Cast your mind back to October 2012. In a pretty uneventful time in the sporting calendar, Michael Schumacher had just retired from Formula One and Leeds Rhinos defeated Warrington Wolves 26-18 to win the Super League Grand Final.
No one could have predicted the monumental decision going on behind the scenes in North West England, and you could have even been forgiven for missing the appointment of Sean Dyche to Burnley altogether if you weren’t a Lancashire lad.
|Credit: Sean Dyche via Facebook|
The appointment failed to bring with it all the speculation and bravado that comes with many managerial announcements, let alone the recent craze of outlandish player reveal videos that plagued social media during the 2017 summer transfer window. Fans from every inch of the globe curled their toes and cringed as the top clubs tried to outdo each other in a blur of poorly scripted storylines and woeful acting, reminiscent of a Steven Seagal montage.
Following a comparatively modest playing career, Dyche was a relative unknown upon his appointment at Burnley, and whilst his reputation may have been lacking, his skill certainly wasn’t. In his first full season at the club, he guided them straight into the Premier League, putting an end to a four-year exile in the second tier of English football. After two seasons of yoyoing back and forth between the Premier League and Championship, Burnley finally cemented themselves as a top-tier force.
After some astute business in the summer transfer window and the big-money addition of 6’2″ New Zealand international Chris Wood from Leeds United, Burnley currently sit seventh in the table, level on points with both Arsenal and Liverpool. Such is the performance of Burnley so far this season that the latest Premier League betting odds price Burnley at just 40/1 to finish in the top 6.
Credit: Burnley Football Club via Facebook
There is little wonder as to why Dyche is linked with so many vacant Premier League jobs, but just how seriously is he taking this speculation? Burnley fans must harbour some concerns that Dyche will follow in the footsteps of Bolton Wanderers great Sam Allardyce. Allardyce led Bolton to European football for the first time in their history in the 2004-2005 season and followed this up with a second consecutive season of qualification in 2005-2006, before leaving the club, citing that the board lacked ambition and failed to provide him with financial backing to push for Champions League football in January 2007.
Following his departure, Allardyce has had mixed success and developed a name for himself guiding hopeless causes to Premier League survival, a craft that he has mastered over the years having still never been relegated as a manager. Sean Dyche has surely taken Burnley almost as far possible on the budget available to him and will almost certainly have ambitions of testing himself against the best in the world. Time and again, managers that have overachieved at their current clubs have attempted the step up to the ‘top clubs’ in the Premier League and have swiftly been dispatched following a poor run of form, most recently Ronald Koeman and before him, David Moyes.
If Dyche is to gamble on a move anytime soon – and it is a gamble – he will most certainly do it on his own terms and not make a kneejerk decision. The man dubbed the ginger Mourinho is no fool.