Burnley Beware

Apparently in English football it is possible to be banned from buying a football club for 5 weeks – yes that’s right FIVE WEEKS. It’s OK because you are a lawyer and all you did wrong was not tick an important box on an important legal document – Farnell should have got at least 5 months for pure incompetence- or for the good of English football preferably a ban of 5 decades.

Anyway the news that Farnell and his erstwhile Egyptian benefactor, El Kashashy have shifted their attempts to steal ,buy Charlton to the same project at Burnley.

Apparently and somewhat amazingly the Premier League have accepted proof of funds. When our highly motivated well researched and intelligent fan base looked for the source of El Kashashy’s wealth before, the information on the success of his fast food franchises was a bit thin on the ground.

If I was a Burnley fan I would be very worried indeed. The most sensible answer for all these prospective owners is for the EFL and Premier League to demand that the new owners deposit enough money in an escrow account on completion which covers c 18 months of anticipated costs of running the club, only accessible in equal tranches over the period. If they can’t or won’t do that, as I suspect will be the case with Farnell and his latest new mate then they shouldn’t be allowed to buy

Anyway, only time will tell- BUT BURNLEY BEWARE

Its football Jim – but not as we know it

I guess Northampton away is never likely to be a fixture that would set your pulse racing, but dear oh dear what a shocking advert for professional football. I was talking to my mate who lives in the US yesterday who avidly watches every game and he gave up at half time and went to the driving range.

Obviously who cares we got 3 points etc but it was like watching a park game. There certainly does seem to be a bigger gulf than ever between this Division and the Championship where we played some lovely football at the start of last season.

The positives are the defense – notably Ryan Inniss who was a colossus on Saturday slightly ahead of Amos, Famewo, Gunter and Maatsen who were all excellent. Not entirely sure why LB started with Williams, Levitt and JFC in the middle since it seemed pretty obvious that they would be outmuscled or completely bypassed in the aerial battles. I guess he just felt he had to give Pratley and Watson a bit of a break. Great to see Matthews re joining.

It’s tempting to suggest that the plan this season is to win all our games 1-0. Oxford like to play football so it would be nice to see us step up tomorrow, I think it will be a much tougher test and we need to get a bigger contribution from the creative players.

I just hope its not another game where after the long ball barrage we sigh…….. beam me up scotty

Come in Number 9

Firstly this is not a moan because I thought under the circumstances yesterday the new boys all did well and frankly even though the game was pretty awful, we won so who cares.

However, I do think its a bit early to draw any conclusions. Fans are already raving about Inniss and he certainly made a difference in the air but he looked shaky on the floor to me.

I thought Smyth was very busy and irritating to their defenders and he certainly put 100% work in. Ultimately, though his final shot or pass was ineffective. Aneke had a stormer and Bogle looked OK when he came on. Some Charlton lifers seem a bit unsure about Watson. I just think he is fantastic, sure he misplaces the odd pass but he is the heartbeat and metronome of the team. He is the sort of player that ensures you get 1-0 wins. Anyway its all about opinions.

I am firmly in the camp of us still needing a regular goal scorer as the final piece in the jigsaw- I think its very telling that the number 9 jersey remains unallocated. I assume that we will try to be thereabouts of the play off positions by the end of the year and hope to pick up a proven goal scorer in the Jan window to push us into the play offs – it has worked before, older fans will remember the impact of Jim Melrose and then Mark Bright in previous generations.

Anyway, finally how about this as an idea. If I was the manager I’d be tempted to push Doughty in as a No 9 playing alongside a physical striker like Aneke or Bogle. We could use Smyth then on the wing. Doughty has pace, skill, can beat a man, he is strong, brave and he can head. I think he is a bit wasted at left wing back- also he’s not the best defender. We did it years ago with Mike Flanagan converting him from winger to striker and it worked like a dream.

Hope over expectation ?

I’m a bit worried looking at this group of players that we are far too weak all over the pitch to launch any kind of promotion challenge. I know we’ve got a couple of weeks to get some more talent in but finding new players to make a real impact will be very difficult. I totally support TS’s ambition, it was the quality we sorely lacked under Duchâtelet, but I wonder if its a triumph of hope over expectation. It has always taken us 3 years to get out of this Division and my best guess would be a repeat of that.

Yesterday’s midfield is an obvious area. When we got promoted last time, we had a midfield of Bielik, Cullen, Aribo, Fosu, Williams ( playing well) . Compare that to Vennings, Levitt and Oztumer and Williams (lost his mojo) and its evident that we’ve got a big problem.

Even the back 4 , compare the title winning side of Wiggins, Morrison, Taylor and Solly to the current back 4 in any guise and its much weaker.

Sunderland looked pretty woeful yesterday and I don’t agree with Lee that they were a better side than the team we played at Wembley. It is also true that many of the teams in this division are weaker now than the last time we were here, but we are too and by a long way.

Look I certainly hope that in the next two weeks, the team will be transformed but its going to be a big challenge.