The Burnley View
Following a short break for international football, the Premier League returns with Palace heading to Turf Moor. TEB had a chat with Lancashire Telegraph reporter Tyrone Marshall to get the latest from Burnley.
Q. How do you assess last season for Burnley in the Premier League?
It was a very good season. Burnley would have snapped your hand off for forty points and sixteenth place at the start of the season. In the end they could perhaps have finished higher, winning just two games from February onwards, but that should not deflect from what was a successful campaign.
The home form was outstanding but it was tougher away from home until they landed that first away win of the season at Palace in April.
Q. There was plenty of speculation about the future of Sean Dyche over the summer particularly involving Palace. Did the fans fear he could have left the club?
They did. The role Dyche has played in the success at the club since his arrival in October 2012 cannot be under-estimated. He took over a mid-table Championship side who, if anything, feared the drop, and now has taken them to promotion twice and Premier League safety.
The players at Burnley seem to love playing for him and he has played a role in transforming the club off the pitch as well, with the new training ground opening earlier this year. There will come a time when Dyche does move on, but thankfully it was not this summer.
Q. How have the club done in the transfer window and have all problem areas been addressed?
They have done okay considering they lost two of their better players in Michael Keane and Andre Gray. The attack has been strengthened with the addition of Chris Wood, Nakhi Wells and Jon Walters, while Jack Cork looks an excellent addition in midfield and there is now competition in the full back slots through Phil Bardsley and Charlie Taylor.
I think the club would have liked to do more though. Not signing a centre back to replace Keane looks a risk, should either Ben Mee or James Tarkowski pick up an injury, while they were also desperate to sign a winger with pace but were frustrated in their attempts to do so.
Q. Sean Dyche has an impressive habit of picking up solid signings that rarely take time to settle. Why do think that is?
I think a focus on the domestic market plays a major part in it. All the new signings this summer are experienced in the English game, many in the Premier League, so there is little to adapt to, aside from a new dressing room.
When Dyche has recruited from overseas it has taken longer to adapt. Steven Defour came in last summer but struggled in his first season to get used to the pace on the league, but he has looked much improved so far this term.
Q. A number of teams will be looking for that forty point barrier this season but is there an expectation that the club could improve on just surviving in the Premier League?
I think there is, it was something Tom Heaton said before the start of the season, hinting at a bit of disappointment at the slow end to last season.
Getting to survival again has to be the first aim, but I think there is a feeling in the dressing room that they can push on and move up the table.
Q. What do you make of the appointment of Frank de Boer by Palace?
Interesting. He obviously did a fantastic job at Ajax but his spell at Inter Milan did not go well at all. He is definitely a big name manager, thanks to those titles at Ajax and his illustrious playing career, but it feels like this is a job that has to go well for him.
Q. Explain in no more than 140 characters how the last ten years have been for the football the club.
Fantastic. Four seasons in the Premier League, now staying in the top flight, a new training ground and a very healthy balance sheet
Q. Name one player from EACH side that you think the opposition should consider a real threat in this match up.
Burnley’s midfield has been key so far this season and Steven Defour has played a big part in that. He is Burnley’s most creative passer and can set the tempo for them. For Palace, Christian Benteke is always a handful.
Q. Your prediction?
I think Burnley will edge it. 2-1.