Sean Dyche has always pressed his case for ‘mixed football’ at Burnley and this season it is clearer than ever that the Clarets can change the way they play.

There’s been a focus this summer on being better in possession and in the first half on Saturday Burnley kept the ball well, enjoying nearly 70 per cent of possession, with Steven Defour and Jack Cork at the heart of that approach.

The Clarets strung one move together that began with a threaded pass from Ben Mee to Cork, whose movement had created space in the middle, and after involving Stephen Ward and Robbie Brady it should have ended with Vokes hitting the back of the net.

But Burnley weren’t afraid to go direct either and it nearly paid off a couple of times, with Vokes’ chest control leading to shots from distance for Jeff Hendrick and Johann Berg Gudmundsson.


There can’t be many games in the 25 year history of the Premier League where a side has failed to hit the target with any of their 20 shots.

That was the real story of the game. Burnley used the ball well, got in good positions, but time after time they wasted the opportunities.

Vokes should have continued his hot streak in front of goal with a couple of presentable chances, while Ashley Barnes and Jonathan Walters both skied inviting opportunities after coming off the bench.

Many of those shots were from distance and the efforts from outside the area were particularly wayward. Extra shooting practice might be in order this week.


One concern from Burnley’s opening two Premier League games will be the way they have conceded goals.

Chelsea’s first at Stamford Bridge was a fairly routine move, with Alvaro Morata creeping behind his man to get in behind the defence to head home.

But the defending for West Brom’s goal at Turf Moor wasn’t pretty at all. It was created by a simple clearance upfield but after Matt Phillips had won the header neither Stephen Ward or James Tarkowski did enough to stop Hal Robson-Kanu going past them.

Against a side as defensively sound as West Brom conceding the first goal is not a wise move, and it’s going to be particularly frustrating when it comes in such circumstances.


One area when the defending was better was from the Baggies’ set-piece threat. West Brom had plenty of opportunities to load balls into the box, but for the most part Burnley defended well, doing enough to disturb the visitors’ two giant centre backs in Craig Dawson and Ahmed Hegazi.

When Dawson and Hegazi did get on the end of set-pieces there was usually someone there close enough to put them off and get in the way of headers, and Tom Heaton was well protected in that regard.


There’s been more discussion about the merit of defensive walls for free-kicks this week, with former goalkeeper-turned-pundit David Preece suggesting ‘keepers should just do away with them for free-kicks from around 30 yards.

When Jeff Hendrick won a central free-kick for Burnley just outside the area, West Brom took the opposite view.

As Robbie Brady lined up an effort from no more than a yard outside the box West Brom had all 10 outfield players in a line. Brady had very little to aim at and predictably enough his shot hit that impressive wall.

It was a novel approach to defending free-kicks from closer range.