Burnley - Case for the Defence-Howe on Eagles and Mears
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Case for the Defence-Howe on Eagles and Mears

Eddie Howe was interviewed by Daz Bentley after the Torquay victory in what was described as a bitter-sweet day.

By that of course Daz was suggesting the 3-1 win over Torquay at Plainmoor went someway to softening the blow following the earlier grim news before kick-off that Eagles and Mears would be allowed to speak to Owen Coyle's Bolton with the two clubs having agreed 3 million for both players.

Poor Eddie therefore after the game had to put a brave face on things to try and justify the loss and indicate what he would try and do with the extra dosh heading his way.

Probably the most telling statement was his opening remark on Clarets Player which curiously seems to have been removed from the article on the Official website.

'Always disappointing to lose your BEST players, he said indicating that both were excellent for the club last season.

Clarets fans will also remember a previous statement from Eddie that he intended to build his squad around his best players so the loss of Eagles and Mears should be viewed in that context in my opinion.

Howe continued:

'It will be really sad if both lads go.

'The difficulty there was the length of their contracts. They only had a year left and would have both left for nothing next summer, so I think from the club's point of view 3 million is a lot of money and hopefully it's money that we can use to bring in replacements.'

'We always had this in the back of our minds with Chris and Ty, because of their contract situation, so it's not absolutely unexpected. But we hadn't heard anything previously and it happened very quickly yesterday. That's football for you. It throws up unexpected twists and turns and we are going to have to react now.'

'If the lads had three years left on their contracts the fee would be very different, but that's the reality of football. We have tried to make both stay, but they want to play Premier League football and that lure is too great.

'We'll just have to wait and see what happens at the end of the day because at this point only the fee has been agreed, but we would be sorry to let them go. It's a difficult one because you want to build a team capable of winning promotion, but at the same time there is the money to think about.'

'We are obviously light now on numbers and we need to bring in some quality,' Howe added. 'The key thing is not to panic and the big challenge now, for us, is to identify the right players.

'It does change who we need to look at because we had targets identified before Tyrone and Chris, so we might have to re-think slightly.'

All Clarets fans whether happy or not with the situation at the club will at least be hoping that these extra replacement targets, indeed all targets will soon be on board with just two weeks left before the new season kicks-off.

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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday July 24 2011

Time: 1:24PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Interesting that Howe says that it all happened very quickly yesterday (Friday) and yet on Saturday morning following a Daily Mail article, Daz was advising Clarets on Twitter that we should all chill and not believe everything we read in the papers?
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24/07/2011 13:31:00

Yes, a strange one this, but after hearing the news I had a look at a work colleague's 'Sun' only to see the statement that 'Burnley and Bolton have agreed a 3 million fee for Mears and Eagles' ! Bad news that we've lost them, but what can you do if they want to go? The Scotsman who's an Irishman knew damn well of their desire for premiership football, and once he dangled the carrot there was only one outcome really. Th a******e doesn't know when to stop with regards to damaging this club. I no longer find myself hoping that this will be Eagle's first consistent season, carry on as you have been mate. So, moving on, let's hope Eddie finds the right replacements, and someone who can do it in every game ,not just a few.
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24/07/2011 14:06:00

I don't really disagree with any of that WC,what I find hard to believe is that we were not planning for this with Howe only now saying he has had to change his target policy to replace them?
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24/07/2011 14:14:00

're-think slightly' were Eddie's words, so i think he has indicated it was in their minds. The issue has come up late of course, but even though I truly hate the b*st*rd, I think it's bizarre to consider that Coyle planned it this way. With his one-track personal success agenda (that went so well for Bolton last year, eh?) he is out for bargains that will fulfil his objectives. Sad to say, I don't think either of these players have given a hint that they are the two who can do it for him.
Mike Mada
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24/07/2011 14:21:00

Slightly seems somewhat of an understatement though considering we now have to find a new right back unless they take up the cheapo option of cutting Eckersley's loan spell in Canada short? I always thought though they thought Eagles would be off when we kept being linked with wingers, most noticeably Keith Treacy
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24/07/2011 14:25:00

When Ferguson, Wegner, Mourinho etc have also lost their best players in recent years, it shows us that it's just the way football works. Players come, players go, we have to judge what happens on the pitch and unless I'm very much mistaken, we haven't played a game in the league yet? Plenty of time to see how the season is taking shape before we decide if we're miserable or not. It shows to me though the importance of balancing the books, you can't gamble then find your best players (or manager) have let you down. e.g. if Coyle had left after we had lost at Wembley the club would have been sinking fast. You need to be solid financially. Eagles and Mears had to go.
Report Abuse
24/07/2011 15:19:00

'The way football seems to work' is different to the way that Burnley seems to think it should work. They seem to be on a moral crusade to prove they are frugal with money and wont make the same mistakes as all the other clubs that go into debt /administration laughing in the face of Southampton (who get Cork), Pompey (who might get Pato), Hull (who finished just 3 points behind the Clarets) and Leeds (who finished above us). This is fine if you want to watch second-class football all the time being unable to compete with those that dare and win but I stress football is an 'entertainment business' something which most other clubs in the Prem/Champs have realised and have speculated to accumulate. We on the other hand would appear to be unique and worse off than any other club on the planet if you listen to some fans so we couldn't possibly spend more than we earn! Of course if you suggest we do,its all doom and gloom about going into administration and nobody possibly wanting to save us! And they call me negative?
Report Abuse
24/07/2011 15:46:00

Dear phil Leeds southhampton. Hull Leicieter Portsmouth are living on borrowed time as soon as the overated players they have spent to much money on plus their wages & no alleigiance to the club. things will go t---- up for them
Albmaleaf claret
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24/07/2011 15:57:00

Yeah but at least their fans will have enjoyed the ride, may well have seen their clubs in the Prem making even more money and even picked up the odd trophy or two.We can speculate till we are blue in the face but the reality is barring a miracle if we don't follow suit we will not get anywhere and are more likely to get relegated'
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24/07/2011 16:14:00

Football entertainment PL star acts I give you....Stoke, Bolton, Blackburn, Wolves, Fulham, Birmingham and WHU last season. May I say Holloways lot were entertaining! However a lot of clubs just play to survive once the lure of cash overtakes every entertainment factor.
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24/07/2011 16:52:00

All of which of course will be ideally placed to go straight back up should they be relegated except Blackpool of course who spent bugger all and came straight back down like Burnley! I don't care if we play to survive in the Prem for a couple of seasons or so. At least it will kill this pleading poverty/small town 'ickle Burnley bollox once and for all and we can then motor on and consolidate in the Prem rather than become laughing stocks in the Champs
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24/07/2011 18:20:00

tmp-is it part of the editors job to answer every posting? It does mean that your views get a disproportionate amount of airplay-its not as though you are making a different point each time! Not a criticism it just makes the thread come over a bit one sided and the poll certainly doesnt reflect that side
Report Abuse
24/07/2011 20:03:00

Best 3 crosses you remember by Eagles? Best 3 tackles you remember by Mears? Quick!
Couch Potato
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24/07/2011 20:04:00

"They seem to be on a moral crusade to prove they are frugal with money and wont make the same mistakes as all the other clubs that go into debt /administration" You know what - it was one of the things I was the most proud of when we had our time in the spotlight, that we were not going all stupid and wasting money with the potential to ruin others lives by going into administration. If that is the ONLY way we can survive, then truly that 'ambition' to stay alive as a football club is a greater goal than the impacts on lives that indiscriminate spending causes. I know, I know that there is ever so fine a line between spend and not spend and I, for one, am the most grateful that we have Barry Kilby and the rest of the board to do their best to satisfy every side. Honorable and resistant to waste - I think so. So many clubs are but a News International collapse from financial ruin, so where might last week's news leave them? Unfortunate (though they are replaceable) losses they might be, these two icons(?), but we can and will do better in our circumstances. Now, give us a vindaloo and chips and let's see just what next week brings.
Mike Mada
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24/07/2011 20:31:00

There is no different point to make on either side of the fence BC, you either support what the Board is doing or you don't and either way try to say why you think that way! As for being disproportionate, I am just one of 50 posters who have contributed to this debate or any debate this month and anybody registered on this site is allowed to post what they want and as many times as they want!
Report Abuse
24/07/2011 21:27:00

By the way, the poll has only been voted on so far by about 20 people, 40% of whom approx have not registered a ringing endosement of the Board so far! Had you asked the same question at the time we were promoted, the overwealming majority would have voted for the Board which just shows trend wise how much they have failed the fans since then! We do have to wait for more votes though before we can decide if its statistically significant, I grant you that!
Report Abuse
24/07/2011 21:33:00

Pride before the fall Mike!!
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24/07/2011 21:36:00

Maybe Ed and the board are not so daft. I've been for a drive and had a think. There is another probable reason why we have yet to spend. The stay/go situation with this pair would have had a big impact on any decisions about who to buy. If we had been building a team around these two we would have been in some serious s**t. We now have some extra dosh and are working with reliable expectations as to who will rurn out on day 1. i.e. there are no hidden pitfalls - we have cash and we know what we need. As for "bottom feeding" - it's paid off in the past, we just need to have the right people searching.
Report Abuse
24/07/2011 22:57:00

"We now have some extra dosh"? Do you think 3million is going to buy us the quality players we need? Don't you think we should already have money to spend?? Reading the comments from EH regarding this issue he seems to think his targets need to be changed from existing ones which would imply they didn't see it coming... I think EH has known for a while who he has needed in his team but he has unfortunately not been allowed to spend, I don't know why they appointed him if they just want to make all the decisions regarding our squad.
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25/07/2011 00:59:00

Who says we are only looking to spend 3M? Did we not make bids for Cork and Shackell before the Eagles /Mears cash became available? I think Howe was always aware that these 2 could leave with their contract situations but its difficult to make plans untill an offer comes in , the timing is crap but thats down to Owen Coyle , love him or hate , he aint daft ! The club have been trying to get these 2 tied to longer contracts for a while but as water torture is illegal , not much more can be done !
Bernie Lee
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25/07/2011 02:40:00

The three million is on top. There has to be some existing stuff and there has been more than enough speculating on that. If EH has been waiting to see what was likely to happen to 2 key players he must have replacements in mind. If he moves quickly now this is settled I'd have to say his planning is better than I originally thought. I give him the benefit of the doubt if he comes up with something worthwile in the next few days.
Report Abuse
25/07/2011 05:16:00

Is it possible that EH was unaware that two and maybe more of his best players would be sold if offers were made. If so, the Board have all but destroyed his plans at a crucial time. Again, if so, will he stay with a club that keeps him in the dark and could he be gone within the year. If he was aware, is he then part of the Board's plan not to tell the fans anything unpalatable in case it affects ticket sales. My guess is that he did not know and therefore I now do not see him as a long term manager at BFC.
Report Abuse
25/07/2011 07:57:00

He must have known that there was a question mark over those two. If he didn't - then how come we did. More important - if he's half as good as we were expected to believe he should have plans in place. I can't see him getting away with claiming what we have left is up to the job. Let's see how the next few days pan out.
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25/07/2011 08:02:00

I remember in my junior football days in 1976 playing with Gary Stevens, week in week out no matter who the opposition was he would play with the same passion & quality, some teams had to put 2 - 3 players to mark him with very little effect he was that good, the point i am makeing he came with the same attitude each week he wanted to play well for the team. the two players that have laft for bolton Chris Eagles & Tyrone mears Wanted to leave burnley long ago, Gary stevens would play well and give everything to whatever team , whatever conditions, wheither playing a top team or the lowest of lo. Thats why he went on to play for England & keep his position for years.Players today think they are better than they are and their agents & stupid wages are destroying football
Albmaleaf claret
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25/07/2011 08:31:00

Well put AC. The Prima Donna factor is how I'd describe it but thats pretty much the same thing.
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25/07/2011 08:43:00

In support of AlbC's and AH's thoughts, I note that no-one has yet responded to my earlier post: "Best 3 crosses you remember by Eagles? Best 3 tackles you remember by Mears? Quick!" Anyone managed to cobble together a slow answer? Meanwhile I note from the assessment of the current poll on this site that 8 people are divided amongst themselves as to which of two unclear courses of action they would like the Board to follow. I noted other small pockets of dissatisfaction amongst the 390 at Plainmoor, but would confess that my sampling was only of comparable size to this site's poll, but add that I only heard two in that group of about 20 express strong negative opinions, and they'd pretty much gone quiet 20 minutes into the game. The range of views about Mears and Eagles pretty much mirrored those expressed on here once the news had been absorbed. Rocky was in good voice and Dave Burnley was also present. The team and manager were given warm support at the end. Of two fans at the train station afterwards, one was a deep and thoughtful admirer of Barry Kilby. The other perhaps a bit less so, but not in favour of Brendan Flood becoming Chairman, for reasons that I could not get him to clarify in the time available nefore his train left.
Couch Potato
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25/07/2011 09:42:00

I bet Owen Coyle can remember CP otherwise he wouldn't be poaching them. My feeling is that a lot of folk are probably frustrated (some more angry than others) by the Eagles/Mears issue and the Cork failure plus lack of signings, but are biding their time until 6th August before passing final judgement. In other words the Board probably have 2 weeks to get back the fans support by ensuring they give Howe enough money to find the replacements and add the other 2-3 quality players he said he needed before Eagles/Mears departed! That is if he can do that in such short time although at least we do have till end August if we cant get them all sorted by Watford game
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25/07/2011 10:51:00

"Pride before the fall Mike!!" Oh dear, resorting to one-line snipes now eh - still 62% - ha!
Mike Mada
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25/07/2011 10:52:00

It would also certainly be hilarious if for some reason neither Eagles nor Mears could agree personall terms with Notlob? What the hell do we then? They would come back to us and we would have to shift them presumably just to prevent a certain element of fans making their life a misery at the games
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25/07/2011 10:54:00

You just can't win,one tells me I am posting too much and another tells me I am resorting to one-liners!! lol I stress again only about 25 folk now have voted in the poll so far but as a trend 38% is still a huge number of get-rids/last chancers. There is definitely a seed change going on if you trawl the various Clarets forums, folk are not happy but whether they turn that anger into 'Kilby Out' chants or summat remains to be seen. I have heard some rumours of a protest but not sure if there is any truth in it and for the record it is not something I would condone or support
Report Abuse
25/07/2011 11:01:00

As regards TMP's "Hillarious Situation" - that is not funny. They want to go so I'm well and trully in the take the money and run camp. They seem to have made their thoughts clear. Whether anyone can blame them is another matter though.
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25/07/2011 11:43:00

I have no qualms about them going since we have been over a barrel about that. I do think though the club could have tried to get more money for them or tell Judas to feck off and see if any other clubs came in for them. QPR&Swans were reported to be interested in Eagles and may have paid more. The biggest complaint I have about the move is that it seems to have caught the club & Howe cold to the extent we are now having to change our target strategy so late in the day
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25/07/2011 11:58:00

To be fair , the club were still trying to get them to sign new deals , its obvious Coyle being close to these two will have been updated by the players and he knew coming in so late , will have us over a barrell ! Soon as Coyle came in , it must have obvious to the club that they were going sgn new contracts with us now , choices will be to barter and so late in the day our position is weakend , sell in the Jan window and the price is reduced or let them walk to Bolton for free next summer if we dont get promoted , although i'd have liked them to stay , I think the best choice of the evil's available !
Bernie Lee
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25/07/2011 12:09:00

To be fair , the club were still trying to get them to sign new deals ,and its obvious Coyle being so close to these two he will have been updated by the players and he knew coming in so late , will have had us over a barrell ! Soon as Coyle came in , it must have been obvious to the club that they were not going sign new contracts with us now , choices will be to barter and so late in the day our position is weakend , sell in the Jan window and the price is reduced or let them walk to Bolton for free next summer if we dont get promoted , although i'd have liked them to stay , I think the club made the best choice of the evil's available ! *corrected spelling mistakes, busy rushing*
Bernie Lee
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25/07/2011 12:12:00

As a contingency though with Eckersley our only option really unless you fancy Edgar/Duff at R/B should we not have been looking for a right back to replace Mears? Sounds like it wasn't even being looked at. Winger maybe re Treacy links etc
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25/07/2011 12:13:00

The key time for reflection will be in two weeks when we can see what they have brought in. Daz Bentley's assertion is the camp is still optmistic may be on the naive side. Given our lack of transfer deals to date, our inability to keep our more creative players and the type of players being touted as targets, all worry me greatly. I suspect the Board are tightening belts (again) and there is little ambition to make a serious go for promotion. Lets see who they sign
Eyresy's Left Peg
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25/07/2011 12:18:00

As nobody had come in for either of them , the club will have hoped they were staying , but I think we have been linked with 1 or 2 RBs , Smith at Spurs was mentioned late May early June but if I recall , Mears stated that that was going to see his contract out , likely because he was hoping Coyle would be taking him on a free in 12 month ?
Bernie Lee
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25/07/2011 12:21:00

What would really be hilarious is Burnley promoted and Notlob relegated.
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25/07/2011 12:32:00

I don't think that the assertion that the club have been 'caught cold' stands up. I would support the view that they were hoping M&E would sign; and for a long time no offers came in, but nor did they sign. I'd expect that during this time Bfc had a contingency plan ready, which they are now putting into effect... and honestly admitting that having to do so late on is not ideal. Having 'the Board go now' would just put all such work to build the squad completely on ice. Also, I don't think a Board is allowed under law to resign en masse. So I am not sure what the top option on our poll actually means, or indeed either of the other two. (So I haven't voted.) And what would in effect have to happen before the Board could resign would be putting the club up for sale, which I would suggest might well undermine morale throughout the organisation. Is it being undermined now? I can't say I agree with ELP's view that DB's assertion that the camp remains optimistic 'may be on the naive side'. Obviously DB would say what he said, because he'd be out of a job otherwise, and saying otherwise would upset players. But I was watching players' body language hard at Plainmoor before/during/after the game; and I couldn't see any signs of much except working hard, egging each other on, and acknowledging crowd support. So, on the basis of hard evidence available (i.e. none) you might just as well argue that mass rejoicing broke out as say that they were all about to run over the lovely Babbacombe cliffs near the Torquay ground. In practice, I suspect they would rather M&E stayed, which I would too, but are professional in their approach and accepting that stuff happens. Meanwhile, still no-one on here can remember an Eagles cross or Mears tackle. Come on, let's be 'avin yer!
Couch Potato
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25/07/2011 13:05:00

And another thing!!! The payers turned in a lacklustre performance a few days before the news broke; and the Burnley Express today shares my earlier reports of a bright and spirited performance afterwards!
Couch Potato
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25/07/2011 14:39:00

An Eagles cross for Wade to head home at Pride Park maybe CP! On the bright side of Eagles leaving, it puts Wade back on the wing ( hopefully) from which position he could well be able to provide a number of the crosses you do mention.
Report Abuse
25/07/2011 17:15:00

Chris Eagles and Tyrone Mears have agreed personal terms with Bolton by all accounts! No surprise there..and no surprise that at 5:45 pm on a Monday we have still not made a signing despite the hype :-(
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25/07/2011 17:39:00

Yes, it does sound as though JE-T is to become a Tractor Boy. Pity.
Couch Potato
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25/07/2011 18:28:00

I can remember Eagles crossing for Wallace to score against Watford at the Turf Couch, and if I remember correctly he crossed a cracker for Elliot to head home against Derby away, where we won 4-2. But the best one was when he came on as a sub and crossed a belter for J Rod to score against Preston ??
Report Abuse
26/07/2011 00:05:00

Think I might look through the Match Report Archive and see how many times Eagles & Mears have been our Star Players (Man of Match).Watch this space!!
Report Abuse
26/07/2011 11:57:00

eddie howe is red and black blood he doesnt give a ***** about a northen team when he takes u down he be gone haha burnley
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29/07/2011 21:50:00


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