It came as a surprise when Burnley announced the termination of Sean Dyche’s contract last week, with the club 18th in the Premier League and four points from safety. Not only was it a shocking decision considering the experience Dyche has in terms of pulling the Clarets clear of the drop, but because of the legendary figure that Dyche has become at Burnley.
Why Sean Dyche is a Burnley Legend
Why Sean Dyche is a Burnley Legend
The former Watford centre-back joined the Lancashire outfit in October 2012, taking over from Eddie Howe with the club sitting 14th in the Championship. Dyche finished 11th in his first season with the Clarets before guiding them to a shock second-placed promotion in 2014, seeing Burnley back in the Premier League after a four-year hiatus from the top tier.
Burnley were always going to struggle to survive in the top-flight against the riches of the Premier League and were relegated back down to the Championship that season. Dyche didn’t need long to get his team back on track though, winning promotion back up in 2016 as champions.
The Clarets were once again tipped to struggle in the 2017 campaign, but Dyche did a tremendous job of keeping Burnley up and guiding them to a 16th-placed finish. Over the years Burnley had seen some of their star players, such as Kieran Trippier and Danny Ings get sold and cashed in on, but Dyche’s Burnley were always more than just individual talent and always about the team as a unit, with the spirit and togetherness to overcome the odds and cement their place as Premier League regulars.
Dyche will go down in Burnley history as the man who brought European football to Turf Moor. The seventh-place finish in the 2017/18 season will live long in the memory as Dyche guided a team that an inferior budget into one of the biggest competitions in Europe. Whilst Burnley only managed to make it to the play-off qualifying round (after seeing off Aberdeen and Istanbul Basaksehir in early rounds), it was a testament to Sean Dyche that his side had reached those heights to begin with.
Many have criticized Dyche over the years, whether it be labelling his side as just a ‘long-ball team’ or claiming that Dyche’s tactics are ‘dinosaur-like’. Dyche was never pretending to be something he wasn’t though, often taking pride in how his teams didn’t keep aimless possession for the sake of it and how his side was always a cohesive unit that the Burnley faithful got behind, with a more direct approach. Even his press conferences showed what he was all about, with jokes of signing Lionel Messi always doing the rounds on social media.
Dyche kept Burnley in the Premier League for five straight years, a monumental achievement for a club of their modern-day stature. In that time Dyche has helped Burnley come back from seemingly doomed situations towards the bottom of the league, to keep their Premier League status.
It shows the impact that Sean Dyche has had, when four points from safety with time running out, fans across the country are in disbelief that the man that has epitomised Burnley for so long, hasn’t been given the opportunity to pull them out from the depths yet again.
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