When Burnley were promoted under Sean Dyche last season, most fans thought they would soon be struggling to escape relegation; everyone was writing off the Clarets, especially as they barely made any changes to the side promoted from the Championship.
Sean Dyche’s boldness must be admired. The trust he has shown in his side is remarkable – nine players who started their last game of the season against Charlton on 7th May 2016, made an appearance earlier in the week during the Clarets 1-0 win over the champions, Leicester City.
Most points won at home in the Premier League this season:
Incredible job by Sean Dyche. pic.twitter.com/gVENuqpca7
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 31, 2017
This was a Championship side last season and they haven’t even changed. At home they’ve collected most of their points, winning nine of their last 10 Premier League games at Turf Moor. This of course means only one thing; any new signing, regardless of how amazing they look, must be questioned on whether they ‘can they do it on a cold night in Burnley?’.
Away from inevitable memes, the Clarets are now a team that must be respected. They’re not limited to parking the bus, but they can do it (and will) against the bigger sides. Dyche gets the very best out of his players – a trait which even managers at the world’s best clubs can lack. We’ve already seen how the likes of Tom Heaton, Michael Keane and Ben Mee have performed this season, but credit is warranted across the whole team. The former Watford manager can even get Joey Barton to play well for him, that alone is a miracle and makes the Burnley boss the best man-manager in the league.
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) January 29, 2017
Whilst calls for Dyche to win manager of the season may seem premature, who other than Antonio Conte can even come close? No one. Many teams have underperformed this year, but why should we credit teams like Chelsea and Spurs who are expected to be where they are? Burnley were an easy choice for relegation, but instead have now sneaked into the top half of the table.
The Burnley manager has kept the faith in his team and they have repaid him. Any manager who can work with what they have got is a class above those needing to spend. It’s silly not to appreciate Antonio Conte’s system, it’s great to see it in action, but we must remember he has a finished team at his disposal. Imagine if Dyche had Chelsea’s team? He’d easily win the treble. Not only that, Burnley would probably finish with the least goals conceded ever in a Premier League season.
Whilst it is funny to imagine Dyche with a ridiculously expensive squad, barking orders at stars of the game, he probably wouldn’t want to. As a true coach, he suits working with upcoming talent better. The Burnley man specialises in helping others reach their potential, and can turn what would be average talents into good players. These skills are what he has showcased this season, and why he should be the next England manager. With man-management skills only rivalled by the world’s best, success for the Three Lions wouldn’t be far away.
But if the Clarets board can’t hold onto Dyche in the summer, we can expect a swift relegation. It can’t be too long before the big teams come calling for his leadership.