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Burnley’s style of play is now unique among Premier League teams

I think you become judged against the sport today. What do you do against this games standards? Im not troubled. Should soccer teams and way just play? They just wont because not everyone is able to do exactly the identical thing. — Sean Dyche
The Burnley boss has faced criticism of the teams style of play. For a while, he railed against it. Now, he seems to have accepted it. However, as his comment aboutthe standards indicates – its misleading to claim that not everybody is able to do the identical thing. Theres an increasing feeling in the Premier League that everyone is doing just that.
It was the topic of a discussion about Monday Night Football about the tendency for teams to carry their goal-kicks short as opposed to as was once habitual, knock the ball. Any boss today, whether they believe in playing like this or not, I think that theyll feel forced, said Gary Neville. In case you dont play from the trunk youre going to be tagged a dinosaur
Its a threat that Dyche is ready to operate in the hope of continued to overachieve with Burnley. When goalkeeper Nick Pope became the first player to hit 100 unsuccessful lengthy passes this year the season was five matches . Nobody had hit 80 in the time. So far this season, Pope has hit 89 per cent of the passes – more than anybody else.
The England international hasnt gone rogue here. Its part of the plan. Burnley play by far the maximum proportion of long passes of any group in the Premier League – 23.5 percent in total. The most by any other group in the competition is 19.6 per cent by newly-promoted Sheffield United. There is a noticeable difference in approach between the rest and Burnley.
Dyche is entitled to believe it is working for them. Ashley Barnes found the net four times in the first three matches partnered in attack from the similarly robust Chris Wood. Both men are among the top six forwards at the Premier League for aerial duels contested. It is a difficulty many top-flight defenders have become habituated to needing to fix.
Delve deeper and also the style contrast becomes even more obvious. In regards to pass sequences of more or 10 – that the bread and butter of most teams buildup play – Burnley are underside, using strung that many passes together just 20 times. All but two groups have more than double that. Five teams have already brought a century of sequences .
The Clarets will be the team to muster a shot from a few of these passages of play, and have still done it twice. Nevertheless, it is simply Dyche wants them to be fashioning their openings. The advanced metrics show that Burnley have minimum width per string of any team but they advance quicker up the area than all but one team.
Soccer that is vertical not horizontal.
It has its advantages. Dyche has removed from Burnleys match by looking long in their defensive third. Theyve surrendered by far the number of top turnovers of any team from the Premier League. Opponents cannot win the ball off them in their own third since Burnley dont attempt to retain the ball in their third.
Of the 14 teams to have been for the past four seasons, Burnley have made the mistakes leading to targets. To illustrate just how damaging it is to attempt to play expansive football, Fulham generated more mistakes than Burnley consume in 3 leading to shots in one period. They didnt last long.
This is that the ubiquity of the game, a benefit is to Burnleys uniqueness. In a match where everybody else is currently pressing , they are able to fully negate that. Not only are they not conceding opportunities from top turnovers theyre seeking to punish the defensive lineup of their opponents.
That was a significant criticism of Arsenal at the first portion of the year when Unai Emerys side continued to pass out from the trunk against Watford and also Liverpool – known because of their elevated pressing. The distance for Arsenal had been upfield, behind the opposition media, where they had quality forwards in circumstances but did not exploit it.
Dyche once summed up his approach to the struggle of scoring a goal using a simple golf analogy. If youre able to get it from here to the pit in significantly less shots than everybody else, that is what it is about, he contended. The notion of football is to try and win. You work backwards from winning. But triumph you must. You have to do everything you do to win.
He knows it would be easier in some ways to go with the flow. But despite his insistence that there areno rights and wrongs to soccer along with him pointing out that hed not say it was a disgrace which Manchester City pass much, yet another remark on the topic was revealing. All managers would really like to play with 600-pass football and win all of the time, he said.
Rather, Dyche has determined that his Burnley staff cant do so – and because they cannot do it hes a duty. He also takes his responsibilities seriously to do anything other than that which he feels is optimum for his side. If I moved to another club with different ability sets, trust me, I would play with a different manner, he has stated. A pragmatist?
Whats fascinating yet is that Dyche is the only person about how best to win, to achieve his conclusion that is specific. Why do others is Neville right they feel pressured to the kind of groupthink that motivates them to play to the hands of their biggest clubs see it. Perhaps Dyche is the coach that is only prepared to follow his logic through.
And what of people who watch it? Burnley fans are far from humourless and love chiding the opposition to getanti-football – the accusation once levelled in their facet by David Luiz – if an opposition team hits the ball long or cynically prevents a counter-attack. They are acutely aware of the perception. They do not always want to be reminded of it.
Because of this, some will continue to feel that some criticism of the fashion will be unjustified. Theyll look not into the 134 of their 160 Premier League matches in which they had less possession and rather to some end by Barnes or a clever one-two by Dwight McNeil. Perhaps they should embrace it. For the evidence is clear. The soccer of burnley is currently unique.

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