It is coming to that time of the season when every point can be the difference between staying up or going down at the bottom of the Premier League table. With Leicester City seemingly slipping away at the foot of the table and Queens Park Rangers not far off them, it appears as though Burnley may be the only one of the three teams to have come up from the Championship last year to stand a chance of remaining in the Premier League.
And why shouldn’t they?
Having been heavily tipped for an immediate return to the Football League at the beginning of the season, Burnley struggled to get going, picking up their first Premier League win on their eleventh attempt against Hull in November. Since then they have barely looked back and look a shade of the side who were defeated 4-0 by West Brom in September.
Seemingly spurred on from their underdog status, Burnley have hardly been the whipping boys so many predicted. Their performances have been impassioned and resemble a team with a point to prove and that are willing to grasp the opportunity that has been put before them
Picking up points against Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United, Burnley have quickly become many people’s second team this season.
Super Sean Dyche
Dyche masterminded Burnley’s promotion last season after being odds on favourite to be relegated to League One. None the less it would have been easy for the Burnley board to show their manager the door after being forced to wait eleven games to get their first Premier League win.
But all credit to them for keeping with him. Dyche has been a breath of fresh air this season; honest with his criticism and believing in his players to do the job.
Burnley have not spent millions on players like Leicester who have broken their transfer record twice this season and they do not possess a wage bill anything like QPR’s. Instead, they kept their core from their promotion pushing season as well as investing in young British players who have a point to prove like George Boyd who got the winning goal against Manchester City and Michael Keane who saw his opportunities limited at Old Trafford with the emergence of Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair.
Burnley have also set the astonishing record of being the first team since Blackpool in 2011 to field an entirely British starting eleven in a Premier League game; against Tottenham in December.
In fact in Burnley’s entire 23 man Premier League squad only four are not British; Steven Reid, Stephen Ward, Kevin Long (Irish) as well as their Norwegian free signing Fredrik Ulvestad. If you compare that to the Premier League current champions Manchester City who have just four British players in their entire squad; Joe Hart, Frank Lampard, James Milner and Richard Wright, that statistic is incredible.
Therefore why shouldn’t Burnley be celebrated and deserve their place in the Premier League for one more season?
Don’t get me wrong there is still a long way to go but with some winnable games on the horizon, maybe the underdogs could do the unthinkable after all.