Burnley’s outstanding season continues this time with individual recongition being accoladed as James Tarkowski and Nick Pope have received their first England call ups by manager Gareth Southgate. There is no doubting they deserve to be there with both of these players excelling in claret this season and also performing as one of the standout players in their respective positions this season. With the World Cup not too far away now it is a real opportunity for certain players to stake a claim for the Three Lions jersey but can we have faith that the Burnley men can transform club form to country? This is not a question of knocking a Burnley player but more a case of delving into whether they perhaps are playing well above themselves under a manager who seems to achieve just that.
The Dyche Effect
I really questioned Burnley’s creditionals going into this season after they sold Michael Keane and Andre Gray and how stupid was I to doubt Dyche would prove everyone wrong! They’ve flourished with their unit which is exactly what they thrive from. But this is the problem when looking at Burnley players from the past, are they actually good enough or do they excel having been placed under the perfect formula? You only have to look at Michael Keane and Andre Gray as examples to form an answer. My club forked out £18.5m on Andre Gray and it’s clear to see he is simply not a talented footballer. His first touch is so poor for a Premier League footballer and lacks a lot of genuine quality, often relying heavily on his physical attributes. He is now Watford’s third choice striker and sits behind the other two who have just 3 goals between them excluding penalties…
Michael Keane left for £30m to join Everton in the summer and has struggled all campaign in truth. He looks vulnerable when exposed and that is something that can be used to question the genuine quality of these Burnley players. With Dyche’s system each player has a tremendous understanding of their role, they work cohesively as a team and stick to executing the basics very well. You can see the difference a great manager can make and that being played in the right environment has a positive impact on any player. Out of fairness to these players we have also seen Kieran Trippier perform well away from Turf Moor so my argument isn’t completely black and white but I believe Dyche is so methodical that he really allows his players to maximise their ability and this has been the case with his whole group once again.
It wasn’t too long ago Michael Keane was being heavily praised having also been linked with a move back to Manchester United. I would think just a matter of months later England fans would be concerned to see his name on the teamsheet. While you fully well know the likes of Tarkowski and Pope will give everything for club and country and utlimately deserve to be on board ahead of many names also involved I think this is a key point when considering their call ups and that they are likely to have little impact.
It’s not to be forgotten before a ball was kicked this season Pope sat behind Tom Heaten as the second choice goalkeeper at Turf Moor while Tarkowski played as Keane’s understudy last season. All too often we see players get selected for the wrong reasons which is the case once again with this squad selection, Tarkowski and Pope fully deserve their recognition but they owe a lot to the work done by the man at the helm at Burnley.
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featured image credit BBC