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There is Only One Jeff Stelling...

Jeff Stelling as most football fans will know fronts 'Gillette Soccer Saturday' for Sky Sports and is now becoming the darling of all women who have time on their hands to watch 'Countdown' on Channel 4 during the week.

Well Jeff, a famous Hartlepool fan of course has been looking at a different countdown recently, the countdown to the start of the new 2009/10 Premier League season. Speaking to skysports.com, he has been providing his predictions for the season including his opinion on how well the Clarets will do.

He describes the club as his surprise package for survival and predicts that the three relegated clubs will be Birmingham, Hull and Portsmouth.

The Clarets of course soon kick-off their first ever campaign in the Premier League as we know it today and their first campaign in the top flight for over 33 years.

Most of the pundits and rival fans have us down for instant relegation and with the smallest squad in the Premier League and with little cash in the coffers, you can perhaps understand why.

How refreshing then, that we have someone like Jeff bucking the trend and giving us all some hope.

Jeff, commenting on the Clarets chances said:

'I think Burney could finish fourth bottom -which would surprise a lot of people. You look at their squad on paper and it's the weakest in the Premier League by some way and they've got an incredibly low income compared to a lot of the clubs, but I really believe Owen Coyle is potentially a fantastic manager. The fact they came up last season, albeit by the play-offs, after playing so many matches with such a tiny squad - and playing such good football in the process - really impressed me. He's not quite a Tony Mowbray figure either. Burnley will knock it around, but there's a steeliness about them at the back and they'll put a foot in when needs be. Everybody has written them off, but I think they could be this year's Stoke. They'll play in a different way, but they'll achieve the same end product in staying up.'

Most Clarets fans have a high regard for Jeff Stelling and he does always seem to have a soft spot for Burnley FC. I remember stuck in the pouring rain in the far corner of the James Hargreaves Lower last season looking up to the rickety, swaying Commentary Box during that Carling Cup Semi-Final Second Leg match against Spurs. There was Jeff smiling and waving back to the lads after a rendition of 'There is only one Jeff Stelling, One Jeff Stelling'

Let's hope Jeff is right in his predictions although I have a sneaky feeling we could finish a little higher, maybe 15th above Blackburn!!

Barry Kilby and Owen Coyle are certainly being canny with their signings and thinking about the future should we not (god forbid) survive our first season in the Premier League.

Kilby speaking recently to The Sunday Times said:

"You`ve got to be sensible about these things. We`ve concentrated on younger players, brought lads down from Scotland who see it as a step up and can`t wait to have a crack at the Premier League. The thinking has been that, if we went down, we would still have a team that was within our budget, have no debt, be a force in the Championship and have a chance of getting promotion again. You want the best, for sure, but you`ve still got to plan for the worst."

Very sensible indeed in my opinion having seen what has happened to the likes of Leeds, Charlton, Southampton and Norwich over the years.

Good on Barry and thank you for cheering me up Jeff!

Yes,indeedy 'There is Only One Jeff Stelling'


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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday August 10 2009

Time: 7:12PM

Your Comments

Best bloke on the footy box in my opinion and that was before he gave us a chance of staying up!! Always makes me laugh
turfmanphil
Well said that man :-) i noticed Paul Merson has us down to be relegated
8clarets8
would 4th from bottom be a sucess for you lot? Or are your expectations higher?
merlin
I think any kind of survival would do us this season merlin next season Europe! the season after top four ;-)
8clarets8
I think the fans at Turf Moor may the factor to keep you lads up. Good luck.
greyhound
You have hit the nail on the head there I think Greyhound, we have to turn Turf Moor into a fortress, helped by a capacity home crowd now. Away sides could find that intimidating in a small,cosy ground like ours and that's how we could get most of the points to survive.
turfmanphil
Lets hope he's right.
Grimsby Claret
Agree re. making TM a fortress - it's a must if we are to survive.
BarnseyWTBM
The man is a genius. I mean Jeff Stelling of course.
RickersTwickers
In my opinion we need to win 9 games at the Turf this year if we are to stay up.
Claretdale
Dare to dream. The Clarets pre-season has not gone well. Already sustained some injuries, no cover for Alexander in midfield in that holding position, at least one centre half short, and need another striker. Yet I think we will make it through this season. My only fear is if we sustain a heavy defeat in the first game as the next 4/5 games are really tough and we could be cut adrift right at the start and the players confidence shattered. I still think we are as good as at least 6 or 7 other teams in there so must have a chance.
Claretacchio
The key could be momentum. Lose a few on the trot and players who are, say, 85 % fit start missing games. A few points on the board and a bit of confidence and those same players suddenly ignore the pain because they want to be involved. Will test OC's managerial skills if that happens but we came through a bad run last year so although the standard is much higher now it can be done. We need a bit of luck of course - the odd decision here and there and playing teams when they might be off colour themselves is no bad thing. Every point will count but there are lots of games that we could win.
RickersTwickers
If only for cheering up tmp, Stelling is indeed a genius. I also agree with RT that we need to keep calm if we don't have too many points after the tough games in Aug and Sept. OC has twice shown he can continue to motivate through bad runs.
Couch Potato
I think Hull got something like 27 points before Christmas and survived. Somehow we should aim for the same which wont be easy looking at the first few fixtures. We will also have to get in the mindset that a draw at home in most cases will be a good point and anything away a bonus. Come on lads we can do it! Our advantage could again be our relatively small squad, with players in the team playing regularly together without too much competition. Close knit and motivated could well be the key to survival
turfmanphil
Van der schaaf is the cover for Alexander and Joey. I think McDonald and McCann could be a good partnership though. Anyway Jeff Stelling always thought he a legend and now he#s just confirmed it. We should buy him a claret and blue tie!
skutter169
I think that you can do a Stoke and stay up against the odds, will probably be close but I think that you can do it.
PooliePoolie
 

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