Football is filled with different types of characters and stories. Heroes and villains, forgotten characters and over-inflated tales. There is a little bit of everything in this sport and it is nice to see such variety on a regular basis. And today is the perfect day to talk about one of the most interesting managers in the English Premier League, the manager who broke Liverpool’s home record, Sean Dyche.
English football, like any other version of this sport throughout the world, has been in a constant state of change and evolution. The game is constantly changing, constantly trying to find new ways to win and new ways to entertain. And then, you go to the aptly-named Turf Moor stadium and you find a team that seems a part of the 1980s of English football, of the years of the old First Division, called Burnley. And of course their manager, the charismatic Sean Dyche.
Let’s make this absolutely clear: Burnley don’t play attractive football. They are not a visually appealing side. They are not going to win over a lot of fans in the near future. Sean Dyche’s Burnley is not about that. It’s about the guts, the dedication, putting in the work and giving your absolute everything. A center-back in his playing days, Sean Dyche took over at Burnley in 2012, being the manager with the longest time at the same club in the current English Premier League season, and has taken the Clarets to the top division of English football twice, notwithstanding a relegation in the process. And Dyche has done this by playing his own brand of football, as simplistic and old-fashioned it might be to some.
This Thursday they broke Liverpool’s home record in the league that lasted almost four years through a penalty scored by their striker Ashley Barnes. In the aftermath, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp went to Sean Dyche in the tunnel in a very aggressive manner, with the Burnley manager scoffing his colleague’s words and just walking away with genuine anger in his expression. Dyche has worked on a tight budget at Burnley, having an average of 5.8 million pounds spent per transfer window in each summer and has managed to maintain the club as a regular in the English Premier League and even affording to take them to Europa League once. All of this while playing a very traditional 4-4-2 and relying on grit, a physical approach and being solid in the defensive side of things.
An honest man, a dedicated manager and a very underrated figure in the English football, Sean Dyche is never going to get a lot of credit. They are not going to write books or make documentaries about him. Young managers are not going to have him as their influential character. However, Sean Dyche has shown honesty, dedication and resilience in one of the best leagues of the world. This Thursday, breaking Liverpool’s almost-four years long record of not losing at home in the league, Sean Dyche’s fighting Clarets got their little moment in the spotlight of world football. Well-deserved, I must say.