Clarets Player commentator Phil Bird casts his gaze over the world of football.Good to be Back Home:
It seems a little strange. We were so disappointed coming away from Portman Road having lost to Ipswich. But it’s four wins out of the last six. That is good form to take into our home game with Charlton Athletic.
I thought we had done OK on Saturday until Daryl Murphy’s controversial opener. After that we struggled to impose ourselves on the game. Having had another look I’m still convinced we would have been awarded the foul nine times out of ten.
Murphy looks where Lee Grant is and positions himself in the way. I’m still struggling to understand why that wasn’t given. It’s a game changing decision. We are told these things balance themselves out over a season. Well we certainly need a few to correct the balance.
Having got back in the game with Sam Vokes’ first goal of the season we were chasing the win when Carlos Edwards and DJ Campbell caught us with a classic counter-attack.
It was good to see Vokes scoring. It was his first since he scored for Brighton at Nottingham Forest last March. He needed that. Danny Higginbotham got the last touch but he is entitled to claim it.
Danny Lafferty came in for injured Ben Mee and was one of the plus points. He has had to show patience and wait for his chance but looks a real prospect for the future.
Confidence is still high. Those wins against Wolves and Leeds will make sure of that. Our home form is good and we need to keep it that way with the Blackburn derby on the horizon!
We are just four points off the play-offs in the tightest ever Championship season. We have seven league games before Christmas and we need a good little run now so we are in the reckoning over the busy festive period.
Charlton have some momentum themselves. Sean Dyche saw them at one of his old grounds when they won 2-0 at Bristol City on Sunday. Chris Powell’s side are unbeaten in their last five away league games with wins at Blackpool, Ipswich and Ashton Gate.
We haven’t played each other in the league since our promotion season. The game at Turf Moor in January 2009 was a turning point. After losing five successive league games we came from behind to beat the Addicks at Turf Moor thanks to two late goals from substitute Steven Thompson.
Zaha Grabs the Headlines:
It’s hard to believe considering all the goals Charlie Austin has scored that Wilf Zaha seems to be getting more of the Championship headlines. Crystal Palace have reportedly slammed a £20m price tag on the Ivory Coast born forward.
Whilst Zaha does play in a wider role, he still operates as a forward in a 4-3-3 formation and his goal ratio is vastly inferior to Austin’s. Zaha has 14 goals in 110 appearances (all competitions), while Austin has 74 goals in 133 appearances. How much is Charlie worth?
He has scored in ten of his last 12 Burnley appearances. Thankfully he is starting to get the attention he deserves. He is featured on BBC’s Football Focus on Saturday lunchtime – don’t miss that!
Trotters’ Debt Keeps on Rising:
Amazingly Bolton Wanderers’ debt keeps on rising. This week we were told they recorded a loss of £22.1m in the last financial year and their total debt has risen to a staggering £136.5m. And those figures were even helped by the £10m they received for England centre-half Gary Cahill.
Of course the Trotters, managed by ex-Clarets boss Owen Coyle, lost their Premier League status in May after a stay of 11 years.
Word is, owner Eddie Davies is willing to keep on financially supporting the club from his Isle of Man tax haven. But with Dougie Freedman now in charge, it appears they need to win promotion at the first time of asking.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not necessarily Burnley Football Club.