That Was The Clarets Week That Was!
Another busy week for the Clarets with right back, Keiran Trippier arriving on a season-long loan from Manchester City on Tuesday and then making his debut for Burnley in the midweek friendly at Oldham the same night. It was confirmed that Mears and Eagles had finally signed for Bolton and that Andre Bikey would now be known as Andre Amougou! We also now have a confirmed new captain with Chris McCann taking over the role and we also know the squad numbers for the 2011-12 season. There was some good news too for Alex MacDonald and Martin Paterson who have both been honoured by their countries after being called-up for International duty.
We report on some of these stories below in case you didn`t pick them up from the online world of all things Claret!
Captain Chris McCann
As widely expected Chris McCann will captain the side this season. Although there is still no official announcement on the club website, the club`s match report after the Sunderland friendly clearly states that McCann will be club captain. This comes as no surprise considering he has led most of the teams out when selected in the starting eleven for the pre-season friendlies and indeed taking over the armband from players already on the pitch when coming on as a substitute.
The Artist formerly known as Bikey...
Andre Bikey now wishes to be known as Andre Amougou. The defender has opted to use his family name and will wear the name 'Amougou' on his shirt. Amougou is the family name from his paternal side. His full name is actually André Stéphane Bikey-Amougou with his original name Bikey deriving from his maternal family tree. I hope those fans who just forked out for shirts with 'Bikey` printed on the back are not too livid after hearing the news!
Burnley FC Squad Numbers 2011/12
Burnley FC announced confirmation of the players` squad numbers this week and we list these below. Hopefully some new permanent faces will be added to this list before the summer transfer window closes with Eddie Howe on record as saying he wants to bring in another 2-3 players if he can.
26 names are currently on the list but we have to be careful in assuming too much based on that number. Two of the players are out on loan with Eckersley currently in Canada and Carlisle on a season-long loan to Preston and unlikely to play for the Clarets again. The list also includes Leon Cort whose days at Turf Moor must surely be numbered having hardly featured in any of the pre-season friendlies. That leaves 23 players to consider for first team selection with the season kick-off now just six days away. Five of those players would also be classed as Development Squad players and unlikely to feature much this season although Alex MacDonald, Wes Fletcher and Alex Ray-Harvey in particular may have something to say about that. Dominic Knowles and Kevin Long will also be hoping to break through into the first team.
Taking all that into consideration therefore we have just 17 players who you would class as established in the first team. In the close season we have actually said goodbye to eight players compared to last season if you include the failure to sign Jack Cork and the departure of Clarke Carlisle to Preston on a season-long loan. Chris Eagles and Tyrone Mears of course wanted to leave and have now signed for Bolton but we have also lost Graham Alexander, Steven Thompson, Chris Iwelumo and Kevin McDonald with Howe unable to offer them anything at the club.
Two new loan signings have gone someway to replacing the losses but we are still six light on last season in terms of quantity and significantly down in terms of experience and quality. This all could be telling once the injuries and suspensions begin to bite, not to mention the tiredness in the second half of the season. It is vital therefore in my opinion we get the numbers up both in terms of quantity but also quality in key areas of the park. That might not be the case if we are happy simply to rebuild this season but at the moment it is difficult to see how we can maintain a promotion push without supplementing the squad. The problem is in my opinion we really have to go for promotion this season because of the FIFA Fair Play ruling which will link salary caps to turnover from 2012-13. The club have one of the lowest turnovers in the Championship and could suffer competitively if we have to endure another season if not more in the Championship against a backdrop also of the parachute payments steadily running out. Having said that though I am very encouraged by the youth coming through the ranks and we certainly could have a bright future from that perspective but that`s for the future in my opinion not now and now is what matters the most!
In summary though the list to date is as follows:
01 Lee Grant
02 Kieran Trippier (on loan from Man City)
03 Daniel Fox
04 Michael Duff
06 Chris McCann
08 Dean Marney
09 Jay Rodriguez
10 Martin Paterson
11 Wade Elliott
12 Brian Jensen
15 David Edgar
17 Richard Eckersley (on loan at FC Toronto)
18 Leon Cort
20 Marvin Bartley
21 Andre Amougou
22 Ross Wallace
23 Charlie Austin
24 Brian Easton
27 Alex MacDonald
28 Kevin Long
36 Ben Mee (on loan from Man City)
37 Dominic Knowles
38 Alex-Ray Harvey
39 Wes Fletcher
40 Clarke Carlisle (on loan at Preston)
Eagles and Mears Saga Finally Over
Clarets fans had to get used to seeing the sickly Owen Coyle with his arms round Chris Eagles and Tyrone Mears at the Reebok this week with both at long last signing for Bolton after what seemed considerable delay. The two have signed three-year deals and certainly Chris Eagles has been forthcoming as to why he had to leave Burnley after speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph this week.
It is clear though that both have had a bit of a love-in with Judas and could not in the end bear to be apart from their former gaffer at Turf Moor.
Clearly too Eagles did not appear to have too much respect for Coyle`s replacement, Brian Laws.
"When Owen left Burnley it was hard for myself and the club," he said.
"The months after Brian Laws came in, he didn't play me at all, continued Eagles
"We had mixed words. At the time it got heated. But when I was playing I am sure I showed people what I can do and I am hoping to do that this time.
'When Eddie Howe came in some of his training techniques were first class.
'He put me in just behind the striker which was a position I used to play when I was younger and I did really well there.
Eagles at least was also complimentary about the Burnley fans and sounded grateful for his time at Turf Moor but Tyrone Mears once again did not appear to enhance his reputation by remaining quiet on the move. All he appears to have done is come across as sulky again when a nice word or two about his time here might have gone down well with his critics.
'The (Burnley) fans were brilliant, said Eagles
"But they've got to realise now it's just for my own good to play at a higher level.
All very sad and now once again Clarets fans have to make do with statements such as 'this was a good bit of business` despite losing two key players and so far not finding replacements with the same level of quality and experience! Things one day will change when for once we will be taking about signing someone as a 'a good bit of business` and for once adding to the squad rather than depleting it. One day the statement 'We don`t have to Sell` will also actually be true rather than club spin!
Clarets International-Pato and Mac!
Alex MacDonald has been called up to the Scotland Under 21s squad for their home friendly with Norway at St Mirren Park on Wednesday 10th August next month.
The 21-year-old has been named in the 20-man squad for this Vauxhall U21 International Challenge match and is additional good news for the lad after an impressive pre-season which has seen him hit three goals in six games. MacDonald won his first U21 cap for Scotland in November 2010, in a 3-1 win over Northern Ireland.
There was also some good news earlier in the week regarding Martin Paterson.
Pato too has been honoured by his country and has been named in the Northern Ireland squad for the Euro 2012 qualifier against the Faroe Islands to be played at Windsor Park also on Wednesday August 10th (Kick-Off:7:45pm)
With the Clarets scheduled to play Burton Albion in the Carling Cup though the night before there is a clear downside for Eddie Howe who will have neither player available for selection.