Wednesday, March 22, 2023

More Than Just Underdogs: Are Burnley Here To Stay?

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Prasoon Sur
Prasoon is a law student who lives in the North East of India. Wildly innovative, football is more than a passion for him.

Unmatchable euphoria erupted amongst the away fans at the Turf Moor last weekend with the final kick of the ball (err; it was more of a hand-to-the-ball). Laurent Koscielny once again came to the rescue, out of nowhere this time around to ensure that the team doesn’t disappoint the gaffer on his twentieth anniversary at Arsenal. The Gunners left Lancashire with their credentials intact after launching an uncharacteristically scruffy blow that must be a demoralising one to Burnley. After all, the Clarets didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.

The debatable judgment of permitting the Frenchman’s goal was hurtful to Sean Dyche’s side, for what they did until the last six seconds of the game demonstrated that any team with a prudent mind should not take Burnley lightly. Despite the fact that the north London side had the last laugh, Burnley’s endeavours didn’t go unnoticed. The goatee bearded and shaved head manager should be lauded for prohibiting the Gunners from plying their merciless and fluidic brand of sheer attacking football.

Encounters with the heavyweights such as Arsène Wenger’s troops test the tensile strength and resilience of teams which are branded as ‘the underdogs’. Burnley’s goalkeeper Tom Heaton was under-tested by the otherwise lethal frontier of Arsenal owing to the resilience and strategically sound tactical implementation of Dyche.

The advocacy for the old school methods of football which lays prominence to defending first, Michael Keane was Burnley’s standout performer against Arsenal who stood in a steadfast manner against every wave of offense from them.

Frankly speaking, Dyche has assembled a disciplined team which can soak the pressure and when the situation permits, they do not refrain from pushing the accelerator where the physicality and decent pace of Sam Vokes come to the scenario.

The midfield has gelled almost perfectly to render the element of cohesiveness and when they click together, it exhausts the opponents and Arsenal were no exceptions to it. Strategically, they don’t seem like newcomers and the qualities of versatility and adaptability in their squad seems to be just enough to make them aim higher than just flirting with the relegation zone.

Though only plaudits shall not feed points, Burnley has left a vivid reminder of the aura and stronghold they can offer on their tray in a very simple manner last weekend. With commendable performances, additions of points to the bag won’t be an unachievable task.

Wins against Liverpool and Watford highlighted their ability which went a yard further as they almost managed to silence Arsenal. With the scheme of things at the moment, one can barely see any reason why Burnley can’t find themselves being elated at the end of the season if such form persists.

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