Brave old Burnley; too good for the Championship and longing not to be just a Premier League placeholder. Their leader, Sean Dyche, born in Northampton, has got the voice of man beyond Hadrian’s wall. Is it time for him to be axed from the Turf Moor helm?
Game of Thrones is much like the Premier League. You have many characters all vying for the crown or the title in this case; there are few that realistically could take it; but many are pretenders who get a key few scenes, win with a scrappy goal but ultimately get beheaded by someone. The two almost run parallel.
Sean Dyche is such a knight in the division. He’s the leader of the house of Burnley. The Lancashire club has employed him for the last six years with decent success. He’s taken them up, twice (keeping his job despite relegation) and enjoyed transforming the atmosphere from cold Championship Tuesday football to one dreaming of lavish continental Thursday football. Such is the metamorphosis from the second tier to Europa-chasing. He’s lost it.
Poor Transfer Business
Burnley’s summer transfers are almost as abysmal as Tottenham’s, who let’s remember signed nobody. The Clarets boss picked up Vydra from Derby County as their attacking addition. You would think 21 goals last season would be enough to earn him a starting place in the side, given the team doesn’t have that many attacking players on the books. Nope. Instead, he spent around 12 million euros on a new benchwarmer, as he’s not started a single game in the league and played just 40 minutes has played across two games. He’s not scored either.
At the other end of the pitch, there’s useless old Joe Hart who’s never been the same after a chronic pizza eating disorder which spearheaded his loan move to Napoli where he could indulge at countless authentic pizzerias. I jest, I jest. Yet he’s been woeful since moving to Napoli. After his loan move to West Ham expired he moved permanently away from Manchester City to join Dyche. Five games in, he’s conceded ten goals! That’s two every game! Great work Joe!!!11 Altogether he’s not brought in any real quality over the summer.
He also let several players leave. More than he brought in. Sure some of those players were not playing regular football at the club but given the club’s aspirations from last year’s successes; you would expect him to retain a few more as well as bringing in more numbers to deal with the demand of European escapades.
Woes and Position
This season started early for Burnley. The Clarets were playing in the Europa qualifying rounds and desired to reap the rewards for finishing seventh in the league last year. Lucky number seven might not be a target for the big clubs, but let’s remember who we are talking about: Burnley-yo-yo-club-Burnley. The continental breakfast is a rarity in Burnley, never mind continental football.
The club got to the final round of qualification but fell short to vastly more experienced Olympiakos. This meant that the six matches, all 540 minutes of them, were essentially wasted. Exuding energy in them, travelling to far away reaches Greece, Turkey, and even Scotland will have taken its toll on a squad which was reduced in numbers over the summer.
There’s no greater evidence of this than the club’s league form. The Clarets are dead last. 20th place out of 20 teams. They’ve picked up a lone point; busted the net three times – but had theirs bustled 10 times. Joe Hart, you scoundrel – this isn’t West Ham!
The strikers are most likely the most fatigued, as no registered forward player has scored a player. Instead, their goals have come from midfielders and defenders.
All in all: No Europa, No Wins
Poor by any standard. The expectations are higher because of last year’s finish and everyone wants to see a return from Dyche. They’ve stuck by him through thick and thin, and he’s got to deliver. Should he have qualified for Europa, the season would have already been one to remember and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
What to do then? Burnley does seem to have an affinity with the manager, yet loyalty on gets you so far. Sunderland found that out when the only season they didn’t sack their manager halfway through they were relegated from the EPL. Dyche has got them this far, is he really going to make lightning strike twice? Could he really do better than seventh? Turf Moor wants… more. It deserves more. Sean is not the man to provide it, after six years he’s done a lot for them but now it’s time to move on. Sack Dyche and prosper.