Sean Dyche celebrated his five-year anniversary as Burnley manager with a tight win which showed lots of passion and industry. There was a lack in true quality which is suprising considering both Burnley and Newcastle came into the game in the top ten of the League.
Burnley, who were missing record signing Chris Wood, had the non-prolific Ashley Barnes deputising. Burnley during the game had a tendency to mix up the strategies at times going for a long ball but also trying to play through the thirds. Both teams really lacked penetration and there was a definite lack of spontaneity in their attempts to create a goal.
Defensively sound and organised made them a very hard side for Newcastle to try and open up, and Jeff’s Hendrick goal in the 78th minute was perhaps the only bit of attacking quality from either side in the whole ninety minutes.
The Tyneside outfit will be disappointed at the lack of cutting edge they showed, which will need to be addressed in the January window. Since the beginning of the season, Newcastle have failed to score an away goal.
Joselu, who Stoke were happy to let go in the summer, does not have the physicality or pace to trouble defenders and has been very underwhelming so far. Yet, Benitez clearly does not feel he can rely on last year’s top scorer Dwight Gayle who has been found wanting when given opportunities this year.
Rafa has also decided that he cannot rely on Mitrovic following his retrospective 3 game-ban earlier this year and his absence from the bench yesterday was a damning indictment. Atsu meanwhile has found the transition to the Premier League football very difficult which is shown by his reluctance taking on full-backs which he did so regularly in last year’s Championship title win.
Perez, whose concession of possession led to Burnley’s winner, does press the ball with industry and Rafa clearly likes that. However, he has a tendency to lose possession and his inability to play a penetrating ball is concerning considering he is playing in the number ten role.
In summary, Burnley fans will be hoping that Dyche stays for another five years as he has created a team with a Premier League defence which admirers Everton would be very envious of. Jamie Carragher on Sky Sports described Newcastle as a Championship team with a Champions League manager. Newcastle, will be hoping that takeover talk comes to fruition so that their world class manager is able to buy the Champions League strike force he deserves.