|"Let The Parade Commence"|
|Written by Dave Thomas|
|Monday, 03 January 2011|
Let the parade commence
Burnley 4 Sheffield United 2
If there’s a kind of sadness about a managerial change, it’s because basically it’s all about failure, (and Richard Oldroyd’s comment was spot on, the guy had become a sort of human punch bag); but within minutes the excitement kicks in and questions and rumours and stories and claims of this and that begin to fill the media and the websites. The sadness of the Laws dismissal was the predictable inevitability of it, and how he had simply become the fall guy and the patsy; less than a year in post and then gone and given a good kicking by the irate fans. The poor guy never really had a chance the odds were so heavily stacked against him. Perhaps it was all to do with what psychologists call aggression transfer, whereby we take out our feelings against one person (Coyle of course) by directing them at the nearest alternative. Give Laws credit for one thing though; he brought into the club probably one of the best physios that Turf Moor has had, Alasdair Beattie of whom Chris McCann says “he saved my career.”
But, someone who knows about these things, and someone I email every now and then, a national guy who has reported them often enough, was quick to point out that no-one should believe what they read in the papers. And this guy should know, he actually writes the stuff. Interestingly what he did say was don’t believe the stuff about Allardyce discounting him from the job. And Deepthroat by the way isn’t wrong that often. Feelers were put out within an hour of the sacking he said. And what better a way for the big man to have his revenge on Blackburn, than to take Burnley to promotion.
What managers do Deepthroat said, is they do this via a third party, that’s the way these things work (just like how Coyle came to Burnley). And then if and when nothing happens, or things don’t work out, they can distance themselves from it. It’s a fair bet that a third party did a lot of the spadework in setting up Coyle at Bolton as well, in a go-between capacity. You’d only need to look at mobile phone bills received at Burnley Football Club to test the veracity of that supposition or indeed exactly when the first contact between Owen Coyle and Phil Gartside actually took place. But if contact and early tapping-up did take place secretly, then so what you might say. It’s just the way things are done in football, what’s new.
My God it certainly kept us all busy, emailing, texting, and claiming that Rafa Benitez had been seen in the Park View Chippy, Barry Kilby had been seen with Gareth Southgate (BK was by the way snowbound in blizzard stricken New York so we could discount that one), Poyet had been seen at Gawthorpe, Alan Curbishley at the pie stall in Burnley Market and Dennis Wise in the boot of Brendan Flood’s car (one report said with his feet encased in concrete). Oh, and Steve Cotterill resigned at Portsmouth to make himself available.
The news that Jimmy McIlroy had been awarded the MBE in the New Years Honours list was received with acclaim in Burnley and Northern Ireland. His charity support work goes unnoticed and unpublicised. But whenever he is asked to be present at a fundraiser he is there. Sworn to secrecy he only told his family the night before the announcements on New Years Eve. Why me, he asked when he was made a Freeman of the Borough, and no doubt he asked the same question on receiving the MBE award.
Freeman of the Borough and now an MBE: but how ridiculous it is that he still has no mention in the Football League Museum Hall of Fame. Yet, listed are players such as Bryan Robson, Tony Adams, Viv Anderson, Roy Keane, Mark Hughes, Paul Scholes, Gary Lineker, Howard Kendall… and of course inevitably David Beckham; all good players, but journeymen in comparison with Jimmy Mac. His omission is a mystery but perhaps the MBE will bring his name to the attention of the selection committee.
dest, unassuming man you could not wish to meet. But, what magnificent talent and sublime skills he possessed. He is a symbol of an age now gone forever and the two books we did together give me such pride and sense of accomplishment. It always amazed me that nothing had been added to the 1960 book he wrote with ghostwriter David Jack until the two 2009 books we did. He was reluctant to do those if truth be known. “Who wants to read about an old has-been like me?” he said.
And meanwhile, ey oop, on New Years Eve we remembered, we’d all almost forgotten, there was another game at home on New Years Day. The burning question on this one was quite simple – lose and who would the crowd boo this time? Pre match, everyone said the right things but I swore I’d burn my season ticket if I heard the words “bounce back” one more time.
One of my New Years Resolutions lasted just 2 minutes into the game; namely not to eff and blind at referees. When Iwelumo went down in the area liked a felled Oak (no bigger than that – a Redwood) and no pen was given I was incandescent. Me and Mrs T were right in line and it looked a fair cop to me. And then when Sheffield were awarded their penalty the next tirade came out. But, the game was won 4 – 2 and all of us went home happy even if we hadn’t seen any miraculous transformation of tactics or formation. Chances were taken, nobody had a bad game, there was that little bit of luck when needed; Eagles was back to his best, and above all there was a spirit and a sense of determination that was sadly so absent against Scunthorpe. At his best Eagles is almost unplayable in this Division and in this game he scored a wonderful first from 30 yards that went in off each post. His celebratory dance was worth the entrance money alone. Then at the end he fashioned the final goal for Thompson. If the omission of Cork was a puzzle, then the introduction of the ungainly, lolloping Edgar for Elliot into midfield was the next one. Memo to Mr Gray: Edgar is neither a midfielder nor a full back. He is a good, solid, reliable centre back but anywhere else a definite NO.
Sunday January 2nd, 2011, all of us on pins: Now it was Malky Mackay in the frame according to Alan Nixon with Burnley wanting a quick answer from Big Sam. Big Sam in a telephone Talksport interview said he was flattered by the link with Burnley but was careful to use the word speculation.
|Last Updated ( Monday, 03 January 2011 )|
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