An Interview With A Burnley Fan
1) So, first year in the premiership, impressions so far?
Mixed feelings, its good for the club to be in the limelight and our home form is still holding up well but its a hell of struggle down there fighting for survival! Getting cheesed off now that I still haven't seen 'em win away yet this season
2) Who is the best team you've played so far, the hardest to beat and the team who has most surprised you?
The best team by a country mile must be Chelsea, they were awesome against us at the Bridge and played superb flowing football. Not so exciting at Turf Moor but they were still hard to beat and we lost again! The team that has surprised me the most is Birmingham, I wish we could go on a mini-run like they did. One of my bets originally to be struggling down with the rest of us so lost that one!
3) Owen Coyle... respect for what he achieved or just anger over his departure? Personally I think if he had hung around until the end of the season and kept you in the Premiership, his stock would have been much higher!
I know I am supposed to be grateful he got us promoted and that I have to move on now but I hate his guts with a vengeance for the mess he left behind. It was the manner in which he did it having spouted such wonderful platitudes about enjoying his work at Burnley. Yadda,yadda,bollox time!! He also took all the bloody backroom staff with him including someone we thought was Burnley through and through (Steve Davis, Chief Coach and former legend). You have hit the nail on the head, he only had to stay another four months or so and it would not have mattered had we been relegated or still been in the top flight, he could have gone anywhere with our blessing. What he did, still hurts. We thought he was something special and different, leaving the club in a crucial transfer window with no management team, a couple of points off the drop zone sums the guy up. From hero to zero, from God to Sod! Judas committed suicide, I am waiting for Susan Boyle to do the same and take Bolton down with him
4) Brian Laws seemed to be a bit of a surprise appointment, now he has had a little time, what are your first impressions?
Brian is making the right noises but I sense he is on a tightrope. If he keeps the club up, he will be a hero. If we get relegated I am not sure how the fans will react if things start going badly next season. The club say he is the right man for the job and he is a former player but the perception is we got him on the cheap because the club seem to be determined not to go into debt and appear to be preparing for the Championship next season. Some will say we should show more ambition. The problem for Laws if we do go down is that folk will remember his sacking at Shef Wed and the perceived label of a failed manager at that level might come back to haunt him. We are all supporting him though at the moment and we all want him to do well of course
One of the things you could criticise Coyle for was his 'gung-ho' approach. We played attractive passing-to-feet football, but time and time again we got caught out on the break with the midfield and defence unable to handle the pacy wingers and counter-attacks. Laws has identified that as a weakness and has tried to plug the gap by bringing in some key players in the Jan window. It is difficult to know if it's working as our away form continues to be worrying and we were dreadful in the last one against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
5) Looking forward to your trip to Villa Park? What is your impression of Villa and our manager Martin O'Neill?
I like Villa Park a lot, a proper footy ground. Will enjoy my time there and will enjoy it even more if you take your eye off the ball and allow us to get our first three points on the road this season. Big ask though.
I get the impression Villa still suffer from inconsistency at times but not enough to keep you out of earshot of a top-four finish. High regard for MoN, he gets on with it calmly without being brash and bigheaded.
6) If you could have a couple of our players, who would they be and why?
Milner and probably Downing now! Why? We might win away then!! :(
7) You staying up? Who is going down?
We have four crucial home games (six-pointers) coming up on the trot against struggling clubs -Portsmouth, Stoke, Wolves and Blackburn. Those are our vital four wins that would put us on 35 points and probable safety. Anything else would be a bonus. Bolton have an horrendous run-in (titter) and I fancy them to go down and would do so even if CoyleyClot wasn't in charge! Portsmouth looks doomed so we just have to finish above one other club. I think Wolves look the weakest.
8) Why is your home form so good and your away form so bad?
Now there is the question that has baffled all Clarets fans! There is the infamous 'Fortress Turf Moor' effect at home which is so intimidating for the opposition. That could be a factor but it cant be the total answer. Some of it could be psychological on the road. We seem to have got in the habit of playing well and pressing for an opener in the first 20 minutes or so only to concede and have the stuffing taken out of us. Our heads seem to drop after that although in all honesty some of the away games have not been as bad as the media make out.
9) Go on then, lets have your prediction for Sunday?!
I am hoping you have the Carling Cup final on your mind and we can nick a point 1-1!!
With thanks to turphmanphil from Vital Burnley: www.burnley.vitalfootball.co.uk/