CLARETS reporter Tyrone Marshall discusses the talking points from Burnley's Premier League draw at Southampton.


This was a most unexpected first half performance from the Clarets. Rarely have Sean Dyche’s Burnley enjoyed control of the ball like this.

Against a team renowned for enjoying possession the Clarets were dominant. They ended the first half with around 60 per cent of the ball and they played some wonderful, free flowing football.

Both central defenders were happy to have it, zipping passes between each other and into midfield. When it made it to midfield the movement from Ashley Westwood, Jack Cork and Jeff Hendrick was excellent, creating passing angles all over the pitch.

The pattern lasted until around the 60th minute, when Burnley understandably began to tire.

But the signs were very positive. It looks like this side have spent pre-season working hard on their ability to keep the ball and that work is paying off already.


The Premier League decided not to introduce VAR this season, despite trials last term and a fairly successful World Cup for the Video Assistant Referee.

Dyche is a fan of using video evidence and he’d have been an even bigger advocate when Cork looked to have a goal wrongly ruled out for offside early on.

Cork took Westwood’s pass smartly and curled a fine finish into the corner, only for his joy to be cut short.

It was a tight call but replays suggested Cork had been level and the goal should have stood. VAR would have needed a close look but would surely have overturned the goal and the Clarets’ early dominance would have been rewarded.

The full-time introduction of VAR can’t come soon enough, but not soon enough to give Burnley the three points they deserved on the opening weekend.


It’s been a difficult summer in the transfer market for Dyche.

The Turf Moor boss would have liked his new recruits in earlier and he would have liked a couple more of them as well.

Instead he had to settle for Joe Hart, Ben Gibson and Matej Vydra.

While all three will add something to the squad, the clamour for splashing the cash in the transfer window rather overlooked that this side finished seventh last season.

All 10 outfield starters at St Mary’s were part of last season’s squad and with Vydra, Steven Defour and Robbie Brady still to come in the signs are positive.


Dyche made four changes from the side that started in Istanbul on the south coast and if Burnley’s Europa League run continues then the challenge will be how he manages his squad.

The Clarets boss has never been one for making changes for the sake of it. He’s happy to stick with a settled side if they’re performing, but the issue of potentially challenging on two fronts this season means alterations are going to be a necessity.

Aside from out wide Dyche has two options available in each position and he will no doubt look to alter those changes during the European fixtures.


The absence of Defour, who has been out since January, has given Westwood a prolonged run in the side and he has certainly made the most of his opportunity.

The former Aston Villa man looked sharp from the very first pre-season friendly at Cork City and he’s carried that form over into the competitive games.

At St Mary’s he was the best midfielder on display, turning in a performance on energy and drive as Burnley controlled the game for the first hour. Defour could have a battle on his hands to get back in the team.