11 years ago
4 months ago

Ten years ago today, Burnley appointed Sean Dyche as their manager.

In the decade that has passed since Dyche's arrival at Turf Moor, he has become one of the most recognisable coaches in English football. Dyche led Burnley to promotion to the Premier League on two occasions and ended the club's 51-year absence from European football with an outstanding seventh-placed finish in 2018. The Clarets would remain in the top flight until 2022.

Tactically, Dyche has established a well-known reputation for building a solid defence and making his teams difficult to beat. While he would bristle at being called a long-ball merchant, his Burnley sides played direct, effective football that suited his players' strengths. He masterminded victories against Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United during his time with the Clarets.

Dyche was also integral to the development of England internationals like Danny Ings, Michael Keane, Nick Pope, James Tarkowski and Kieran Trippier, all of whom were picked up cheaply from Football League clubs or Premier League reserve teams.


In this career, my aim is to emulate Dyche's style of management and match his achievements with Burnley. I'll be following his approach to tactics and transfers closely, building a defensively sound team and spending responsibly on realistic signings.

My primary goal is to keep Burnley in the Premier League for at least five seasons. I want to finish in the top half on at least two occasions, as Dyche did with his side in 2018 and 2020. I'm hoping that one of those finishes will also allow us to compete in the Europa League. As I'll be playing this career on FM12, I'll firstly need to steer the Clarets to promotion, which Dyche achieved in 2014 and 2016.

On the pitch, I want to play hard-working, pressing football that can drop back into a low block when we come under attack. I'll track how many clean sheets we keep each season. My team will line up in the 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 shapes favoured by Dyche, with lots of emphasis on work rate and stamina. Apart from occasional imports once we're in the Premier League, I'll be recruiting British and Irish players only.

Tommy Hughes
11 years ago
3 hours ago

Cool, this sounds interesting!

11 years ago
4 months ago




Addressing the lack of depth in the full-back positions was my top priority in my first transfer market as Burnley manager. Brayford is a player who can make the right-back spot his own for a good few years and I was willing to meet Derby's high demands.

On the left, I decided to bring the experienced
Jordan back to Turf Moor after a couple of injury-plagued years away, but then had to scramble to bring in Cunningham as a replacement after he was sidelined again for several months early in the season.

Dyche's demand for an immense work ethic in midfield was firmly in my mind when we brought in
Spearing on loan until the end of the season. The Liverpool youngster is a tireless runner and gives us both an extra body and some added bite in the centre of the park.


The only outgoings were players on the very fringes of the first team. Knowles will get the chance to lead the line in Wrexham's battle to return to the Football League, while MacDonald and Harvey should be involved in the League Two promotion race.

11 years ago
4 months ago





Grant is the clear first-choice among our goalkeepers and in keeping with Dyche's reluctance to rotate his stoppers, he’s likely to start every game where possible. The veteran Jensen is a reasonable backup, while Stewart is here in case of emergencies.





I’ve appointed Brayford as our new captain and he'll be our first name on the teamsheet. A settled defence is vital to achieve the inch-perfect positioning of a Burnley back four, so I’ve decided on the imposing Amougou and Mee as our centre-back pairing, even for cup games.

Jordan's injury a few matches into the season, I'm giving Manchester City loanee Cunningham and Easton a run of games each to impress. Our longest-serving player Duff and versatile Canadian international Edgar are useful backups.





McCann's ability to tackle and pass effectively makes him our key man in midfield. The incredible stamina of Marney means he'll start alongside the Irishman in a double pivot. The tenacious former Tottenham man looks like a pressing machine.

Spearing will be a regular option from the bench when we want to close down games and I also want to try him out as a destroyer, breaking up attacks from an advanced position. We also have Bartley, who has a similar profile but lacks the Liverpool loanee's confidence in possession.

I'm keen to give
Trippier some regular playing time on the right side of midfield with an eye on signing him permanently from Manchester City in January. He's unfortunately not up to scratch as a full-back yet. Stanislas is also a strong option on both flanks. On the left, Wallace's crossing ability narrowly gives him the edge over Treacy, although they're both similar types of wide midfielders who are somewhat lacking in pace.




Rodriguez is arguably the best striker in the Championship and he will be a definite starter. With no natural number tens in the squad, I'm going to experiment with one of Ings or Austin playing in a supporting role behind him. Hines is likely to get more minutes out on the right wing. The speedy Northern Irish international Paterson is out injured until the New Year.

11 years ago
4 months ago




Our campaign began with the kind of performance I want to see as often as possible this season. We dominated the physical battle against reigning League One champions Brighton at Turf Moor and earned a comfortable win.


After a goal on the opening day, Rodriguez has already found his shooting boots and he tore apart our League Two opponents Port Vale in the Capital One Cup, bagging a first-half hat-trick as we progressed easily to the second round.


Despite their financial struggles, Portsmouth have retained a strong team and they gave us a serious test at Fratton Park. Trailing by two goals after a brace from Benjani, we somehow avoided defeat after a late tactical reshuffle. The introduction of Ings as an extra man up front helped us to earn two corners in the final five minutes, both converted by our centre-back colossus Amougou.


Never mind Burnley, we played more like prime Barcelona in the first half hour against Hull, running riot with four goals against a very poor visiting team. Trippier was the star of the show, scoring twice, while Wallace curled in the pick of the goals with a fabulous long-range free kick.


Our first defeat of the campaign was tough to take. We countered the all-out-attack style favoured by Reading boss Brian McDermott well, only to be met by a shot-stopping masterclass from home goalkeeper Adam Federici. All we had to show for our hard-working display was a late own goal.


The hangover continued into the first half of our Capital One Cup second round clash before Marney levelled on the brink of half-time. My words at the break inspired a much-improved second half and we won comfortably as Ings and Hines scored their first goals of the campaign.


We were cruising in this game after two goals in three minutes from Trippier and Rodriguez but lost concentration after the break. We endured a nervous final ten minutes once Derby pulled a goal back and I was relieved to just about hang onto the three points.

11 years ago
4 months ago




I rarely pay much attention to the table at this early stage of the season, but I'm fairly satisfied with our performance so far. The team is yet to show the kind of defensive strength that I want but I know this will take time. Birmingham look like a good early bet for promotion if they can juggle their Europa League commitments as well as the league, while Nottingham Forest have started strongly under Steve McClaren.


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