Sean Dyche masterminded Burnley’s meteoric rise from the Championship to the Premier League and now it looks like he has a plan to make sure they stay there.
It all looked too much for a spirited Burnley side at the beginning of the season, but now they seem to have found their feet amongst the big boys.
What does it come down to? Can Dyche mastermind the impossible?
A lot has been said of their success in recent months, squad rotation has been kept to a minimum, they have an honest bunch of players, and more importantly they have someone that can bag you a few goals.
Let’s have an in-depth look into this Burnley squad.
No disrespect to Burnley fans there squad is not filled with world class Premier League talent. It is a very talented Championship squad and they proved that last season. But playing in the Premier League week in week out should bring the best out of players and that has been evident at Burnley.
They all fit a philosophy that Dyche has adopted, they work tirelessly and when the time has come they have taken their chances in games. Ashley Barnes was a prime example when he stunned Manchester City at the Etihad.
The standout player has been Danny Ings. The no. 10 has been a real livewire since making the step up. The England under 21 International has scored seven so far this term and has chipped in with three assists. Keeping their main hitman fit is the priority for Burnley.
His pace has caused teams real problems and coupled with his goal scoring ability Burnley have reaped the rewards. Ings has been causing havoc at the top end, but slightly behind him George Boyd has benefited from that.
He might go unnoticed for periods of the game but he has produced the goods at vital moments. At St. James Park he scored in that thrilling 3-3 draw. His all round play has been pleasing since the switch from Hull City in the summer.
I touched on it earlier in the article but squad rotation has been kept to a minimum, in-fact when Burnley lined up against QPR they set a new Premier League record as they fielded the same team for seven consecutive games. It is a truly remarkable stat given football in this day and age. The demand at the top level is astonishing at times, but to field the same team for seven games running, that takes some doing.
The players produce the results on the pitch, but we cannot talk about Burnley and not mention Dyche. A manager with no Premier League experience until their promotion, but he is developing into a fine manager in one of the toughest leagues in world football.
Dyche has only had two managerial jobs: Watford and now at Burnley. He did not exactly set the world alight at Watford. It was a fairly modest record. Out of 49 games in charge he won 17, drew 17 and lost 15, his win percentage averaged out to 34.69.
Dyche was not given a fair crack of the whip at Vicarage Road, as we know with foreign owners; they do like a change before the projects gather momentum.
If we compare his win/lost record, at Burnley we see he has done marginally better. As of January 17 he has managed the Clarets on 110 occasions, winning 44 and drawing 35 and losing 31 with his win percentage being 40.
But it doesn’t matter about your record in all honesty. If you secure promotion, surely that exceeds any statistic?
Burnley don’t have the tools and financial might as other clubs in the Premier League do but their willingness to slog a game out is something that will stand them in good stead.
Whatever people thought at the start of the season, Burnley is proving the doubters wrong. With a few additions in the January transfer window survival is a possibility. Any injuries to big name players and it could be curtains. Burnley just does not have the depth to deal with significant casualties.
Do not take your eyes off Burnley; they have more surprising to do. Turf Moor is not an easy place to go and play your football.
If they can make Turf Moor into a fortress who knows what the future will hold…