Marlon ? Staying or Going

Last updated : 05 December 2002 By Tony Scholes

Marlon signed for a month on Thursday 5th September in time to make his latest Clarets’ debut at Derby, a game that brought us our first win of the season and he has been an ever present.

As the end of that month approached Stan said he was trying to sort out a longer deal with Marlon but on 10th October came the news that he had signed for another month although it was said by both sides that they hoped to complete the longer deal the week after.

That never materialised but by this time Nik Michopoulos had been allowed to go to Crystal Palace on loan so it did seem as though the deal would be signed sooner rather than later.

So it was something of a surprise that come November, this time on the 14th, he signed on again for just another month with all the same suggestions of a longer deal being prepared.

Today Marlon has been back at Turf Moor for three calendar months, his current deal is fast coming towards the end, and still no news of a permanent deal. It is clear now that an offer has been made, Barry Kilby said last week that he has been made an offer until the end of the 2004/05 season.

But the worrying news on Tuesday was that Marlon would not be signing this deal and will be leaving at the end of the month with Preston one of the clubs apparently keen to sign him.

There are already suggestions that Michopoulos could be on his way back from Palace sooner rather than later although speculation of a return for the Greek keeper against Forest on Saturday does seem premature.

But whichever way you look at it Marlon will be out of contract again by the time Rotherham arrive a week on Saturday and the Burnley fans will be hoping for some positive news before then.

Marlon has played in a total of 16 league and 4 cup games this season. A total of 8 of those games have been won, 4 drawn and 4 lost. We have conceded 25 goals and he has kept 4 clean sheets.

In the cup there were 3 wins and a defeat with 2 clean sheets against Blackpool and Huddersfield. It is perhaps in the cup where Marlon has excelled. He turned in his best performance since his return at Huddersfield to set up the Spurs match and also turned in top performances against both Spurs and Manchester United.

We can only hope that Marlon’s time at Turf Moor isn’t coming to an end and hope that speculation of him having played or being close to playing his last game for us is just that – pure speculation.