Sean Dyche has taken Burnley from an organised, rigid pack side reliant on counter attacking football to a genuinely exciting team to watch in the space of a few seasons. The transformation of Burnley’s play has been remarkable but just how far can Sean Dyche go?
In short, the possibilities are endless for the growling Englishman. His ability to build a frugal defence is currently unmatched within the Premier League, with only Mourinho coming close to his organisational levels. But it’s important to remember that Dyche is working on a fraction of the Portuguese’s astronomical Manchester United budget.
Systems like this take time to put in place. They involve hard work and commitment from every member of the team. Peak fitness is essential and concentration is crucial to success. At Burnley, Dyche has had five years to put these foundations in place before experimenting with playing the ball on the deck.
This experiment has proved a success, with Burnley outplaying teams on a regular basis. Their current position in the Premier league may come as a shock to some but it is thoroughly deserved. Dyche has the belief of his players. They’ll run through walls for him and they do the hard work off the ball, meaning they can play good football without being undone at the back.
There are two key points to consider about Dyche at a bigger club. First, would he be given the time to create a defensive foundation before playing exciting football? Second, would his no-nonsense style go down well at a bigger club, where player power is more prevalent?
Plenty of talented British managers have struggled with similar issues at big clubs, most notably David Moyes and Brendan Rodgers. Like Dyche, Moyes has an old school, organised approach to football, with hard work at the core of his philosophy. When he went to Manchester United, he faced a backlash from players like RVP, who felt his methods were dated.
However, Sean Dyche is not David Moyes. His methods are forward thinking. He has the ability to integrate quality players into his side and challenges those around them to raise their game. Take Steven Defour as an example. 12 months ago, Defour looked head and shoulders above his team mates in terms of technical ability but below them in fitness levels and commitment. In the space of a year, Dyche has ensured the club’s record signing is at the same physical level as his team mates. In turn, his technical level has forced others to raise their game.
If Dyche does earn a move to a big club, he will have to work harder than others because his image doesn’t exactly fit the bill. He is likely to clash with over inflated egos but, if he is backed by a board, he will be able to build a team of winners that work hard for him. Given the opportunity, Dyche could be one of the best managers English football has produced in a long, long time – the possibilities are endless.