Stephen Cummings: Clarets deserve bragging rights

Dean Marney and Danny Ings celebrate Burnley’s derby win

Dean Marney and Danny Ings celebrate Burnley’s derby win

First published in Sport

IT must have been some time towards the end of the 1994/95 season.

At the same time as Burnley were unsuccessfully attempting to put the skids on a return to the third tier of professional football, Blackburn were edging ever closer to the Premier League title.

It felt as though the two clubs were operating in parallel universes.

And the thought that we might never again meet in a league fixture was not nearly as outlandish then as it sounds now.

Happily, times have changed for the better. Burnley slowly but surely got their act together, whereas Rovers – well it all went a bit Venky’s didn’t it?

In fact, what happened on Sunday was merely a continuation of what has been happening for the past couple of seasons; namely the shifting of the balance of footballing power in east Lancashire.

Consider the facts.

Burnley sit in an automatic promotion spot, eight points clear of the chasing pack. The man at the helm is a shoo-in for Manager of the Year. And the board is comprised of Clarets.

Blackburn meanwhile are huffing and puffing along, chasing the chasing pack. Their manager brings in 19 players over the summer, then complains that he can’t get a settled first XI out.

And their board is comprised of characters who appear to know little about football, let alone Rovers, and under whose stewardship the club find themselves almost £40m in debt.

But enough with the analysis. Back to Sunday.

Messrs Heaton, Trippier, Mee, Jones, Duff, Shackell, Arfield, Marney, Ings, Vokes, Kightly, Wallace and Barnes have written themselves into Burnley folk-lore. In fact if the club shop knows what it’s about, it should by now be flogging T-shirts with Sunday’s line-up printed on the front.

The breaking of the 35-year hoodoo was just the latest record that this outstanding team has shattered in this most incredible of seasons. But it was, without question, the one that mattered most to fans.

The game itself wasn’t much of a spectacle, but it cast up images that have instantly and indelibly burned themselves onto the mind’s eye.

Jason Shackell sticking his head in where angels fear to tread, Danny Ings threading that ball through a forest of Blackburn legs, Sean Dyche on the pitch saluting the 4,500 supporters.

The hope now is that the momentum generated by Sunday’s win, coupled with the eight-point cushion, will prove sufficient to drive the Clarets over the finishing line.

The job’s far from done. But who knows? It could be some time before we play Blackburn in the league again.

Comments (3)

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1:24pm Tue 11 Mar 14

FCBurnley says...

We WON. Everything else is History.
We WON. Everything else is History. FCBurnley
  • Score: 0

6:51pm Tue 11 Mar 14

adcr says...

Listen to it will you. Where were you when Burnley finally won a game of football.

You'll get one year in the sun, and then it's business as usual you monkeys. And don't forget, you're maybe better than us at the moment, but you are very far indeed from being a great team. Face the facts you are second best in this league to a very mediocre Leicester team. I predict all three promoted teams this season will come straight back down, unless you spend a huge amount of money. See if you can get relegated next year with more points than last time (you were in the PL), I doubt it.
Listen to it will you. Where were you when Burnley finally won a game of football. You'll get one year in the sun, and then it's business as usual you monkeys. And don't forget, you're maybe better than us at the moment, but you are very far indeed from being a great team. Face the facts you are second best in this league to a very mediocre Leicester team. I predict all three promoted teams this season will come straight back down, unless you spend a huge amount of money. See if you can get relegated next year with more points than last time (you were in the PL), I doubt it. adcr
  • Score: 0

11:05pm Tue 11 Mar 14

stevewhipp says...

Funnily enough, all the predictions I can find from August last year, put Burnley finishing between 10th and 17th.
Then it was "Well, it's early days yet! We don't look at the table till the 8th game" That was wrong
Then it was "Well, the bubble will enough, not played the big boys!" That was wrong
Then it was "Well, return to normal service by xmas!" That was wrong
Then it was "Well, only drawing, drop like a stone now!" That was wrong
Then it was "Well, playing a couple of hard ones now, they're done!" That was wrong.

Not that I'm saying you're prediction for a smash and grab season is wrong, it might be true. But if this manager sticks with us? We may surprise, as we have done this season. ALL season.
Funnily enough, all the predictions I can find from August last year, put Burnley finishing between 10th and 17th. Then it was "Well, it's early days yet! We don't look at the table till the 8th game" That was wrong Then it was "Well, the bubble will enough, not played the big boys!" That was wrong Then it was "Well, return to normal service by xmas!" That was wrong Then it was "Well, only drawing, drop like a stone now!" That was wrong Then it was "Well, playing a couple of hard ones now, they're done!" That was wrong. Not that I'm saying you're prediction for a smash and grab season is wrong, it might be true. But if this manager sticks with us? We may surprise, as we have done this season. ALL season. stevewhipp
  • Score: 1

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