When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Clarets Column: Burnley’s season was a mixed bag
So, season 2011/12. How was it for you? A term of transition or one of stability? A work in progress, or a doomed project? Building for the future or meandering aimlessly?
Football being football, there is no correct answer. Opinions fluctuate as wildly as Burnley’s form.
Some insist Eddie Howe be given time to complete the job he set out on, while others believe that all he’s achieved in his time in charge is a tedious exhibition of water-treading. The truth probably lies somewhere inbetween.
The manager was certainly hamstrung in the early part of his first full term at Turf Moor by being forced to ship out older faces and high earners.
In addition to the departures of Iwelumo, Carlisle, Cort and Alexander, key players such as Eagles, Fox, Elliott, Mears and Cork were moved on. Such an exodus would be a blow to any manager.
The problem lay with his replacements. Only Austin and Trippier were sure-fire hits. Ings, Bartley and Mee were in and out, while Stanislas was poor and Treacy abysmal. In addition to this, the Clarets went all season without a decent left-back.
In light of this, it was perhaps unsurprising that the form was hit and miss. Only Reading and West Ham won more than Burnley on the road. But at Turf Moor, it was generally knuckle-chewingly boring.
For every thrilling performance (Nottingham Forest and Ipswich), there were half a dozen cures for insomnia (Peterborough and Coventry).
And with season tickets sales for 2012/13 stalling around the 7,000 mark, it seems that many supporters are reserving judgement until they see how the Clarets fare in the transfer market this summer: not that the manager helped matters recently by suggesting that even League One’s top players fell outside the club’s price bracket.
Attracting more punters to Turf Moor during a double-dip recession in what is already a poor town is perhaps Howe’s biggest challenge. Even the money from the probable sale of Rodriguez is likely to come in dribs and drabs making team-building difficult. And who knows what issues a change of chairman might bring about?
On the whole, supporters have been prepared to give the manager the benefit of the doubt and bear with him as he attempts to impose his blueprint. However, if no discernable progress has been made twelve months hence, there may be an altogether different mood down Harry Potts’ Way.
Enjoy the summer – should it ever arrive.
Comments are closed on this article.