Date:Thursday April 8 2010
A few weeks ago the Sun sensationally announced that Brian Laws was about to be sacked and a furious Board denounced the speculation as rubbish.
A club statement from Barry Kilby on the club website read:
'Ths is a ludicrous, irresponsible, damaging and inaccurate piece of journalism.
'We are not in the process of looking for a replacement for Brian and everyone involved with Burnley Football Club is putting every ounce of effort into staying in the Premier League.'
The article from the online website was promptly removed and the lazy journalism was completely discredited.
Since that time though the Clarets have suffered three more defeats. The team put in a creditable performance away to Wigan but lost 1-0 to a last minute goal in added time. Their next two games, both at home though were woeful with the team looking demoralised and clueless. They lost a high-profile derby against Blackburn Rovers and were then thumped 6-1 by Manchester City as the storm clouds gathered in more ways than one. Some of the fans were also now booing the manager and the atmosphere at Turf Moor is far from a happy one at the moment despite the best efforts of a large number of fans to raise spirits through humour and song.
These latest results mean that Brian Laws has now won only one game and drawn one since arriving in January losing twelve matches with no win since we beat West Ham at Turf Moor on the 6th February. The bad form has seen the Clarets plummet to second from bottom and although survival is still possible it will need significant improvements in team confidence, quality and determination in the remaining five games to avoid the drop.
Perhaps more worrying is the persistent rumours that Brian Laws may have lost the dressing room and that he has allegedly fallen out with a number of players.
One such player, Kevin McDonald has recently been fined a whole weeks wages(believed to be £5000) for breaching club discipline after leaving Turf Moor at half-time during the Manchester City match. He had been subbed in the dressing room with the Clarets already 5-0 down after 45 minutes. Instead of rejoining his team-mates for the second half, after showering he headed down to the KSC 110 club to meet up with his father and a number of kilted Carnoustie Clarets who had made the journey down from Scotland to watch the game. I was actually speaking to his father in the KSC 110 club before the game and it was the intention for his son to join them AFTER the game not at half-time. Clearly Kev's actions were stupid and he has apologised profusely via a club statement and the matter is now closed as far as the club are concerned.
The incident though does however leave a bitter taste in the mouth and does add to the general feeling that all is not well at the club. There have also been alleged accusations that Brian Laws may also have had arguments with Joey Gudjonsson, Andre Bikey and Robbie Blake although the first one was strongly denied by Laws.
With that backdrop of poor results and bad news, rumours and speculation emanating from the club it is perhaps not surprising that another newspaper today has suggested that Brian Laws days at Turf Moor may be numbered.
The Daily Mail this time is the paper stirring the speculation. An online article by Simon Jones says:
'It is understood the club hierarchy believes the appointment has not worked and that it would be best to make a change now rather than let it drift into the summer and what is likely to be a new season back in the Championship'
Burnley were quick to act last time to scotch such speculation and it will be interesting to see whether another Club Statement is issued this morning condemning yet another piece of journalism.
The sooner the club make such statements the better and although we live in a cynical world, another positive endorsement of the manager may well be in order even if some will be bound to see the Chairman's Vote of Confidence as the'kiss of death'
The general feeling fuelled by the rumours and speculation that all is not well at the club, especially the alleged arguments between manager and players is of course causing great concern amongst fans and perhaps suitable statements from the club could allay those fears.
All is not lost yet and we have a crucial six pointer of a game against fellow strugglers Hull City at the KC Stadium coming up next this Saturday with another four games after that.
Brian Laws was at Accrington Stanley's Crown Ground last night to watch Burnley reserves play earn a point in a 3-3 draw against Bolton. He is clearly intent on preparing his first team for Saturday's crucial match against Hull.
Clarets fans are looking for some comfort that the team is fully focussed on this match and will be playing their hearts out to win. A good show on Saturday win,draw or lose would at least go someway to placating some of the fans anger about the current managerial situation and recent team performances.
Please note the Editorial comments and opinions on this site are the personal views of the Editor and should not be construed in anyway to be representative of those of other Clarets organisations of which he belongs eg Clarets Trust
Date:Thursday April 8 2010
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