Time to make a change?

"I'm very happy. It's not easy to win here and it's even harder to be in control and we were in control for 90 minutes."

Monday, 24th April 2017, 9:27 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:56 pm
Scott Arfield and Steven Defour

Those were the abridged thoughts of Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho after his Europa League semi-finalists registered a comprehensive win at Turf Moor.

Sean Dyche's side have rarely been subservient when holding home advantage this season with the loss to Spurs, on April Fool's Day, the only other occasion that springs to mind.

Such recognition from the FIFA World Coach of the Year, captured during his reign at Inter Milan in 2010, is testament to the club's evolution in the Premier League.

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Words from revered figures in football management are always welcoming, but Burnley's record speaks for itself.

A total of 10 wins from 17 fixtures, accounting for 89% of the club's overall points tally, doesn't just happen by chance.

However, there seemed something severely lacking in the performance on St George's Day as the Clarets failed to register a shot on goal for only the second time in 110 outings in the modernised top flight.

A lack of finesse in the final third, perhaps. Poor decision making at crucial moments, maybe. Or has Burnley's flair and invention dried up in a far too familiar system?

Just three goals from open play in 11 league fixtures suggests that the Clarets are becoming profligate in front of goal. A failure to test David de Gea compounded that sterility.

It's possible that the Clarets have been found out; opposition managers and players know what they're up against and what to expect. Something that you can't accuse Mourinho's United of.

Yes, Burnley found success with familiarity and consistency in team selection when embarking on a 23-game unbeaten run as they were crowned Championship champions.

But when United emulated that sequence in the top flight on Sunday, the Portuguese coach showed that you can spawn consistency within its inconsistencies.

Mourinho's XI is unpredictable in a system that is interchangeable. The "Special One" has implemented the quartet of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Anthony Martial, Wayne Rooney and Marcus Rashford in no less than 11 variations while also bringing the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard in to the attacking fray too.

The Clarets found success in a 4-5-1 shape earlier in the season and Johann Berg Gudmundsson's return from injury offers a creative spark alongside Robbie Brady and Steven Defour as well as George Boyd and Scott Arfield, with the likes of Jeff Hendrick, Joey Barton and Ashley Westwood available to provide a balance.

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