Johann Berg Gudmundsson propelling Burnley FC up the table
Image Via: Ronnie McDonald/Flickr.
Burnley Football Club endured a slow start to the season. There was no win in their opening five Premier League matches, while The Clarets were dumped from the Europa League during the qualifying rounds.
In the early-goings, it's fair to say Burnley looked like relegation candidates. At this point in the season, though, things can change quickly. The Lancashire side now sits in twelfth place. They owe plenty to a certain Icelandic; Johann Berg Gudmundsson. His career in Burnley started slowly. Injuries didn't help. He rarely featured during his debut campaign. However, last season the 27-year-old's influence grew drastically. To start the 2018/19 term, he has been a regular in the starting line-up. It's fairly easy to see why.
Gudmundsson has been the lynchpin to Burnley's success over the last three matches. Four assists and one goal as his side picked up an impressive seven points in the process. He has lit the claret and blue touchpaper as Sean Dyche's men look to hit the dizzy height which they reached last time around.
It's not just the goals and assists that Gudmundsson brings to the table. It's the energy, the work-rate, the hunger, the desire. In a Burnley team which requires each and every player to put in a shift for the cause, the winger is the perfect teammate. The Icelandic mentality of play hard but work harder certainly comes to the fore. After a few below average years playing in England (for both Burnley and Charlton), it's nice to see Gudmundsson repeating his international exploits for his domestic club.
As keen Fantasy Premier League players will know, Gudmundsson's stock has drastically risen. He's now a sought-after midfielder that comes with a cheap price-tag. Not only FPL fans, but English football supporters, in general, will have been keeping a keen eye on the man from Iceland. His creativity and ability to create clear-cut opportunities has been a mightily impressive feat.
It's the precision. When the chances are carved out, they're excellent ones. No snap-shots or 50/50 unlikely openings. Gudmundsson creates situations that almost guarantee a goal. He grabbed his five assists total on the back of eight scoring situations. Sure, the excellent finishing from his teammates help, but it's more than luck.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that Gudmundsson holds the key to Burnley's future. If the Icelandic is performing well, then Dyche's men will be looking in good shape. When he plays poorly, Burnley tends to struggle. They'll always keep clean sheets, their defence is rock solid more often than not. It's down to putting the ball into the back of the net on the other end where the struggles have occurred.
The one worry that Burnley may have is that swarms may start circling. Gudmundsson has been playing so impeccably well that sides will take notice. That's a credit to the brilliant Dyche, once again... Sometimes, however, that can work at a disadvantage, even for a club with such an illustrious history. If the good displays continue to roll in, the so-called 'bigger sides' may be getting in touch with The Clarets in the not too distant future, and it won't be just for a quick catch-up, either...