Dyche - Wenger's longevity won't be repeated
Sean Dyche takes charge of his 200th Burnley game at the Emirates on Sunday.
But he has a long way to go to catch up Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who has 1,148 games at the helm in 21 years with the Gunners.
Wenger was two years older than the 44-year-old Dyche when he took over at Highbury, before the move to the Emirates.
And Dyche is a big admirer of the Frenchman: "I'm a big fan of all managers, I know how tough the job is. But he’s done so much in the game, I’ve been fortunate to spend a bit of time with him and I’ve been fortunate for Sir Alex to give me a bit of time.
"When you get a chance to speak with these people and what they’ve done in the game you're ears are always open. It’s such a tough business, to do what some of these men have done."
Wenger has often spoken well of Dyche and his achievements with Burnley, given the resources available: "Arsene has been balanced with his views about us, how we’ve managed, how we’ve built something from relative terms, which is nothing to what Arsenal have at their disposal. He’s been interested in that so it’s been a two way conversation.
"He’s respectful of what we’re trying to be.
"Sir Alex has got a different view, years of history he can share with you, situations he has dealt with and players he has dealt with.
"I speak to John Duncan a lot, my old manager at Chesterfield, I value his opinions on a lot of different things.
"I was speaking to a couple of younger managers the other day, younger than myself, I think managers speak more than you think and it’s always good to pick their brains."
Dyche doubts whether anyone will repeat Sir Alex Ferguson or Wenger's longevity with one club again in the modern era: "I think it’s unlikely. The demands are getting higher. As regards managers I think it’s unlikely you’ll last that long, and the ones that do they have a lot of success.
"First of all to be in the game that long at one club and deliver is fantastic.
"The game has changed radically since he first came here, on and off the pitch.
"To keep reinventing teams, as Sir Alex fantastically did, keep them up there, that's an amazing thing in itself. When you add in the way he’s adapted to the style, from the old Arsenal back four, who were incredible in my view, and some of the magic in front of it, and moulding that into an open, free flowing side.
"A lot was made of the foreign players he played but now look at the young English talent in the club. I don’t think there’s a lot not to like."
While Wenger has remoulded his Arsenal teams a number of times over 21 years, Dyche has had to do that on a smaller scale in four years with Burnley: "That’s the key thing. It’s alright having resources hut you’ve still got to bring in the talent to continue the club’s journey or take it forward. "That's difficult to do year on year. Arsene has done that incredible well, with a good mixture of buying players in and producing players.
"As a business model it’s incredible, with the player trading model he’s had for a number of years."
In some ways, Burnley, with their financial prudence and growth on and off the pitch are a scaled down version of the Gunners: "Somewhat. Smaller being the key word. Some of the principles we look at as a whole club, rather than just the team, are similar. It’s always suggested Arsene has tried to run it as a business and a football team.
"I’ve never really spoken to him at length but that's how it looks, and we’ve tried to do that here as a club."
It seems a long time since game one, a 2-0 win at home to Wolves, when Burnley were just below mid-table in the Championship: "It’s been a very productive few years. It’s about my staff as well, most of them have been here throughout, some I inherited when I got here who have done fantastically well and with Woany, Tony and Mark Howard I brought into the building.
"Every time we have re-moulded the team they’ve accepted the work, they’ve applied themselves correctly and the professionalism they’ve shown. The culture and environment I talk about a lot has been set but it still has to be nurtured and improved when we can."
And one game in particular stands out for Dyche in his double century: "The one without a shadow of a doubt is the Wigan game when we got promoted first team. More because of the performance, it was the balance of the performance and what it meant.
"It’s a season of work encapsulated in one very important game and delivered by the team fantastically well, under very high pressure circumstances, so that’s an outstanding memory.
"The board and the fans often remind me of the Blackburn games, but I always say that’s for them, I wasn’t born here, I don't know the depth of history.
"My personal one is Wigan. The delivery of that performance at the end of a season that meant so much was fantastic.
"As a manager and my staff looking at how the players went about that was a terrific measure of where we were at the beginning of the season and where we got to."