'Anti-football' jibes are like water off a duck's back for Burnley skipper Ben Mee

Captain Ben Mee takes other people’s perceptions of Burnley with a pinch of salt.
Burnley skipper Ben Mee ready to lead his team outBurnley skipper Ben Mee ready to lead his team out
Burnley skipper Ben Mee ready to lead his team out

Despite a couple of top 10 finishes in the Premier League the Clarets will still be challenged with the same preconceptions.

Sean Dyche’s style has been branded ‘route one’ and ‘long ball’ over the years while Arsenal defender David Luiz engineered the ‘anti-football’ jibes.

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But it’s all water off a duck’s back for the 30-year-old defender, who couldn’t care less if his side’s methods are deemed ‘unfashionable’ by outsiders.

Mee, who is entering his 10th season at Turf Moor, knows as well as anybody else at the club that their way of working is effective.

He said: “I don’t look at anything [on social media], but we get hit with ‘unfashionable football’. We’re effective, it works well and it’s what we’re good at.

“There’s no one way to play football. We’ve shown how good the players here are, we’ve got a talented bunch as well.

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“Perhaps people just look at the style of football and it’s not as fashionable as other clubs but he [Sean Dyche] has done a fantastic job.

“We have to do what we can to stay in the Premier League. We do that and he’s done a fantastic job in that.”

It is that same narrow-mindedness that has once again classified the Clarets as one of the favourites to suffer relegation.

Burnley are as short as 5/2 to drop back down to the Championship with some bookmakers, but the skipper feels that the club is still heading in the right direction.

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“We want to stay in the Premier League first and foremost, but we’ll see how we go over the first half of the season,” he said. “Hopefully we can make a very good start and build from that.

“Hopefully we’re still on that journey. That’s something to definitely say, we’re still progressing as a club.

“We’ve got to a really good point, we want to keep moving and keep going forward and try to improve every year in the Premier League.

“We’ve had a great run with two top 10 finishes in the last three years. It’s fantastic. We’re moving forward as a club and I’m excited to see where it can go.

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“The club is progressing, it’s enjoyable and I’m really pleased that I’ve got another year after this one. Facilities wise and reputation wise, it’s growing and growing.”

Mee is expected to miss out against his former club at the King Power Stadium on Sunday while he continues to nurse a thigh strain.

However, he’s hoping his team-mates can get off to a good start against a Leicester City side that won 3-0 in their opening game.

The Clarets were slow out of the blocks last year, winning one of their opening five fixtures, which left them having to play catch-up.

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Mee said: “We didn’t have a good start last year and we had to play a little bit of catch up. It would be good to have a good start and build on from there and then we can discuss where we want to go a bit further down the line.

“I’m okay. I’m on the grass, doing a bit of running, I’m just hoping that it settles down sooner rather than later.

“I’m going off how I’m feeling really and trying to get back into training as soon as possible. It’s coming around fast, last week’s postponement has helped me, but I’m doing my best and working hard to try and get back involved.”