Robbie and the Beast

Last updated : 21 August 2009 By Andy Dean
Robbie Blake
Brian Jensen and Robbie Blake had already written their names into Burnley Football Club folklore long before their swashbuckling performances against Manchester United on Wednesday night, but on the most famous of nights in East Lancashire both men reached new heights in the eyes of the adoring Clarets fans.

While one was hammering in the winning goal at one end, the other was putting in an enormous performance to halt the advances of the champions.

Middlesborough-born Blake has 143 league goals to his name thus far in a career spanning 15 years and taking in six different clubs, but surely the right-foot volley that he whistled past Ben Foster on Wednesday will be the one that he looks back on as his finest.

Blake has scored some memorable goals in the claret and blue of Burnley, but it's not just his goal scoring that makes him widely regarded as the club's finest player in the last 25 years.

The diminutive forward has class, real class, and there is no doubting that he is revelling under the management of Owen Coyle, a man who encourages him to do everything he is brilliant at.

An eye for a killer pass, a devastating ability from set pieces, an array of tricks and a lethal touch in-front of goal - it is surely only a lack of pace and height that has cost Blake a career at the very top of the game.

Down the years Burnley have always been a club that has been renowned for playing football in the right way. McIlroy, Morgan and James are all famous sons of the club who are revered for their sparkling talents and the attractive manner of their play, Blake can rest assured that in years to come he will be remembered with the same warm affection.

When a team wins by a single goal, more often than not the scorer of the winning goal takes the majority of the post-match plaudits. Despite this, Robbie Blake was forced to share the limelight following Wednesday's victory because of a superb performance from a man at the opposite end of the pitch.

Brian Jensen
It's fair to say that Brian Paldan Jensen has had some dark days whilst he has been a Burnley player. Since his arrival in 2003 the big Dane has endured some tough times, dropped from the side on numerous occasions, in and out of form and briefly transfer listed under former Clarets boss Steve Cotterill.

It therefore speaks volumes for Jensen's strength of character that he has put all of that behind him and gone on to have the finest 12 months of his career, a year littered with stunning saves and match-winning performances.

You don't have to look at Jensen for too long to realise what this club means to him, he feels at home at Turf Moor, and his warm embrace with Owen Coyle after the final whistle on Wednesday reflected how much he wants to succeed with this club.

Before each and every home game he salutes the fans in the Jimmy McIlroy stand, who return the compliment with a booming cheer of 'Beeeeeast', he defines the term 'cult hero'.

So Burnley have started to grab the headlines just two games into their debut season in the Premier League, and it just seems right that the two men at the forefront are two of the club's most cherished servants.