Date: 27th July 2011 at 8:50am
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The Clarets had to settle for a goalless draw against League 1, Oldham at Boundary Park last night in a match that was a pretty dire,scrappy affair and at times bad tempered despite being a so-called friendly.

We seemed to lack firepower up front and our attack at times did seem lacklustre although Paterson, Wallace and Austin did come close to scoring on occasions.

This was their fifth and penultimate pre-season friendly so hopefully by now Eddie Howe is getting close to knowing his starting eleven for the start of the new season when we kick off at home in just under two weeks time against Watford on Saturday 6th August.

His team selection though last night was perhaps a little surprising more for the players omitted rather than those starting and named on the bench. There was a debut for new boy, right back Keiran Trippier who only a few hours earlier had signed on a season-long loan from Manchester City but his fellow team-mate from Citeh, Ben Mee also on a season–long loan was perhaps surprisingly omitted from the squad along with Marney, Edgar, McCann, Rodriguez and Bikey giving some of the conspiracy theorists a lot to think about! In the end, Howe went for a fairly youthful line-up which seems to be one of his aims. There were recalls on the bench for Alex Ray-Harvey, Dominic Knowles and Joe McKee; all three had missed out on the South West tour but there was no recall for Leon Cort who is fast becoming the forgotten man of Burnley.

In summary our starting eleven and subs bench was as follows:

Grant, Trippier, Duff, Easton, Fox, Wallace, Elliott, Bartley, MacDonald, Paterson, Austin

Subs: Stewart, Fletcher, Long, Hewitt, McKee, Knowles, Harvey

In the absence of Chris McCann, Wade Elliott was named captain which is perhaps a clue to who might be our captain and vice-captain although Dean Marney also was absent last night.

Oldham seemed to be the brighter of the two sides in the first half and Dean Firman was the first to chance his luck for the Latics after 5 minutes with a fierce 20 yard shot. Grant looked somewhat worried but thankfully the ball flew into the side-netting. Our first attack came two minutes later when debutant, Tripper went on a burst down the right before crossing to find Paterson. Pato attempted a shot with his first touch but the keeper saved well at the near post. Wallace on 12 minutes attempted a shot from 25 yards after cutting in from the right but could only sky the ball over. Oldham had the better of the game at this stage but they were contained by our defence with Trippier in particular impressing at right back.

25 minutes into the game and Wallace again came close after picking up the ball from Paterson and cutting back. His left footed curling shot though was wide of the far post. With seven minutes to go before half-time, Paterson attempted a 25 yard volley only to see the ball bounce in front of the keeper who gathered well to ensure the score at the break remained goalless.

Howe made no changes for the start of the second-half

A deep free kick into the box from Wallace on 55 minutes found Austin who diving to head the ball saw it narrowly fly over the bar. After that the game descended into a scrappy, boring match with little action in front of goal. Tempers too flared on a couple of occasions. Most fans probably on both sides at this stage had thoughts of going home and nothing else!

Stevie Hewitt had replaced Charlie Austin on 64 minutes and on 80 minutes Kevin Long and Wes Fletcher came on for Marvin Bartley and Kieran Trippier. With the clock ticking down and audible yawns flying round the ground there was just time for the Clarets to make a couple of more substitutions before the bore draw came to a close. Stewart replaced Grant in goal for the last couple of minutes and there was time for young Joe McKee to make an appearance coming on to replace Wallace on the stroke of normal time.

Nothing in this game gave encouragement accept for an impressive debut by Trippier who formed part of an effective back-four with both Fox and Duff also looking solid. 884 Clarets fans probably wished there had not bothered turning up it was that grim. Bring on the Black Cats at Turf Moor this Saturday; our last pre-season friendly.

Match Stats

Burnley: Grant (Stewart 88), Trippier (Long 80), Fox, Duff, Easton, Bartley (Fletcher 80), MacDonald, Elliott, Austin (Hewitt 64), Paterson, Wallace (McKee 90)

Subs Not Used: Knowles, Harvey

Oldham Athletic: Johnstone, Winchester, Black, A Trialist, Diamond, M’Voto, Morais, Furman, Smith, Reid, Taylor

Subs: Carr, Simpson, Lee, Millar, Hughes, Mellor, Brooke

Referee; P Graham

Att; 2,153 (884 Burnley)


12 Replies to “Dire and Dull Stalemate at Boundary Park”

  • One to forget! Just hope Howe is beginning to know his starting eleven now.Still seems to be experimenting a lot

  • Dear Phil If we can get Weiss & 3 other good quality signings which i think we will, and release a couple of others Cort ect I do think with our young talent we will do well, I have a good feeling, we do need to sign, The likes of Bradley Wright Philips out and out striker to bolster the sharpness on the front line,

  • Were you there, tmp? What was the mood amongst the Claret fans? Reading reports today, it sounds to me as though this was several players short of being Howe’s first team and, like AlbC says, we may still see more new faces. Still 31 days till the window closes? Loans still possible after that?

  • I do not share your faith I am afraid. Losing players the calibre of Cork,Mears and Eagles and replacing them with kids (and loans at that) does not inspire me one bit unless we get some significant high quality signings in before the transfer window closes. We are also what about six players additionally light in the squad compared to last season? That will tell when we pick up the inevitable injuries and suspensions and have no cover except young kids

  • What’s the ideal squad size? PL teams are now operating a 25-player first team squad. That should be enough for us, shouldn’t it? I think we’d got 2 or 3 too many last year. But we’re obviously light in numbers just at the moment. The 23 who went south west included maybe 2 or 3 (Hewitt? Fletcher? Long?) who might not be in a first team squad come opening day. We’ve lost 2 others and gained Trippier. So if 25 is the target, we might need 6! I am assuming Stewart will sign as our third keeper. He looked okay to me at Plainmoor. Big lad: a little taller and perhaps a little heavier than The Beast. Comparably agile.

  • The point I am making is that with more players last season we were still pretty woeful so expecting us to better it with a smaller squad and less experience to call upon with some of the key players no longer on board is asking a lot!

  • Over on BFCofficial Howe is now talking about negotiations with clubs concerning 2 new signings; and Hewitt, Fletcher, Long and Stewart have all been named in the development squad starting eleven at Oldham at noon today.

  • He has been talking about negotiations with clubs to get 2-3 players for months but still no sign yet with under 2 weeks to go until kick-off. All that has happened in that time is that we lost three key players and signed 2 loans. This is NOT the time to be rebuilding a team based on youth and young loans. We HAVE to get promoted this season or believe me we will be in a right doggy do-do!!

  • I went to the game last night ….. well I say went to the game and that is partly correct! screamed off the drive at 7pm after barking at the kids to get ready for over an hour, got to Oldham and 7.30 went to the till bank at Boundary Prk …. retail park to find that my wallet was still sat at home on the breakfast bar !!!! with the sound of the game I didnt miss much then …… sooo much work to do ….. couch how do you find the positive in everything the Clarets do ? Howe did say on player last night he was reluctant to do any more loans lets face it we are at least FIVE players short of a decent squad I will settle for 3 if they are v good I suppose it would be expecting to much to get another in today would it ???? also do we know if the deed has been done at Blton yet ?

  • Wasn’t aware I’d said anything positive in this thread, hollins? Can you give me a couple of examples? I suppose it could be argued that my neither half full nor half empty glass is at least fuller than any that might have been smashed beyond refill in anger/despair/gloom. 🙂

  • We have not played any decent opposition yet, we will be tested against the black cats.

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