times when a more balanced player would have controlled the ball. Cardiff where in the play offs last season, came to fight and we got a point, I would have liked 3 points but will live with good performances from Austin, Trippier and a few others.

    I often feel tmp you write the way you do to get hits on the site, perhaps it works, I know a few posters who are getting fed up with the negative constant criticsm. My only saving grace is I still do not have broadband and it maybe even 10 more days of me not getting a chance to comment…..oh well at least the nurse is ok

  • Happy for those who have the optimism. I would too were we a team emerging from League One, not one that was in the Premier league two seasons ago. HC compares us to Man Utd on another thread, saying we are rebuilding, that Howe has swept away the old team, and the new players will be good “next season”. Two questions – 1. Did he want the players to leave?
    2. Will we, Like Man Utd, keep our players, when they are all performing as brilliantly as predicted?
    I think we all know the answers to both questions.

  • You see what you see VR..I see a season of midtable mediocrity, I base that on years of seeing the same old thing of basic failure and until the philosophy changes we will continue to be the small town club with small town mentality punching above our weight waiting for a manager to come along who can work miracles on a pittance. Coyle managed it and then realised we couldn’t even meet his ambitions so he fecked off. Heavens above we have gone in the space of two months from a club needing two or three players to strengthen to a club in transiton/rebuilding! It stinks just like it has for the last two seasons. PMH has it about right! I believe there will be some changes soon, I hope so and cant wait

  • Trippier is not even ours and god forbid he gets so good this club con the fans by suggesting we might even get him on a permanent! I certainly dont want the false hopes generated by the Cork bollox again! I know lots of fans as well VR..and they are fed up of the same old,same old garbage being put out by the club to excuse their failure to invest and even more incensed by fans trying to put a positive gloss on everything in support of that garbage! We are not actually negative, we are the most,positive and passionate wanting change. If that makes us hotheads and negative sobeit because change has to happen unless we are happy to keep watching this club muddle along in the Championship or more likely at the moment even lower!

  • I just don’t understand why Burnley didn’t come out in the second half guns blazing like they did in the first. On too many occasions we were trying to play the ball through the middle instead of a wide man. It seemed to be a very effective formula for the first goal. Cardiff all sat back and seemed content with a draw and that’s when we could have grabbed a second. In my opinion it seemed the exact game when bringing Eagles on would have made a massive difference. We need another midfield flair player but it seems Eddie doesn’t, just hope he doesn’t bring it another striker! CB, LWB/LB and CAM would be the way to go forward and ditch the donkey Grant we need the Beast back. If he sulks and causes unrest within the squad then ditch him, he needs to earn his place and 8 goals in 4 games just isn’t good enough.

  • As for the positives Austin, Trippier and Hines all stood out to me and they all could have a very good season for us. I mentioned on an earlier thread I think Austins touch is superb and he has a real eye for goal and Hines’s pace and pass were both a high note of the second half. Hope Zavon gets a start next game from a 4-3-3 or attacking midfield role if Eddie doesn’t fancy another midfielder on the books.

  • ‘Once again there were some positives to take from this match both in terms of the team and individual performances but let`s not get carried away’ People should read what I say not assume what I say. if some folk want to live in a lovely world of positivity where everything is rosy and the club can do no wrong there is always the Official Site!

  • PMH – I am of the view that Eddie did indeed want rid both of those players who were getting beyond their best, and others whose heads were not in the right place. The view expressed by others on other occasions that the Board has gone behind Eddie’s back is speculation and lacking evidence. Indeed I strongly suspect Eddie would rather they had left earlier. It has been a slow-moving market generally. But hang on with past-its, the sullen and the bolshy, or make changes that were overdue? Thank goodness we have a manager prepared to make decisions.

  • I am going to be very positive, this is what we need now.
    1) Superb performance saturday could have won five one
    2) the prospect of Shotton Wagstaff and another we will have a great sqad.
    3) Look @ Ipswich 7 – 1 anything can happen
    4) Austin, Hines, Jay all plaing well a group of players all who whant to play for burnley exept a couple,
    5) Bikey, the Beast who have a tendancy to cuase unrest possibly going to where they can get first team football,
    6) A young manager who has more insight & ability than most in this division. a

  • Certainly a roller-coaster of a ride being a Claret…let’s see who we get in this week if anybody?

  • This is a forum where people can air there views on anything BFC, if you agree with tmp or VR thats your view and thats fine as long as it does not get nasty. Think you need to look at your statement regarding Coyle and the pittance tmp, just cant remember the correct figure but there was alot of millions paid back in loans after promotion. And getting back to Coyle he was going to Bolton whatever we gave him he used BFC as a stepping stone to greater things and Bolton will be next for project Coyle.

  • Couch Potato – You have a good point if that is indeed the case. It is good we have a manager who recognizes those who are up for it and takes action. However, I’m sure I recall Howe saying he was disappointed about at least one of them going, though I may be wrong.

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