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Burnley 0 - Reading 4

Turf Moor

Saturday 23rd October 2010 @3pm Kick-Off

Attendance: 14,895

Clarets Lose Badly to Royals on So Many Levels

This was an awful day to be a Clarets supporter after being thumped 4-0 by Reading at Turf Moor on Saturday. Not only was the match lost but we lost so many other things as well. For one, we lost our proud home record after being unbeaten on home soil this season. We also lost ground on the two top clubs having had an ideal opportunity to put QPR and Cardiff under pressure and mount a challenge for automatic promotion. Before this match we were in 4th place breathing down the necks of the top two clubs. By the end of this disaster we were back to 7th, nine points now behind the Rs in top spot who picked up another point on the road away to bottom club Bristol City on Friday night. Cardiff already six points ahead of the Clarets in second spot play their game on Monday night against Leeds United at Elland Road.

I think I saw for the first time on Saturday why this team is going to struggle to get an automatic promotion place. We were simply dreadful and no matter how much you blame the referee for being equally hopeless it is still a lame excuse for this pathetic showing. You could have easily swopped the ref`s Blue & White hooped shirt for a Claret & Blue one and still suffered this humiliating defeat!

So Burnley have gone down stronger have we? Absolute tosh based on this performance! All this self-congratulatory bullshit about being prudent with the money perhaps needs to be looked at in a more sober light with Portsmouth now out of administration and Steve Cotterill doing great guns with his Pompey side who are now in 13th spot just two points behind the Clarets!

Yes indeed we lost this game on so many levels and now we travel to QPR on Saturday desperate to redress the balance and get back on track. Yeah right!

Something else we lost whilst the referee lost the plot was Leon Cort! He had not been booked in over six years but boy did he make up for it in this match! He was off the pace all afternoon and his clumsy way of trying to make up for his deficiencies cost us dear. After just 8 minutes of play, Cort was beaten for pace by Long and mistimed a somewhat crude challenge in the penalty area which had desperation written all over it. Cort was booked and Reading scored from the spot.

The Royals extended their lead on 64 minutes when Jobi McAnuff scored from the edge of the box but the disaster was complete three minutes later when we were reduced to ten-men. Cort`s nemesis, Shane Long was involved again, once more being clumsily fouled by Cort who saw red and this time got red after picking up a second yellow!

From then on we were just simply woeful although the referee ensured we didn`t stand a chance anyway with some bizarre decisions aided and abetted by some numpty linesmen. All the officials ensured they knew how to put the BERKS in Berkshire!

Reading scored two more goals late on to rub salt in our wounds after first Antonio scored from point-blank range following Long's cut back on 85 minutes before Church completed a miserable day for the Clarets smashing in the fourth in the second minute of the four minutes of added time.

One of those games all Clarets fans will simply just want to forget but also one that set a few alarm bells ringing certainly in my mind.

Brian Laws had selected a predictable eighteen for this clash following news that left-back, Danny Fox was fit enough to play after missing the last match with a thigh problem. At least his deputy for the Barnsley game in midweek, Brian Easton made the bench in recognition of his solid performance on Tuesday night. Other than that there were no major changes to the team or tactics, with Iwelumo once more given the role of lone striker up front and Jack Cork keeping captain, Alexander sidelined on the bench after making the holding midfield role his own in recent matches. Wade Elliott was once more named captain in the absence of Grezza and vice-captain Carlisle. Carlisle was of course sitting out the third and final match of his three-match ban following his sending off at the Den a few weeks back. Michael Duff again had to be content with bench warming with Leon Cort once more selected ahead of him in the centre of defence. The former Stoke defender was partnered by Andre Bikey who of course was playing against his former club with all Clarets fans hoping he didn`t get 'shirty` this time!

In summary therefore we lined up as follows:

Jensen, Mears, Cort, Bikey, Fox, Cork, Eagles, Elliott, Marney, Rodriguez, Iwelumo

Subs: Grant, Duff, Easton, Alexander, Wallace, Paterson, Thompson

Burnley probably had their best spell and only decent spell in the first five minutes of this match and even then it was pretty sluggish. It was all over from the moment we conceded a penalty in the 8th minute. After that is was tiresome to watch and I can safely say this was the worst game I have seen the Clarets play all season.

Jay Tabb returning from injury in the 'engine room` seemed to invigorate the Royals whilst our midfield looking hapless and clueless. Cort at least managed to block one his shots before blotting his copybook and conceding a penalty. The move too came from Tabb who found Long after releasing the ball in midfield. The pacy Long was far too fast for Cort and he chased into the penalty area only to be clumsily brought down by the central defender. Long took the penalty himself Although Jensen dived the right way, the ball flew into the bottom corner of the net to put Reading 1-0 up.

We should have expected a response from Burnley to at least try and get back into this game but if there was one it went unnoticed. I am struggling to remember one meaningful Clarets attack. Certainly any decent goal attempts were few and far between in the first 45 minutes. It was simply dire!

If anything the Royals looked more likely to score again and indeed came close. Long could only find the side netting with one attempt but a long-range effort from McAnuff brought out a save from Jensen to deny Reading doubling their lead.

Chris Iwelumo at the other end could not get on the end of an Elliott cross although he came close with a header from a free-kick by Eagles but the ball sailed just over the top of the bar.

Matt Mills then looked to have brought down Iwelumo in the penalty area but the referee incensed the Clarets fans by turning down the appeal. This was going to be one of many frustrating decisions that went against the Clarets during the course of the match.

Federici in the Reading goal was having a quiet afternoon but he did manage to save a deflected effort from Rodriguez although it was a pretty tame shot in the first place.

Brian Laws appears reluctant to change things round at half-time these days even when the first 45 minutes display seems to warrant it. So it proved again although at least the Clarets for a time had more urgency about them than in the first half.

Chris Eagles, who so far had been relatively quiet suddenly seemed to perk up and at long last, give Federici something to think about. The Royals keeper`s hands must have been stinging after saving one of his shots. Tyrone Mears then latched on to a loose ball setting up Eagles to attempt a volley which flew just wide. Eagles then linked well with Rodriguez. Jay Rod`s blocked shot fell to Eagles but he should have done better with his shot which was wide of target.

There was perhaps just a sense at this point that we were getting back into the game but that soon evaporated when Reading doubled their lead on 64 minutes. The Royals were awarded a free-kick and Fox could only half-clear the attempt by Harte. His header fell nicely for McAnuff and his shot found the back of the net from 12 yards out although the ball did come off the inside of the post.

That was bad enough but the mountain we had to climb became impossible to scale three-minutes later when we were reduced to ten men. Cort having already picked up a yellow card after conceding the penalty clumsily fouled Long again to earn himself another booking followed by a red card.

Reading now had total control and with 20 minutes to go were denied twice by Jensen in quick succession. He first of all dived at the feet of Long and then moments later tipped a shot by McAnuff round the post. It was only a matter of time though before Reading extended their lead although for a time the Clarets tried hard to get a goal back inspired by the substitutions. Wallace who had replaced Marney on 65 minutes was by now getting in some testing crosses and came close with a shot that volleyed just wide. Thompson and Paterson replaced Rodriguez and Iwelumo on 75 minutes and looked threatening for a time after freshening up our attack.

However we were always going to be vulnerable on the break especially with only ten men and so it would prove.

A cross from Long allowed Antonio to tap home at the far post with five minutes of the game remaining and then in the second minute of added time, Church completed our miserable afternoon by adding a fourth slicing his shot into the top corner of the net.

Match Stats

Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Cort, Bikey, Fox, Cork, Eagles, Elliott, Marney (Wallace 65), Rodriguez (Thompson 75), Iwelumo (Paterson 75)

Subs Not Used: Grant, Duff, Easton, Alexander

Booked: Red Card for Cort (Two Bookable Offences), Yellow cards for Cork and Elliott

Reading: Federici, Griffin, Mills, Khizanishvili, Harte, Karacan (Church 75), Tabb (Antonio 82), McAnuff, Robson-Kanu, Howard, Long

Subs Not Used: McCarthy, Cummings, Pearce, Antonio, Church

Booked: Yellow card for McAnuff

Goals: Long (pen) 8, McAnuff 64, Antonio 85, Church 90+2

Referee: Nigel 'Mr Magoo-Should Have Gone to Specsavers` Miller (Tyne & Wear)

Possession: 50% Burnley, 50% Reading (Source: BBC Sport)

Star Player

Well of course had I been a Reading fan, I would have instantly given the Star Player award to referee, Nigel Miller who to be honest was an absolute disgrace but I am not so somehow I have to select one of our own players for this prestigious (cough!) award ! It is difficult considering the only stars worth awarding are those imploding ones that lead to Black Holes! On a day when even Jack Cork seemed to be making mistakes, I am finding it difficult to name one outstanding player with problems clearly evident all over the park including the back-four, the midfield and attack. Chris Eagles yet again for the umpteenth time won the fans texted Man of the Match award but by his standards of late, even he was subdued and pretty ineffective.

I may as well give it to Leon Cort; at least he had the good sense to be sent-off giving Brian Laws an easy decision to make in the back-four against QPR on Saturday! Carlisle and Bikey it has to be

Yes I am in a sarcastic mood and I am also far from happy after this terrible display. We simply have to start behaving like a team who is consistent enough to warrant an automatic promotion place. At the moment we are about as far away from that as one of those afore mentioned black-holes is from the Earth!




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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday October 24 2010

Time: 6:39PM

Your Comments

Gawd this is typical Burnley! Everytime there is a chance to make an impresion and start showing the competition the advantages of a season in the top flight they mess up! Too many points being dropped now and with no wins away the pressure mounts when the home form plummets as well
turfmanphil
Very glad I didnt go up to watch this one - Not a lot that can be said really. Am sure the 4th goal was a cross, but then again, a decent cross and Long would have scored anyway. Ahh well.
Claretdale
After a day of carting furniture back and fourth to my daughters new house I was on my knees I wanted a perfect pick me up a Burnley win. I turned the car radio on to get the results on the way home. 0-4 Ouch that hurt back on my knees to round of a rotten day. Picked young Grimsby up from his football, his team mates come running over to the car to take the mick of our beloved team. Not happy, If I had anything to do with it I would have had them all in training today.
Grimsby Claret
What can i say gutted is the only clean word that springs to mind, the worrying thing for me is the fact we could not change the formation with the players on the bench just like for like. What team does BL play Wednesday at Villa the first team or reserves with a tough away at QPR on Saturday. We cannot take to many hammerings like Saturday before the mood changers at the Turf hopes this was just a one off.
Fedupclaret
Am now just about fit again but didn't make it to this one and, like Dale, I'm glad I didn't. We now have a couple of tricky away games coming up. Villa in the cup is a bit ofr a bonus but Rangers away will be tough and Warnock will certainly have everyone charged up for the game. There is a real danger that we could lose three games on the bounce now and, with football fans being what they are, I sense it could give people the excuse to bring the Laws Out banners out of the loft. Don't think we'll miss Leon Cort -not sure he is up to things at this level.
RickersTwickers
I dont know where all this 12 home wins out of the last 13 games comes from. Even if you conveniently forget the Premiership season and go back 2 years the best one can come up with is 11 out of 12--unless Wembley was a home match!
boltonclaret
Can someone remind me why we had to split with Cotterill.
AndyHo
Because the boo boys would not give him a chance even though he ensured we survived in the Championship with no money and arguably left the backbone of a squad that basically allowed Coyle to get us promoted
turfmanphil
Notlob went after the wrong bloke maybe? Having said that we did seem to improvea bit before the big "Wembly" money came in.
AndyHo
Seems like a tad of an over reaction to one defeat! I certainly don't want Cotter Ball back anyway! Gambling and going 4-3-2 with 10 men and Jay up front cost us the third and fourth - happy to have done that in the circumstances. Regarding Cort - bad day at the office, booked twice in 60 mins after none in six years is surely that, maybe he had a bug? Many of his other games were in the PL so he could surely have coped? On the ref, the first goal wasn't a pen, that could be clearly seen on the FL show, foul was just outside. If our players knew this, it, and the subsequent decisions, would have rattled them, and did. One of those days. Let's beat QPR now!
CrosspoolClarets
Hope we learn from the Reading game, when I say we I mean Laws and the team, they all have somthing to prove to us the fans who pay their wages.
grimsby claret
Crosspool's words are a big help to me on a gloomy Monday morning. I agree with him that a dodgy ref and 2 goals when chasing the game made a below-par performance look and feel worse. I am also wondering what impact the bug in camp that was being discussed for Barnsley had at the w/e. We were not outmatched in terms of possession or shots, but had awful trouble getting our shots on target. Interesting that on ClaretsPlayer Carlisle was freely questioning (a) whether BL uses his much vaunted deep squad enough and (b) whether BL should have switched to 4-4-2 fairly early on after Tabb's nigh-on man-marking of Cork gave us midfield problems. Think I'd like to see Duff and Carlisle against Villa, maybe Easton, and more time for Pato and Thommo. We continue to miss McCann. If Big Kev were pushing for a place, now would be a good time to give him a go. But he's injured and out on loan!
Couch Potato
Agree CP this was the point i was trying to make last week reference Big Kev when we are 1-0 down who would you want on Grezza or Kev, i know he not on his game at the moment but being involved with the match day squad and coming of the bench to play 15 or 20 mins could do him and BFC some good.
Fedupclaret
Felt it might not have been a peno at the time. Still a silly decision. Bad day at the office from many players. Knee-jerk reactions after a defeat a tad OTT, in my opinion, as it's the first we've lost by more than a goal all season.
whentheballmoves
 

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