Clarets Player commentater Phil Bird's column
Clarets Player commentator Phil Bird returns with his weekly look at life at Turf Moor and beyond.
We Are On the Move!
What a fantastic few days!
Beating Wolves and Leeds United beaten inside four days at Turf Moor is like football heaven. They are two of our bogey sides. Home wins against those two teams have been rare over the years.
We’ve suffered so much heartache in these games it’s great to be on the winning side again.
I chuckled when the Leeds journalists were holding a post match inquest in the Turf Moor press box.
We’ve been there!
It’s four wins out of five now and we are starting to get a little bit of momentum. We are starting to look like a good Championship side and now lie within a point of local rivals Blackburn Rovers and the play offs.
We took eleven points from our first ten games and twelve points from our last five.
We are definitely on the move!
Sean Dyche has certainly hit the ground running and I’ve been impressed with his approach. Many managers would have pressed the panic button and proposed wholesale changes. Thankfully he has recognised the talent we have got here.
He realised our defending was letting us down and preventing us getting the results we’ve deserved.
There haven’t been major changes. He has just made us harder to beat.
The players take credit too, they have responded to those little changes and tweaks in fine style.
Yet Another Record
20 goals by the November 6 is a tremendous achievement for Charlie Austin.
It was a fantastic goal to reach the milestone as well – a proper team goal.
The pass from Chris McCann was outstanding. Kieran Tripper did so well to reach it and put in his trademark deep cross. It proves we are not a one man side.
It’s difficult to keep up with all the records Austin is breaking. Andy Lochhead reached the 20 goal mark on the November 26, 1966.
Many would have thought that was a record that was going to last forever.
To put things into prospective we need to remember the Clarets were in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup back in the 1966-67 season, so the Scottish striker had played in a few more games than Austin (25 v 17).
It took Bert Freeman just 19 games to reach the landmark in the 1911-12 season,so Austin smashes the record for date and number of games.
We are grateful to our club historian Ray Simpson for help with those statistics.
He is putting in the hours right now. At this rate, he’ll have to come out of retirement!
It’s no longer just a purple patch for the former Swindon Town striker. Since he came on as a substitute at Fratton Park last March, he has scored 26 goals in his last 25 league and cup games.
I’m struggling to find any suitable comparisons.
I had a look back at Jordan Rhodes’ 2011-12 season.
At this stage last year he had just 13 goals and went on to get 40.
I notice Sean Dyche mentioned Clive Allen in his post match press conference. Allen had an incredible season for Tottenham Hotspur in 1986-87 when he got 33 league goals and an amazing 49 in total.
Let’s hope Austin just keeps banging them in.
Keep Your Shirt On
What was going on at half time at Old Trafford last Saturday?
I would be seriously miffed if one of our players swapped shirts at half time.
Well that’s what Andre Santos did with Robin Van Persie!
What signal does that send to the stands?
I bet Arsene Wenger went ballistic!
It’s not been a good week for the Gunners.
Their annual membership pack for Junior Gunners, aged four to 11, went out with the departed Van Persie and Alex Song featured!
Mind you, Jay does still appear on our billboard.
What Nationality Am I Anyway?
It wasn’t a surprise when Craig Levein and Scotland parted company. The Scots are struggling on the international stage and something probably had to change.
Ex Coventry, Southampton, Celtic and Middlesbrough boss Gordon Strachan is the favourite. But it was a little bit of a surprise when former Burnley boss Owen Coyle threw his hat in the ring.
Glasgow-born, he controversially elected to play for the Republic of Ireland.
Strange one that!