Date: 11th July 2008 at 1:35pm
Written by:

HEAT no doubt played a major part in last night’s defeat to the Carolina Railhawks who were clearly used to the sweltering conditions and it was only a friendly, but I am still left bitterly disappointed.

Some will say it is only the first game in Pre-Season against a team who have clearly been playing longer this summer, but there were major faults that need to be picked up on before they grow and carry into the next season.

Now everyone is entitled to an opinion that is the reason of football and it is a main point, but waiting up until after half past 2 in the morning to catch a glimpse of the new look Burnley F.C. only to see a calamity performance in the back four isn’t something that will make me happy.

A back four (right to left) of Michael Duff, Steven Caldwell, Clarke Carlisle and Graham Alexander started the game, with new left back Christian Kalvenez sitting the game out because he was feeling a tight chest in the warmup and didn’t dare risk anything.

Both RailHawks goals were from defensive errors, the first with all four defenders within a metre of each other, so that when Alexander instinctly put his foot on the ball only to knock it through to the opposition forward who was one on one, there was no defence and the finish was guarenteed.

The second, as much of a fantastic finish that it was, the ball was allowed to move too freely across the area with Michael Duff stood ball watching in his right back position. It was a good finish though against a Brian Jensen who was one of our best players on the night.

Another fault that I saw was communication which was non existant at times, one instance that springs to mind is Joey Gudjonsson who had the ball just inside his own half and advancing with the ball. To his left in space was Robbie Blake who was absolutely screaming for the ball, but instead Joey opted to try and take his man on and lost out.

I know it was the first game of Pre-Season and in a foreign country, so I don’t want people emailing to explain it to me, I can see it for myself, I just thought we could have put more in as a team. But then again it is the first time, so we can’t really judge.

I did however have a conversation with a chappy last night during the game, who as I was screaming at my computer screen for Burnley to do something, says to me ‘We’re taking it nice and easy, well done Clarets thats how we should be playing’, If that is how we should be playing why have a Pre-Season at all? We may as well baoard the next plane home.

The meaning of the game is to push youself and get into it ahead of next season, and I know they would be tired after their hard opening week in training, but we did lack effort at times, and I think Owen Coyle’s reaction on the bench showed it.

‘Injuries will come if we play at a normal footballing pace in Pre-Season’, again that is the point of Pre-Season, take it easy now, then when you start the season the injuries really will kick in. They’ve been pushing hard in training nothing is stopping them.

Not having a go, because at times I think we were fantastic and at other times, poor but overall it is a decent start for the Clarets.

Besart Berisha though has to get a mention, he is back yet again and made his second debut effectively after his injury last season so it is a fresh start for him. He did have a good game after he came on, well done Bes.

Role on Minnisota…