LESS CAN BE MORE – JUST LOOK AT BURNLEY
WHAT do Leicester, Burnley and Burton have in common?
One, they’re all top of their respective divisions.
Two, they’ve used fewer players than anybody else – 23 to be exact.
Those facts are not coincidental.
Ask any coach or manager for the key to success and the buzzword will be consistency.
Derby boast more depth than the Mariana Trench, but if all it does is fester on the bench and give managers selection headaches, what’s the point?
On paper, at least, the Rams have used only one player more than Burnley.
What those stats fail to show is a starting XI in constant flux and a team shape that is tinkered to death.
As with Leicester and Burton, you don’t need a team sheet or a fancy graphic to tell you that Burnley will line up 4-4-2, with the same players in the exact same positions every week. Already this season, eight Clarets players have made more than 30 starts, with Tom Heaton, Scott Arfield and Ben Mee everpresent.
Sean Dyche doesn’t tailor his tactics to account for the opposition.
He doesn’t make changes to keep people happy. He doesn’t give people a rest.
He does what the great Liverpool sides of the 70s and 80s did. He fields a consistent team and says ‘Come and beat us’.
Like the rest of this season’s pace-setters, Burnley’s continuing success suggests that clubs should spend less cash on the depth of their squads and more on medical staff who can keep their best players fit.