Date: 17th August 2008 at 7:07pm
Written by:

The Clarets continued their awful start to the season, this time losing 3-0 at home to Ipswich in an eventful afternoon at Turf Moor.

In their first home game of the new season the club were keen to impress, inviting the Red Devils along to drop in before the match! That`s when all the problems started.

No I don`t mean Manchester United came along in a coach, I mean THE Red Devils, the ones that jump out of planes!

Spare a thought for our new match day announcer Martin Vernon! What a baptism of fire this was going to be as he lumbered up for the opening spectacular.

Things were going fine until he handed over to the special announcer from the Parachute Regiment’s Red Devils.

You could almost sense things were about to go tits up when a sprinkler decided to cover the poor lad with water and follow him round the pitch.

From somewhere upon high (we couldn`t see anything in the Bob Lord Stand) the Red Devils jumped out of an aeroplane and then all of a sudden one of them landed on the Turf flying in from the left, then another…Wow quite exciting!

We counted six of them in, all landing perfectly on the Turf despite the windy conditions.

So that was it then? Oh hang on still one to go. Well this was not quite such a good landing as folk in the Bob Lord stand were amazed to see him land perfectly on the top right hand side of the David Fishwick Stand!

Was this a gimmick? Nope it turned out to be a cock up as no doubt the Ipswich fans were the first to realise when they heard a deafening crunching sound as bits of asbestos roof came floating down. Some of the more clear sighted may well have also seen a foot dangling through the hole in the roof. Luckily for the away fans the accident happened at the other end of the stand from where they were sitting.

Mild amusement then and a few laughs but this was soon to be turned into anger as poor old Vernon had to announce that the match would be delayed for 30 minutes whilst they got the poor (red) devil off the roof!

The chap known as Ben would have to wait and so would we! Ben? I thought his name was Walter? Everybody round me was shouting ‘Where`s Wally?`

30 minutes and more apologies later, the match went back even further as a frustrated crowd began to vent their anger even more. 45 minutes passed, then it was announced that the fire engine couldn`t get to the roof until a number of cars were moved. Cue another 10 minutes of reading out car numbers with numeorus apologies thrown in!

Safety & risk assessments my arse, the lad only had a few cuts & bruises, they should have left him up there, allowed him to watch the match for free and then got him down at half time but no we had to sit watching a perfectly clear pitch with no activity for over 50 minutes before the game finally got underway.

Total farce and it was not going to get any better for Clarets fans as the farce off the pitch was about to turn into a farce on the pitch with the Clarets putting in one of the most woeful and pathetic games I have seen played at Turf Moor in four years!

If I can be serious for a moment if we stay with the current squad we are going to struggle and struggle big time unless they somehow start playing with some cohesion and understanding, especially in defence. Owen Coyle has just two weeks to sort out this defensive nightmare and bring in some new faces for the back four before the transfer window closes.

This new formation is also clearly not working, Elliott looks lost at times and Eagles thinks he`s playing with a Premier League side! Eagles is a different class and it shows, the trouble is the rest of the team don`t seem on the same wave length. Paterson when on song will provide the goals and maybe the points but if he has an under par game or can`t get the service we need other options in attack too.

I am sorry but we have now leaked 12 goals in our last three Championship league matches against Crystal Palace (last season), Owls and now Ipswich whilst scoring just one goal.

I would rather watch so called dire football and scrape out 1-0 wins or 0-0 draws than suffer this humiliating tosh.

Many of the fans around me were telling me they have real concerns about the current side with the dreaded R word being mentioned a few times. Owen Coyle has to get a grip and get a grip fast before the rot sets in. He has a tough test coming up next week away to Palace. God help us if they put five or more past us again!

Oh well, I suppose despite not really having the desire to do so, I will now have to report the match in more detail and relive the horror show.

Let`s start with the team selection!

Brian Jensen was preferred to Diego Penny. Our new Number 1 appears to have been made the scapegoat for the opening shocker against Sheffield Wednesday and I am not sure if that is the right decision. Coyle seems adamant in sticking with Alexander and Caldwell in the back four, even though they have been more to blame for leaking goals in recent matches than either of the two keepers.

I suppose it must be difficult for the gaffer to drop both his captain and vice-captain but if needs must?

At least Clarke Carlisle returned to the starting eleven after completing his two match ban following his red card at Palace last season. A little bit more stability in the back four therefore but based on today`s performance nowhere near enough.

Duff was not even named on the bench, which is worrying and with van der Schaaf also missing out only three of Coyle`s six new signings were to make an appearance in this match (McDonald, Eagles and Paterson)

This was the line-up:

Jensen, Alexander, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Elliott, McCann, Gudjonsson, Eagles, Blake, Paterson.

Subs: Penny, Kalvenes, McDonald, Akinbiyi, Mahon

With the match finally underway, Gudjonsson got in a good header after six minutes after a cross by Elliott. Wright then tipped over a Carlisle header with nine minutes on the clock.

The game though lacked sparkle at this stage although after 25 minutes Eagles got in a good shot from the edge of the box after some nice build up play only to see Wright yet again save well.

Six minutes later Eagles tested Wright again and from the resulting corner the keeper managed to get to an Elliott header with the ball safely parried away.

The first 30 minutes was to prove to be the Clarets best spell but it didn`t take long for the rot to set in with Ipswich breaking the deadlock on 34 minutes.

Liam Trotter fired home from close range after the Clarets failed to clear from a corner. Yet another failure to deal with a set piece and the situation was to get even worse seven minutes later as the Clarets found themselves 2-0 down. A cross by former Claret Alan Lee put Alexander under pressure with Lisbie, the new Ipswich signing from Colchester breathing down his neck.

Alexander put the ball into his own net ensuring that Ipswich went in at half-time 2-0 up despite Blake coming close a few moments later with a shot from the edge of the area.

The Clarets started the second half looking like they meant business but it all soon evaporated.

An appeal by the Clarets for handball in the area on 49 minutes was turned down by the referee denying them a penalty that could have meant game on.

Ipswich and Lee in particular then turned the screw. Lee broke free after 53 minutes but his shot was blocked by Jensen coming quickly off his line. Jensen then had to palm away another shot from Lee four minutes later.

The Man of the Match by a country mile, Chris Eagles then tried to rescue the situation single handed for the Clarets. His free kick went just over the bar and Wright then had to pull off a good save to deny Eagles after the busy midfielder got in a powerful shot.

A cross by Eagles on 67 minutes was parried by Wright but the loose ball found Paterson who shot instinctively only to see the ball go over the bar.

Further attempts by Elliott and Paterson came to nothing and the final humiliation was complete on 88 minutes with the Blues were flattered to find themselves 3-0 up thanks to yet another own goal, this time by Jordan. He attempted to head the ball clear but it shot past Jensen into an open goal to seal this day of farce and misery for the Clarets.

Owen Coyle after the match tried to put a brave face on things but surely he knows in his heart of hearts we have serious problems in the squad that need to be urgently rectified. Most fans are worried about this poor start and the deficiencies in the squad are there for all to see , especially in defence.

Clarets fans will not be looking favourably on any excuses that fail to rectify these problems in defence in the remaining two weeks that the transfer window remains open.

It is far too early to start criticising Owen Coyle but the rumbles of discontent have already started with some fans openly critical of the gaffer even suggesting he is out of his depth. There is only one man who can prove them wrong in a way Steve Cotterill never could. All eyes are on Coyle to deliver.

Somehow he has to do this in the next match (and a tricky one at that )against Crystal Palace next week at Selhurst Park.


Burnley: Jensen, Alexander, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Elliott, Gudjonsson (McDonald 56), McCann, Eagles (Mahon 83), Paterson, Blake (Akinbiyi 55).
Subs Not Used: Penny, Kalvenes.

Ipswich: Richard Wright, Bruce, Naylor, McAuley, Thatcher, Trotter (Garvan 70), Miller, Shumulikoski, Walters (Counago 90), Lee, Lisbie (Haynes 77).
Subs Not Used: Supple, Balkestein.

Booked: Shumulikoski.

Goals: Trotter 34, Lisbie 41, Jordan 88 og.

Referee: Tony Bates (Staffordshire).