Burnley 0, West Ham United 0: Chris Boden's thoughts on what could turn into a good point

On Sunday night, the news was all about booster vaccines, as the UK's COVID alert level was increased to level four.

Earlier in the afternoon, while Burnley’s goal-less draw with West Ham was not exactly just what the doctor ordered, it was something of a shot in the arm for the Clarets’ survival hopes.

Supporters were desperate for what would have been only a second league win of the season, and only a second home league victory since January.

But you can’t pull the wool over the fans’ eyes, and any disappointment or frustration didn’t transfer from the stands to the pitch, as they showed their appreciation for their team’s efforts at the final whistle.

That was mainly for the players’ endeavour and desire to make things happen, even if there was a distinct lack of quality in the final third.

Dyche was right to praise the fans’ patience, as they continue to stay with the team at a tough time, saying: “I thought the crowd were excellent, they have been for a long time, but I think that was important for us because they could have been agitated at half-time but they weren’t.

“I said to the players that the crowd were with them, and in the second half we were a lot better, not enough to win the game but a lot better.”

A point against this West Ham, however, is a good one, and one which could look even better if Watford are seen off on Wednesday night.

Until David Moyes’ second spell at the London Stadium, if you could choose one side to face at Turf Moor when you were in need of a result, it would have been the Hammers.

So often they have folded at Burnley, looking a pale shadow of themselves.

Under the former Preston boss, they are a different proposition altogether.

This crop are arguably the best West Ham in living memory, enjoying their joint-best start to a Premier League campaign, in a calendar year where they have won 21 top-flight matches for the first time since 1986, when the club finished third, just four points behind double winners Liverpool.

To restrict them to a handful of half chances, with Nick Pope making a number of good saves, albeit ones you would expect him to make - in front of Gareth Southgate - was credit to Burnley’s organisation at the back, and dogged determination.

It is just that elusive balance that is missing, as the Clarets drew a blank for the third-successive game.

Dyche’s side have had one shot on target in each of the last three games, without stretching a goalkeeper.

At the other end though, their defensive nous has at least earned two points and two clean sheets in that time.

Their ability to stay in games, and be hard to beat remains a big plus - last week’s frustrating loss at Newcastle is their only setback in seven league games, with only two defeats in 10 in the Premier League.

It goes without saying though, that they simply have to turn draws into wins, with Wednesday’s home game with fellow strugglers Watford as good a place to start as any.

To do that, they will have to play the sort of high-octane football that easily saw off Brentford - which was largely lacking again against the Hammers.

Jack Cork came in for Josh Brownhill in midfield to give Burnley that bit more control in possession, but creativity from that area, in open play, remains a big issue, especially when the wide areas are struggling in the final third.

Dwight McNeil protected the ball well and showed some delightful touches at times, but his quality eluded him in the final third; while Johann Berg Gudmundsson continues to frustrate.

It all added up to a fruitless afternoon for the front two - Chris Wood, who usually enjoys playing against West Ham, with seven goals in eight Premier League appearances, and Jay Rodriguez, in for the injured Maxwel Cornet.

They were given little to feed off, as Burnley failed to stretch a Hammers central defence missing Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna.

But Wood, in particular, looks a shadow of himself at present, whether through a general loss of form, or after a summer with little break, given his outing at the Tokyo Olympics.

Rodriguez had the Clarets’ best chance at the death, having been picked out by a lovely low ball in from the marauding Charlie Taylor, who continues to improve in forward areas, but he couldn’t get a decisive touch.

Pope came off as Burnley’s star man, having foiled Issa Diop, an off-side Michail Antonio, the outstanding Declan Rice, Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen, the pick of the bunch a reaction stop from Diop’s header from a Bowen free kick.

Pope, last week’s spill at Newcastle aside, has been in consistently good form for a spell now, as he looks to win a place back in the England squad.

He could have faced a first half penalty, which, after Saturday’s decisions, came as a surprise when VAR didn’t give it, but it was the right decision for me.

Craig Dawson jumped across McNeil as he looked to clear by the byeline, and although he made contact with the West Ham centre back, there wasn’t sufficient force to make him go to ground as he did.

Moyes was disappointed not to get it, but it was about time Burnley got the benefit of the doubt from such an incident.

Now it is up to them to build on a solid point.