Good Luck Danny

Back in March 2014 I said that Danny Ings would be the first Burnley player since Martin Dobson to earn a full England call-up. It turns out it was Tom Heaton so maybe my crystal ball was slightly distorted. However, I still believe that he will get a first cap and probably sooner rather than later now he is joining Liverpool.

I make no secret of the fact that I am a massive Danny Ings fan, ever since I saw him come off the bench in a reserve game at Chorley against Preston North End. He was relatively unknown back then. I don’t think I knew much about him to be honest. But his feet did the talking. He was quick, agile and had great vision. Which generally mean you should be a decent ball basher.

People have criticised him for running his contract down, but they would have criticised him and the Club more if he’d left before it ended. Footballers can’t win in this department. Damned if they do and damned if they don’t. But can you really blame him for wanting to progress his career? I think its great credit to Burnley Football Club that we keep getting top notch strikers on their way up the ladder. The likes of Jay Rod, Charlie and Fletcher too if I’m being honest. At least we tend not to be getting the journeymen on the way back down. And before anyone mentions he who shall not be named, I have erased him from my memory barring a hat-trick against PNE.

Ings should also be praised for his humility. Few could argue that he has not been a superb ambassador for the Club with his tireless work for local charities and passion for helping kids less fortunate.

I will always be grateful to him for taking the time to send me a get well soon card when I was seriously ill. The fact that my mum wrote to him was quite embarrassing especially as he probably thought I was about ten years old. But no matter. It still cheered me up and one day I hope I will be able to thank him personally.

I am genuinely be sorry to see Danny leave, although my nephew isn’t because he, like his dad, is also a Liverpool fan. But whatever happens he will always be the man who scored the winner against THEM to finally get the monkey off our backs.

I will make one final prediction about our Danny. He will score the winner in the Euro 2016 final.

Once a Claret always a Claret. Good luck Danny.

We didn’t sign anyone – so what?

I really don’t understand all the doom-mongers. Seriously, what is wrong with everyone?

I’ll be honest, I got a bit fed up of seeing inane cartoons supposedly personifying how we Burnley fans felt yesterday. They certainly didn’t visualise my feelings.

If we had let our prized asset go for next to nothing and not replaced him then yes, maybe I would be a little frustrated. If we had let our prized asset go for all the tea in China and we had not replaced him then yes, maybe I would be a little frustrated. But we did neither of those things.

The Club said that Danny Ings was not leaving. He didn’t leave. That was far more important than bringing in a signing just for the sake of it.

Can we have a little bit of perspective, please? We are a Premier League Club. We are not in the relegation zone. We have Vokes and Ings up front, who between them bagged 47 goals last season. We are not a club staring in to the chasm of bankruptcy. We have one of the most sought after managers in the country and we have a stable squad.

How many clubs have got themselves in deep trouble by chucking the kitchen sink at the transfer market? Leeds United. Portsmouth. Bolton Wanderers. It doesn’t guarantee success.

Just spare a thought for any of the players reading all this nonsense. Imagine how they will be feeling when people are basically saying they are not good enough to stay up. Maybe they aren’t but they will give it their all and we will see on the 24th May.

Let’s be honest we do not know what goes on behind the scenes at Turf Moor but I’m willing to bet a Holland’s pie that the staff yesterday were not just huddled round a telly watching Jim White tell them what was going on.

I can’t believe people are saying “well, that’s it we are relegated”. What nonsense.

I said we could win the league. Perhaps that is now becoming unrealistic. European football is also becoming less and less likely. However, Premier League survival? Yes of course that is possible, 100% possible. We’re currently not even in the drop zone for goodness sake.

So let’s all take a deep breath and clear our heads and continue to support our great old Club with the passion, vigour and belief that got us in to this league in the first place.

Hashtag believe.

Clarets lose FA Youth Cup tie

Terry Pashley’s young Clarets crashed out of the FA Youth Cup, losing 2-0 against an impressive Nottingham Forest side.

The goals came either side of half time from Oliver Burke and Tyler Walker (son of Forest legend Des) and set up a quarter-final clash with either Manchester United or Tottingham Hotsoup.

After last week’s comfortable victory over Cardiff City it was a completely different story at the City Ground. The Clarets struggled to get hold of the ball really in the first half.

The referee was more like the Sheriff of Nottingham in the early stages, although I think the Forest fans will disagree, giving numerous soft free kicks with efforts dipping over the bar and saves made by Tony Aghayere.

There were a few runs from Bradley Jackson and Ntumba Massanka but they failed to develop into real chances.

The first goal wasn’t too much of a surprise. It resulted from a corner. The ball fell to Burke’s feet and he had far too much time to adjust and shoot from close range.

This seemed to give Burnley a bit of a kick up the rear that they needed. Almost from the restart Jackson passed to Massanka for a shot on goal.

Just before half time came the best chance for the Clarets. Jackson again down the wing crossed to Andreas Bianga who tried to curl his shot past the keeper, but he managed to parry it.

Minutes later Aghayere caught a cross on the line but he was bungled into the net leading to cheers for a goal. The linesman quite rightly flagged for a foul, which upset the natives somewhat.

The home side began the second half in much the same way as the first. They had numerous free kicks with Waqas Azam gaining a yellow in the process.

A goal looked likely with Walker having a great chance superbly saved by Aghayere.

But Forest finally doubled their lead after 65 minutes when an Aghayere goal kick was headed straight back from the middle of the park. Walker raced on to the incoming ball, took one touch and rattled it home from around 20 yards giving the Burnley stopper very little chance at all.

However that young man did keep us in the game by making numerous fantastic saves using whichever part of himself he could. They say a perfect hat-trick is left foot, right foot and head. Well he must have made the perfect saves equivalent.

The defence didn’t seem as solid as it did last week but Forest were bigger, stronger and looked fitter not unsurprising given that they are a level two EPPP (Elite Player Performance Plan) squad and we are level three.

Jamie Frost, who ironically was wearing gloves, had a good chance in the last few minutes when he dribbled into the box like Lionel Messi only to see three defenders close him down like he was Lionel Blair.

The Reds saw out the remainder of the game with ease and booked their place in the last eight.

MOTM: Aghayere

Burnley: Aghayere; El-Fitouri, Hobson, Azam, Nugent; Hill (Frost 60), Bianga, Wilson, Jackson; Metz (Crawford 76), Massanka (Dolling 72)

Subs: Dixon, Grogan.

Nottingham Forest: Erlandsson; Yates, Worrall, Lacovitti, Kelly; Burke, Crookes, Cash, Gamblem; McDonagh (Walton 80), Walker

Subs: Dearle, Otim, Austin, Nielsen.

Attendance: 788

Young Clarets come through FA Cup tie

Burnley’s young starlets claimed an emphatic 3-1 victory over Cardiff City to progress to the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday night.

A trip to face Nottingham Forest at the City Ground was the reward following goals from Brandon Wilson, Jamie Frost and Bradley Jackson on a bitterly cold evening at Turf Moor.

Burnley dominated the first half and it looked like it was only a matter of time before they took the lead. Ntumba Massanka was in the thick of the action and he was unlucky not to get on the score sheet. This lad has pace to burn.

The goal came just before half time following a bit of a goalmouth scramble which fell to Wilson, who shot home from the edge of the box.

The lead was nearly doubled on the stroke of half time when Jackson let rip only to see the Cardiff stopper make an absolutely world class save to tip it round the post.

I’ve seen Jackson play a few times now and he always impresses. He’s quick, has good feet and isn’t afraid to skin a full-back.

The appropriately-named Jamie Frost came on for Massanka just after the hour mark. He’s another young lad that I rate and he made an immediate impact.

On 75 minutes, Jackson muscled his way through the Welsh defence and when his cross was deflected he managed to hook a cross over to the back post for the waiting Frost, who slammed the ball in to the far corner, giving the keeper absolutely no chance.

Burnley were 2-0 up – and true to recent form they soon conceded. Cardiff won a free kick on the edge of the box. All the players lined up as if Veale was going to cross it in to the box. From where we were sat it looked like there was a big gap. There was. He curled it in to the top corner.

But thankfully there was that man again. Khius Metz played a delightful through ball and Jackson powered into the box and made no mistake making it 3-1 and guaranteeing the Clarets a fifth round tie against Nottingham Forest next Tuesday 27th January.

I would also like to give Waqas Azam a quick mention. I thought he was solid in the centre of defence. He’s not the tallest of centre halves but he put himself about. He’s another one to watch.

MOTM: Bradley Jackson

Burnley: Aghayere; El-Fitouri (Dixon 86), Hobson, Azam, Nugent; Jackson, Bianga, Wilson, Hill; Massanka (Frost 66), Metz.

Subs: King, Dolling, Crawford.

Cardiff: Massaro, Rees, Baker, Patten, R. Menayese, Williams, Watkins (Phipps 46), Yonwa-Toonga (So Sani 75), E. Menayese, Taylor (Veale 46), Noor.

Subs: Coughlan, Coxe.

Attendance: 282

Report: Vintage Clarets 2-1 Ted’s Old Boys

It was definitely a game of three halves for the Vintage Clarets as they ran out 2-1 winners against St. Theodores Old Boys at Burnley Belvedere FC in support of Mick Ennis with goals from Roger Eli and Brad Maylett.

Around 1,500 people turned out on a sunny Lancashire afternoon to show their appreciation the teacher affectionately known as ‘Mennis’ who is currently receiving treatment for cancer.

Blessed Trinity (formerly St ‘Teds’ Theodore’s) sports-mad teacher Mick has spent countless out of school hours supporting pupils to reach their sporting ambitions. He has managed school football teams to 8 Lancashire Cup Finals and 1 National Final. He also managed teams to 3 Lancashire Cricket Finals.

The game was played as three periods of 30 minutes with a different team from St Theodore’s playing in each.

The first chance fell to Teds with Nick Palich sliding in at the near post and Chris Pearce showed that he still had a sense of humour by shouting ”Yes!” as he failed to connect with the delivery.

It didn’t take the former pros long to take the lead. NNN columnist Paul Weller headed the ball in the box and Graham Lancashire saw it cleared off the line twice before it dropped to Roger Eli, whose header lobbed in to the far corner.

Andy Devanney, Twitter
Andy Devanney, Twitter

Weller was again in the thick of the action after a quarter of an hour when he saw his free-kick hit the wall and five minutes later he leapt like a salmon only to see his header saved. However, the resulting corner fell to Brad Maylett, who doubled the lead.

Pearce was again up to mischief when he charged up the field for a corner and hounded the Teds keeper just before the first break.

The second period was a quieter affair. Jamie Hoyland spurned a golden opportunity when his header went close and Graham Lancashire was on hand to console him.

Andy Devanney, Twitter
Andy Devanney, Twitter

When I say console, I mean laugh.

Manager John Deary gave Vintage Clarets debuts to Alex Kevan, Lee Roche, Jason Heffernan and Dennis Hill.

The final third saw the big guns rolled out for the Ormerod Road school boys. Manchester United’s Class of ’92 starlet Chris Casper was joined by former Claret John Mullin and his brother and Accrington Stanley legend Paul.

Andy Devanney, Twitter
Andy Devanney, Twitter

The pressure was immediately piled on from the Mullin brothers with wave after wave of attack culminating in Dean Stowe slotting the ball in the far corner despite a valiant Phil Eastwood challenge.

I suppose it was win, lose and draw for both teams but there can be only one winner and that was Mick Ennis who was able to attend part of the game.

The game was played with a superb spirit and there was little for professional football league referee Graham Salisbury to do.

Following the game there was an auction with some amazing pieces of memorabilia donated from far and wide. Jimmy Anderson had donated a signed England cricket shirt. There was a Manchester United shirt signed by Angel di Maria and signed Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs photos.

Man of the moment Danny Ings was actually in attendance and he donated his shirt from the Stoke City game as well as a pair of his orange boots. But my favourite lot of the evening was a signed picture of Bertie Bee rugby tackling that streaker against Preston North End.

Well over £2,000 was raised from those sales alone. Who said there was no money in Burnley?

It really was a terrific event and thanks must be given to all those who organised it.

Vintage Clarets: Pearce, Ishy, Atkinson, Eastwood, Harrison, Hoyland, Lancashire, Cartwright, Weller, Mumby, Eli
Subs: Kevan, Maylett, Roche, Heffernan, Hill, Deary

Teds team 1: Heys, Palich, Clarke, Perry, Taylor, Horne, Woodfield, Fogarty, Dugdale, Stowe, Finn
Subs: Russell

Teds team 2: Garnett, Byrne, Bentley, Byrne, Cole, Ennis, Geogheghan, Boyle, Cole, Berry
Subs: Palich, McMahon

Teds team 3: Anderson, Dugdale, Collins, Casper, Walsh, Bridge, Mullin, Bridge, Mullin, Stowe, Horrocks
Subs: McLaughlin

Pacific Finance MOTM: Jamie Hoyland

All of us at NNN send Mr Ennis our very best wishes. You can still support the cause by making a donation to Pendleside Hospice and include gift aid as a taxpayer.

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We won’t win promotion

Well, I told you so. Sorry but I had to say it, seeing as I was ridiculed by some non-believers.

I was certainly in the minority last year when I said, before the season started, that we would win promotion. The reason behind my correct prediction was based on the fact that you have to believe you can achieve something in order to compete. That mentality is exactly what Sean Dyche has instilled in our band of brothers.

The Club tweeted a picture of him recently stood next to a sign entitled state of mind which goes on to say that if you think you are beaten, you are.

The key to our success last season was that the lads never gave up. The manager never gave up. The coaches never gave up and we never gave up.

Of course all the pundits are immediately saying that we will return to football’s second tier. But who cares what a former player, whose sole career highlight was winning the League Cup, thinks? Not to disrespect the League Cup, I’m actually a fan of it and think we will win it in the next five years.

But I don’t care what anyone thinks. We ARE there and be that for one season or more we play Chelsea at Turf Moor tonight. Not Leyton Orient. Not Stockport County. Not even Wolverhampton Wanderers but Jose Mourinho’s team of millionaires.

@BurnleyOfficial
@BurnleyOfficial

I don’t care that you could buy over 1000 Michael Duffs for the price of one Diego Costa. I know which one I’d rather have.

Don’t get me wrong, I am excited about the fact that we are going to see these fantastic world class footballers playing in our town. But I’ll be far more excited when Duffo dispossesses Eden Hazard on the edge of the box. I’ll be jumping for joy when Kieran Trippier skips past Cesc Fàbregas and I’ll be doing somersaults when Danny Ings nutmegs John Terry and slots the ball past Petr Čech.

It is eleven men against eleven men and the opposition cannot possibly have more desire to win than we do.

We have to put an air-inflated bladder between two sticks and into a net. Nothing more and nothing less. Why does costing £32m make you better at doing that than costing £30k? It doesn’t.

Money doesn’t make players any better. Training, effort, practice, coaching and above all else a desire to win does that.

I’ll be honest, we are not going to win promotion this season, I’m sorry to say. But we still have to set out to win every game and if we do that we’ll be Champions of England for the third time, an achievement only held by 14 other clubs. In fact we rank seventh in the all-time league table.

We have a tradition that is as great if not greater than more than half of the Premier League never mind the other 72 clubs. Of course we deserve to be there. We are founder members of the Football League. We have won the FA cup twice. We have won all four divisions of English football and now we begin as equals in arguably the greatest league in the world.

So as we start this new season there is no reason on paper why we can’t win the league but even I maybe think that is asking too much. Last season we had worked up to promotion and this season we only need to finish 17th. So if we are aiming 16 places higher who knows what can happen.

However, I do think that a European place is a real possibility. You heard it here first.

Mock me at your peril, remember as Dyche says: “It’s all in the state of mind.”

Up the Clarets.

Are you with Andy? Leave a comment blow.