There are times when I really hate football! This last weekend was one of those times.
Bad enough that Burnley’s stoic rear-guard was cruelly breached in the 92nd minute by Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday, but the misery was compounded the following day when two of the Clarets’ former strikers, Danny Ings and Charlie Austin, combined to defeat Arsenal and move their current employers, Southampton, above Burnley, thereby leaving the Clarets in the relegation zone.
Had Burnley played miserably and subsided weakly at Wembley, their position in the bottom three would have been justified and therefore somehow easier to bear.
But the fact is that Burnley had played well, staying strong and resolute against technically superior opposition. Tottenham were forced to resort to pumping long, hopeful balls into Burnley’s penalty area and when Llorente got his head to one such ball, his flick found Harry Kane, who in turn found Christian Eriksen, who in turn found the back of Joe Hart’s net.
Cue frustration hastily followed by anger. The frustration is heightened by the fact that the recent upturn in performance levels has not been reflected in the points yield. Given their predicament, patience is a luxury the club can no longer afford, points must be collected – and fast.
As with the recent home game against Liverpool, the telling factor on Saturday was strength on the bench. So it was that Liverpool were able to introduce Mo Salah and Roberto Firminho when they fell behind and Spurs were able to turn to Eriksen and Son. On both occasions, it proved too much for Burnley to bear.
Failure to emerge with any points from next Saturday’s lunchtime trip to Arsenal, will oblige Burnley to spend the Christmas period in the relegation zone. History tells us that that is a tough place to exit from in the second half of the season.
An aftermatch appraisal from Dave Thornley who contributes regularly on behalf of Clarets Mad.