After Burnley’s rollercoaster Premier League campaign, which concluded with the Clarets plummeting back towards the second tier. they will hope to retain the majority of their squad that won promotion in 2013/14. Sean Dyche is the most instrumental part of this team, his tactics and sly signings led to him completing the ambitions that he couldn’t at Watford. One worrying factor for Burnley faithful is the ground shaking news that Sean Dyche was made immediate favourite for the vacant Leicester role. Collectively, Turf Moor will hold it’s breath to wait for their so called ‘Ginger Mourinho’ to make his decision.
Danny Ings was always likely to depart the Lancashire club, with Liverpool among the clubs circling the England under-21 striker like a shark. Left to lead the line, is a choice of Marvin Sordell, Ashley Barnes and Lukas Jutkiewicz. Both Sordell and Jutkiewicz proved to be unwise signings, not scoring a single League goal between them. But Barnes on the other hand, was one of the main participants towards Burnley’s goal total with 5 goals. The most impressive attribute that he contributed was his eagerness to be involved, dropping back to collect the ball and making lung bursting runs to latch on to hit and hope clearances, Barnes will certainly be a one to watch in the Championship this term.
Lanky haired Scotsman George Boyd was a justified choice for the Clarets player of the season. His illustrative passing and dazzling dribbling certainly got their fans off their seats. Boyd is not your typical winger, he prefers to be heavily involved in play rather that hug the touchline like many of the foreign imports we see in the top flight today. Boyd also has an eye for the spectacular, scoring an outrageous halfway line volley while in his Peterborough, but hilariously a failed eye test blocked his move to Forest that season.
Should Dyche stay he will hope to maintain at least three of his back four that performed so admirably last season. Veteran centre back Michael Duff is pinned for at least another season, while partner Jason Shackell has had former club Derby County interested in his services. No matter what Duff will want a partner with a good turn of pace to make up make up for his sluggish nature, but you can hardly blame him at the age of 36.
Overall I think Burnley have the squad to mount another challenge for at least the play-offs. So long as they find another striker firing on all cylinders and wingers Michael Kightly and Scott Arfield can produce similar service as they did for the fox in the box, Danny Ings, they should have no trouble banging in the goals. I do worry for them at the back though, I understand the Tom Heaton has now forced his way into an England squad, but both Michael Keane and Michael Duff aren’t exactly lightning quick. This could cause severe problems when faced with the best that the Championship has to offer.