At long last the 2007/8 season begins on Saturday 11th after a rather hectic summer in which the club announced a £20 million revamp of Turf Moor and brought in four new players. The fans saw the return of Robbie Blake from troubled Leeds with Gabor Kiraly, Besart Berisha and Stephen Jordan also joining the ranks. Young Jay Rodriguez also made a name for himself after some impressive seasons in the youth team by becoming a fully fledged member of the first team squad!
Steve Cotterill also continues to insist that he hopes to add two more new players to the squad by the time the summer transfer window closes at the end of August. Speculation is rife amongst Clarets fans that maybe one of these players could still be our former loan, midfielder Eric Djemba-Djemba now released from Aston Villa and this would certainly be a crowd pleaser if this one could be pulled off. All gossip of him moving to various Portuguese and French clubs seems to have waned and this could be good news for the Clarets. We shall just have to see!
The other long-standing requirement would be the need to find a right-back something the gaffer has again mentioned recently.
We did also see however the departure of Frank Sinclair to Huddersfield on a permanent basis, Graham Branch sign for Accrington and Danny Coyne join his former club Tranmere. John McGreal was also released and to date has not found a new club although recently had an unsuccessful trial at Colchester. Transfer listed, Garreth O`Connor also looks set for a lengthy loan at least until Christmas at his former club, Bournemouth.
This season however with positive, ambitious noises continuing to come from the club we probably start in better shape than we have for sometime. Although to date we do not have a significantly bigger squad we seem to have more depth of quality and cover in all areas, especially in midfield and attack. The arrival of Stephen Jordan at left-back might also mean a new role for Jon
‘If you have a look at West Brom’s team they are still a match for anyone in this division,’ insisted Cotterill.
‘We enquired about Leon Barnett 18 months ago and they have brought in some decent acquisitions.
‘They still have the likes of Kevin Phillips, Nathan Ellington, Zoltan Gera, Jonathan Greening and Craig Beattie playing for them, so we know we have a game on at the weekend, but hopefully they have too.
‘There will be nerves and tension, but you have to try to get them focused. It’s all about getting the happy blend.
‘We have tried to be relaxed with them this week, but it’s a big game and the players will know it’s a big game.
‘I just hope my players play to their potential and the fans roar them on.
‘It’s just a pity we haven’t knocked down the David Fishwick Stand before their fans get to go in it!’
Burnley Team News:
There is a fitness doubt regarding defender Wayne Thomas (back strain) but otherwise the gaffer should be able to choose from an otherwise fully-fit squad.
Player to watch: Joey Gudjonsson
Joey Gudjonsson (but also look out for Robbie Blake)
WBA Team News:
There will also be a late decision on the fitness of central defender Shelton Martis who picked up an ankle knock during a pre-season friendly at Stafford last week, although , defender Neil Clement has recovered from illness.
Player to watch: Pele
All the new boys I suppose expecially the lad with the famous name,Pele!
Match Facts & Stats
Who can forget the televised night match at Turf Moor last April when the Clarets came from 2-0 behind to win 3-2 with a brace of goals from Andy Gray with one from McCann?
Lets get off to a great start! 2-0 Clarets
Scunthorpe Away Saturday 18th August @ 3pm KO