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Four Keepers and a Midfield/Striker Funeral?

Bizarrely the only signings Burnley have made so far in the close season have all been in one position! Yes, we have brought in four keepers! Yes, four keepers! Well OK three are actually replacements after both Brian Jensen and third-string keeper, Jon Stewart was released and Lee Grant decided to leave and sign for his former club, Derby County. So in came Tom Heaton, Alex Cisak and Nick Liversedge and that you thought might have been that in terms of stoppers! However this week a fourth arrived in the shape of 18 year old Daniel Nizic. The former Sydney FC goalkeeper had a trial at Turf Moor last season and impressed enough to earn a two-year contract (subject to international clearance) this week despite having three keepers already on board!

Goalkeeping coach Billy Mercer explained:

"Daniel has been on our radar but his parents have done a great job, along with (Burnley CEO) Lee Hoos, in getting his visa sorted and he is here for the long haul as one for the future.

"It has been a big turnaround for us this summer, with Lee (Grant) going off to Derby, Brian (Jensen) leaving after 10 years and things not working out for Jon (Stewart).

"With experienced goalkeepers leaving it was important that we got replacements, not only for the next couple of years but hopefully beyond that.

"We now have two 24-year-olds, a 27-year-old and Daniel. Luckily we`ve got all of our targets and we`re delighted to formally welcome them all to the club."

So then with quite a few outfield players also having left or believed to be leaving can we expect a surge of activity to replace them in the remaining time that the window is open?

At the moment only the defence seems sorted provided we can hold onto Kieran Trippier who continues to be linked with a move to a Premier League club from time-to-time. The rumours so far though do not appear to have been that strong and the only transfer activity in the back four has been the permanent signing of Joseph Mills following his loan spell last season from Reading. That signing though was more contractual and it is believed he could be allowed to leave or go out on loan in the season ahead.

The areas we need to concentrate on are the midfield and strike force. In midfield, Chris McCann has already departed and left Turf Moor this week for Wigan to be reunited with former Burnley gaffer, Owen Coyle. However rumours also suggest that three other midfielders could be about to leave the club providing replacements can be found. Burnley are considering buying Keith Treacy out of his contract and both Marvin Bartley and Brian Stock could be free to leave according to the Lancashire Telegraph. The local paper also suggests Sean Dyche is weighing up two new potential midfield signings both of them free transfers. One of these could be former Blackburn Rovers youngster Jaden Hall. He is now available on a free transfer after completing a one-year professional deal at Stoke City. Hall had a trail at Turf Moor 12 months ago and has also been spotted at Gawthorpe on trial at the start of this summer`s pre-season training.

Could such inexperience be a suitable replacement for the likes of Marvin Bartley and Brian Stock? Bartley is in the last year of his three-and-a-half year contract so no doubt the club is keen to cash-in rather than risk losing him on a free. Leyton Orient are reportedly interested in signing him but he looks unlikely to leave until midfield cover is brought in. 31-year-old, Brian Stock was told at the end of last season that the club would be prepared to listen to offers for him. There have been some rumours linking him with a return to his first club Bournemouth but these are thought to be wide of the mark according to the local media.
Midfield then is increasingly looking like a worry, with more potentially going out than coming in and possible replacements so far looking like they will be young and inexperienced brought in on the cheap.

Now we come to the real area of concern, our strike force! Martin Paterson has already left to join Huddersfield and it looks like it will only be a matter of time before Charlie Austin also leaves the club. The club in the driving seat for Austin appears to be Premier League new boys, Hull City. There are local Humberside media reports today that Hull have come in with an improved offer this week, believed to be in excess of 4m with suggestions that this is a 'take it or leave it` offer which will not be pushed higher. They seem to be putting all their efforts now behind signing Austin after being rebuked in their attempt to sign Celtic forward Gary Hooper. Burnley will now have to mull over the improved offer but it is unlikely to be anywhere near his true worth estimated to be about 7 million. If Hull get the 'knock-back` again there will still be other interested clubs who appear to have Austin on their 'wish-list` some of them quite ambitious looking Championship rivals including Nottingham Forest. Premier League, Stoke City were also linked with Austin this week but it is understood new manager Mark Hughes has not registered an interest in the striker.

Burnley joint-chairman John Banaszkiewicz said this week:

"There are a number of clubs interested in Charlie, but we`ve not agreed anything with anyone at this stage.

"There is nothing finalised at our side.

"We have had communication with a number of clubs, but we`re still some way away from agreeing anything.

"It had been very quiet on him up to a week ago, but interest is picking up now."

He also revealed that the club made further moves to try and keep him at the club, as he enters the final year of his contract:

"We`re trying our best to keep him and have offered him a very good contract - he`s a terrific goalscorer and we`ve tried to see the best deal the club can offer him. It might not be enough to keep him, but we`ll see."

Well that is at least something but unlikely to succeed if a Premier League club starts waving the dosh about!

One little bit of good news in these depressing, pleading-poverty again times, is that we appear to have stuck two fingers up to Eddie Howe and Bournemouth following their attempts to sign forward, Danny Ings. The newly promoted Championship side made a 1 million offer for their former striker and were immediately knocked by the Clarets. Local media reports this week in the Lancashire Telegraph suggest Bournemouth weighed up an improved bid but realised they did not have enough money to in the bank to continue their interest. It would appear Howe`s interest in boosting his strike force has now turned elsewhere with reports that free agent Simeon Jackson could be on his radar following his release from Norwich.

Sadly though at the moment, there is little positive news linking the Clarets with high-profile, experienced midfielders or strikers unless they are past their best and likely to be cheap! All the news is about players leaving the club unless the intention is to have a back eight with four keepers in goal! At this rate we might need it!! How do you feel about the lack of transfer activity? Will it all come good before the new season kicks off or do you have grave doubts about our chances or even survival in the Championship? There is certainly a lot of concern being voiced elsewhere on Twitter and other Burnley forums but what do you think? Discuss beneath this article.

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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday July 4 2013

Time: 9:44AM

Your Comments

I have to say I am very worried! So many Championship clubs have hotted up their transfer activity since 1st July and we seem to be lagging behind as usual. Four keepers is just funny! Come on get a grip and let's see some ambition instead of cost-cutting taking the heart away from the club and fans. Surely our chances of survival are slim if we haemorrhage away so many experienced players and bring in cheap,inexperienced or past their best replacements?
turfmanphil
The time frame is not looking good. I would like to hope that there are players that are willing to come to sunny Burnley. I would say that climate wise it compares well with Sydney so Nizic should be at home!!!!!!!!! There must be some plans to strengthen the squad. As it stands we are in a somewhat poor state. We can all see it so the powers at HQ must. Maybe Nizic has some mates who could be persuaded to head for the Burnley weather - they are between seasons in Aus as well.
AndyHo
Well that's the other concern. Do we have the pulling power? If word gets round that key players are leaving with some being expected to take a 40% pay cut what impression does that give? Low turnover, falling gates and season ticket sales, just reeks of a viscious circle. I so hope I am wrong but something is not right at the club, you just sense it! We just seem to be drifting with no clear cut plans other than to scrimp and save
turfmanphil
TMP you are absolutely right, we are building up a bad reputation of ourselves as a club that sells its best players every single transfer window. And in truth, spend very little to replace them. Im fed up with the club always searching for a 'bargain' and just taking a chance on players with no real experience. Only Tom Heaton is in my opinion a forward thinking signing, and at this rate, if we lose Austin, we will be in a terrible state in terms of midfield and defense. The club have been very amateurish in the way the dealt with the players approaching the end of their contracts, and on this occasion we have really payed the price. There is no question that Pato and McCann could have had their contracts renewed as far as I could tell, but a mixture of lack of ambition and cautiousness financially has cost us once again. I will be so frustrated if next season is a battle against relegation. We have to bring in some quality players this window, or the deterioration of the playing squad will continue, and quite soon nobody will want to play for our club. Or have we reached that stage already ? I wasnt originally happy with the appointment of SD, but I stuck by him last season, and by the end of it I still wasnt happy. I didnt like the way we played at all, compared to under EH, and we went through spells where you just couldnt see a win coming from anywhere, it was actually quite depressing. I really do wonder what kind of miracle is required for a good season next year. I apologize for all the doom and gloom, but it seems appropriate does it not ?
AdamBurnleyFan
*midfield and attack
AdamBurnleyFan
I always thought attack was the best form of defence, but looks like we might have to find some other way??
pjohng33
I am relaxed about goalkeeping. I am far, far happier about defence than at end of Howe. For a team almost certain to play the 4-5-1 that Cardiff and Hull used to win the automatic promotion spots last season, and which turned our end-of-season round when we went to it at halftime against Cardiff, I am relaxed about our strike force as it stands. I hope Charlie stays; we'll have to move swiftly if he doesn't, but I'm by no means unhappy should Vokes and Ings see more action. Concerning the club being attractive to players, it's far, far more attractive now that we have fixed up the facilities, which was the thing that players themselves (as well as many fans) said was the key problem (other than for those who just don't want to live in the north, and there's nowt we can do about that). Midfield was the worry last season. We've lost 2, but neither was motivated to play there next season. SD has spoken pretty openly on what he's trying to do to fix that. As fans we tend to gaze at our Claret navels. But we're certainly not the only Championship club waiting for players and agents to accept deals when they are all hoping that the deflation in wages across the FL isn't actually going to affect them personally. Some will be lucky. Most won't. It was always going to be a bit worrying when we changed from being a club envied by others for its parachute, to one casting envious glances at others. But that just means we're in the same boat as most other clubs. Also, if you look at a longer timeline, for example back to the state of finances had we lost at Wembley, or at their state at the point of the collapse of ITV Digital, things are way better than they could have been. And have you been keeping up with the Ricoh shenanigans? That makes me feel good about getting the Turf and Gawthorpe back into a more secure ownership, with no rent to pay, and it at least partially having been done with new money. Of course, some of us will continue to have mometns when our glass seems half empty, and may even have panic attacks on here... as well as moments when there seem to be reasons to be cheerful when we compare ourselves with much of the opposition, and think about what could have been, taking into account possible downsides as well as possible upsides.
Couch Potato
So there you have it everything is rosy!! lol Shish!! Players have known we would be buying back the Turf for ages and that includes Paterson and McCann! It would seem the John Smith Stadium and the DW Stadium are far better attractions that the rickety old Turf Moor no matter who owns it!
turfmanphil
Yes Claretacchio has been away for a long time but now I'm back and I'm not at all happy with the current shenanigans. Frankly it's all a bit of a joke and there is something clearly going drastically wrong with the club and we are in crisis. We have been through a ridiculous period with the club going from the highs of promotion to the Premiership to a situation where we are probably now amongst the favourites for relegation to the First Division. Just how have the club been so mismanaged? We have managers that desert us at a drop of a hat and a situation where we sell our best players using a strategic approach in trying to maximise their value which is miserably predictable and laughable. The club sign loads of sub standard players all of similar style and abilities and then decide to loan them out or keep them bench warming so that most of them never or seldom ever appear in a first team fixture. This despite paying them all a wage for doing nothing. It has been obvious ever since our promotion where the weakest positions that needed strengthening are yet we have constantly not recruited players for those areas but instead recruited players in positions where we already had more than adequate cover. The club have consistently sold its best players and now this season we have allowed Pato and McCann to walk away. Charlie Austin is going for a frankly stupid price which is so undervalued it should be appearing on Crime Stoppers! It's heart breaking to see all the players we have now let go who have gone onto to better things. This year we have offloaded loads of players yet still have at least 3 midfielders the club doesn't want at all. We are down to 3 strikers and possibly 2 when Austin goes. We are stuck with the signing of a defender Mills who apparently we also do not want. The club seem not to be linked with any players at all at the moment and even if they do move for someone we either don't have the funds or are not prepared to pay the wages. It's frankly embarrassing to see other teams signing players we can only dream of and these are teams who have a far smaller profile or record than us.
claretacchio
I echo the previous sentiments entirely. It now appears that Charlie has finally left and I cannot see who is going to get goals for us in the coming weeks, unless major signings are made very soon.
pjohng33
Welcome back and very well summed up, Claretacchio!! I think we are becoming a bit of a laughing stock to be honest and from where I am sitting it aint funny!
turfmanphil
 

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