Sean Dyche was glorious in his praise of his team’s resilience at Wembley yesterday in the face of a rampant Tottenham side, determined to lay down their Wembley voodoo.
Passion, pride, determination, resilience and teamwork. To Burnley players under Sean Dyche these are not merely buzzwords to be glibly banded around, rather they represent a code to which they all adhere every minute of their working lives whilst representing the club.
This was never better illustrated than yesterday at Wembley, when Burnley needed to draw deep from their reserves of all those aforementioned qualities to emerge from their match against Tottenham Hotspur with a point.
Spurs are clearly still in the process of adapting to their temporary home; the atmosphere of the stadium and the sheer scale of the place are disorientating and take time to adjust to. Plus, for visiting teams, like Burnley yesterday, the chance to play a league fixture at Wembley represents an uplifting treat from which inspiration can be drawn.
Media talk that Spurs are suffering from some kind of hoodoo is facile rubbish and demeans those who spout such arrant nonsense.
Burnley’s resolve and organisation was monumental in the face of what was at times wave after wave of intricate passing movements from the home team, each one delivered with a swiftness and surety that was at times as scintillating as it was nerve-racking.
Yes, the Clarets rode their luck at times; but to rely on luck is to surrender logic to fate, and Burnley are not going to do that.
Early in the second half, Ben Mee’s miscued attempted clearance of a corner fell invitingly at the feet of Dele Alli, who wasn’t about to pass over such a gift. The goal generated a spell of even more intensive pressure from the hosts and more goals seemed certain to follow.
But headers were won, tackles made, saves pulled off and Spurs perceptively wilted like George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle. Cue to enter Burnley’s very own Muhammed Ali.
Sean Dyche spent a club record £15 million on Chris Wood and his introduction, along with Ashley Barnes, immediately gave Burnley fresh impetus in what was becoming a rip-roaring second half.
More and more Steven Ward and the excellent Robbie Brady were finding room down the flanks, several of their crosses flashed across the Tottenham penalty area without the telling final touch being applied.
Just when it looked as though Tottenham would cling on to all three points, Brady picked out Wood’s run with a sumptuous through ball. Wood drilled a hard, low shot into the corner of Lloris’ net, a composed finish under pressure and one which earned Burnley a deserved point.
It rounded off a good week for the Clarets, after the disappointment of the defeat by West Bromwich Albion, they bounced back by calmly cruising to victory amidst the turbulence and vitriol of the East Lancashire derby and followed up by taking a point that few others will take from their trip to Wembley.
Wembley is a truly awesome venue. I was unable to attend the 2009 play-off final, so yesterday was my first visit to the new stadium and it didn’t disappoint, except for the lamentably poor provision of rail services after the match. At other comparable venues; Old Trafford for example, or the Emirates, the crowd is dispersed onto public transport with far greater speed and alacrity than was experienced yesterday.
But I am determined not to end this piece on a negative note, so in conclusion, I will add that Burnley performed marvellously yesterday, proving once more that they have sufficient quantities of what it takes to be formidable opponents for any other Premier League outfit.
This article was written and produced by uber Burnley fan and regular contributor to Clarets Mad, Dave Thornley. (TEC)