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What’s the magic formula behind Burnley’s impressive run?

The Boot Room



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…

The Boot Room is a football analysis website, bringing original and creative content to the fans of the English Football League.


Tom Heaton would be the perfect replacement for Joe Hart at West Ham

The 32-year-old is being valued at just £10 million.

Josh Kerr



Tom Heaton
Photo: Getty Images

Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton has emerged as a potential replacement for Joe Hart at West Ham, according to reports from The Sun.

The report claims that Hart will not return to West Ham following his loan move from Manchester City. His mixed time at the club hasn’t given Hammers supporters a reason to demand a permanent deal for the England international.

The 31-year-old is unwanted by Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium, and his poor form in East London has meant few clubs are showing an interest.

Instead, the East London side have turned their attention to Burnley and Tom Heaton as their new number one, with the 32-year-old keeper valued at £10 million.

The Chester born keeper began the season as Sean Dyche’s first choice but lost his place to Nick Pope after he suffered a dislocated shoulder last August.

The outstanding Pope and immediately staked a claim to be England’s number one in the summer World Cup. Due to his displays, he looks to have kept Heaton out of the team for the foreseeable future.

(Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

Considering Heaton has been an England squad regular in recent years, it is difficult to see him happy to be the number two at Turf Moor and an exit for the former Bristol City keeper could be imminent.

With over 178 appearances in the Premier League, Heaton would be the perfect signing for a goalkeeper position that has caused a lot of headache for fans at the London Stadium.

Both Hart and Adrian have been in and out of the first team and neither has pushed their cause as to why they should be the standout choice for the number one spot.

At Burnley, Heaton’s move to the substitute bench is one of the more unfortunate stories of the season as no-one came close to the 6ft 2 keeper before his injury.

If it wasn’t for Pope having one of the greatest debut seasons of the Premier League era then it would have been a given to see Heaton come back in as number one.

His manager, Sean Dyche, will most likely want to keep him at the club, especially considering the club’s Europa League commitments next season.

However, the Burnley boss would also understand that a keeper of his quality is too good to be wasting the final years of his career on the sidelines.

If Heaton were to move to the London Stadium then West Ham will have yet another England international in their ranks.

However, this time they would be getting an assured, established Premier League keeper, who has been fundamental in Burnley’s success for many-a-year.

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Bristol City

Joe Bryan would be the perfect signing for Sean Dyche’s Burnley

The 24-year-old has had a fine individual season at Ashton Gate.

Jake Jackman



Photo: Getty Images

Burnley have been the feel-good story of the Premier League over the last two years, as the club are set to complete a journey from the Championship to the Europa League.

The finances in football mean that it is difficult for a club to progress naturally, but the Clarets have shown that it is still possible and Sean Dyche has been the driving force behind their upwards trajectory.

One major reason for their success has been their recruitment.

The club have not tried to over-spend or sign players based on their reputation.

Their approach allows them to sign players tailored for their needs and it is no surprise that the majority of their signings over the last two years have fitted in seamlessly.

It would be a mistake if they changed their approach this summer, even with the added pressure of the Europa League.

In recent days, they have been linked with one Championship player that seems to be the perfect fit for the squad at Turf Moor.

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The Telegraph report that Joe Bryan has emerged as a target for the Premier League club.

They go on to state that Dyche is ready to offer £6 million for the Bristol City left-back as he tries to improve both the quality and depth of the squad ahead of next season.

The rumour mill is starting to accelerate and the majority of media stories need to be taken with a pinch of salt, but this does make a lot of sense.

If Burnley continue with the recruitment policy, Bryan would be a great fit for them and immediately improve their starting eleven at left-back.

Bristol City’s season slowed down during the second half of the campaign, but they have impressed those that have watched them regularly and Bryan has been one of their standout performers.

The left-back has contributed four goals and three assists in the league, in addition to two strikes in the League Cup including one against Manchester United.

He would add a much-needed attacking threat from left full-back and that would provide an extra dimension to the Burnley team.

Although his decision making and defensive contribution needs work, he is a very good young full-back with the potential to thrive in the Premier League.

Bryan is an aggressive defender, as shown by his average of three successful tackles and 3.2 clearances per game.

(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

At times, he can be guilty of committing to too many forward runs, but that is something that could be addressed.

Dyche is very good at coaching a defence and the 24-year-old would benefit from working with the Burnley manager.

Dyche will be the first to admit that it will be difficult to replicate Burnley’s success, especially with the scheduling problems caused by the Europa League.

However, it would be foolish to make any huge changes to how they are currently conducting business.

Joe Bryan may not be an international with lots of experience in Europe, but he would be a great signing for this squad and fit in immediately.

The Clarets should do everything in their power to secure his services.

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Rangers signing of Scott Arfield from Burnley could be a major coup



Photo: Getty Images.

Another Old Firm derby looks likely to provide even more disappointment for Rangers fans, but there is light at the end of the tunnel as reports indicate that the club are close to sealing a deal to sign Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield on a free transfer.

According to Sky Sports, Rangers are closing in on a pre-contract agreement which will see the Canadian international move to Ibrox Stadium on a free transfer in the summer when his existing deal with Burnley expires.

The move will see Arfield return to the SPL, where he previously made his name with Falkirk having come through the ranks at the club, scoring 16 goals in 124 games.

(Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

The 29-year-old has become a regular for Sean Dyche in his five seasons at Turf Moor, scoring two goals from 19 Premier League appearances, including 15 starts, before injury to his calf in February put a halt to his season as he remains sidelined.

Given that most of Rangers’ squad who do boast experience in England come from men past their best, as was the case when Joey Barton moved north of the border, and lower league talents, like Josh Windass, mixed with some loanees from Championship clubs, to sign a regular in a team competing for Europe in the Premier League can be considered a coup.

The left midfielder is consistent and looked comfortable in the Premier League, chipping in with some memorable goals in the process, and if he can take such quality to Ibrox it will be a significant statement as the club look to cut the gap behind league leaders and arch rivals Celtic.

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