The 4-2 scoreline against Leicester City may look like the better team allowed a depleted and less talented side a couple of consolation goals in stoppage time as a gesture of goodwill and mercy. However, it was Chris Wood that opened the floodgate of goals and, if it wasn’t for a few bad breaks in the second half, maybe Burnley would have walked away with a draw. Still, it was made abundantly clear throughout the match that a lack of investment this season will stretch the brilliance of Sean Dyche and his coaching staff to the breaking point.
Outside of the James Tarkowski rumour mill, the biggest obstacle facing Burnley is the injury bug. The Clarets went into Sunday’s contest without Ben Mee, Ashley Barnes, James Tarkowski, Jack Cork, and Berg Gudmundsson. Yet, they managed to take the early 0-1 lead due to the strength and brilliance of Chris Wood. Unfortunately, the Clarets found themselves down 3-1 early in the second half. Burnley was able to climb back in the match when Jimmy Dunne put a head on a lovely free-kick from Dwight McNeil to make it 3-2. But, talent and availability usually wins in the end and a late goal from Dennis Praet put the match out of reach.
A club starved for playmaking assets and stretched to the brink of barely being able to put 11 men on the field, gave the former league champs all they could handle. Burnley is a fighting team—a gritty team that belongs in England’s top league. However, without investment, they could easily find themselves gravelling at the bottom of the table hoping to survive a relegation battle. This team is too good for that. The last few years have been a magical ride that shouldn’t end with trade rumours, injuries reports, and a board clinging to its purse strings like a billionaire on his deathbed.
But, these are uncertain times. The world is still one bad day away from another shutdown. However, the season is underway and, when other clubs in the league—both big and small seem to be taking the calculated risks necessary to improve their squad, inaction is a plan that will ultimately fail. That said Saturday against Southampton will be here in the blink of an eye so up the Clarets as always.