ASK any participant in or spectator of the Championship who the best right back in the division is and more often than not the reply will be “Kieran Trippier”.
Certainly in the corridors of Turf Moor it would be the answer on everyone’s lips.
While Sam Vokes and top scorer Danny Ings have chalked up an incredible 42 goals between them so far – making them one of the most feared strike partnerships not just in the English leagues, but also on the continent – they would be the first to recognise that they owe a lot of their success to Trippier.
It was the same for Charlie Austin last season.
Aside from his defensive improvements Trippier’s boundless energy down the right, capacity to deliver a deadly ball into the box and no shortage of skill in beating defenders marks the former England Under 21 international down as a ‘one to watch’ for most, if not all, opposition managers.
He could finish top of the 2013/14 assist charts.
Former Claret and current columnist of this newspaper, David Eyres, says the 23-year-old puts a lot of wingers to shame. And he should know.
Few have managed to tame Trippier this season. Only arguably Bournemouth have succeeded, with former Clarets boss Eddie Howe having the inside track on the former Manchester City full back. He was, of course, the one to bring him to Turf Moor in the first place.
And ever since Burnley have had to deal with speculation about the Bury-born defender.
He has been linked with Arsenal and Newcastle more than once in the two years he has been a permanent on the Burnley payroll.
No-one has yet acted assertively on their interest.
But this should not mean laurels are rested on.
With just 18 months left to run on his contract, and with the Clarets playing their way into the promotion positions, there could not be a better time to tie Trippier to new terms.
If promotion is ultimately secured, then what a boost to have Trippier already fully on board.
The Clarets stalled over talks with Austin. Had they acted sooner then they might have had a chance of securing the striker to an extended deal as his season was about to take off last year.
With the benefit of hindsight, things have worked out well with the partnership of Ings and Vokes given the chance to grow without last season’s top scorer.
But such lucky breaks are rare.
Burnley need to make their move with Trippier before someone else does.
Digital option is just the ticket
IT’S about this time of year that football fans start to receive brochures encouraging them to renew their season tickets.
In it there is usually a message from the manager or chairman – or both – outlining why supporters should commit to the forthcoming campaign.
Prices for the various stands and age categories are mapped out.
There is often an attention-grabbing front cover.
Time, effort and money go into encouraging supporters to part with theirs.
But Burnley have taken the decision this year not to send out season ticket information in such a format, and instead channeled advertising and sales through the club’s website.
In doing so they have saved £18,000.
Some might see it as false economy. Not everyone is up to speed with the digital era, particularly the older generations who have followed the Clarets for decades.
It certainly seems less personal.
But, with prices frozen for next season and an attractive ‘Early Bird’ offer the club is not expecting take-up to suffer as a result of their new approach, with many existing season tickets holders historically going into the ticket office to renew even before any form of advertising or leafleting has landed on their doormat.
Anyone who does not renew will be contacted individually by telephone or email.
And with Burnley riding high in the Championship, the club are hoping that the football will sell itself.