Burnley boss Sean Dyche doesn’t understand snobbery over direct football

Sean Dyche
Sean Dyche

It may come as no surprise that Burnley are bottom of the Premier League table in terms of passing statistics, with 2,735.

Tonight, they play one of the league’s pass masters in Chelsea, who sit third with 5,016, only bettered by Manchester City (5,896) and Liverpool (5,244).

It has long been a stick with which to beat Sean Dyche and his Clarets side, but he remains no zealot to style, just to finding as many different ways to hurt the opposition as possible.

Dyche doesn’t understand some of the snobbery surrounding more direct football - the joke is that the more fashionable clubs play long passes, not long balls.

He just wants his players to play effective football, and considering Burnley’s performances at this level far outweigh their transfer budget and wage bill, you can’t deny they do just that.

Dyche feels tactics will evolve and the game will not thumb it’s nose at getting the ball forward quicker, and he said: “That’s the key, eventually you have to win, no matter the brand. My view is to work with the group and give them the best chance of winning, and that’s what we’ve done for a long time here now.

“Effective passing is the key. We’ve seen people this season passing across their six-yard line, I don’t understand that, what’s the point?

“But fans are being brainwashed into ‘new’ football, and it will go full circle because of how the game works.

“Look at the pressing lines now, it’s borderline what you wouldn’t coach Under 12s, so guess what will start happening?

“The keeper will start kicking it, as with Pep, whose biggest breakthrough is Ederson.

“Whoever presses them, he lamps it, as far as Ben Foster in the day, 75/80 yards over everyone’s head to allow the press to open up.

“So it will come when people start playing longer again.

“And it used to be an art, I’m immune to being slagged off about it, but Glenn Hoddle was the best passer of a ball with either foot I’ve ever seen.

“In the modern game, how could you say to him, I only want you to pass it 10 yards?

“What’s the point him having those absolute cannons? He wouldn’t understand.

“I get caned for it, but he was a quarterback, give him the ball and land it there, there and there.

“Tactical plan done.

“When we haven’t got it, you lot run around and get it back and give it him again.

“Brian Clough used to say it, and people say he was a genius, centre halves head it and kick it and give it to someone better than you, and he wasn’t far wrong.”