It all hangs on the youth of today

JUST as manager Eddie Howe is achieving his aim of making the squad one of the youngest around, it equally reminds me how old I’m getting.

I like the idea of developing a young and, we hope, quality squad together.

Like most fans I worry that the experience and undoubted quality that has gone out of the squad (some debate about how willingly, particularly when Danny Fox packed his bags for the south coast) may not have yet been adequately replaced.

But equally, I relish the idea of a young, good squad - here’s the rub - that can cut the mustard.

It used to seem, well, recent that Burnley fans could tell of watching Leighton James tearing apart top flight defences when in his teens, or have older relatives remark that when Burnley won the league in 1960 left back Alex Elder was a teenager and there was no hesitation in throwing him into the fray.

Burnley’s scouting system back then ensured they were the cream of the crop, and that’s less certain now. And young players will sometimes make mistakes.

After the opening draw - we were glad to have it - against Watford, the first away defeat against Crystal Palace left an unsettling feeling because Palace aren’t tipped to be front runners, but these are early days yet and more games will reveal how the season might unfold.

So it’s back to those ages. On-loan full backs Kieran Tripper and Ben Mee, both from Manchester City, at 20 and 21. Newly signed striker Danny Ings at 19. Wide man Keith Treacy not yet 23 and born after the Sherpa Van Trophy Final, for goodness’ sake.

Even the start of Burnley’s renaissance, winning the old fourth division title in 1991-92 after seven seasons in the basement doledrums is now 20 years ago.

Brian Jensen is now the daddy of the team and he was born a year after I started going onto Turf Moor. How I miss Grezza.

Are the new youngsters up to it? We’ll soon see.