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Burnley v West Ham United

Filed: Saturday, 24th March 2012
By: Preview Percy

When we went to see Preview Percy this week he was moaning like crazy about the changes in tax allowances for pensioners. The funny thing is that when we asked him if he’d have to pay extra tax he coughed and spluttered a bit and changed the subject. And his room does have some suspiciously recent souvenirs of a recent trip to Monaco. Here’s his look at our visit to Burnley. John Northcutt provides a spot of statistical context…

Next up we have a visit to the North West (or “t’ North West” to give it its proper name) for a Saturday 3pm kick-off against Burnley. Trains seem to be clear of engineering works in the area if you’re going that way, though the back end of beyondedness of the place will mean you have to change at Preston on your way. Weather? It’s up north so bring a brolly whatever the forecast says.

Our hosts for the weekend are one of the few in the league who are becalmed. They are in 16th place with 49 points from 37 games. That’s 11 points off a play-off spot and 17 points clear of the relegation zone. Their recent form has been a bit indifferent. They are winless in their last six having amassed a mere two points in that period. These came courtesy of draws at home to Palace (1-1) and away at Cardiff (0-0). The remaining four all ended in defeat with them going down 1-0 at Reading, 3-1 at home to Millwall, 3-2 away at Watford and, most recently 1-0 at Ipswich. Both their position and form surprised me a bit, though when I looked back at the preview wot I wrote for the reverse fixture back in December I see I was similarly surprised with their form back then. All of which proves nothing, other than I ought to pay more attention.

One of the first places I look at when having a gander at Burnley is the Wikipedia page for midfielder Marvin Bartley. Bartley, you may recall, is something of a “marmite” figure amongst the Turf Moor faithful and there’s been a bit of an ongoing craze for people to add spurious details to his Wiki page. In recent times he has been an ex-boxer who once k/o’ed Lennox Lewis and a blackmailer who owes his career in the game to having caught Harry Redknapp misbehaving. His current entry suggests that he signed from Bournemouth on the 32nd January 2014 for a fee of £17.5m. 13 of his 18 appearances this term have come from the bench, suggesting that despite his cult status amongst some (but not all) of the Burnley support he remains a peripheral figure.

It was a quiet transfer window for the Clarets. So quiet in fact that the search terms “Burnley transfer window” brought back a whole list of people wanting to flog double glazing in that part of Lankyshire (as I believe it’s pronounced). They did technically make three signings, if you include changing the status of a couple of Man City youngsters from “on loan” to “permanent”. Kieran Trippier and Ben Mee both arrived in the summer on loan terms from Eastlands and both were signed for “undisclosed” fees as the window opened. They also plundered the Emerald Isle to bring in defender Daniel Lafferty from Derry City for a reported £150,000. And apparently a Mrs Wainthrop of 32 Corporation Street saved £££££s on uPVC windows in a “By One Get One Free” offer. Lafferty has had a promising start to his Burnley career but is a doubt for Saturday after failing to see out the Ipswich match due to a hamstring injury.

There’s been mixed fortunes for the couple of ex-Hammers they picked up from us in the summer. Junior Stanislas has featured in 22 of their 37 league matches, a total which includes three sub appearances. He’s been a regular starter in recent weeks.

On the other hand, Zavon Hines’ 13 league appearances have all come from the bench and he has yet to trouble the scorers. It’s been a good few weeks since Hines had any involvement at first team level and recent rumours have linked him with a possible loan move down to Bournemouth. In fact since originally writing that sentence I receive confirmation from this rest home's sister location in Bournemouth (The Rosie Redknapp Retirement Kennels) that Hines has indeed joined the Cherries on loan until the end of the season. The grass, it seems, may not always be greener.

They will have been pleased to have held onto striker Jay Rodriguez who has hit 21 goals in 41 matches in all competitions this season, which is a decent return in a team beached in the lower parts of what we will call mid-table. Fulham and Newcastle are both said to have shown interest in the striker who was also the subject of an alleged £4m bid from Southampton last summer. Despite the exotic name, Rodriguez is a local lad, something that may have hitherto prolonged his stay with the club. However, they may find the finances require them to do business this summer unless some miracle run sees them getting promoted. T’was ever thus at Turf Moor. Rodriguez has been in the wars of late and was a doubt for Ipswich but managed the full ninety so there should be no problems regarding his availability this weekend.

Us? Well on the injury front we are probably at least a week away from what would be (in my opinion) the welcome return of Ricardo Vaz Te though some sources suggest there is an outside chance of his appearing at Turf Moor. Similar reports are appearing regarding Julien Faubert (groin). Winston Reid’s head injury is now listed as “long-term”. Guy Demel (hippomonstrosesquipedaliaphobia) and Papa Bouba Diop (hamstring) are the other two we won’t be seeing any time soon. However, as demonstrated by his appearance from the bench in midweek, Carew is fit for selection again.

Tuesday night was disappointing in the extreme again and involved an all too familiar pattern. Boro’ lacked ambition for much of the match with six or even, on occasion, seven strung across the back. Without Vaz Te or similar on the pitch with the creative mind to try something different, like, oh I don’t know, maybe taking on and beating a player, we looked stuffed for ideas as to what to do in the final third. Worse still, when we did finally score, the almost immediate reaction was to remove two strikers (one playing woefully out of position) and bring on a midfielder to shut up shop.

Now nobody is suggesting that we should have gone all gung-ho with a suicidal attempt to improve the goal difference. However, the changes totally ignored the fact that, in order to get anything out of the game, Boro’ would have to come out of their shell and leave themselves exposed at the back. The changes made left us totally unprepared to exploit such frailties and merely led to us defending deep, inviting them on to us, with the inevitable results. Sure we were unlucky a couple of times – particularly with Tomkins’ header that was touched onto the bar. But the fact remains we ended up set up to worry about them rather than to make them worry about us.

The fact that we’re still in with a decent shout of automatic promotion should be looked on as a bonus and regarded as a position we are in in spite of the way we are playing, rather than because of it, otherwise we’ll end up not reacting to the situation until it’s too late to do anything about it.

For this one, Burnley are a tidier outfit than their results would perhaps suggest and, despite their inconsistencies over the season, they are quite capable of giving us a hard time. For that reason, and because all the experience I’ve had this season suggests that lessons are not being learnt I’ll go for yet another draw. That’ll be me popping down to the bookies to place the Rest Home’s heating fund (£2.50) on a 2-2 draw then.

Enjoy the game!

When last we met: Lost 2-1 – a strange game that we dominated but failed to take any of the numerous chances that came our way, with the exception of Nolan’s opener. Burnley on the other hand had few chances but took two of them through McCann and Voakes.

Referee: Mark Heywood – first time doing one of our matches. Seems allergic to giving red cards looking at his stats for the season. I vaguely remember him not issuing a red for a horror two-footed tackle by Matt Tubbs (then of Crawley) in the cup against Derby a while back. If you’re not going to send someone off for one of those you probably won’t be issuing too many red cards full stop

Danger Man: Jay Rodriguez – Top scorer in a team that is having a season best described as “average”.

Daft Fact Of The Week: A couple of years ago it was announced that Burnley was the town with the most recorded burglaries in the UK, a fact made more amazing by the fact that nobody there has anything to nick. Closer analysis of the statistics showed that the burglaries consisted of the continual theft and re-theft of the town’s one video cassette recorder (a Betamax) which has now visited every house in the Burnley municipal area at least three times. Police experts are anticipating a further explosion in crime figures once the local population discover the existence of DVD, Blu-Ray and colour television.

More sensibly, one should point out that the town (or at least a village just outside it) was also the birthplace of none other than Ron Greenwood so at least there’s something to be said for the place.

John NorthcuttStat man John: Northcutt's corner

Head to Head
Pld 78; West Ham Utd 31, Burnley 31, Draws 16.

Biggest Win
26th August 1968: West Ham Utd 5-0 Burnley (Boleyn Ground, Division One)

Heaviest Defeat
3rd March 1962: Burnley 6-0 West Ham Utd (Turf Moor, Division One)

First Meeting
17th November 1923: Burnley 5-1 West Ham Utd (Turf Moor, Division One)

Last Five Meetings
3rd December 2011: 1-2 (Boleyn Ground, Championship)
21st February 2011: 5-1 (Boleyn Ground, FA Cup 5th Round)
6th February 2010: 1-2 (Turf Moor, Premier League)
28th November 2009: 5-3 (Boleyn Ground, Premier League)
5th April 2005: 1-0 (Turf Moor, Championship)

They Played For Both
Tyrone Mears; Zavon Hines; Junior Stanislas; Luke Chadwick; Reg Attwell; Frank Birchenough; Herman Conway; Joe Gallagher; Walter Pollard; Ian Wright; Jack Tresadern; Tommy Hampson; Alan Taylor.

You're Off! Previous Red Cards
Ted MacDougall (h) 1973-74; Chris Cohen (h) 2004-05.

Bossing It
Our former full back John Bond was the Burnley manager between 1983 and 1984.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

Your Comments

by hammer hanna
01:53PM 24th Mar 2012
''Lovely memory, the biggest win (5-0 in 1968). I was 12 at the time and I remember doing a full scale 'Knees up Mother Brown' down Green Street after the game as it sent us top of the league that night after about seven or eight games. I don't ever remember any other full scale KUMB down the whole of Green Street! Lofty heights indeed.

Percy, you make me laugh so much - the different injuries you come up for Demel - very funny.''

by benspain
12:23PM 24th Mar 2012
''Shame we're not still in the days of Betamax; we used to play football then.''

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