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Why haven't Burnley found their rhythm yet?

Tuesday 11th September 2018

Burnley Football Club is now considered an established Premier League side. Their best ever successful season being the most recent. The 2017-18 campaign saw them finish in seventh place; above teams such as Everton and former Premier League champions Leicester City. But the current term hasn't started anywhere near as well.

Sean Dyche finds his team with just one point from a possible 12. The solitary draw was claimed on the opening day against Southampton. Three consecutive losses mean they sit in 19th place. Thankfully for them, the season has only just begun. A 3-1 loss against Watford, a 4-2 defeat away to newly-promoted Fulham and a 2-0 loss at home to Manchester United shows a possible sign of decline. But realistically, we should expect the 47-year-old gaffer from Kettering to turn things around.

Due to the seventh-placed finish last season the Clarets qualified for a possible Europa League spot this time around. It took extra time to defeat Aberdeen over two legs in the second qualifying phase. A similar story played out when they were up against Istanbul Basaksehir. But the play-off round against Greek giants Olympiacos ended in defeat. Being knocked out meant no group stage appearance. The only real positive to take away from that is the fact that Burnley can focus solely on the Premier League.

Morale needs to be repaired and points have to be picked up. Three big names arrived with the squad this summer. Joe Hart, Matej Vydra and Ben Gibson. All these acquisitions have reputations. They have to step up their game if they want to make an impact. art has appeared in all games so far, letting in nine goals... One clean sheet from four is about average. The fans have every right to expect better, though.

Vydra came on against Manchester United but only amounted to a few minutes. He also scored in their 1-1 draw with Olympiacos in their first leg tie during the Europa League qualifying. Gibson is yet to appear in a Premier League match this season but did receive a red card in the same game which Vydra scored.

So over the next few weeks, we will most likely see more Vydra hopefully and Gibson may be given a chance. The Czech ended up as the Championship's top goalscorer last season, which is no mean feat. The only problem at Burnley now is they have strikers aplenty. Sam Vokes, Ashley Barnes, Chris Wood and now Vydra. There needs to be a right balance amongst these players because if they don't get the game time they will become unsettled. You don't want that, especially if the results aren't happening.

Using a 4-4-1-1 formation is near enough as traditional as it gets. But with results not coming their way maybe a slight change is needed. Weirdly enough, Burnley's top scorer so far this season is Ben Mee. The central defender has tallied two so far. The only other scorer being Jeff Hendrick. Playing just behind the centre-forward the Irish international can interact with the midfield and wide players if called upon.

Burnley just needs to find their rhythm again. They were known for not scoring many last season, and we aren't exactly expecting them to do the same this year. But if they can keep the goals against at a low, it would be an excellent starting point. Their next game is up against Wolverhampton Wanderers. The West Midlands outfit has started off better than expected with five points so far. Nuno Espirito Santo's side will be welcoming Burnley at the Molineux in hope of continuing their winning run.

Even though Burnley hasn't started off so well, I don't think it's time to press panic buttons just yet. They have some work to do to leave up to their billing from last term, however.

Football Fixtures
Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.


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