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Burnley 1 United 0

This was always going to be a tough fixture, but I never really thought we would lose it. Setting off at lunch time in a car of three Reds and 2 Burnley fans (including their most well known one) there was always the risk that the journey back would be hellish even if we drew, so you can imagine how bad it got after that result. But such is life I suppose!

Burnley is not the nicest nor the most welcoming of places, so we got into the ground as soon as we arrived and got aquainted with what must surely now be one of the worst stands in the league. Old wooden seats that have probably not been replaced for 40 years, pillars across the front, an old and crumbling concourse area and no room to swing a cat. To our right was the main stand including the director’s box, which was just as shoddy and which I cannot believe has not been redeveloped- apparently even the hospitality in there is as poor as the away end facilities. However, going to a ground like this is much more appealing than yet another generic small bowl stadium like Boro, Derby, Southampton etc and at least it has character.

The teams came out of the tunnel in our stand (and apparently the dressing rooms are not upto much either) to a fantastic reception but the home atmosphere was not as passionate as I imagined. It seems a lot of hangers on have attached themselves to Burnley this season and over 1,000 free tickets were given away too to corporate guests/ ex players etc- what could have been deafening noise ended up being nationwide style clapping and music on the tannoy much of the time.

On the pitch United dominated the whole game but did not offer much in the last third. Burnley’s defending was committed and brave, and to their credit they also kept the ball on the ground and played decent football when they had possession. United were out of ideas and Rooney had little wavelength with a poor Owen in the first half and later with Berbatov. United did have chances, not least the missed penalty, but overall did not do enough to guarantee getting a result.

On the back of this game no doubt the Ronaldo debate with start up again. I don’t believe in panic reactions based on one result, but on the other hand there are questions that remain. There were not enough players on that pitch last night capable of producing a moment of brilliance - Rooney can and Berbatov can at times, but the likes of Giggs (however well he played on the night), Carrick, Valencia and Park and not consistently going to get you a result against the odds in the same way Ronaldo or Tevez could. Whether a new signing comes or not is yet to be seen, and is unlikely to happen, but the manager is stubborn and himself certainly will not be rushing out to buy based on last night.

After the match Burnley fans were rightly delirious and danced along down the road as we sulked in the car waiting to head home. The two Burnley fans eventually got back and a frank and honest discussion was held, primarily around whether they should miss their flight back to France in the morning to stay for their match against Everton! Texts poured in to the car, from idiots winding me up to others congratulating Burnley. It was just one of those nights that makes the Premier League exciting, however unfortunately it was at our expense and so I cannot be quite so accepting about it yet.

If this is a one off poor result then well done Burnley and we will go on to bigger and better things this season, but the risk is that this raises more and more questions about the side and that other results follow a similar pattern. That makes Wigan a very big game this weekend.

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1 Comment

  1. EUGENE GARVEY :: August 21st, 2009 9:36 pm

    Well done Burnley, United have to beat Wigan now, but if we dont its not the end of the world, United have done well over the years and maybe we are not use to losing and winning nothing, I would never blame Fergie and AM sure he will turn things around. United for ever.

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