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That Was The Clarets Week That Was!

It has been another busy week for the Clarets this week with pre-season preparations now well underway. The lads returned to training at Gawthorpe on Thursday hoping to shake off the cobwebs after a well-earned rest and holiday.

There are were no new faces though in the squad and the flurry of new signings by the end of June that Howe hinted might happen,never did.

The good news though was that two of our squad members offered new contracts finally agreed deals.

The one that gave Clarets fans most relief of course was the news that Chris McCann had finally put pen to paper and had agreed a new two year deal finally ending speculation that he might have been making the short journey to the Reebok. Owen Coyle had thought to have been sniffing around trying to lure the midfielder to Bolton but it looks like the 'Bolton legend' has been thwarted. Bolton though have made their first signing of the summer after the Swansea midfielder Darren Pratley agreed a four-year deal. Pratley was signed after McCann's deal this week so maybe Coyle was hanging fire waiting to see what happened on the McCann front.

There was no doubt in McCann's mind though who he was going to sign for. This week he said about his new deal:

"A couple of things needed ironing out. People might have said 'he is holding out to do something different` but there was never any real doubt about what I wanted to do or where I wanted to be, so it was just a case of finding happy ground for the two (parties) to get it signed.

"I said before I went away (at the end of last season) that I wanted it done before I came back and I just about got there.

"I don`t think contracts these days are quick things.

'There are lots of things to be sorted out within the contract.

'I think the club wanted to get a good deal for themselves and I wanted to get a good deal for myself and I think we`ve both come to a stage where I think we are both happy.

"I`m happy staying here at the club I`ve basically grown up playing for."

Well done, Chris and thanks so much for your loyalty to the club such a rare thing these days.

The other good news concerns our young striker, Alex MacDonald who also signed a new contract this week.

Sky Sports broke the news earlier last month that MacDonald had signed a new one-year contract but there had been no official announcement by the club until this week.

The 21-year-old Scotland Under 21 international forward though only penned a 12-month contract on Thursday this week so Sky Sports were somewhat previous in their assumptions.

"I`m looking forward to this year and hopefully it will be the year to get back in amongst the first team, which is something I`m looking to do," said MacDonald.

"I had a taste of it when I was younger here and that`s something I want back, especially at this football club. This is where I wanted to be.

"The manager has shown that he is going to give the young lads a chance so hopefully this will be the year for me."

MacDonald first broke into the side in 2008, but then found opportunities in the first team limited after the Clarets won promotion to the Premier League. Loan spells followed, but it looks like Eddie Howe might now be preparing to give young Alex a chance in the first team squad.

There has been plenty of speculation this week about players who could be coming to the club or indeed leaving but nothing has come to fruition either way.

The Clarets are now one of just six clubs in the Championship yet to make a new signing. The anxiety of Clarets fans might therefore also be being felt at the moment by fans supporting Coventry, Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest, Reading and Southampton. Let's hope if Southampton do make any signings, that one of them will not be Jack Cork! Some media reports suggest the Saints are now favourites to sign our former loan star and if that happened it would speak volumes about the current strategy regarding financial frugality and ambition at Burnley FC.

18 clubs in the Championship have now brought in at least one new face during the summer. Derby lead the way with 7 new signings closely followed by Barnsley with 6 new faces. Relegated Brum have signed 4 and Bristol City. Hull, Ipswich, Leicester and Millwall 3 each.

Come on Burnley, time for some action before we miss the boat and our targets (assuming we have any) are snapped up.

We were linked with one new player this week although the chances of signing him in the summer look slim if the rumours are true.

Derry City winger James McClean is reported to be attracting the interest of a number of Championship clubs including Burnley, Reading and Blackpool.

Stephen Kenny though, the Derry manager may have other ideas and if a deal is struck this might not be until October time

"It wouldn`t make much sense for us to sell the player midway through the season when we`re still in contention for Europe," said McClean recently

"And no team has ever won the title the year after they were first division champions and we`re still in contention to do that so I would have thought if we`re going to sell a player it would be in October rather than July."

The 22 year old also appears to be attracting the attention of newly relegated West Ham and it is reported that the Northern Ireland club may already have rejected an initial offer of 400,000 by the Hammers. Blackpool too may also have had a bid turned down.

There was also one scare this week with rumours floating about that Pompey gaffer, Steve Cotterill was keen to sign Martin Paterson. It would appear Burnley have rebuffed two bids from the Clarets former boss who is understood to want to bring the 24-year-old to Fratton Park for a fee of around 1.5-million.

It was also mooted that David Nugent coming the other way could form part of a deal.

Pato still has two years remaining on his contract and Howe would be loathe to lose one of his strike force indeed any of the current squad:

'We haven`t received any bids, but I`m not surprised there`s interest in our players, said Howe this week.

"No contact has been made about those players, and we won`t be encouraging any bids either.

"We want to keep all our best players that`s for certain.

"We want to be competitive next year and fighting at the top end of the table and we`ll need our best players to do that."

So a busy week indeed despite no new players coming in. At least though we have also ensured no key players have left the club

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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday July 2 2011

Time: 9:14AM

Your Comments

Wes Fletcher still not signed a new deal yet. Wonder what's going on there?
turfmanphil
Tmp, have you got stats, to sit alongside how many players each Cship team has signed, on how many each has lost? Also, anyone got any views about how many of the 13 signed by Derby and Barnsley would have got a regular start on the Turf? And finally, anyone got any vaguely reliable numbers on each of the Cship clubs' total current wage bills? Okay, and another finally - :-) - how many of these stats need to be factored in to measuring frugality and ambition?
Couch Potato
Well one of Derby's signings was Shackell who looked a class player and was linked with interest from Burnley. Don't try and complicate things CP, the simple answer is this either Burnley is the least competitive in the Championship so far or poor 'ickle Burnley is a small town club and every other club will always do better. Time to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and try something more ambitious unless we want to remain small' ickle Burnley forever! Gates of 20,000 in the Prem would be a start but to do that we have to compete with 23 other clubs and once and if we go up, stop pfaffing about, spend some money and try and reap the greater rewards and ditch this small-town mentality forever
turfmanphil
I don't have to try to complicate things! They are complicated enough without me. Where would you rank Shackell compared to Bikey? How many better games have you seen him play than Edgar's against Cardiff (who it should be remembered was wanted by Wembley winners Swansea)? And how would you rank any other of Barnsley's and Derby's players? Anyway, the comparison with Derby is certainly interesting. Much bigger place, but so what? Managed to have more managers on their books at some recent point than any of my Derby relatives could count on one hand. Pathetic display when last in PL. Badly tarnished the reputation of Paul Jewell when they went down. And, if I remember correctly, couldn't even mange to hold on to thier owner, who stuck around for about a year and went back to 'ull. If they are to be objects of envy and benchmarks of ambition, heaven help us. I have to listen to my relatives moan endlessly about how hopelesslly useless they are, and - believe me - the mood has not changed there yet.
Couch Potato
18 clubs have got their man/men and may still get more. Do we debate the merits of each one or do we just accept one simple fact. Burnley have no new faces and are now at a competitive disadvantage with the other clubs new players now training with their new colleagues and getting to know them ahead of the new season? We only need six to be better than us and another parachute payment tranche runs out with 2013 beckoning
turfmanphil
Why on earth would we want to even begin to entertain the idea that we are at a competitive disadvantage to any other Championship club? Anyone been keping track of the shambles going on at, say, Cardiff or Birmigham? But I do accept, tmp, that at least since the Romans melancholia has been an okay place to be. Just not in it myself at the moment. :-)
Couch Potato
We are at a competitive disadvantage because we know the current squad is by no means good enough to get promotion and indeed our best player last season, Jack Cork could be missing come the start of 2011-12 if administration-recovered Southampton get their way! I am prepared to wait of course until August but already we are at a disdvantage because we have started training and every day that goes by now is one less day for a new player to familiarise himself with his new team before the season kicks-off
turfmanphil
I assume the flurry of activity meant that EH thought there would be news of signings of new players he wanted. No news could mean that negotiations are continuing, I hope so. New players need to be training with the squad, if nothing happens by next weekend I fear the worst. Also what is happening about the players EH does not want? does nobody want them even on a free if only to lighten the wage bill.
cornwallclaret
No news of players coming in might be we need to off load a number of players from the present squad, you only need to read and listen to BK and EH to know we need to cut the squad down and get rid of some of the expensive cockups over the last two years.
Fedupclaret
The only good news so far,is that we seem to be holding onto the players who are key to our success-Eagles, Pato, McCann, Mears. If only we could at least add Cork. Even then, we still know we will have deficiiencies (especially back four) and a relative small squad unless we dig deeper and see some new faces of the right quality coming in
turfmanphil
Can we afford to keep Bikey, Edgar, Carlisle, Duff and Cort and then bring in someone better than them, whilst retaining a happy squad? tmp wants the right quality, not sure Shackell going to Derby is a sign he is a class player either. West Ham getting Nolan thats class imo.
VinRogue
Well when we came down we certainly didn't show any class!!
turfmanphil
 

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