Burnley 1 Watford 3: Five things we have learned

CLARETS reporter Tyrone Marshall discusses the pressing points of Burnley's Premier League defeat against Watford.


It is impossible to know how much impact the 120 minutes on Istanbul Basaksehir had on Thursday on the loss against Watford, but it certainly played a role.

In both Premier League games, the Clarets were the better side in the first half so far, and for the first time in Southampton, only to be seemingly tired when the game is over.

When Watford had risen on Sunday 3-1, there was never really a feeling that a comeback was likely. Burnley just did not seem to have the energy to argue.

It may be that the Hornets have just managed the game well and that only five players started the game on Thursday and Sunday.

But if Burnley continues to make progress in Europe, it will be difficult to manage the commitments on two fronts.

A problem that may be as big as the extra game is the time it takes from the work on the training ground. In the last few seasons Sean Dyche regularly had a full week to drill his players for the Premier League match. Now that this is not the case, there is another game in the middle of the week and also trips are thrown in.

The loss of that time on the training field could be a problem for the party.


Perhaps that explains why the defending unit seemed so unusually vulnerable to Watford.

The back four of Matt Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee and Stephen Ward have played so often with each other that they have a good understanding and it is the defensive record on which so much of Burnley's success is based.

On Sunday they suffered from Troy Deeney and Andre Gray and did not cover themselves in glory on a few goals from Watford.

It may have been a bad day and the defense was steady in St Mary's a week ago, but it was strange to see that this Burnley side looked so creaking.


There was a much better display of Jeff Hendrick on Sunday after the defense of Sean Dyche by him.

As Dyche says so often that Hendrick still gets used to the number 10 role, it is not his natural position.

Ideally, his output in terms of goals and creativity would be better than he is, but his tactical work is often good and his work outside the ball is part of Burnley's pressing and tactical approach.

He was more physically against Watford and took some clever positions in the Chris Wood neighborhood. He could also have scored. When Jack Cork's deflected shot broke, he could have hit it the first time, while Stephen Ward chose his smart run only for Ben Foster to make the save.

When Steven Defour, Robbie Brady and Matej Vydra all fit into the midfield and the attack will be strong, it will be interesting to see which approach he is following, but if Hendrick can build on the Sunday screening, he does his chances to be instead of maintaining damage.


After the defeat against Watford, the Clarets have not yet won their first league game at Turf Moor in a season since the victory over Bolton in August 2012.

It is an unusual record, but perhaps one that suggests there is no reason to panic about the defeat of the Hornets.

It is the third consecutive year that Burnley lost his first home game in the Premier League season, but at the end of the campaign those defeats had outliers, not in line with how the season went.

The defeats against West Brom last season and Swansea last year were not a signal of a season of struggle, but of success. Let's hope it is the same old story in 2018/19.


There was more anger at Andre Gray when his name was read for the kick-off, although it must also be said that there was also applause when he was replaced in the second half.

The former Claret certainly made his mark with a well-taken goal and besides Deeney he played a dangerous prospect.

Like those who followed him on a regular basis, there will be elements of his game that certainly require work, such as staying with us, a feature that Turf Moor reminded him of on a few occasions, but when he played alongside another striker, he could still making the move to Vicarage Road successful.

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