Things we learned from Burnley v Hull City

Things we learned from Burnley 1, Hull City 1

Sunday, 11th September 2016, 3:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th September 2016, 4:24 pm
Steven Defour
Steven Defour

Steven Defour looks tailor-made for the Premier League

Defour has noticeably found the pace of the Premier League unrelenting as he adapts from the Jupiler Pro League in Belgium, coming off before the hour mark against Liverpool and Chelsea.

But he looked to be getting more attuned to life in England on Saturday, and not just because of his quite brilliant goal.

His goal was his final act before departing with quarter of an hour remaining, as he acclimatises, but before that, he dragged Burnley forward time and again, a genuine box to box midfielder, who puts his foot in, looks to play forward at every opportunity, with accuracy and zip.

He was the conductor for the Clarets, albeit in a far from fluent team display, and his goal was the icing on the cake.

The sponsors named him man of the match, and I'd imagine he'll be winning many more bottles of champagne before the season is out.

He reminded me at times of Joey Barton - a comparison drawn by a Belgian contact when we spoke before the deal was struck, though Sean Dyche said: "He's less combative than Joey, but he's a very good technician, as you saw with his goal and some of his controlled passing, his belief in having the ball and dealing with it, which is a big part of why we brought him in."

Burnley still need pace and penetration out wide

Losing out on Rennes winger Kamil Grosicki was something akin to dodging a bullet, as chairman Mike Garlick explained in the programme, that the manager, Garlick and chief executive Dave Baldwin "decided not to sign a winger from Poland right at the death due to circumstances that we felt could have been potentially detrimental to the overall spirit of our playing squad."

However, that remains one area where Burnley are light going forwards.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson showed flashes on his full Premier League debut, and George Boyd worked hard, as ever, but the Clarets need that pace or spark of brilliance wide players can provide, as Andre Gray and Sam Vokes grafted for little reward, with a lack of service.

Dyche is keeping an eye on the list of free agents, and players will, no doubt, be offered over the coming days and weeks.

Taking a look, the likes of Stephane Sessegnon, Junior Hoilett and Sulley Muntari are all available, and more, showing there are players who have played at this level, who could surely do a job on a short-term deal, with the incentive of longer.

As with Grosicki, character will have to be assessed, not just availability.

Lloyd Dyer didn't feature much in a similar role at the back end of last season, but made an impact at Birmingham, and, at least, provided an option in reserve.

Hopefully the recruitment department can unearth a potential diamond.

Set plays are vital

There seemed to be many fingers pointed at Tom Heaton for Robert Snodgrass' injury time equaliser, so I was glad to see Mark Schwarzer fight his corner on Goals on Sunday.

Yes, there was a gap to his left for the Scot to aim at, and he found it, but you have to take your hat off to Snodgrass, he got the ball up and over the wall, with his effort curling away from Heaton into the bottom corner.

It was a superb strike.

However, it shows you can't present opportunities like that at this level.

Ben Mee was otherwise immaculate at the back, but whether he slipped, or dived in, to upend Tom Huddlestone, it was somewhat panicked, trying to prevent the former Spurs man getting a shot away.

And Burnley were punished.

At the other end, their set plays have been less impressive so far, their corners in particular, with several failing to beat the first man against Hull.

They can be a real threat for the side in a league where they have found goals hard to come by, and with the likes of Mee and Michael Keane more than capable of getting on the end of things, the Clarets need to take full advantage.