On Saturday Burnley won 2-0 at Crystal Palace to reach 39 points for the season. In reality, that tally should be enough to secure their place in the Premier League for next season.
I have to say I am neutral. However, for much of the season I have for some reason had this affection for Burnley.
The reason for this unexplainable liking seems to be they are a proper family football club, with realistic fans and a manager who deserves immense credit.
The Clarets have not tried to spend beyond their means. Instead over the past few seasons, they have slowly built a stronger squad of players. Constantly coming up with bargain buys, with striker Andre Gray one of the main examples of their shrewd transfer dealings.
Sean Dyche is an extremely good manager
The main reason for Burnley’s survival this season is that Sean Dyche is an extremely good manager. This is Dyche’s fifth year in charge of the Clarets and has led the club to two promotions to the top-flight.
They were relegated from the Premier League during Dyche’s tenure. However, there seemed to be an acceptance by everybody at the club that season that the Clarets were using the campaign as a learning curve.
The club’s hierarchy decided not to overextend the clubs finances, so the squad was not good enough to compete after promotion. Last season the Clarets were once more promoted to the top-flight and the team came back stronger than their last spell.
At 45 years old Dyche is still a relatively young boss. He is still learning the game. However, he is showing lots of promise and it’s his sensible approach that has been the key to Burnley’s seemingly successful campaign this season.
Have been more ambitious this season
To the credit of the Burnley hierarchy, they realised that in Dyche they had a shrewd boss and when the team were relegated they stuck with him. There was no kneejerk reaction they knew that Dyche was talented enough to get them back in the Premier League.
While not spending a fortune in the last two transfer windows the Clarets board have been more ambitious in the last few transfer windows. They broke the club record transfer fee in the last two transfer windows.
The signings of Steven Defour, Jeff Hendrick and Robbie Brady were quiet signs of intent from the club’s board. All three are international players and have strengthened the Clarets team.
The signings were typical of the way the Lancashire club have built a squad capable of competing in the top-flight on a low budget compared to a number their top-flight rivals.
Surely can now look up rather than down
The Clarets have not been in the greatest form of late. Some connected with the club will have been slightly nervously looking over their shoulders at the relegation zone.
In typical Dyche fashion, he does not believe his team are yet safe from the drop. However, surely the side from Lancashire will now be looking up, rather down with the Clarets now odds of 6/1 to finish in the Premier League’s top ten this season.
At the moment that is a realistic goal for Dyche’s side. They are just two points behind Bournemouth who currently occupy tenth spot in the league table. A top-ten finish in their first season back in the top-flight and with one of the smallest wage bills in the league would be a big achievement.
Burnley are an example for any smaller club in the Premier League trying to build something long-term without spending a fortune. Everybody at the club deserves credit for this season’s campaign. Hopefully, the Clarets can continue to thrive next season in the Premier League.
Will Burnley finish in the top half of the Premier League this season?
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