Date: 13th March 2006 at 11:33am
Written by:

Our manager has agreed a new four and a half year contract at Turf Moor. This on the face of it looks an excellent deal for the club but in the light of our current plight will everybody be totally happy ?

The Chairman, Barry Kilby is certainly happy and he is quoted as saying on the Clarets Official Site:

‘We’re pleased to have agreed a new contract with Steve after negotiations.

‘I see Steve as the future for this club and I’m sure he will bring us success and now we can look forward to some stability.’

Many people have rated Steve as one of the best managerial prospects around at the moment but some would question on what basis that could be said. Undoubted success at Cheltenham but this could be potentially outweighed by his wobbles at Stoke and Sunderland. Some Clarets fans would also argue,as they are at present,that our current plight being 17th in the League with no win in 5 games and no goals in four hardly confirms Steve as maybe the best tactician. The club is now still seven points adrift from 50 points the minimum recognised for safety and we are woeful in all departments, defence, midfield and attack! Many fans cant see where the next goal is coming from let alone point!

Somehow returning us to winning ways and putting in a creditable performance to the end of the season or at least a return to providing entertaining games with something for the fans to shout about may go someway to restoring the fans confidence in Steve across the board.

My own personal view is that Steve probably has one final season in 2006-7 to prove he can take this club to where it belongs and convince the fans totally he is the man for the job. In the first instance I would judge this to be establishing the Clarets as a Top 10 club in the Division If we dont manage the play-offs in 2006-7 that might not be too critical, but we need to be seen as a strong candidate for a challenge in subsequent seasons and in each year that should be for a whole season not half a season!

In defence of Steve, nobody would be having this discussion if we had maintained our challenge having reached 5th before Christmas. We all know that selling Ade Akinbiyi,whilst some would argue was a fantastic business deal for the club, has led to our precarious position and quite frankly this has been the worst entertainment deal for the club that I can remember! I just wonder also how much revenue will be lost for this season by disgruntled fans staying away and what effect this will have on Season Ticket sales for 2006-7. The PR spin is going to have to be good Mr Edmundson!

Steve has probably done his best under the financial constraints of this Club but his statement that he is after ‘Quality not Quantity’ may come back to haunt him! Lets face it are we now saying that one player, Ade was the only quality in our side? The recent run of results do tend to back this up. With the exception of Beast and Branch, the whole squad are Steve’s men so you can understand why the ‘quality’ aspect of the squad could now be challenged.

I personally refuse to believe that this sqaud do not have quality when they are playing well. One man [Ade] surely couldnt have been the reason how we managed to get to fifth. The problem I think we face is that not enough of them are able to provide this quality on a consistent basis and this is something that Steve needs to work on in particular.

Next season I think may well be ‘last chance saloon’ for the fans both in terms of tolerating the pleading poverty spin and in being totally convinced that Steve Cotterill is the best manager for this club

The omens are however good, if the money from the Ade deal is given to Steve so he can build the squad. Lets hold judgement till we see what the squad looks like at the start of the next season. All I want from this club is some hope, some indication that when we reach a play-off chance the Board do not scupper our chances again by selling our best players like they have for the last two seasons! I want some hope I can enjoy watching the Clarets play entertaining football for a whole season not half of one. The truth is I dont mind losing, its the manner of losing that concerns me. If we have done our best and played with passion and provided entertaining football, then you take the knocks but are still proud of the team! That is just not happening at the moment! Steve my owd mucker, prove me right that the faith I have in you is correct. Happiness needs to be returned to the Clarets faithful!