|"Transfer Night Fever"|
|Written by Dave Thomas|
|Wednesday, 09 February 2011|
Transfer night fever
Burnley 3 Burton Albion 1 (FA Cup)
Monday January 31st was almost as good as election night when we all sit up late and watch the results coming in. Was it last year when absolutely nothing happened and it was hilarious watching Jim White and Co on SKY trying to make nothing sound exciting? This time though it was all Torres and Carroll and even little Burnley joining in with Marvin Bartley signing up. The daftest bunch were at Stoke though, a group of supporters standing outside the training ground ‘waiting’. Waiting for what? To be on SKY I suppose and be excited. SKY had their reporters all over the country and there was a really thrilling bit when a shiny people carrier with black windows sped into Stamford Bridge and the SKY man was shouting “THAT MUST BE TORRES, THAT MUST BE TORRES inside there.” For all we know it might just as easily been the laundry.
The Bartley stuff was all last minute with a final offer going through at 9 pm (reportedly) and Bartley (reportedly) doing an Andy Gray and saying if it didn’t go through he wouldn’t be in the right frame of mind or mood to play. Chairman Eddie Mitchell was livid (reportedly) at the way it had been done and his hand forced with so many people ringing him. He thought Bartley had three agents. It might be that the Turf Moor bosses have learned to be tougher in their pursuit of targets or maybe one of them is a ventriloquist. And, here’s a thought - now that Eddie Howe has brought three more people in from Bournemouth in mid season, has he done an Owen Coyle? Bournemouth fans in the main seemed to remain quite charitable and non-condemnatory and relieved we hadn’t pinched star man Pugh in the window. All this was in the Bournemouth Daily Echo so it must be true (reportedly), and it certainly made a change for BFC to be portrayed as the bad guys. We’re not used to that; in fact according to my man on the inside, Burnley received a letter from Bournemouth complimenting them on the way they had abided by the rules when approaching them for Howe.
“Yep” I said, “and we’ve also got Marvin Bartley.”
She gulped and tea splurted out all over the duvet. “Who the hell is Marvin Bartley?” she asked. I had to smile. I’d asked the same question myself the night before – the new Lennie Johnrose by the sound of things. His girlfriend meanwhile didn’t want to come and (reportedly) didn’t know where Burnley was. Well, I thought, you’d better get packing and if you’re miffed blame the transfer window and perhaps if you’d watched SKY and Jim White having orgasms every time he uttered the name TORRES you’d have got a bit more excited yourself dear.
The last Midlands team to arrive at Turf Moor were the hordes from Port Vale who caused mayhem. Burton came with a more genteel reputation, were a credit to their club and by all accounts this was a big game for them; their commercial people seeing the chance of a quick profit by selling special mugs and scarves. This was their first ever appearance in the Fourth Round. Clearly they saw Burnley as a ‘scalp’. “It’s a big occasion,” said the man with the unpronouncable name for anyone who doesn’t have their own teeth, Peschisolido.
The day was cold and crisp for the Burton Cup game; a low sun in a blue sky made viewing difficult for anyone in the Upper James Hargreaves. It was, in fact, not much of a problem for there was little of note to see in a half-paced first half where a nice bit of skill came from the interplay between Cork and Eagles before the deft Eagles slotted the ball home. If we thought that would open the floodgates it didn’t and although Burton seldom got near the Burnley goal, nevertheless for several spells they bossed the midfield as Burnley seemed to treat this is a gentle training exercise.
Only Eagles, Cork and Fox, possibly Mears too, had anything resembling an above average game. The rest, although doing nothing that was desperately bad apart from one mad moment from Duff when he forgot that his role is to destroy rather than delight; nevertheless, looked like they had lead in their boots every now and then. Peschilscholdido (drat my teeth just fell out) saw Burnley in a different light.
“Some of their movement and their passing and interchange of play was phenomenal at times.”
Our manager described the performance as ‘professional’ and ‘resolute’. I’d guess that’s code for ‘not really very good but we won’. The saving grace was Eagles in a role that gives him a more central role where he can run at pace through midfield and the final third with his little flicks and lay-offs and generally cause havoc. He was unlucky not to register a hat-trick with a piece of skill on the left when he took the ball in mid stride, cut in and unleashed a fantastic shot that smacked the bar, nearly broke it in two, and then it bounced down onto the goal-line. Or did it? Was it just over the line maybe – apparently not.
“They’d have been booed off for that under Laws.” “Howe’s got his work cut out to sort that lot out.” “Trouble is, too many players here on good money think they’re better then they are.” probably the most apposite – “that wer bloody rubbish."
The Norwich canaries came flying high, second in the table and the news had just been confirmed that the Cup game against West Ham would be on a Monday night on ESPN. Sod the supporters then. How daft can football get; a Saturday away trip to West Ham, something to look forward to; a Monday no thanks. And ESPN, I can’t think of anyone I know within a 10 miles radius chez moi with ESPN. Sod the expense - 9 quid for a month – I booked it. Sometimes you deserve a treat.
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