Burnley FC Blog: Improving defence a priority for new boss
For a team sport, the week was one shaped by individuals.
First of all there was the continued and seemingly unstoppable rise of Charlie Austin.
His Tuesday night brace in Burnley’s performance at Ashton Gate meant that the striker matched Ray Pointer’s 1958/59 season record of scoring in eight consecutive appearances.
The superlatives have been flying all week. And for once the hyperbole has been justified.
The former Swindon man has found the net 18 times already this season.
These are computer game statistics and surely the only question now is how much we can get for the player come January.
Another man in the spotlight was Terry Pashley. The well-liked caretaker manager won a local derby and an away game before crashing and burning at Cardiff.
Six points from nine is a decent return from a stand-in gaffer and by the time you read this the likelihood is that a full-time boss will have been appointed.
Pashley’s sign-off line that “you simply can’t give yourself that much to do in games” after seeing his temporary charges ship (another) four goals was on the money.
Across the Football League only Bristol City, Bury, Oxford United, AFC Wimbledon and Barnet defend with less competence.
The new boss won’t need the tactical acumen of Pepe Guardiola to work out where the priority lies.
Yet all the above was rendered irrelevant by the awful news of John Connelly’s sad demise. Aged 74, John became the fifth member of the 1959/60 Championship-winning team to leave this world.
Too young to have seen him play, those who did recall a two-footed winger with an excellent knack for finding the back of the net.
The latter is emphatically borne out by a goalscoring record of 105 in 265 appearances.
As if that wasn’t an impressive enough stat, consider that in 1959/60 Burnley’s strikers, Pointer and Robson, scored 19 and 18 respectively while John scored 20. From the wing.
A victim of Alf Ramsey’s “wingless wonders”, John still played a part in helping England to their sole World Cup triumph.
The last of his 20 caps was won in the 1966 opening group game against Uruguay.
I’m certain that Clarets everywhere send heartfelt condolences to John’s friends and family.