Dyche was the right man at the right club for a never to be forgotten period of time that we will remember with pride and pleasure. His place in the history books is secured/ Dave Thomas column
Grandson Joe came racing in “Dyche has been sacked,” he said. Immediate thought, was this a delayed April Fool prank, but then he thrust his phone in front of my face. Yep, he had been sacked. My mouth dropped but no words came out. It seemed absurd, barmy, make-believe, but it was true. This was up there with the day Jimmy Mac was potted and then Dobbo was sold.
Dyche was Burnley and Burnley had become Dyche. The two went together like pie and mash, or chips and gravy. Two days before a game that was coming up, just two days. You could understand if the deed had been done immediately after the Norwich game, but the timing of this was head scratching stuff. If only Cornet had not missed that gaping goal there.
Most of us were agreed I suspect, that his time was coming to an end. Results for a year or more had been poor, dull sterility had set in with an ageing squad; but whose fault was that? The man had been starved of money in the latter years of the Garlick chairmanship. The goose had been fattened
ready for a sale.
The good times were over, that first wonderful but surprise promotion with the Ings and Tripper mob, then the second promotion, champions and a run of 23 unbeaten games. Next up was a venture into Europe and the Europa League. Little Burnley in Europe again. It was a fairy-tale.
But all good things come an end. He was the right man at the right club for a never to be forgotten period of time that we will remember with pride and pleasure. His place in the history books is secured.
So why did it end? Alan Pace says it was the results, and nothing more but it is hard to ignore the complications that have resulted from the ALK takeover. Supporters asked questions. Had Dyche lost much of his control of the club and the direction it was going in? Were players being signed by him or Alan Pace? Were there differences of opinion behind the scenes? Mike Garlick is still on the board and it is no secret that the relationship between them had deteriorated badly.
Massacre indeed: not just Dyche but four others of his team including two who had been there even before Dyche, one of them Billy Mercer, the Premier League’s top goalkeeping coach. You could only wonder had there been some sort of confrontation on the Thursday, some upset, something cataclysmic that warranted instant dismissal. Rumours abounded, of this and that. One day it will all come out in the wash; it always does.
By the time these few words appear there may well be a new permanent manager. But at West Ham the team dug in to draw. Against Southampton a pulsating 2-0 win. We are not dead yet.