Crisis? What Striker Crisis?
Rumours had been rife all week that striker, Charlie Austin, signed from Swindon in the January window, had been injured in training on Monday night.
Austin seems to be prone to shoulder problems and he missed out playing for Swindon earlier in the season due to a shoulder injury. The Turf Moor Clarets fans rumour mill was in full swing this week suggesting that this time he had disclocated his shoulder and could miss the rest of the season!
Eddie Howe remained silent on the subject all week obviously not wanting to give Crystal Palace, our opponents yesterday at Turf Moor any tactical advantage.
The writing though was maybe on the wall when it was announced on Thursday that Burnley were in the market to bring in an emergency loan striker.
Clarets fans though accepted this could still be simply down to the fact that we had now lost Steven Thompson as well as Martin Paterson. Pato looks to be out for the rest of the season following a recurrence of his thigh injury a few weeks back. Steven Thompson had also bravely carried on nursing an infected groin for the last few months but underwent surgery this week to fix the problem. He too could now be out for the rest of the season whilst he recovers from the operation.
It was also known that young striker, Wes Fletcher was unavilable too due to an ankle problem.
But that still left Chris Iwelumo, Charlie Austin and Jay Rodriguez so were we really that desperate to bring in a new loan striker? Well now we know why after the Official Site announced that Charlie Austin had indeed disclocated his shoulder and would now be sidelined until next season.
Clarets fans at the Palace game yesterday had kind of feared the worst with Austin not present in the eighteen and our fears were confirmed when Radio Lancs broke the news coming back from the game.
Earlier in the week, Eddie Howe obviously knowing the state of play regarding Austin said:
'The loan market is an option. We`re having a look,
"We want to bring the right one in, which is a challenge in itself.
'At this stage of the season there are not usually many available.
"Any that are have gone out by now, but we are keeping an ear to the ground and we will see what we find."
It is crucial of course to have enough striker cover if we are to realise our dreams of a play-offs spot and promotion this season.
Chris Iwelumo seems to be blowing hot and cold these days. You just sense he is not comfortable with our style of play. The Big Scot is probably more suited to the long-ball style of play and our passing game and slow build-up under Howe just doesn't seem to work for him. Eddie Howe has probably already sussed that out since Iwelumo was earmarked for a move in the January window with Preston in particular closely linked with him before they realised they could not afford him.
Probably just as well, he stayed at Turf Moor because had he gone at the moment we would just have one recognised striker left in Jay Rodriguez.
Jay has come on leaps and bounds this season and only yesterday in the game against Palace scored a wonder goal from distance to give the Clarets a 1-0 win.
It would be folly though just to rely on Jay for the rest of the season and the more you look at it, we do indeed need more cover up front. Another injury in the striking department to either Iwelumo or Rodriguez or even a suspension could have dire consequences on our promotion push.
Let's hope Howe can find a hot shot striker on loan. Got any thoughts who might be available or suitable? Comment below the article