Date: 20th November 2009 at 11:00am
Written by:

turfmanphil from www.burnley.vitalfootball.co.uk has answered our questions ahead of the weekends game.

1) So, how are you enjoying your first season in the Premiership?

I think I can speak for most Clarets fans and say we are having a whale of a time. We would be fools not to having spent 33 years in the wilderness and away from the top flight. Of course it might not be too much fun getting stuffed 5-0 by Spurs, 4-0 by Liverpool and 3-0 by Chelsea but even then there is smug satisfaction visiting these grounds rather than the likes of Preston, Doncaster and Plymouth. Those might be the slight lows, the biggest one was losing away to them sods down the road in Blackburn but come on we are bloody 10th just 3 points behind Liverpool for gawds sake and not many teams have beaten Man U this season! Oh yes indeedy, boy am I enjoying myself!! Showing Blake’s goal on my mobile to those cocky Reds in all the pubs in England has become a ritual habit!

2) Any particular team/players you are looking forward to watching Burnley play?

We have played a lot of them already. There is only Arsenal from the top four we have still to play and that should be a right battle especially at Fortress Turf Moor. Of course we cant wait for Rovers to come to Turf Moor so we can stuff them and get revenge! Let me give a special mention to Villa though, I am actually greatly looking forward to these battles especially if we win and I can rib the owner of Vital!!

3) What do you expect this season, most pundits back newbies for relegation but have been proved wrong with the likes of Fulham, Wigan and last season Hull. Can you / will you survive?

Well we have far more points so far than I thought we would have but its a tough league this with no margin for error. If you lose your concentration you will be heavily punished and that’s what has happened to us this season, especially on the road. So many times we have been caught out on the break and punished with the high quality, shit-hot pacy players from the Big 4-6 making mincemeat of our defence. We are doing OK though and the key to survival will be Fortress Turf Moor. At the start of the season, I said I would happily take a 17th place finish and that remains the same. I feel at the moment we could achieve somewhere between 12-15th so here is hoping.

4) You got the right manager and do you expect Burnley to hold on to him or will ‘big’ boys be after him?

We certainly have the right manager, Owen aka God really has something. We have the smallest squad I think in the top flight with players earning the smallest salaries and yet he seems to get the best out of them as a team and as individuals. He has given them a belief in themselves and they go for it. They play attractive, attacking football and at Man City, I don’t think even Brazil could have played better than we did at times. Owen is a god fearing Catholic and abstains from alcohol and that’s enough to put the shit up anybody!

Coyle has made strong statements he wants to stay at Burnley and see his plan come to fruition (see you in Europe then!). Celtic, his childhood club failed to get him and it looks like Scotland will too! I think Coyle will only leave now if the Clarets struggle and god forbid get relegated but we shall have to see. His CV will look great if he can prove his success with a Premier League side and I think he would rather try that with Burnley where the expectations are lower than say at one of the Top 10 Prem sides (oh we are Top 10 at the moment, silly me!)

5) If you could have one of Villa’s players, who would it be and why?

That chap whose name I can never spell, Aggybond…Agblond…Ablogy. Oh feck it, Gabby!!

Having said that I might have gone for James Milner but we seem OK in the winger department!

6) Who should Villa watch out for on Saturday?

Bertie Bee!

Seriously, I am hoping the magician Robbie Blake runs rings round you and god help you if he gets a free kick in RB territory!!

7) Any opinions on Villa and/or Martin O’Neill you care to share?!

I have a soft spot for all teams that play in Claret & Blue! I love Villa’s ground, its massive, traditional not plastic and the atmosphere takes some beating or it did the last time I was there when we lost to you in the cup a few seasons back. Martin O’Neil is one of those managers that you neither love nor hate as a neutral and I certainly have no strong opinion about him although he comes across as a likeable bloke somehow. If I was to choose a team that I would like to break the monopoly of the Top 4, it would have to be Villa . You always seem to be the club that is there or thereabouts without ever quite making it so good luck (after Saturday!!)

8) Come on then, lets be having you, what is your prediction?

Well it’s Fortress Turf Moor time and Villa will not have it easy. If we get the first goal, I can see us winning this. If Villa score first, my mind says defeat, my heart draw. Stop sitting on the fence TMP! Right I won’t 2-1 Clarets (I mean Burnley since you nicked our colours too)

With thanks to turfmanphil from www.burnley.vitalfootball.co.uk My answers to his questions will appear later.