Burnley were supposed to go away quietly this season.
That’s enough of your fun, down to the bottom of the table you go, and get dirty in a relegation fight.
As part of the path being laid, a tough set of fixtures seemed fitting and a struggle was on the cards, not one which would see Sean Dyche get the boot, but one which would put the manager in a situation it’s perceived he’d be more comfortable with.
Well, Burnley are 6th, and frankly deserve to be. It’s likely not where they’re going to finish, but it’s more than a suggestion that this season can be another good news story rather than a slide down the slippery slope to the Championship.
The club’s achievements are being recognised outside of England. This week’s edition of France Football dedicates a page to Burnley and ‘La métamorphose’.
With a beautiful first sentence, FF say: ‘Almost nothing has changed in Burnley, amazing intruders in the top 6 of the Premier League, and almost everything at the same time.’
A slight change in staff, a little more freedom, and Burnley have their Lancashire chest puffed out fully.
Whilst it’s stated ‘The Ginger Mourinho’ obviously hasn’t become ‘The Ginger Guardiola’, there can be no mistaking a different style has emerged, but it’s a creativity which remains backed up by Dyche’s central philosophy.
France Football end with: ‘It would be a shame to lose this Burnley, moreover, a nice version of Tony Pulis’ Stoke and all the Sam Allardyce teams. A little roughness has never hurt.’
It’s a nice recognition from France of a slight Burnley change, but also an appreciation of the club’s core values under Dyche.