Burnley, it seems, have become cast in the role of Icarus.
When Stoke City were defeated at Turf Moor on the 12th December, Burnley ascended to fourth in the Premier League and Clarets' supporters everywhere, even old-stagers like myself, were entertaining dizzying notions of European football
Even the normally level headed Burnley manager Sean Dyche, allowed himself a moment of giddiness, talking of dwelling in Â“ProudsvilleÂ”.
Since then, however, Burnley have failed to win any of the subsequent seven league and cup fixtures, the latest of which came at Selhurst Park yesterday afternoon, when Burnley were defeated by Crystal Palace in a display offering several pointers in the direction of a team suffering a gradual yet noticeable erosion of confidence.
In his interviews, Sean Dyche often talks of the fine margins which separate victory from defeat at Premier League level
An in-form and confident Burnley win matches like yesterdayÂ’s by the odd goal, but an off-form Burnley lose by the same margin
Being on the wrong end of those fine margins were manifest in James Tarkowski getting caught in the wrong position when faced with a through-ball that he would normally mop up; then his colleagues allowing Bakary SakoÂ’s shot to thread its way through three players en route to the back of Nick PopeÂ’s goal
An in-form Burnley donÂ’t concede goals at their near post.
Then there was Jeff Hendrick ambling towards a loose ball near BurnleyÂ’s corner flag and being beaten to it before he could execute his clearance into touch
That is something Burnley fans are not accustomed to seeing.
Only some last-ditch defending and Christian BentekeÂ’s prolificacy in front of goal, prevented Burnley falling further behind in a first half which bordered on the shambolic
The second half showed significant improvement, but not enough to squeeze a point out of the game
Sam Vokes rippled the side-netting with the sort of header he normally tucks away and Ashley Barnes drew a testing save out of Wayne Hennessey, but there were few other sources of encouragement, save for a cameo of some promise from new loan arrival from Tottenham, Frenchman Georges-Kevin Nkoudou.
Out of both cups and now drifting in the league, the Clarets are in danger of having a season which was shaping up to be one of the most resplendent in the clubÂ’s history fizzle out into mundanity
In all of their previous Premier League seasons, Burnley have found points much harder to come by in the second half of the season, it is an irksome tendency which needs confronting and correcting
The fixture schedule doesnÂ’t offer much in the way of succour, with Manchester United rolling into town next week
Although this fixture represents a huge challenge it is also an opportunity for Burnley to re-adjust their flight trajectory and avoid the melting of their wings.This rather Burnley centric match review was written by uber Claret fan Dave Thornley, who contributes regularly on behalf of Clarets Mad
Source : DSG