In our series of discussion Wednesday, we will analyze various aspects of Burnley, the Lancashire based club
Dhaka Tribune Sports has decided to discuss last year’s performance, and potential of the teams in the forthcoming English Premier League, scheduled to kick off on September 12, provided the Covid-19 pandemic doesn’t cause havoc.
In our series of discussion Wednesday, we will analyze various aspects of Burnley, the Lancashire based club.
The Clarets, one of the oldest professional clubs in England, run on one of the smallest budgets in the premier league.
Yet they still managed to manage a top half finish (10th) in the 2019/20 season, truncated by the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The Clarets earlier won the second tier championship in 2016 and got promoted to the EPL under English coach Sean Dyche, and since then, have been a regular presence in the top flight.
Not only that, they have registered impressive performances, finishing seventh in 2017-18 ahead of more established and big-budget sides, and qualified for the Uefa Europa League.
Last season was also a good one for Dyche and his charges, who belong to the old school of tough and physical English game, as they showed remarkable stubbornness to conclude the season with their joint highest premier league tally of 54 points.
Burnley made a difficult start to last season securing only one victory from their first five matches but wins over Norwich City and particularly Everton eased early fears.
Dyche’s charges saved their best for last as they returned from the lockdown in excellent condition.
The 5-0 away thrashing against Manchester City behind closed doors aside, the Clarets posted some good results, registering solitary goal wins against Watford and Crystal Palace, which started a seven-match unbeaten streak, that included a draw with ultimate champion Liverpool.
That was the only occasion the new English champions dropped points at their home Anfield where they are unbeaten in the EPL over the last three seasons.
A loss to Brighton and Hove Albion failed to dampen their mood as they brought to an end to a progressive season.
Goalkeeper Nick Pope, picked by his teammates and fans as Burnley’s top performer last season, finished with a magnificent 15 clean sheets, narrowly missing out to City’s Ederson (16) for the Golden Glove award.
Nevertheless, the 28-year old Pope is regarded as the best custodian in the league by most followers.
He will no doubt be in England boss Gareth Southgate’s plans for their upcoming international matches, and if Burnley stave off the interest of the other big clubs he will once again make sure the side will be most difficult to face in the forthcoming season.
Kiwi international Chris Wood was also a bright spot, scoring 14 goals, while winger Dwight McNeil made some dazzling displays.
The 20-year old McNeil notched six assists alongside two goals as the former Manchester United academy player continued his development.
The Clarets will begin their season away to former league winner Leicester City on matchday two on September 19 after their opening day game against United on September 12 got postponed due to the Red Devils’ involvement in the Europa League.