Hello, My Name is Grit!

Last updated : 09 February 2020 By J D Vail

If you want to talk about offense, it has to be Jay Rodriguez’s thunderous shot smacking the top crossbar in the second half. Had the architects of this beautiful game adjusted the crossbar about three centimeters skyward, Clarets supporters would be having an entirely different conversation. There is also the matter of Aubameyang losing complete sense of direction with the ball at his feet. A happy surprise, I might add. But offense is not what I thrilled me when watching the Arsenal affair. Being a relatively new Burnley supporter and a recent football convert in general, what resonates with me, what keeps my interest in a club and in this sport are players and teams that live and die by pure toughness and grit.

Maybe it’s the fact that I grew up watching helmet cladded barbarians ram into each other like two high speed locomotives, but this season’s Clarets team is everything a novice, yet, passionate football fan could hope for. The boys got another top six Blue Blood, this time at home. Another team with all the pressure in the world and skilled players to match such expectations. The Clarets gave them a beat down. Toughness versus finesse and toughness clearly came out on top.

Despite my excitement, the question has to be asked: Can this form of play be sustained for the remainder of the season? With such congestion in between the middle and bottom teams in the table, 45 points may be needed to survive. It can easily be relegation or Europa League. But, as I recall, Burnley was unable to sustain the balance of playing EPL and Europa League football last year, however, this is a new decade. Maybe things will be different this time around…