A Little Bit of History…
After two short stays in the Premier League in 2009/10 and 2014/15, Burnley have enjoyed five consecutive seasons in the top tier, with a sixth to come. But it’s been one step forward, one step back for this Lancashire club. Just when they show signs of progression up the league table, they revert to type; 16th (seems about right), 7th (that’s impressive), 15th (perhaps 7th was a fluke?), 10th (maybe not) and 17th (no, it was a fluke).
Sean Dyche is the longest serving manager in the Premier League, having arrived at Turf Moor in 2012. He’s established The Clarets as a robust, hardworking team. The quintessential battling English football team. No visiting team enjoys a cold and rainy November night in Burnley. All muck and thunder. But it also means that they’re not very easy on the eye. Burnley don’t win any prizes for beautiful, free flowing football. They have built a reputation as hardened battlers.
But where do they go from here? How far can that style of football take them? Like other small clubs around them, is survival in the Premier League at the top of the managers ‘To Do’ list? They also don’t spend much money on transfers, having never paid more than £15 million for a player. We’re in the era of the billionaire owner, and Burnley always run the risk of being left behind.
Within the squad, Burnley have some talented players. Goalkeeper Nick Pope is and England international, and club captain Ben Mee has been a rock in central defence for nearly 10 years. New Zealand striker Chris Woods (below) is dependable upfront, and can usually guarantee 10+ goals per season, but without investment in more dynamic, creative players, in would appear that Burnley have reached their peak
The Season Ahead…
It’s more out than in right now at Burnley. The club have said goodbye to several players, including Robbie Brady, Marcel Elva-Fountaine and Ismail Diallo, who have been released, while Ben Gibson has signed for Norwich City and Jimmy Dunne has gone to QPR. As far as bringing players in, only goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey really stands out, joining from Crystal Palace. It’s pretty quiet again at Turf Moor.
And there are no new developments on manager Sean Dyche signing a new contract with the club. He’s now entering the final year of his contract, and it’ll be interesting to see if he commits his long term future to the club.
Location Burnley, Lancashire
Stadium Turf Moor (21,944 capacity)
20/21 Final League Position 17th
Opening Game of 21/22 Season home to Brighton & Hove Albion
21/22 Predicted Final League Position 19th (relegated)
For all the battling and scrapping that this team can muster, they’re going to find it difficult competing with more ambitious clubs around them. They’ve had a great run in the top division for a small provincial club, but their time in the Premier League will come to an end this season.