BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche feels innovation in modern football comes from the small gains - the extra percentages in sports science, diet and analysis, rather than in systems and shapes.

Dyche is a keen student of the game, he points out the cyclical nature of tactics, with most formations used at some stage or other previously in the history of the game

The Burnley boss goes back years to look at examples of how the game has evolved over time.

"The game's been going 140 years, Brian Clough was innovating 30-odd years ago, exactly what modern football is - it's all cyclical.

"There's a great book Inverting the Pyramid, but basically, the 1938 World Cup Final, Hungary versus Italy, and basically both teams played 4-3-3.

"4-3-3 is like a revolution now, but it's been there forever.

"Until they change how many players play, the size of the goals, pitch, 10 substitutions...the format of the game is very similar.

"It's the detail which is the difference.

"Every year the details get crunched and crunched and crunched, the analysis, sports science, fitness levels, keep getting pushed.

"Man City have definitely run more since Pep went in there, fact, Liverpool run more, Manchester United - not under Mourinho, but now - that is a brutal fact.

"High talent, highly organised, running large amounts.

"If you think that hasn't been there for a long time, just getting improved, it has.

"Innovating, in my opinion, is through all these other avenues, not through 'I'm going to play this formation'."

Dyche uses an example from over 20 years ago, before Pep Guardiola's use of inverted full-backs.

"Alan Smith at Crystal Palace...when I was at Chesterfield, John Duncan wanted Martin O'Connor, but couldn't afford him, and I was the makeweight, so I went to Palace for a couple of days and trained there.

"Gareth Southgate was there...I always remind him and he remembers me, obviously!

"But we were doing this drill, and when the ball was on the other side, could the full backs come inside into this deep midfield position?

"I read about Pep Guardiola doing that two years ago, inverting the full backs, as if it was a masterstroke.

"I'm not doing him down, because everyone in the modern game is 'ooh, I haven't seen that', but Alan Smith was doing that in the mid-90s, 'can we bring this player into here so we've got an out, the midfield are crunched over, can we come out this side?'

"I'm not saying Pep learned from Alan Smith, but there's that many things that happen in a game , they have all probably been done, or a version of them.

"I witnessed it with Brian Clough, two centre halves split, full backs get high and wide, midfielder comes and gets the ball, the other midfielder stretches the pitch, Nigel (Clough) coming off in the 9.5/10 position, striker stays long as an out, wide man rapid, the other coming inside.

"If that's not as modern as any football plan, I don't know what is.

"The best one was Wenger, he got an old school format, 4-4-2, and slowly morphed it into Arsene's beautiful football.

"You watch his early years, not much beautiful football. Get it forward early to those two, Bergkamp and Wright. Why bother giving it here when you have those two up front?

"Get it to them as quickly as you can. Brian Clough did that, Sir Alex, make no mistake.

"Myth, conjecture, but it sells well. I just think it's done from more avenues than just 4-3-3, managers who are innovating, in my opinion, are doing it from all different avenues, through all their staff members.