Hands up. Did anyone see that performance coming? Did anyone expect the Clarets to come charging out of the blocks with such energy, intent and style? No, neither did I.

The feeling amongst the fans ahead of the game was both mixed and extreme. In one corner, we have a set of fans embracing the new opportunity and excited about another automatic promotion campaign.

In the other, we have fans expressing a (perhaps reasonable) concern at the voluminous change in personnel and the new manager spelt relegation to league one.

An opening tie away at Huddersfield, play off finalists last year, was not the tie we wanted to ease back into championship life either. But there's a famous saying for situations such as this: “But what if you fly?” And fly they did.

From the whilst, the Clarets pressed with such a high intensity and assertiveness that the Town players took the whole 45 minutes to take their breath.

Charlie Taylor slotted into centre half like he had been there his entire life. Josh Cullen made Kevin De Bruyne look like Sunday League (no offence, Sunday League players…). And Ian Maatsen showed Erling Haaland exactly how it’s done.

Am I getting carried away? Yes of course I am. But that’s what football fans do right? Especially at the start of a season when fate is there to be written and expectations are limitless. Irrespective of the hyperbole, the fact remains that Burnley looked superior to Huddersfield in every single sense.

The next two games - Luton at home and Watford away - will give us a much more meaningful assessment of where the Clarets sit in the league. And whether the “do we need another striker” debate will swing either way.

Vincent Kompany says we need to share the goals around the team and is realistic about the club’s ability to sign a 20-goal-a-seaon front man. Hard to argue when our first goal was scored by our left back-Messi hybrid, but the reality is that a one goal advantage is rarely enough in a super competitive Championship league.

But for now, whilst Premier League football is merely another goal this season, attractive and competitive football will come back to Turf Moor. In front of a fan base embracing this new chapter.

Raise the roof


Before I leave you, a moment to congratulate our history making Lionesses on their game-changing achievements this summer. European Champions. And not by luck or fluke, but by being the best team in that competition.

If you enjoyed women’s football this summer, get yourself down to watch Burnley Women’s team as they bid for promotion from the Women’s National League, Northern Premier Division.

Their campaign kicks off on Sunday, August 21 away at Derby County Women, before coming home to the Lancashire FA County Ground, Leyland on Sunday, August 28 against Soke City Women.

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