Five wins and a draw
It is very difficult to see us not winning the title; as ridiculous as that sounds as a Burnley fan talking in March – that is where we are currently at.
We went up with 93 points last time in second place behind a rampant Leicester City. You look below you and see your closest rivals taking it in turns to lose their bottle each week and the Premier League suddenly seems not so far away.
When Burnley were promoted in 2014, the squad was packed full of average freebies and the expectation was not there. This time the Clarets, who have used the fewest players in the division (23), were amongst the favourites for the title and credit has to go to the players who have turned that pressure into points.
You’d think 90 points will be enough to see us over the line. I’m not saying the bookies should pay out, but I am confident – Preston North End away on the April 23 could turn into a promotion party!
For Burnley to be top, but to have only beaten three of the top 13 teams in the league. is a remarkable statistic. This is taking nothing away from manager Sean Dyche, who is the stand out manager in the division, there is no doubt.
Social media is a key indicator into how other teams view Burnley and its gaffer – each week that passes sees further vitriol pour in from the likes of Derby and Middlesbrough fans for our manager. Simply put, both of those teams would take the Burnley manager tomorrow!
There is no hidden agenda with Dyche; he wins the Manager of the Month award and donates it to his players, whereas Aitor Karanka for instance, is playing top trumps in his changing room to see who has the biggest ego.
You look around English football and start to realise that there are not many English managers in the game whose stock is rising higher than Dyche’s, and he’s doing it one game at a time.
A case for the defence
The Clarets now possess; in my opinion, the best young and English central defensive trio in the country. They may all look like preppy school boys, and barring the mess at Fulham in the first-half – James Tarkowski, Michael Keane and Ben Mee have been imperious and not had enough credit for Burnley’s recent form.
The glorious irony is it took Jason Shackell to leave for this triumvirate to collide. Matty Lowton and Stephen Ward receive honourable mentions, but the central pairings have been nothing short of outstanding.
Freddie the boy
That game at Fulham highlighted most probably why Fredrik Ulvestad hasn’t been given as much game time as his cameos have suggested and many fans have clamoured for. I like Freddie, his unorthodox style and the way he moves with the ball makes him stand out on the pitch, he is also a very good runner.
Going backwards though, he gets found out, time and time again at Fulham he was bypassed and was all too easily shoved off the ball. Dean Marney made a huge impact on that game and shows manager Dyche knows when to change things.
The Championship is a hard league to come in and pick up the pace straight away, I expect we will only see the Norwegian from the bench against tired legs in the run-in – which suits both him and the team as he does have that touch of the unknown to pick out a pass, like for Andre’s [Gray] Bolton winner.
This is a game changer. Burnley won’t want to miss out on this pay day and hopefully the money will be spent on something better than a new tunnel this time. The TV deal is huge; Real Madrid, PSG, Barcelona and Bayern Munich will all receive lower down payments for TV rights than the little old mill town in East Lancashire.
Money earned by the club should be spent on some quality, that’s IF the club make it to the Premier League – but that is a debate for another day.
So now in the meantime; grab your pie, pint, match day programme, winning bet slip and get yourself down to Turf Moor. The ground needs filling in the final run-in towards promotion – your team needs you, fill the Turf!