Two of English football’s oldest clubs met at Turf Moor last night and Burnley managed to look a lot more like Burnley as they defeated the old gold Wolves 2-1, to climb upwards and away from the English Premier League’s relegation zone.
Sean Dyche kept his faith in the Chris Wood/Ashley Barnes combo and was suitably rewarded with a goal in each half from the dynamic duo. A special mention too for Charlie Taylor who stood up the perfect cross to the back post for Barnes to open the scoring after the left back had galloped sixty yards to get on the end of an astute pass from Chris Wood.
There are many encouraging signs at present for the EPL’s longest serving manager. Sean Dyche constantly talks about the need for his team to find a “balance”, they certainly managed to achieve that last night. Pope, Mee and Tarkowski form a defensive triangle that is difficult to break down.
The rumbustious Barnes in tandem with Wood gave the Wolves back three a torrid time all evening and neither player should be content with their one goal each, both missing one-on-ones with the Wolves keeper to put real daylight between the Clarets and Wolves.
Josh Brownhill and Ashley Westwood are beginning to look the real deal in the Burnley midfield and Brownhill was particularly unlucky when he crashed an effort against the top of the crossbar early in the second half, after intercepting a poor Neves cross-field pass. A rejuvenated, free from injury Robbie Brady is also contributing enormously to the battle to escape relegation for the Clarets.
Dwight McNeil equalled Burnley skipper Ben Mee’s record in playing seventy consecutive games in the English Premier League, a quite remarkable feat for a 21-year-old fresh from the Clarets’ Development Academy. He certainly looks at home playing in one of the world’s toughest football leagues. A new pair of shooting boots might help to add to this young man’s mercurial talent; all he needs to do now is constantly add to his goal tally and he would be knocking loudly on Gareth Southgate’s door.
Seven points from the last three games have done the Clarets a world of good; Pope, Taylor and Tarkowski have all done enough in recent games to have earned places in the next England call-up. Leeds United are up next for the Clarets at Elland Road, I would love to be in a full capacity crowd to witness this one. Dear Covid, it really is time you jump back on Do One Airlines and seriously “Do One”! (TEC).