Barnes’ signing is a metaphor

Adam Haworth Adam Haworth
Thomas Pickles January 9, 2014
Hudd have signed him 1 year ago

Thomas Pickles reflects on the imminent expected signing of Ashley Barnes.

“Fancy writing something for the site?” they said.

To be honest, no. Not really.

And that’s a compliment to our season because lately, there’s been nothing I’ve wanted to write about. No desperate measures. No knee-jerk reactions. No agonising anti-climaxes. Not even a post-Christmas slump, as is so traditional with Burnley Football Club. Not really. We’ve been ticking along nicely. I wouldn’t say it’s been mundane. More calmly consistent and beautifully balanced.

At times like these, many great artists, writers and composers through time have had muses to stir them from a creative slumber. Behind many great works are the mysterious mistresses upon which they were inspired.

And although I’m none of the above and although this is by no means a great work, this article has a muse of its own.

Ashley Barnes.

You can shove your Yoko Ono and your Rose DeWitt Bukater. It’s Ashley Barnes who’s given me something to write about.

I could’ve perhaps written an article about our need for reinforcements this month but news of Barnes’ signing gratefully preempts that, saving me the dank duty of delving back through our recent history of capitulating come January.

The transfer of Barnes isn’t yet confirmed and I’m wary to write anything based on hypothesis but this news is exciting on many levels.

The addition of a striker fills a gaping hole in the Clarets squad and moreover, this signing isn’t temporary. It’s not a loan. It’s not a gamble from the lower-leagues.

These two factors accumulate to create a third factor – the most intriguing factor.

This signing is more than just a transfer. It’s a symbol.

When was the last time Burnley Football Club signed the top scorer of a rival team? I can’t remember. I’m not sure it’s in my lifetime.

We signed Jason Shackell from Derby County two seasons ago. As County’s captain, that was an impressive looking signing. The imminent arrival of Barnes puts that deal in the shade though. We’re signing Barnes from Brighton and Hove Albion, who sit a whisker away from the play-offs, with very realistic aspirations of promotion.

I’d estimate that their finances are better than ours too, so you’d think they don’t need to sell. So to increase our offer at least three times in order to twist their arm is impressive.

Heck, it’s almost imaginary. I can’t remember Burnley having such clout with transfers.

I’m trying not to put this deal on a pedestal. A large part of me suspects that it’ll yet all fall through. Despite that though, I can’t help but be seduced by the news.

January is a topsy-turvy month, often associated by Burnley fans with the departure of our top scorer.

That still might happen this month.

But for the moment, let’s focus on the fact that it looks as though we’ve added to the squad. At a time where it could’ve been suggested that we were beginning to wane, Barnes’ arrival will provide fresh impetus. It will concurrently ease the workload of Danny Ings and Sam Vokes and pressure them to continue their scintillating goal scoring.

The signing of Ashley Barnes is more than that though. It affects more than just tactics. It’s a metaphor. A metaphor for commitment, belief and increasing ambitions. It’s a message to the rest of the league but more importantly though, it’s a message to ourselves.

Are you as enthused as Thomas about Barnes’ imminent expected signing? Comment below. 

  • Stan

    Leeds are still trying to steal him?

  • M.Essien

    Should splash the cash and go for Ince. Oh, how one can dream.

  • Stuart Rhodes

    Supposedly just to sign on the dotted line tomorrow. ….?

    Nakki Wells taken out of the weekend team for Bradford….2nd signing imminent ;-) (heres hoping) UTC

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to Stuart Rhodes

      Word is Wells might be going to Huddersfield – be a big signing for them if so.

      • M.Essienin reply to Jamie Smith

        Hudd have signed him

  • donald cooper

    .uUBurnley Fc is a business club. If they can sell a star asset for six or eight million, which as a coincidence is the reported financial loss, then possibly buy Barnes and Wells for a third of that the board will see it as a great financial coup

  • Claret and Blue Meanie

    Pre-empting the departure of Ings!

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to Claret and Blue Meanie

      Probably, and what’s wrong with that? Ings was bought to pre-empt Rodriguez going wasn’t he?

  • David Omy Ormerod

    It will be interesting to see, not only whether the Barnes deal goes through but whether its a precursor to Danny Ings’ not so imminent departure to the Premier League. Fingers crossed.

  • Jamie Smith
    Jamie Smith

    I’m sure Barnes will be a very handy addition. But I would have been really, really excited if we’d got Wells, I think he’s a massive talent with a very bright future. Someone will make a fortune off him too.

    • Steve Kin reply to Jamie Smith

      I would sign both Barnes and Wells now, using Danny to pay for them – in the summer in his case. Thus giving it a reet good go this season. If Danny gets injured, sell Wells instead to pay the bills – his value will only go up. Risk mitigated

      • Jamie Smith
        Jamie Smithin reply to Steve K

        I agree if the board could finance both deals, which they probably can’t without a sale this month or at least shifting on some deadwood to reduce the wage bill. Also while it would be ace to have four good strikers, you then have to worry about how to give them all enough football. Dyche isn’t a fan of rotation so a couple will be sitting out most weeks.

  • Brighton1973

    Seriously guys. Don’t get too excited! Barnes is OK but only OK. He is our top scorer because Leo Ulloa has been out for months.

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to Brighton1973

      We’d be excited about signing anyone to be fair, been ages since we signed someone of his quality and experience. And Barnes is only coming as cover, at least initially. Look at it this way – we’re taking your top scorer to sit on our bench. That’s great for us.

      • Thomas Picklesin reply to Jamie Smith

        Spot on, Jamie.

  • Matt Lane

    Very sensible signing considering the money on offer. Sounds like a Dyche esque player who works hard. Plenty of positives here, just need to hold onto our existing players for once!

  • Deano

    Guys I presume you have seen Ashley Barnes ?? He is a work horse but a league 1 striker at best. Very average and maybe 3rd or 4th choice at BHAFC when everyone fit.

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to Deano

      He’s going to be third choice at Burnley…

    • TimScootin reply to Deano

      League 1 striker at best eh ? Maybe we have a manager that can make him a much better player :-) Look at Sam Vokes !! In Dyche we trust

  • Fleagull

    Check out the Brighton forum, North Stand Chat, divided opinion there. Joint top scorer, yes, a total of 5 including 2 penalties and he has been almost an ever present this season. In truth he has probably missed more open goals/sitters than he has scored goals this season. Good luck Ash!

  • Russ Poore

    from a Brighton fan

    Ashley isn’t our top scorer, Crofts is with 6 goals from midfield so no need to get overly excited.
    He leading in appearances, fouls and shots on target.
    He is/was our marmite. Some love him, some hate him.

    • Thomas Picklesin reply to Russ Poore

      According to the BBC, Barnes has six goals also.

      And let’s not get carried away. Barnes isn’t Messi. I didn’t once refer to him as such. What this potential transfer is is a symbol of the current feel surrounding our club.

      We’ve signed the top (albeit by default because of Ulloa’s injury) striker from a rival club.

      • Surlyin reply to Thomas Pickles

        Barnes is a very good player and has been thrown into all sorts of positions and done a good job and never shirked .He will be a good signing for you guys and I hope we dont regret him leaving .Best of luck to you and nice to see another club as oppose to the usuals doing well .And best of luck barnsey and thanks for the memories ,hope you score a hatfull only not against Brighton .

  • keith robinson

    Only those with crystal balls will tell how good he is but the main point is we have been positive, taken someone who is not an unknown or even a risk. He is cover for the best strike partnership in the division and will probably play along with both of then if SD deems it late on to get back in someone’s face. He is not recovering from injury or an unknown from outside the UK, so as has been stated it is a very positive move.

    For me kudos to the board in doing what so many have criticized them for, SD’s choice for sure as we have all known for sometime, but the board made it happen and for them as supporter I thank them :)

    So next big thing is for the home support to get behind this team, this unit and all pull and push together because there is an awful lot to do yet and it starts tomorrow, looking forward to it and hope AB gets on and scores, icing on the cake!

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