Patrick Bamford has certainly been enjoying proving some doubters wrong this season. The Leeds United striker was, by popular opinion, supposed to fall short of the standard necessary in the Premier League. He had in the past, with loan spells at Crystal Palace, Norwich City, and Burnley.
That last spell was perhaps the most fractious.
Bamford had a clear personality clash with Sean Dyche, the Burnley manager. Dyche is parodied in the popular Andy Dawson and Bob Mortimer fronted Athletico Mince podcast as a man obsessed with grit, dirt and mud. Bamford plays violin and could have gone to Harvard. The two are worlds apart.
It is something Bamford has spoken of in the past.
“Dyche said that because I had come through at Chelsea – and because of the way I had been brought up – I had never had to work for anything,” Bamford told the Daily Mail in 2017.
“My background is irrelevant and I didn’t even come through at Chelsea. I started at Nottingham Forest cleaning toilets and scrubbing the shower floors.
“So saying I didn’t want it enough was upsetting. I went home every night wondering how to get in the Burnley team. It was: ‘You’ve been brought up nicely, had everything handed to you’.”
Most recently he spoke to The Athletic about his time at Turf Moor, albeit through gritted teeth.
“I don’t really want to get into Sean Dyche (the Burnley manager) again,” Bamford told Stuart James in November. “But one of the things that he said to me was that I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I just thought, ‘You don’t understand’.”
So yesterday’s winning goal would have been extra sweet for Bamford.
He smashed home a penalty early on to secure all three points for the Whites against his former team and manager.
But perhaps even more telling was the fact he won the penalty. He did so by not pulling out of a challenge with the physically imposing Nick Pope. He then showed his mental fortitude to slam home a cathartic strike from 12 yards.
He did more to prove Dyche wrong in those few minutes than he can or will all season.