Long Time Lurker wrote:Raises his hand
I can't speak for any of the other doubters, but my concerns are directed towards his suitability to play a full 90 minutes if circumstances ever require it of us. The "cross to Crouch" plan B strategy worked well for us today. Bringing on JBG and Brady to load the box with opportunities paid off. However, I'm not sure we can get away with that as a 90 minute plan A.
Hats off to Crouch today though, he came in and did the job that he is suited to and we nicked a point at the end.
What is done is done, but our performance in the last window was poor, especially when you take into account that we had a reasonable free run at things, because the other clubs in our financial bracket spent all of their transfer kitties in the Summer window.
Hi Long Time, thanks for your detailed response (and don't take that, because I've deleted a section, I'm not responding to parts of your response - I've deleted out of courtesy for other posters/readers and cutting the overall length of threads).
Early in the game (I was watching on a very "stop-go" stream) there were a number of occasions when McNeil crossed into the box. I could see Peter Crouch "licking his lips" at those crosses. If we are in a place when we need Crouch to start - and don't want to go with just one up top - we have the chance to get some scores on the board before we head into the last 10-15 minutes.
Like you, I don't expect a 38 year old to deliver a full 90+ minutes - just as Steve Defour didn't get in a single 90 minute game in his first season - and just as Dwight McNeil can tire and we are better off subbing him for this closing period. So, I can see Plan A being Crouch being a starter but being subbed later in the game. Yes, this is a different "Plan A" and it will show us once more that Sean Dyche can be flexible - as well as loyal.
I also liked Sam Vokes, but if we are comparing Vokes and Crouch we should ask ourselves how many caps would we have expected Sam Vokes to get for England (and, I think I'm right to suggest that Sam would have qualified by place of birth)? Crouchie's experience improves our team and squad through the end of this season, despite him now being a 38 year old Premier League striker.
Is Premier League football a sport or a business? In my view it is a competive sport that is facilitated by all the money that flows through it. Several of the large clubs (and I don't just mean the "top 6" - I also include the others with large fan bases and catchment areas) have the financial backing to take a few financial hits, spending too much on players, a transfer deal that doesn't work out etc etc. Burnley have a lot less scope for these mistakes. To create even a little chance to compete in the Premier League Burnley have to be smarter than most with their financial resources.
There's quite a bit reported today in The Times sport section about all the clubs that missed out on their targets for this window. If we look at how these other clubs did, then we could conclude that Burnley did better than most.
The summer is a new window. Mike Rigg should be established by then - remember it was said that we shouldn't expect too much in Jan when Mike joined in Nov. We will also know if we are in the Premier League again - and, I believe Peter Crouch gives us a much better chance of staying up than Sam Vokes would have done. Crouchie will be older - and I doubt Sean Dyche or the Board are thinking he will be in our Premier League squad next season. I'm sure we will see a lot more action in the summer and I'm sure the plans will be to bring in younger players that lower the squads age profile. I trust the Board because I see them making the right decisions for the club. I trust Sean Dyche because Sean "gets" what it means to be the manager of Burnley Football Club. He is a superb motivator and coach of our team. We are in the Premier League because we have this Board and because we have Sean Dyche. And, it's still a very competive sport and it's still "small margins" that will either keep Burnley in the Premier League or slip down a division.