Sean Dyche: Working Wonders With Burnley

Football writers often look for the tales of woe and the controversial stories when deciding on what to write about.

But sometimes it’s better to look beyond the hardships and look at people or clubs that are doing something right and that brings me to Sean Dyche and Burnley.

The Championship winners have impressed this term and are currently lying in tenth position. They’re ten points away from the dreaded relegation zone. They’ve also currently got the third best home record in the English top flight.

If you just look at the Premier League table you’d get the feeling that Burnley are a very average side, not scoring the most or conceding the least, but I’ve enjoyed their journey this season and beyond.

See it actually starts back in 2014 when Dyche first saw his men win promotion. He would then stick with the team that got them up and continue to play their own game. While they suffered relegation that term, Dyche showed courage that was greatly admired by fellow managers and pundits alike.

In the summer of 2015 they lost top-scorer Danny Ings and consistent performer Kieran Trippier. Dyche was also linked with moves away but he remained at Turf Moor as did the majority of his squad.

The manager was also backed by the board and summer recruits were brought in with £6m man Andre Gray and veteran Joey Barton being the pick of the bunch.

After an indifferent start to the campaign, the Clarets would outscore their rivals and clinch the Championship title.

Those years show us why people should show more trust in football.

Burnley didn’t think about getting rid of Dyche as they believed in him and his way of doing things. While the manager has backed his players and showed loyalty to those that have served him well.

They’ve also been smart in the transfer market.

Gray scored twenty-three times in his debut campaign and he’s bagged five in fifteen in the Premier League so far in this term.

Former Manchester United youth players Tom Heaton and Michael Keane have found footballing homes in Lancashire. They’ve been superb this season and that has seen England call-ups for both men. Obviously their form hasn’t gone unnoticed with the pair being tipped with big moves away, but Burnley will be in no rush to sell them in this window.

In beside Keane has been Ben Mee. I think Mee often gets overlooked but he gives the backline balance. Only four other players have made more clearances per game than Mee.

There’s a core group of players at Turf Moor who’ll give their all and they battle to get every point they can. That desire and hunger starts with Dyche and it filters down to his players.

Jeff Hendrick impressed at Euro 2016 with Ireland but clubs still seemed unsure about his ability to step up. Dyche decided to fork out around £10m for the midfield man and he’s showing this season that he can mix it with the big boys.

Then there was the signing of talented Belgian international Steven Defour. The midfielder was constantly linked with a move to Manchester United, he was that highly thought of. Injuries stalled his career but he still impresses when on the field, winning league medals in Belgium and Portugal. He adds experience in the holding role and has provided assists and man of the match winning performances.

Those signings show that Burnley are prepared to move up a level in terms of transfer fees but they’re still looking for players with a hard-working ethos that centres on the team being successful.

This month they’ve been linked with Robert Snodgrass and Norwich City’s Robbie Brady. Again two very good footballers but hardworking as well as talented.

I like hearing from Sean Dyche and not just because of his gravelly, husky voice. He’s always quick to praise  his players and will do his upmost to take any pressure away from them. His honesty is refreshing in a top level manager and he believes that his hard work, thorough planning and prudence will be rewarded.

To that end he’s been right so far, I believe he truly deserves to succeed this term and hopefully keep Burnley progressing year after year.

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