A cursory glance at the bench that Sean Dyche selected for Burnley's meeting with Watford on Thursday afternoon provides an indication of the problems that exist at the club.
Two of the Clarets' nine substitutes were goalkeepers and four were youngsters yet to make a single Premier League appearance. The second string was completed by Erik Pieters, Phil Bardsley and Kevin Long - a veritable who's who of boring top flight defenders.
Incredibly, this was an improvement from Burnley's previous stuffing at the hands of Manchester City, when they couldn't even muster enough players to fill all the slots on the bench.
Pretty shocking though isn't it. Premier League clubs, even in the midst of a small injury crisis, should definitely be boasting a full contingent of substitutes.
The game against the Hornets came amid intense speculation that Dyche - better known as the ginger Messiah to Burnley's 88,000 inhabitants - is seriously considering his Turf Moor future.
The Clarets boss has cited frustrations with the board as reasons for his discontent. Namely, Jeff Hendrick's departure from the club and a lack of backing in the transfer market. A look at his side's bench on Thursday night suggests that he is right to be aggrieved.
Dyche has worked miracles on a shoestring budget season after season. Being left with such a meagre selection of attacking options is evidence of Burnley's systemic thriftiness going too far.
Sean Dyche and Roy Hodgson are quietly having unbelievable seasons having spent next to nothing and no one is giving them credit for it.— The Tactical Times (@Tactical_Times) June 20, 2020
If the club want its talismanic manager to stay - and they definitely should want that - it is important that they loosen the financial shackles and allow him more room to manoeuvre in the upcoming transfer window.
The reasons for this became more and more obvious as the second half progressed at Turf Moor on Thursday.
Dyche's side were all over Watford in the opening exchanges and if it wasn't for some wasteful finishing from Jay Rodriguez and Matej Vydra, they would have been ahead. With the scores level and the clock winding down, the Clarets attacking unit became increasingly sluggish and fatigue in the baking Lancashire weather.
The game was crying out for some attacking alterations but with only the likes of Bardsley, Long and Pieters to turn to, Dyche was in a difficult position.
A moment of magic from Rodriguez did eventually break the deadlock but you have to think that against a side who offer more attacking threat than Watford, Burnley would have been punished for their lack of attacking edge.
Enough with the penny pinching guys. Dyche deserves backing in the transfer market - and he deserves it now.
Source : 90min