Stephen Cummings: Davies’ whinge is not fair on Clarets
LISTENING to Billy Davies last week, you could be forgiven for thinking that his Forest side were about to visit the Camp Nou attempting to overhaul a five-goal deficit against Lionel Messi et al, rather than face an inexpensively-assembled Clarets side.
As well as the obligatory moan about injuries, there was a complimentary grumble in the shape of his poor darlings being more weary than their opponents on account of their having had to run around for a whole 90 minutes three days earlier.
The way Davies painted it, it sounded as though he was overseeing a gaggle of players driven to the point of physical collapse, rather than a group of fit young athletes assembled for not too far south of £25m.
Even after the game he was still peddling hokum.
“They got us at the best possible time,” he moaned, before tearing into his charges. “We knew what to expect coming to Burnley, but the players did not heed the warnings we gave to them.”
And whose fault might that be, Billy?
The harsh but uncomfortable truth for Davies is that his side were simply unable to cope with 45 minutes of the most scintillating attacking football you are likely to see this term.
As one Sunday broadsheet couched it, “There cannot have been a more purposeful period of attacking play witnessed outside the top flight this season.”
Hyperbole? Almost certainly. Justified? Without doubt.
It’s questionable whether a fully-fit Forest would have been able to repel the constant waves of attack which under which their defence buckled in that blistering first half.
Here was a side brimming over with confidence.
You could see it in the way Scott Arfield held off one defender, nutmegged another and almost contemptuously flicked the ball past Karl Darlow.
It was in evidence again when Kieran Trippier performed a couple of step-overs and played a one-two, before delivering the cross for Vokes to steal in front of his man and double Burnley’s advantage.
“Total domination,” was how Sean Dyche saw it. It’s hard to counter that view.
Last week I wrote about the up-coming visits of Forest and Derby and what a test they would present.
I also spoke about how every time Burnley faced a challenge, they passed it with flying colours.
Burnley’s record against the top five reads: played seven, won four, drawn three, lost none, goals for 15, goals against seven.
Who’s to argue against that record looking even more impressive by Saturday tea-time?