Burnley suffered a 4-2 defeat away to newly-promoted Fulham on Sunday afternoon, leaving the, 18th in the Premier League with only one point from their first three games.
Sean Dyche’s men finished seventh last season and earned a place in the Europa League qualifiers, but survival might have to be their sole objective this time round.
It’s still early days, but Burnley dropping points to the likes of Southampton (0-0), Watford (1-3) and Fulham (2-4) is worrying. Juggling European football with a domestic campaign would always be difficult, but could the Clarets be in for a testing season?
Summer signings haven’t improved the squad
Burnley’s summer transfers
- Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough) £15.21m
- Matej Vydra (Derby County) £10.98m
- Joe Hart (Manchester City) £3.51m
After finished seventh the previous season, it’s not surprising that Burnley kept their spending low the following summer. They strengthened in goal, at centre-back and in attack, spending less than £30m in the process, but only one of their new signings has actually played so far.
Joe Hart has played every league game for Burnley, keeping Tom Heaton on the bench while Nick Pope is out injured, but the former England goalkeeper has shipped seven goals in his three appearances so far.
Ben Gibson has sat on the bench since signing and finds himself behind Ben Mee and James Tarkowski in the centre-back pecking order. Vydra hasn’t made the matchday squad in the league since signing for Burnley – he was named on the bench in their Europa League qualifier against Olympiacos on August 23.
So, Burnley’s summer signings aren’t contributing as of yet, but manager Sean Dyche has blamed the poor start on distractions from their European excursions – Burnley’s season began on July 26 due to the Europa League qualifiers.
Burnley games played so far this season
- 26/7/18 (Europa League) Aberdeen 1-1 Burnley
- 2/8/18 (Europa League) Burnley *3-1 Aberdeen
- 9/8/18 (Europa League) Istanbul Basaksehir 0-0 Burnley
- 12/8/18 (Premier League) Southampton 0-0 Burnley
- 16/8/18 (Europa League) Burnley *1-0 Istanbul Basaksehir
- 19/8/18 (Premier League) Burnley 1-3 Watford
- 23/8/18 (Europa League) Olympiacos 3-1 Burnley
- 26/8/18 (Premier League) Fulham 4-2 Burnley
The Clarets would have dreamt of playing in Europe, but it’s turning out to be a nightmare currently. Having to play in Europa League qualifiers has meant a real fixture pile up.
Three days after their trip to face Istanbul Basaksehir, Burnley have to travel to the South Coast to play Southampton. Their defeat to Fulham came just three days after their trip to Greece to face Olympiacos. The travelling has to be having some negative bearing on their results.
Burnley have the return fixture against Olympiacos to come, where they need to overturn a 3-1 aggregate deficit to progress. For the sake of their Premier League campaign, it may not be the worst thing if they failed.