Burnley fans - what were your highlights of a disappointing season?

Relegation from the Premier League is still raw and on the minds of Clarets fans.

By Chris Boden
Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 12:15 pm

But as we wait for the new manager to be announced at the club, I decided to look back on some of the better moments from a season which ended in disappointment on the final day.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

There has been no official Player of the Year award, but it would have been hard to call, with not many outstanding candidates.

Burnley's players celebrate after Burnley's English midfielder Josh Brownhill (C) scores their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Watford and Burnley at Vicarage Road Stadium in Watford, north-west of London, on April 30, 2022. - Burnley won the game 2-1. - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Despite conceding two more goals than in 2020/21, scoring one more, the problems were primarily in putting the ball in the net - 34 in 38 league games is a miserable statistic.

At the back, Nick Pope and James Tarkowski stood out with the consistency of their displays, but Pope just edges it for me.

Tarkowski was as good as his word, giving everything for the cause as his contract ran out, ranking highly across the board in terms of successful defensive actions - aerial duels, interceptions and recoveries.

His form merited an England recall again, but he continues to be ignored by Gareth Southgate, one of the reasons he seeks to pursue a move to a more prominent Premier League club.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Burnley player Ben Mee beats Tottenham player Cristian Romero to head the winning goal during the Premier League match between Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur at Turf Moor on February 23, 2022 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

However, slips at Southampton and Leeds were costly - with Pope only making one error that led to a goal all season.

He averaged 3.4 saves per game, with a save rate of 72%, as he claimed nine clean sheets in 36 Premier League appearances.

He kept Burnley in some games single-handedly, and his stop from Bertrand Traore at Aston Villa in the penultimate game was rightly nominated for Sky Sports' save of the season - one of a number of top stops that night.

So the England international is my Player of the Year.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 06: Matej Vydra of Burnley scores their team's first goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Burnley at Stamford Bridge on November 06, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

GOAL OF THE SEASON

Maxwel Cornet's nine goals merit a mention as well, but his overall contributions to games were more sporadic, especially after his return from the Africa Cup of Nations in February.

However, the Ivorian could have had his own goal of the season contest, with several of his strikes out of the top drawer, from his right foot effort on his first Premier League start at Leicester, to another with his supposedly weaker foot in the first win of the season at home to Brentford.

You could add his free kick at Leeds - Burnley's first such strike since Steven Defour's at Old Trafford on Boxing Day 2017 - but for me, his back post volley against Crystal Palace in a 3-3 draw in November was his best.

It summed up everything about Cornet at the time, everything he touched turned to gold, and the technique he displayed, the timing and sheer ferocity of the strike made it a stand out.

Wout Weghorst's first for the club at Brighton in February was a terrific team goal, and the equaliser against Manchester United Weghorst carved out for Jay Rodriguez, who took his chance superbly, were also admirable efforts, but Cornet's strike against Palace gets the vote.

MOMENT OF THE SEASON

Moment of the Season would have carried more weight had Burnley survived, obviously, but the comeback at Watford was special.

The fans packed the away end at Vicarage Road and never shut up, as they sensed a big three points were there for the taking.

Jack Cork rolled back the years with his diving header to equalise, before Josh Brownhill's late winner sent everyone wild, the celebrations showing a club all pulling in the right direction.

At that moment, Burnley were five points clear of the drop zone, albeit Everton had two games in hand, with a flaky Chelsea side next up at Goodison Park the day after.

That would be the Clarets' last win, however, taking only one point from the final four games.

There were other memorable moments - the win at Brighton, backed up by the home success against Spurs, and vital victory over Everton, while Matej Vydra's equaliser at Stamford Bridge capped another enjoyable away day, but Watford away was my highpoint, walking back to the press room with the away end in full voice, convinced Burnley were going to defeat the odds again.

What were your highlights of an admittedly disappointing season? Let us know at [email protected]