12:00pm Friday 16th May 2014
IF I was manager of a football club, I would always go for substance over style.
You want players with good attitudes, especially when you have a team ethic like Burnley’s, because attitudes – good or bad – rub off on people, especially when you work closely with them.
What has been apparent at Turf Moor over the last 12 months is that the players that Sean Dyche brings in blend in and have this harmony.
What’s more, those attributes encourage them to play as a team.
The manager has them all playing for each other. No-one is classed as better than they other, they all do their bit, and that’s the way he likes it.
Anyone coming in is going to have to be on board with that and follow suit. You’ve got to have the right people to build a team.
It was encouraging to see that chief executive Lee Hoos has spoken along similar lines himself this week.
As much as Burnley want quality as they prepare to make the step up to the Premier League, it won’t come at the risk of attracting bad apples and upsetting a happy camp.
I’m not one for naming names, but to be fair even if I was I can’t ever recall an instance when I was involved with a team which had anyone disruptive in it.
I played for five clubs – four in England – and all the players I was involved with at any one time seemed to get on well.
It’s very unusual to get a bad character in football because they wouldn’t last long anyway.
It is, of course, possible to transform difficult characters. Keith Treacy is probably the best recent example at Burnley.
The winger lost his way under Eddie Howe, the manager who signed him from Preston, and his future at the club looked bleak, if not short. But Dyche did something that offered him a lifeline, and managed to get the best out of him.
Unfortunately it could not be sustained on a regular basis, which is why he has not been offered a new deal at the end of his contract. Not yet anyway. The offer of a return in pre-season has been tabled on a trial basis, so I guess it’s up to Keith to prove how much he wants it.
He is surely not going to get a better offer of a chance at the top flight.
That’s canny man-management by the Burnley boss, who, by the way, should not have come away empty handed from the LMA awards.
His record with the Clarets has been exceptional this year and deserving of the manager of the year award. He could not have done any more. He’s certainly a worthy winner in our eyes.
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