Date:Saturday May 28 2011
Our striker, Jay Rodriguez had been named in Stuart Pearce's provisional 40-man squad for this summer's European Under-21 Championships in Denmark but news this week broke that he had failed to be selected for the final squad.
It was perhaps surprising that one striker who was selected was our former loan player, Nathan Delfouneso considering his lack of goals during his stay at Turf Moor. The Fonz just managed one goal at Championship level scoring on his debut away to Hull City back in March before moving back to Aston Villa just before our last game of the season.
I suppose being a Premier League player gives you an advantage and I guess we just never saw the best from Delboy at our level.
Nevertheless Jay Rod was far more prolific during the time Delfouneso was given his chance to shine for the Clarets.
Another former Claret, midfielder Jack Cork also made the cut. There is something distinctly wrong now in referring to Cork as 'former' with the player now back at his parent club, Chelsea following his loan spell at Turf Moor. Many Clarets fans believe he should have been snapped up on a permanent deal yonks ago and are just sweating and praying now that something can be sorted out in the summer.
Jay Rodriguez though must have been disappointed that he would not be joining his former team mates in Denmark.
Eddie Howe tried to soften the blow this week saying:
'I would imagine Jay would be slightly disappointed to miss out but looking at the bigger picture he's had a fantastic season,
'It would have been a fantastic experience but he's had a taste of it in a magnificent season.
'If you had said to him at the start of the season what would happen he would have definitely taken that. And it's a motivation for him to keep going and try to experience more. I am sure the disappointment won't affect him for too long.
'It was a fantastic achievement to make the initial 40-man squad alone with the quality in there. England have a huge pool of talent to pick from.
'Unfortunately he has missed out but there is no need to be disappointed.'
If Jay was disappointed, he was hiding it well telling the club's Official Site:
'I never expected anything anyway,' he told the club's official website,
'There are some great players in there, every single one of them and good luck to them in the tournament.
'It was nice to be talked about (by England). I never expected it. It was just a bonus really so I wasn't too disappointed. It's just one of those things.
'I'll probably have a rest now, keep ticking over and then nearer the time get myself back fit. I always look to improve myself which I need to do in several areas.
'I always try and aim higher. I'm looking forward to coming back and hopefully it will be a good season.'
The 21 year old certainly has had a great season for the Clarets and finished our joint top scorer with 15 goals picking up many Player of the Year awards in the process and sharing the Golden Boot with Chris Eagles.
Success for any Clarets player though brings attention from unwelcome sources these days and this week that unwelcome source appeared to be QPR, newly promoted to the Premier League after finishing top of the Championship table.
It would seem that Neil Warnock could be interested in bringing Jay Rodriguez to Loftus Road in the summer. Warnock has a reputation for mopping up all the talent in the strikers department and it looks like Jay Rod could be one of many forwards on his radar as he prepares for life in the top flight.
The QPR gaffer has also just been shunned by Watford after attempting a £2.5million offer for 24-goal Championship top scorer Danny Graham. He is clearly in the market then for strikers as usual and is known to be a fan of Rodriguez once describing him as a "super player".
Eddie Howe though looks prepared to dig his heels in and keep the sharks at bay. He told the club's official site this week:
'We're not open to any offers for Jay, and we won't encourage any either,
'He's had a fantastic season and he's a big part of our plans. I've not heard anything from QPR, but if I did, they would be told to go away in no uncertain terms.'
Rodriguez signed a new deal in March, which will run to the summer of 2013
Date:Saturday May 28 2011
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