Saturday, December 15, 2018

Burnley continue to defy the odds

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 1 Dec 2017

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The dismissal of Everton boss Ronald Koeman six weeks ago saw Burnley boss Sean Dyche emerge as the favourite to succeed the Dutchman in the Toffees hot seat.

However, yesterday Everton appointed former England boss Sam Allardyce on an 18-month contract. For whatever reason, the Toffees overlooked the Clarets boss for the vacancy, which for me was a surprise.

Dyche remained calm and honest during the speculation. He every reason to be happy at Turf Moor, as his team are performing well in the top-flight. The highly-rated boss may believe he is better off where he is right now.

His team are sixth place

Burnley are currently sixth place in the Premier League table, above pre-season title contenders Tottenham and behind fourth-place Arsenal by just three points.

Clarets fans must be in dreamland. Their team are punching well above their weight this season and Dyche has played a massive part in their achievement so far this season.

Burnley are very much a team crafted in the image of their boss. They are no-nonsense, tough, but with a football intelligence that is often underestimated. Dyche’s team are not just physical, hard to beat, long ball merchants either. They grow ever more expansive as the players grow in confidence.

Window by window Dyche is adding more quality to his Clarets team and squad. The north west side are never going to spend big, as it is not their way. However, the players that Burnley target are good players, who are not highly expensive.

The Clarets sign quality, not quantity and the result is that the team achieve better results. It really is not rocket science.

Impressive run of form

The Clarets recent run of form in the top-flight has been impressive. Dyche’s team have now won four out of their last five top-flight games.

The exception was a 1-0 home defeat against Arsenal, which saw a controversial stoppage-time penalty from Alexis Sanchez secure victory for the Gunners. In truth, though, the north London side did not deserve to leave the north west with three points.

The team showed great character to bounce back in midweek, though, as the Clarets recorded a 2-1 win at Bournemouth.

A trip to inconsistent Leicester on Saturday represents another opportunity for the Clarets to add to their points tally. However, the visitors are underdogs at odds of 4/1 to win at the King Power.

Considering that Sean Dyche’s team have taken points away from Stamford Bridge, Wembley, Anfield, Goodison Park and St Marys this season, an away win definitely cannot be ruled out.

A top-ten finish

For a club the size of Burnley, the first priority always has to be maintaining their position in the top-flight. However, the Clarets have surpassed expectations this season to be in the top-six.

It would be a great story if Sean Dyche’s team could maintain their momentum and remain in the top-six this season. However, it seems unlikely that the side from the north west can maintain their current position for the rest of the season.

However, with their current points total the relegation zone is a world away. If the Clarets were offered a top-ten finish this season, I do believe that they would have taken it.

Sean Dyche and his team continue to defy the odds and kick it with the big-spenders in the league’s top-six. The Clarets young boss just keeps enhancing his reputation through his team’s performances and position in the league.

If Dyche keeps thriving at Turf Moor, no doubt he will attract the interest of clubs with bigger resources. However, for now, he and everybody connected with Burnley are enjoying the current Premier League campaign.

Can Burnley maintain a top-six challenge?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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