Burnley endure a tough week at the top table

29 January 2017 01:22

A convincing 2-0 home victory over Bristol City in yesterday’s 4th round Emirates FA Cup tie has served to ameloriate what has otherwise been a difficult week for Burnley.

It began with the maddeningly unjust defeat at Arsenal, then worsened with the news that the injury incurred by veteran midfielder Dean Marney in the same game, will rule him out for the remainder of the season.

This is the second such long-term injury that Marney has suffered in the last two years and it is especially unfortunate that this most committed and wholehearted of footballers should suffer so disproportionately.

Marney has made a huge contribution to Burnley’s upward curve during his time with the club and his form since returning from the first of those injuries has been first class.

It is to be hoped that Dean Marney will recover to don the claret shirt once again but he will be 33 on Tuesday and the feeling persists that the team may well have to move on without him. 

Marney’s injury has meant Burnley are now urgently needing to acquire another quality midfield player. Bids were promptly tabled for Hull's Robert Snodgrass and Norwich's Robbie Brady for fees believed to be in the region of £10 million.

Snodgrass somewhat incomprehensibly from a Clarets fan's perspective, seemed to prefer London to Burnley and opted to join West Ham. Allardyce's Crystal Palace were also rumoured to have stated an interest in Brady and it is entirely possible that the Clarets' canary target will fail at the final hurdle.

From a Burnley point of view, is it too mean-spirited to wish that the hideous expense and transport chaos of life in the capital will cause Snodgrass to regret his near-sightedness?

Burnley will no doubt issue the now traditional “irons in the fire” statement but bringing players in during the January window is notoriously difficult, particularly when so much attention needs to be focused on retaining the assets already firmly esconsed in the Turf Moor dressing room.  

Rumours of strong interest in Michael Keane surface from time to time and it would be surprising if teams with porous defences don’t turn their heads in the direction Tom Heaton or Ben Mee.  Burnley will need to demonstrate steadfastness and  resist any such covetous advances if the progress made this season is not to be undermined.

Referring back to yesterday’s game against Lee Johnson's Robins, aside from Defour’s sublime strike (echoes of Eric Cantona), Sam Vokes’ less grandiose opener was his fiftieth for the club.

This is a notable landmark for this imposing Welsh international striker, whose willingness to contest headers, hold the ball up and take the resultant knocks has been of direct benefit to first Danny Ings and now Andre Gray.

Vokes’ total of fifty goals for the Clarets are incidentally more than former Burnley legends of yesteryear such as Ralph Coates, Ray Hankin, Adrian Heath, Roger Eli, Charlie Austin and Jay Rodriguez could acquire.

It remains to be seen if the Clarets can get a couple of their transfer targets over the line before they take on Claudio Ranieri's struggling Champions of last year Leicester City, at Turf Moor on Tuesday night.

This article is written by uber Burnley fan and Clarets Mad contributor David Thornley.

Source: DSG