When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Burnley FC blog: Frustration is the name of the game
Whether we like it or not, and I rather suspect we don’t, it has become blindingly obvious in recent weeks that this is one of those frustrating seasons of transition.
Burnley currently sit 16th in the Championship. And it’s a fair bet that, give or take a place or two, that’s where they’ll finish come season’s end.
We can score goals but we can also concede them.
We can turn in convincing performances one week but look a complete shambles the next. Individual players can be match-winners one game but disappear from view next time out.
With enough in the squad to survive but without being anywhere near sufficiently well-equipped for a promotion challenge, the only consistency on offer at Turf Moor this season will be inconsistency.
Part of the problem lies in the average age of the squad. While there is much to be said for ridding the club of the old guard and planning for the future, one of the difficulties of assembling a group who are in their early twenties is that displays tend to be erratic.
With age comes maturity and a more dependable level of performance.
But that’s only half the story. Because Eddie Howe’s biggest problem by far is the lack of numbers and depth of quality in the squad.
With the Clarets looking flat in the second half against Reading, the manager turned to his bench for inspiration and for someone who might inject a bit of life into proceedings.
On 55 minutes Howe plumped for Keith Treacy. And probably spent the rest of the game wondering why he’d bothered: which highlights another headache that comes with having a threadbare unit.
Inconsistency of performance is unlikely to be met with a stint on the bench or omission from the match-day 16.
Of Saturday’s starting eleven, there is no plausible replacement for Grant, Trippier, Easton, Bartley, McCann, Austin or Rodriguez.
That’s not to say all those players regularly underperform, merely to illustrate that there is no-one breathing down their necks.
Burnley could win, lose or draw at Oakwell tonight. Just don’t expect any changes whatever the result.