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Burnley Already Upturn The Applecart

Admit it, after the lacklustre opening day game against Stoke City, you simply couldn’t see Burnley picking up anything from their next 2 games with Everton and Manchester United visiting Turf Moor. They were tough games, that most established Premiership sides wouldn’t be relishing to have back to back so how the Clarets fans must have felt, I can only imagine. However, a quick look at the league table shows the facts. Played 3, won 2, drawn 0, lost 1, Scored 2, Conceded 2.

What a delightful surprise Burnley have been already and I’m delighted to see just how well they’ve done. Of course, Manchester United bossed the game, but they couldn’t score. Chances came and went, a penalty was saved by the Beast in the Burnley net. Brian Jansen will break opposition strikers hearts throughout the rest of the season but it’s edifying to see Turf Moor rocking so early in the season. No one wants to see promoted teams hammered so soon but Burnley are loving it so far.

Of course, the knockers will be queuing up to get the pessimism in as quickly as the pints of    Moorhouse were probably going down yesterday around the town. Many a fan will have awoken fighting the effects of a Pendle Witches hangover, but still smiling like a Cheshire Cat. When you’ve just beaten the defending League Champions and then the most consistent side outside of the top 4 over the last 5 seasons, this feeling will take some beating.

No-one, other than Blackburn fans I suspect,  would have taken any satisfaction if Burnley would have been hammered in the first 3 games. As Hull City showed last season, winning the play offs seems to see you hit the ground running when the season kicks off. Burnley are living the dream, teams like the Clarets aren’t supposed to get in to the top tier but thankfully football will always throw a spanner in the works.

Whilst Hull City beat Arsenal last season, the size of Burnley’s achievements shouldn’t be understated. Manchester United don’t lose to teams like Burnley, they always fashion something to save their skins but they couldn’t manage this time. The easy money was on Everton steam rollering Burnley after the opening day hammering Arsenal handed them at Goodison. That didn’t happen either.

I know people were saying this was going to be the most open Premiership but I don’t think anyone anticipated the start Coyle’s men have had. When the fans see the newly published fixture list in June, they all cast their eyes and begin to work out where the points will come from. I find it hard to believe that any fan of the Clarets would have gone for the last six points  in a month of Sundays.

The addition of Andre Bikey adds a bit more steel to the backline, but this is no team of mugs. A smattering of experienced heads, fearless youth and canny international players gives Burnley more quality than people want to admit. Martin Patterson had Everton’s defence on the run and Wade Elliott has a classy range of passing. Tyrone Mears didn’t spend a year at Marseille for a laugh and Coyle did well to get him in.

Of course Burnley are going to have a blip, though god forbid it’s as bad as the one Hull City have finally put to bed. Of course, they rode their luck against United but they deserved the points against Everton. Yet this is what being a fan is all about.  A visit to Chelsea beckons this weekend and it will be interesting to see just how they’ll hack it before they visit Anfield. Even with two defeats in the next two games, a return of 6 points from those first five fixtures will stand them in good stead for the remainder of the season. Keep smiling Clarets fans, I think more happy hangovers beckon this season.

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  1. Sketch

    August 27, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I’m a diehard West Ham supporter but my older brother supports Burnley and I can’t help but admit I’ve been highly impressed with the club’s performance this season. They’re a fiercely energetic side, the club’s fans are simply amazing, and their last two outings have been some of the more memorable matches played in the EPL this season.

    While my energies will be focused on rooting for WH against Blackburn this weekend…I’m secretly hoping Burnley keeps the magic alive against Chelsea.

  2. Thomas

    August 24, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Great results for Burnley.

    I still think they are going to hit some very rough patches of form later in the season. But the 6 points they earned in games they “should have lost” could be real difference makers come the end of the season, in what I would guess will be a very tight relegation battle.

  3. Lyle

    August 24, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Burnley has done well. They’re just the tradition of some newly arrived team like Wigan or Hull making an early go of it. Good stuff. Has helped make the first gameweek of the season very interesting.

  4. Dave Trotter

    August 24, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    It is nice to see Burnley and Birmingham ahead of Liverpool, even if it is for just a short while.

  5. Sam E P

    August 24, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Very true, and being honest, if United started with Berbatov they would have won the game. Last season Burnley beat Fulham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs (on the night) in Cup games, but lost to far weaker Championship teams. I don’t have illusions of grandeur, but I am boosted by a currently very weak Portsmouth (or whom a buyout can’t come soon enough) and a manager who we adore. And we’ll always have the memories!

  6. adjan

    August 24, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Well, nobody expected Burnley could get six points out of possible nine in their first three games, considering they had to play Man United and Everton. They’ve done something amazing and both players and fans are, as you said, living the dream. Nevertheless, everyone knows their dream will end sooner or later and I think just it’s a matter of time for Burnley to go to the very bottom of the table. I think there’s a lot of difference between last season’s Hull and Burnley this year. Burnley were extremely lucky in the last to games. You have to admit Everton and Man United were very, very poor when Burnley faced them. Everton are weakened by Joleon Lescott saga, they are not the team they were just a couple of months ago.
    Last year’s Hull, on the other hand, managed to beat a good Arsenal side at The Emirates, which was a very impressing win. They also got a point at Anfield and Stamford Bridge. They just played very good football, they were not lucky, they deserved that.
    However, it’s interesting how newly-promoted teams do better against the teams from the top of the table. I mean I think it’s easier for them to play against Man United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal or Everton in terms of pressure. Also, those teams tend to underestimate newly-promoted ones. In my opinion that’s what happened to Man United against Burnley.
    Well, I can understand Burnley fans being happy after beating Manchester and Everton, but at the end of the day, it’s against lesser teams where you have to win to stay up.

  7. Sam E P

    August 24, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Here’s a fact from a Burnley Season Ticket holder – you could seat the entire population of Burnley in Old Trafford. The atmosphere at the last two home games has been electric and although a result at Chelsea on Saturday morning looks unlikely; I’ll still be watching it on ESPN UK. I’ love to see a poll of how many readers had heard of Burnley before we won promotion, and I’m sure by the end of the season we’ll have won a place in a few yank hearts.
    Chelsea look strong for this season. With Liverpool selling Alonso, United with Ronaldo and Arsenal losing Adebayor; Chelsea are the only team not to have faced an “every player has his price” decision. Just look at Everton and the Lescott affair. There could be a new two in the top four this season.

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