05/06: Preview: Burnley
by Matt Rowson
How did they do?
"Innocence. It's not a word that'll be used often in describing Steve Cotterill's new-ish look Burnley side, which is essentially a Greece 2004 tribute band. Remember the hits? All your favourites, present and correct - ten men behind the ball, defence deep in its own half, terrifyingly efficient organisation, very occasional counter-attacks. The problem, of course, is that this isn't the European Championships, Burnley aren't likeable underdogs and, for the benefit of those with poor eyesight, we ain't France or Portugal. The annoyance is that we fell for it anyway."
How will they do?
Steve Cotterill seems to be persisting with the "quality over quantity" approach that kinda worked for them last season... the arrivals look good, but a similar number of first team players have departed leaving Burnley with an astonishingly small squad. Burnley's first team looks solid, plenty good enough to replicate last season's comfortable mid-table finish, but it's difficult to see what the contingency plan is in the case of mid-season injuries given that the Clarets' youth system hasn't delivered a single member of the current first team squad. A high-risk strategy is going to smack you in the face sooner or later.