Easton, Edgar, Eckersley and the Curse of E?
It was nice to see Brian Easton feature in the eighteen against Portsmouth at Fratton Park on Saturday.
The young 21 year old Scottish Under 21 left back, also tried in midfield in the reserves recently, has yet to play in a Premier League game and indeed that still remains the same after being an unused substitute against Pompey.
Easton arrived from Hamilton Academical in July 2009 having signed a three-year deal for a fee of £350,000 plus add-ons.
His only starting eleven appearance to date has been in the Carling Cup victory against Hartlepool back in August this year and he was an unused substitute in the following game in this competition in the defeat against Barnsley at Oakwell.
Some Clarets fans have been wondering what Coyle's plans for our fringe players might be and have been somewhat surprised that a few of them have not had more opportunity to shine.
As well as Brian Easton, another two players also co-incidentally with a surname beginning with E have failed to break through into the first team after a lot of pre-season hype.
Richard Eckersley chose Burnley over Manchester United in the summer coming to the club on a Bosman rather than sign a new United contract. The 20 year old full back though being under 24 entitled Manchester United to claim compensation and a transfer fee appears to have been a sticking point since that time.
It is understood both clubs remain in negotiations over a fee, but that there is a strong chance this will only be resolved at a tribunal.
Eckersley signed a four-year deal and chose to come to Turf Moor predominantly in the hope of getting a better chance of first team football.
Certainly to date, that has not been the case. He was an unused sub in our opening game in the Premier League against Stoke City at the Britannia back in August but since that time he has not been selected in the eighteen for any of our league games in the top flight although has made two starting eleven appearances for the Clarets in the Carling Cup games against Hartlepool and Barnsley.
His debut against Hartlepool was not an ideal start and he found himself sent off for a red card in the 10th minute of extra time at Victoria Park.
Many Clarets fans have surmised that maybe Eckersley has not featured more because first team appearances could affect his valuation in a tribunal and cost the Clarets more money although with Tyrone Mears in such good form at right back, that is unilkely to be the main reason for his lack of appearances.
Owen Coyle perhaps summed up the situation recently with the following comments:
'You don't spend £300,000 and get a ready-made player for the Premier League, often it's £5/6/7m. and you have to back that with salaries that we don't pay. But we have players who are getting better every day they train and play. I intend to ensure we have a better team every year. We had a better team last year than the one I inherited, and a better team again that got us promoted. I believe my job is to make sure this club has longevity. Players come and go, but the mainstay are the fans, and it is part of my remit to put a long-term plan in place.'
Another player caught up in the compensation trap is Canadian defender David Edgar
The 22 year old right back and central defender was signed in the close season from Newcastle United. He rejected a new contract offered to him by Newcastle, left Tyneside and then signed a four-year deal with the Clarets on a Bosman in July 2009.
Edgar too has yet to make his debut in the Premier League for the Clarets and has not even been named in the eighteen. He has made just one appearance so far for Burnley in the starting eleven against Hartlepool in the Carling Cup. He was also an unused sub in the Barnsley game.
There does however appear to be some promising news this week in terms of sorting out the compensation to the Toons.
Owen Coyle has stated that the Clarets could be just two weeks away from agreeing a fee for Edgar after months of negotiation.
This is good news and if the deal is agreed it would at least avoid the need to go to a tribunal
So there we have it, we seem to have a plethora of players beginning with the letter E in their surname, all of whom at some stage this season have struggled to get a regular first team place.
You could also include in that Chris Eagles who spent most of the early part of the season on the bench before becoming a regular in the starting eleven since the home game against Wigan in October.
Is there some sort of E-Curse? Probably the only one who hasn't thought that so far is Wade Elliott who has been a virtual ever present this season so far.
I suspect though the others will have to be patient but that their time will come. It will certainly be good to get these compensation claims off our back, at least then Clarets fans will be able to take that potential effect out of the equation.
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