Burnley boss Sean Dyche is often mentioned along with Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe as targets for open managerial slots at bigger Premier League clubs, given their status as successful young managers who have kept their teams in the top flight against the odds.
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Dyche’s star was never higher than this time last year, when the Clarets stunningly qualified for the Europa League. The competition helped Burnley start very slow this season, however, which may be skewing the perception of just how good Burnley’s been since Boxing Day.
Since then, as Sky Sports points out, only Man City, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Arsenal have collected more points than Burnley’s 27. That total includes wins over Tottenham and Wolves, and a draw at Manchester United.
So finishing 7th with this bunch is a bit more rewarding than finishing 7th with West Ham or Everton. From Sky Sports:
“We have a financial framework that is very difficult. We have just posted record profits but within that is a wage bill that’s bottom three in the Premier League. … There are some obvious realities to what we are trying to achieve here. We never kid each other. We have always been honest about our situation. Last season there was the marvel of qualifying for the Europa League but this has been a more reality-based season, which is what I was expecting. I wasn’t expecting anything other than a challenging season. Maybe not as challenging as it has been, mind you.”
Dyche’s work has been exemplary. Many, including me, figured Burnley a drop candidate before the season he led the club to the UEL, and the Clarets looked certain to stay in the Bottom Three for the early part of this year and then a candidate to return to it just weeks ago.
Don’t doubt the Royal Dyche.