Marathon man back on top
George Boyd is the Premier League's marathon man yet again.
Boyd topped the Premier League charts, in terms of distance covered, for most of Burnley's last season at this level (429.2km), only to be beaten by teammate Scott Arfield (429.7km) by 0.5km, with Spurs schemer Christian Eriksen third (427.8km).
But Boyd is leading the way again after seven games of the new campaign, and while running statistics can be maligned by some - ultimately football is, in many people's eyes, more about what you do with the ball - boss Sean Dyche takes great pride in his players' workrate and feels Boyd's efforts are key to his side: “Roughly speaking, I say this to a lot of younger players, games are maybe 95 minutes, ball in play on a high game 58 to 60 minutes, on a lower game 48 to 52 minutes. You might have the ball for a minute.
“So what are you doing for the rest of it? You better be active, you better be understanding the game, you better be tactically savvy, making runs where you don’t even get the ball to affect others, you better be making runs to get the ball, defending, getting in your shape.
"If you’ve got the energy to do all those things and do it well, then it’s bound to be a better tool than not having that."
Burnley led the way in distance covered two seasons ago in the Premier League, despite their relegation, but Dyche notes the top clubs are stepping up their workrate as well: “One of the big stories of the summer was Pep has got them fitter, Conte’s got them fitter, Pochettino over the last few years has been getting them fitter.
"They’re some of the top boys in the market and they’re getting them fitter.
“It’s a good weapon to have and we’re renowned for being a fit side anyway.
"For him (Boyd) to be showing the top side of that is fair play to him, and good credit to him."
Boyd has been a virtual ever present since signing two years ago for a then-joint club record £3m from Hull City on deadline day, penning a three-year deal, and Dyche was coy on whether the club will be talking to the player over a new contract: “We might be.”