Just a thought or two from the Editor’s Chair on Clarets Mad following today’s proper 4-0 shellacking from Diving (not Dirty) Leeds.
I have lost count of the number of goals we have conceded this season because opposing players have been allowed to run forty or fifty yards unscathed from the centre of midfield and score goals. Why Mee and Tarkowski constantly fail to come out and engage the threatening player is way beyond me.
The solution is obvious; buy, beg, or borrow a player like Kalvin Phillips, who can provide defensive cover in the final third, a player who will engage with the threat of a player who is running with the ball and turn the tap off this particularly worrying and season long supply line of threats on the Clarets goal.
A retrospective analysis of our season’s statistics will almost certainly show the Burnley right-hand flank is neither adequate offensively nor defensively for the standards required to compete in the English Premier League.
There is much to admire about Matty Lowton, his dedication and enthusiasm to play the game is laudable, but when he is targeted by the opposition like today, unfortunately he is found wanting. Today’s mauling by Harrison epitomises the problem.
Offensively, Robbie Brady and Johann Berg Gudmundsson have both been unable to overcome their susceptibility to niggling injuries and our team has suffered from their frequent absences in abundance.
We really need to strengthen both offensive and defensive positions in the close season. Revenue from player sales may be part of the answer. Brady will almost certainly leave at the end of his contract in June and that is one particular pair of boots we need to fill.
Assuming Nick Pope plays for England and impresses in the Euros, he is an obvious big money departure. The Tarkowski contract situation also needs resolving pretty damned quickly because we cannot afford to allow a player of his commercial and playing value to depart on a free transfer.
Could Jimmy Dunne be part of the solution? If Tarkowski leaves, it is imperative we keep hold of Dunne and trust in Sean Dyche to bring the out the best out of the Irish lad.
I am uncertain of what to make of Dwight McNeil, on occasions he looks to be a world beater, but on days like today when players swarm around him like Leeds did with their high pressing game, he disappears and seems to go into sulk mode.
A big money offer and subsequent sale of McNeil might free up the cash required to strengthen the squad for what will undoubtedly be another punishing season in 2021/2.
Alan Pace and if he is staying on board at Turf Moor, Sean Dyche have some huge decisions to make in the impending close season. Failure to get those decisions right may well mean next season’s campaign will end in relegation. We escaped by the skin of our teeth this year, next year we may not be so lucky. (TEC).