Clarets Player commentator Phil Bird looks at life at Turf Moor... and beyond
Clarets in Safe Hands with Pash
I’ve never known an international break like it! While questions were being asked after our frustrating defeat at Selhurst Park, it was a real surprise to see manager Eddie Howe return to the south coast with League One AFC Bournemouth.
We have to respect his reasons though and move on.
This can be an exciting time for everybody involved with the club.
We are an attractive Championship club for prospective managers.
Financially stable, with a fantastic history and a young, developing squad that could challenge at this level given the right leadership.
Eddie Howe’s reign certainly had its highs and lows. His record of 34 wins, 34 losses and 19 draws is symmetrical and tells a story. He certainly improved our away form, with 50% of those wins coming on our travels. Indeed, since our splendid play off wins at Reading we have won 22 league and cup games away from home (17 for Howe, three for Brian Laws and just two for Owen Coyle).
Our major problem over the last couple of years has been keeping clean sheets. There were just 16 in 87 games under Howe.
Adding steel to our defence will be one of our new manager’s first priorities.
Amazingly we have led at half time in four of our last five league games – yet not won any of those four!
The list of rumoured applicants is impressive and at this stage it doesn’t appear to be a hindrance that Bolton and Blackburn are looking for managers at the same time. Somewhat surprisingly, leading betting firms jumped in and installed former boss Owen Coyle as an early favourite.
I think considering the nature of his departure it was always going to be difficult, if not divisive, for both parties to go back.
More recently Michael Appleton and Mick McCarthy have taken over as favourites. Appleton worked under Roberto Di Matteo and Roy Hodgson at West Bromwich Albion and is a highly respected young manager who has suffered more than anyone with the problems at Fratton Park.
Mick McCarthy has got two sides promoted from the Championship. He has successfully managed at international level and was unfairly dismissed at Wolves last February. However, with Giovanni Trapattoni’s position as Republic of Ireland boss under threat he may yet be a likely contender to return for a second spell in charge.
Many times in the past the Clarets have appointed managers with Turf Moor experience. The likes of Micky Mellon, Steve Davis (Crewe), Mark Yates, Warren Joyce, Graham Alexander, Steve Thompson and David Unsworth all come into that category this time. We know there is a long list of suitable candidates.
Don’t just look at the betting lists though.
Eddie Howe and Owen Coyle came from nowhere to get the job previously.
The recruitment process can take a while. It’s a big decision. If we go into next week with caretaker boss Terry Pashley in charge that’s absolutely fine.
He is Burnley through and through. Pashley has got some great experience. His achievement to get the youth side to the FA Youth Cup semi-finals was nothing short of incredible.
He knows the club well and we are in safe hands in the short term.
Ironically, Pashley left Turf Moor for Blackpool in his playing days and later played for Stan Ternent at Bloomfield Road.
It’s a massive match for him.
Blackpool is a tough fixture. However, with their own boss Ian Holloway linked with the Rovers job, it’s a difficult period for them too. We can’t afford any distractions. It’s imperative we get back to winning ways against our local rivals. Everybody will get behind the team. We need a booming Turf Moor to show the nation we can be a top Championship side once again.
Ings Getting Closer
In a period of upheaval we had some fantastic news on Tuesday with Danny Ings given the thumbs up to step up training.
Ings only turned 20 in the summer and is a fantastic prospect. He played in 15 games at the back end of last season and shone. He is one of the best young stars in the Championship and it’s a major plus to have him closer to first team action.
Danny Ings in training on Tuesday
Oh Fork… It’s Raining Again!
What was going on in Warsaw on Tuesday? Surely the roof should have been closed when the rain started? The pitch was re-laid after a recent Coldplay concert and couldn’t absorb the heavy downpour.
I’ve got another theory. I think the Poles kept the roof open deliberately. They wanted a heavy surface to try and seek an advantage against a higher ranked opponent.
Tweet of the Week
…Goes to Reebok Stadium Announcer Colin McGreavy, who tweeted this after hearing of Owen Coyle’s sacking: “At least I won't have to play that goal music now that the manager has gone.”
It seems the manager had instructed him to give a blast of Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough” after ever Wanderers goal.
Expect Bolton to go back to the more mundane, and predictable, “I’m a Wanderer”.