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Brian Laws Crashes The Premiership Party At Burnley

Now, I suppose some people out there are still scratching their heads over Burnley’s appointment of Brian Laws and I must admit I was a tad taken aback. Anyone without a knowledge of the game outside of the Premiership, and there are plenty of those fans in England, never mind outside the U.K., would be wondering where on earth he’s come from.

Yes, it is a bit of a left field choice, but Burnley’s board have long admired Laws’ qualities as a manager and at the third attempt to sign him, they have got their man. Burnley went for Laws before they appointed Steve Cotterill back in 2004 and again in 2007 before going for Owen Coyle. It seems a spiritual affair too, as Laws’ playing career started at Burnley, who spotted him playing for the legendary North East junior team, Wallsend Boys club.

Most of the surprise seems to be based on the fact that Laws was until two weeks ago, manager of Sheffield Wednesday. Now a quick look at the Championship League table will tell you all you need to know about why some people are shocked he’s landed at Turf Moor. Yet I don’t think that paints the full picture of his abilities and the achievements that he had whilst managing Scunthorpe should not be underestimated. Not least being sacked for 3 weeks before being re-instated back in 2004.

He achieved miracles on a shoestring whilst he was at Glanford Park and rightly earned the chance to have a crack at trying to deal with the poisoned chalice that Sheffield Wednesday now offer. 13 managers since 1st January 2000, including 5 caretakers, tells you all you need to know about a club with ideas very much above its station. In fact, quite a lot of people had a lot of sympathy for Laws when he was shown the door at Hillsborough, because they were aware of the financial constraints that he has had to work under, tallied with with an over demanding level of expectation. Leeds United they are not.

Yet it is that same ability to work within tightly controlled budgets that probably gave him the nod to take control at Turf Moor and as an ex-player he will know all about the history and pride that Burnley fans have. Some people may be underwhelmed by the appointment and I was surprised when I saw that he’d been approached in the first place, but in the cold light of day I can completely see where Barry Kilby and the Burnley board are going here.

They haven’t gone down the depressing route of looking to a foriegn manager or an ex-player with loads of badges but no ability. Yes, he got sacked from Sheffield Wednesday, but as with Paul Hart, it’s not as obvious as things can be made out on the surface. No-one has succeeded at Wednesday since the early 1990’s and when he took over at Hillsborough in November 2006, the club were in danger of being relegated back to Division One.

Laws is a prudent, honest and no-nonsense manager who could be a great success at Burnley, don’t be too hasty to chastise him. Survival would mean everything to those Clarets fans and after all the upheaval in recent weeks, Laws can offer a smooth and straight talking style immediately. He served under Brian Clough as a player for 5 years during Forest last heady days of success and was always on the fringes of the England squad at the time.Now if he can survive a baptism of fire at Old Trafford and avoid hitting his star player in the face with a plate of chicken wings, he’ll do just fine.

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  1. Tom Scott

    April 12, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Got to say i agree with some of your points (Sheffield Wednesday fan by the way). Not a bad manager was always well liked at our club and the vast majority gave him the credit he deserved as we are all aware of the finanical constraints our club works under.

    Just a quick mentioned though “No-one has succeeded at Wednesday since the early 1990’s ” Paul Sturrock did a fine job before he, just like laws lost his way, laws would of taken us down no doubt about it.

    “13 managers since 1st January 2000, including 5 caretakers, tells you all you need to know about a club with ideas very much above its station”

    So its 7 managers since 2000 really? and we had Laws for just over 3 years! and thats not really that bad compared to a vast majority of clubs

    Oh and the “Leeds we are not” comment seems a bit unneccesary they are where they are and we are where we are

    p.s How you feeling about him now?

  2. eddie phillips

    January 15, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    i remember brian laws playing for burnley and watching cloughie,s team on tv give the lad a chance get the team, and the fans behind him, and we may be in for some pleasant surprises, come on the clarets on and up

    • The Gaffer

      January 15, 2010 at 7:10 pm

      I agree Eddie. I’m personally looking forward to seeing how Brian Laws does in the Premier League. It’s nice to see an English manager get a job in the top 20.

      The Gaffer

  3. dbm

    January 14, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Don’t let him catch you eating chicken wings in the dressing room! He will re-align your face!

  4. Steve

    January 14, 2010 at 11:56 am

    No, Tom, most Burnley fans are NOT devastated. This is a sound appointment maybe not as attractive as the Media would like (how they wouldv’e lapped up another foreign manager or a Curbishley figure). True he would not have been Burnley fans 1st choice but look at what he achieved with Scunthorpe and just staying with Wednesday for 3 years is a feat in itself.

    I believe he will do just fine this season and hopefully he will give us enough away performances to keep us from relegation – something Coyle was unable to do.

  5. Tom Hingley

    January 14, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Can’t believe the positivity I am reading here. Most Burnley fans are devastated at what is an unambitious appointment seemingly done on the cheap. There are nailed on to go down.

  6. Fsquid

    January 14, 2010 at 9:49 am

    We should have never let him leave Hillsborough. The problem is in the executive box, not the dugout.

  7. bryix

    January 14, 2010 at 9:26 am

    I agree with Paul, but with more punctuation.

  8. Paul

    January 14, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Its a great choice hes a Claret and thats priceless,he will keep us up thoese who complain need to remember he understands the pride and the passion that is Unique to Burnley I prayed they would appoint him now lets get behind him may be he can reignite the fire Harry Potts and Bob Lord who for all his faults loved the club and the town with a burning pride in his soul lit all thoses many long years ago I have seen them haunt Europe one day it will happen once more as it did in the halycon days of the early 1960s,when the Claret and Blue of Burnley were among the most feared colours in the land and the small town was know all over Europe Long Live Turfmoor Up The Clarets

  9. Custom koozies

    January 13, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    So marvelous !

  10. Dade County Claret

    January 13, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Nice one Paul – agree with you. He’s a surprise choice but could be an inspired one.

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