Date:Tuesday December 17 2013
Clarets fans will not relish hearing the news of any managerial sackings, particularly in the Premier League because inevitably Sean Dyche's success is attracting attention and he continues to be linked with managerial vacancies in the media.
Last month Dyche was strongly linked in the media with a move to newly promoted Premier League club Crystal Palace with the club having said goodbye to Ian Holloway in October. Thankfully for Clarets fans, even if he was in contention, the job went instead to former Stoke gaffer, Tony Pulis. The 55 year old accepted a two-and-a-half year deal at Selhurst Park and now has the task of keeping the Eagles up with the club currently third from bottom.
Another Premier League manager though got the sack this month and once again Dyche has been thrown into the gossip headlights. West Brom`s poor run of form recently has seen them drop to 16th in the table with 15 points from 16 games just two away from the drop zone. The West Brom gaffer, 50-year-old Steve Clarke clearly under pressure was dismissed following Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Cardiff, the Baggies' fourth in a row and now Sean Dyche has become one of the managers linked with taking over according to the local Birmingham press. Dyche along with Martin Jol, Roberto Di Matteo, Mike Phelan, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer and Paul Clement are all apparently in the frame. The Clitheroe Advertiser and Times though describes the link as 'pure speculation` and reminds its readers that Dyche still has 18 months of his contract to run with a buy-out clause it is thought of about £1 million. Keith Downing will be West Brom caretaker manager for Saturday`s game against Hull City, if not the whole festive period so we shall have to see how things develop down at the Hawthorns!
Managers are falling like flies at the moment so the managerial merry-go-round looks set to be spinning for a few weeks yet. In the Premier League the latest casualty is Andre Villas-Boas Tottenham sacked Villas-Boas in the wake of Sunday's 5-0 Premier League thrashing by Liverpool. The loss was the club's worst at White Hart Lane in 16 years and left them seventh in the table eight points behind local rivals and leaders Arsenal. It would certainly be a positive endorsement if Dyche gets linked with that vacant position! In the Championship too, there has been a plethora of managers deemed to have failed.
Sean Dyche may well have had a wry smile on his face following the news that Gianfranco Zola at his former club, Watford has resigned his position as head coach this week. Dyche appeared to have worked wonders whilst gaffer at Watford but was unceremoniously dumped by the new owners. The Italian Pozzo family acquired the club in June 2012 with Watford under Dyche having achieved their best finish in the league (11th) since the 2007-08 season. Dyche though was dismissed in July 2012, with the more high-profile Gianfranco Zola taking over a few days later. Zola to give him his due did steer the Hornets to the Championship play-off final last season but they went down 1-0 to Crystal Palace and this season, despite high expectations they have struggled in mid-table and are currently in 13th spot, eight points away from the play-offs spots. Watford have also lost their last five home games and last won back in October. Modern day football is ruthless when it comes to managers failing to produce the goods but at least this time it would appear that Zola recognised his own failings and tendered his resignation before being given the chop. The former West Ham manager might now be hoping he too is linked with some of the top flight vacancies and Clarets fans will no doubt hope too that he finishes up at West Brom!
Enough about managers, what about our players? Danny Ings continues to be linked with a move away in the summer. Ings who scored his 16th goal for the Clarets in the 1-1 draw away to Leicester last Saturday is certainly hot property if any of the rumours are true! Fulham, Spurs, Sunderland, Manchester United and now Liverpool and Celtic have all been linked with a move in the January window for the England Under 21 international.
According to the Daily Mirror this month, SPL giants Celtic have joined the chase for the striker. Celtic manager Neil Lennon has been in the market for attacking reinforcements ever since Gary Hooper left for Norwich and it would appear that Danny Ings could be the man they seek after having had the striker watched in the recent home game clash against Barnsley. Why would Ings want to move north of the border though if there is so much interest being shown by Premier League clubs? Most of the speculation this month has been the link with a move Liverpool. The club currently riding high in second spot is looking for strikers to back up Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge and Ings could just be the one Brendan Rodgers is seeking. Would Ings be mad to leave Burnley and join the likes of Liverpool? If he did he would probably spend most of his time on the bench hoping for injuries to or suspensions for Suarez and Sturridge but who would turn down the chance of joining such a high-profile club with European Champions League football beckoning? The advantage that Celtic might have is that they too would be able to offer European Champions League football but would also provide more opportunity for Ings to start more often in the SPL rather than probably bench-warm at Liverpool.
Sean Dyche remains philosophical about the potential loss of the player in the January window:
"It`s the reality of people doing well. If you look across the divisions, forwards get the main headlines, but there are players in different positions at many different clubs - it`s just a natural progression of that, for a club like Burnley or a club like Leicester.
"They have players here who are going well. I think the boy Schlupp was at Manchester United for a period.
"They`ve got people looking at their players as well. It`s just a natural fact.
"I think it enhances it when you`re doing well.
"There isn`t any factual interest that I know.
"No-one has rung me, so that`s factual, but there are a million stories."
Date:Tuesday December 17 2013
Player Of The Month: Championship (Sam Vokes) (Friday March 7 2014)
Burnley in Under 21s Premier League Cup Semi Final (Thursday March 6 2014)
Brendan Flood Back on Board! (Thursday March 6 2014)
Clarets International-Ings Yes, Lafferty No! (Thursday March 6 2014)
Clarets International-Vokes Scores for Wales (Thursday March 6 2014)
Championship MOTM February Nomination: Dyche (Thursday March 6 2014)
Championship POTM February Nomination: Vokes (Thursday March 6 2014)
Battering Rams at Burnley`s Fortress! (Sunday March 2 2014)
Next it is Derby followed by that Derby! (Friday February 28 2014)
Clarets International:Gareth Gather-Ings for Danny (Friday February 28 2014)
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