Saturday, June 23, 2018

Burnley the poster child for continuity

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 1 Feb 2017


Burnley boss Sean Dyche has had plenty to smile about this season

Burnley are a relatively small club by Premier League standards.

However, on Tuesday night the Clarets recorded a 1-0 home win over reigning champions Leicester that took the Lancashire side to 29 points after 23 league games.

The Clarets probably only have to win three or four more games this season to stay in the Premier League.

Sean Dyche’s men are currently ninth in the table and ten points clear of the relegation zone.

Tuesday was made even sweeter by the fact that the club broke their transfer record by signing Robbie Brady from Norwich and also brought in central midfielder Ashley Westwood.

Stability the key at Burnley

It was a major shock when Burnley were promoted to the top-flight in 2009. In truth, the Clarets struggled back in the big time and went straight back down. The side from Lancashire were back in the top-flight in 2014.

That promotion was also slightly surprising. The Clarets knew they did not have the quality to survive the drop, so the clubs hierarchy decided to live within their means and not overspend. For a club the size of Burnley that was maybe wise.

If they spent big and the club went down, then they would be left with a major financial headache. They would also be lumbered with players on massive wages. The Clarets were relegated, despite boss Sean Dyche’s best efforts.

The Burnley hierarchy realised that the squad was not good enough and even the highly rated Dyche could not keep them up. Some clubs would have sacked their boss, but not Burnley because they seem to be a club that makes sensible decisions.

Dyche lead the club to promotion last season, despite the Clarets losing Kieran Trippier and Danny Ings. The former Chesterfield boss was canny in his transfer dealings and he deserves immense credit for where the Clarets are now.

Looking like a far better team

The current Burnley team is one that bears little resemblance to the one that were relegated so meekly in their last top-flight stint. The Clarets may have been woeful on their travels this season, but Turf Moor is now a fortress.

The Clarets have picked up 28 of their 29 points this season on home soil. In fact, they won their last five league games at Turf Moor. It is now a ground that no team looks forward to visiting.

Burnley now have players that look like they can cut it in the Premier League like Tom Heaton, Michael Keane and Andre Gray. They are no longer seen as a team of lower league players fighting against the odds every game, especially on home soil.

Sean Dyche is a relatively young boss and no doubt he has learnt a lot in the last few years of managerial career. He is regarded by some as a very good young English boss. The team look to be in safe hands with ‘the Ginger Mourinho’ as was once labelled by the fans.

Unlikely to be relegated this season

The Burnley owners have been a bit less cautious over spending this time around. First they brought in Jeff Hendrick for a club-record fee in the summer. Then last night on transfer deadline day did it again with the £13million signing of Brady.

The versatile Republic of Ireland international could prove to be a shrewd signing for the Clarets. Brady is the sort of player the Clarets need to sign to thrive. He is relatively young, hungry and has potential to get better with more experience in the Premier League.

The Brady signing was almost an admittance that the Burnley hierarchy do not believe the Clarets will be relegated, so they could take the risk of spending such big money.

At the moment the Clarets are odds of 16/1 to be relegated. I doubt many people will be rushing to put that bet on. Burnley do not look like a team that are likely to be dragged into the relegation zone anytime soon.

Their away form is maybe slightly concerning. However, their home form has more than made up for their poor displays on the road. It will not be too much of a worry considering their points total.

I really cannot see Burnley being relegated this season. For that I think everybody at the club deserves great credit. Too many clubs are quick to sack their boss after relegation.

Burnley have shown that to really progress as a club that stability and continuity throughout is the way to go for clubs without huge financial backing.

Is there any chance of Burnley being relegated this season?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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