Skysports.com casts an analytical eye over Burnley's 2009/10 season.
Last Updated: 13/05/10 12:44pm
What Went Right?
Ah the heady autumn days. Those early wins against Manchester United and Everton probably came about due to the inferiority complex and mentality that allows lower-league sides to pull off cup upsets. At least Robbie Blake will have the memory of one of the most perfectly-struck volleys of the season. Also, they have that most valuable thing, an ultra-reliable penalty taker. If Graham Alexander was a Spurs player, they would have qualified for the Champions League with weeks to spare, and spent the last few weeks of the season smoking cigars and practising with 'Arry's choir. Oh and they did not spend a lot - which means they go down with the books in a pretty healthy state. Espcially after a final-day victory that earned them an extra £800,000.
What Went Wrong?
The standard of the Premier League has been so low in recent years that one excellent run is enough to ensure survival. Hull managed it last season, and it looked like Burnley's early-season form might just be enough to keep them afloat, but it just did not last long enough. It was that rotten away record that did for them in the end. Burnley could've escaped with scraping together only four points on the road if Turf Moor was a place from which nobody emerged alive, but that brought its own pressure, pressure with which they couldn't cope. As chairman Barry Kilby admitted, Brian Laws was not exactly dealt the best hand, but his appointment was an early recognition that the club had accepted their fate.
Are They Happy?
While the disappointment of relegation will be tempered by the fact that nobody - not even Burnley fans - expected them to be in the Premier League in the first place, plus the relatively sound financial footing, does anyone really expect them to make a serious promotion challenge with Laws in charge?
Signing of the season
Steven Fletcher. The striker's return of eight league goals is not too shabby when considering he was playing for a struggling team. He managed 13 strikes overall in all competitions and it is expected he will likely be snapped up by a top-flight side this summer.
Flop of the season
Brian Laws. Harsh, but somewhat fair. Laws was dealt a tough hand when taking the job but there really was never that much belief that he was the man to save them from the drop. He may indeed prove people wrong next season - things could not have gone much worse this campaign.
Graham Alexander. A real leader for the Clarets, while his ability from spot-kicks served them well. The 38-year-old managed 33 league appearances and it was no surprise that he was named their Player of the Season.
Tyrone Mears. The full-back proved a fine addition to the squad as he played in all 38 of Burnley's matches this season. The Clarets paid just half a million pounds or his services, making him a shrewd buy.
Their early season victory over United. Said result will understandably live long in the memory of Burnley fans.
Their terrible away form. Just four points were accrued on the road during the whole season, leaving travelling fans with very little to smile about. Furthermore, 52 goals were conceded away from Turf Moor.