Why Blackburn Rovers are fools to let Jack Byrne go, according to SC Cambuur fans
They lost their first three games, they drew their fourth - at home to Burton - and, in the space of two weeks, their Championship campaign was already looking dead and buried.
Owen Coyle brought Irish hot prospect Jack Byrne in and he gave him a chance - for two weeks.
Byrne came highly sought-after in the light of a number of exciting individual displays in the Dutch league with SC Cambuur. It's believed he even turned down a move to just-relegated Aston Villa who'd be embarking on life outside the top flight for the first time since the inception of the Premier League.
He went to Ewood Park instead - you'd have thought that Rovers would be crying out for a man of his potential.
The 20-year-old got brought on as a sub the first day and then he got three straight starts. Blackburn failed to win any of them. Coyle rang the changes Championship football and the creative midfielder were finished by August.
Owen Coyle said the Dubliner was sick over Christmas. Grand. What was wrong with him in September? In October? In November or the start of December?
Blackburn's struggles continued, they're still in the bottom three of the Championship and the idea of giving a youngster another chance apparently became less of a luxury. Especially one who might look to play too much ball when risks are no longer permitted. It's not an option down there. And, unfortunately, in these parts of the world, ball-players are approached with severe caution.
But the Rovers fans wanted to see more of him even if the manager didn't.
great news maybe Byrne might get a chance!!!
— Simon Woodford (@woodford_simon) December 17, 2016
what does Byrne need to do to get into this team?
— Jack Earnshaw (@lilernie03) December 17, 2016
@rovers Jack Byrne not even in the team please please play him in the 10, want creativity hes ur man!!!
— Jasonbarr (@WobblyBarr) October 15, 2016
They rate him even higher in Holland.
It wasn't a successful loan spell for Byrne when you consider that Cambuur eventually lost their place in the Eredivisie but he got 27 top flight league matches in all for them and he got four goals too. He got a heap of praise on top of that.
"Jack reminds me of the Welsh player Gareth Bale but he could probably learn a lot from Wesley Sneijder," SC Cambuur Supporters' Club chairman, Kees Elzinga, spoke with SportsJOE last season.
"He is mostly playing midfield and is able to give long distance passes to his left and right wing teammates. He also tries to get forward and threaten the goal of the opponent and he tries to score with long distance shots.
"Jack is well known in our Premier League; Dutch television (mostly FOX Sport) shows quite a lot of his actions and other teams do their best to keep him out of the play."
When Cambuur were struggling, Byrne was their go-to man. Even at 19.
"Jack Byrne is very well liked by our supporters," Elzinga said.
"Jack has showed that he is a hard-working guy on the field and even when things are not going well, he shows a lot of energy and fight 'til the end. This attitude is very well appreciated by his supporters.
"We really love Jack out here. He is a great guy and he deserves a good team so he can develop his football skills."
It won't be Blackburn benefiting from him though. They could live to regret this one.