Heading to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday for the clash against Arsenal, Burnley were on the end of a 5-0 thumping in Arsene Wenger’s final home match as he brings his 22-year association with the club to an end.
IT'S OFFICIAL! pic.twitter.com/fxUdElH3NP
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) May 5, 2018
For many Claret’s a defeat was written in the stars given their exit from the Europa League and that door for a final ‘hurrah’ being closed, but fans in attendance were a credit to themselves for their support of Wenger – as acknowledged by the home fans – but it did end all hopes of a Group Stage entry to European competition next season.
That doesn’t entirely matter though as Everton’s draw with Southampton means that we are now guaranteed an early start to the season in the knockout phase of the Europa League and most would certainly have taken that when it looked to be on the cards given the fantastic campaign we’ve had this year.
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) May 6, 2018
Manager Sean Dyche’s response to the defeat as he spoke to the Official Site was classy as ever, as he praised Wenger’s achievements at the club and he knew, in securing European football next term, there was nothing he could fault about his own squad.
“I think Arsenal raised their performance considerably today, but we came into the game on the back of yesterday’s news that we’d qualified for the Europa League. That meant all of a sudden we had nothing to play for and I think that showed. Players are human after all – and then if you add in what it stood for today, for Arsene and the whole occasion, we couldn’t find a performance. That’s not to take anything away from Arsenal.”
Dyche conceded that ultimately when you play the big boys you have to be on your game and we just weren’t across the 90. When you’re not they can hurt you and that’s exactly what they did, so it’s a bit of Premier League reality as a reminder despite our performances this year.
Having lost Ashley Barnes early on to shoulder injury, Burnley are awaiting full medical assessments on how bad that may be for him potentially, but it did make a difficult day worse but it’s just one of those things.
Referencing our own form this year, he added.
“You have to take a few knocks along the way. Today was one of those days, but in the bigger picture – and it’s important to remember this – it’s been a huge, huge season by my players. They have been absolutely incredible this season, so I am certainly not going to over-question today.”
The joy for Dyche in our achievement this year was in knowing the hard work behind the scenes continues to see the club break new ground in modern times but the credit goes to everyone and the whole squad, not just the main eleven.
Fans have long been on board with the gaffer, that hasn’t changed after this defeat.
Dyche has to get manager of the year.
— tweetmicka (@tweetmicka) May 5, 2018
Unbelievable & absolutely brilliant. So happy for the lads and staff and, of course, us fans! What an utterly brilliant season we’ve had. Thank you SD and all #we’reallgoingonaEuropeantour
— RuthM (@Rubymu) May 5, 2018
Fully deserved, what SD and his staff has done to my club in such a short space of time is nothing short of miraculous
Brimming with pride
— Daz Mckavett (@Dazmac1882) May 5, 2018
Damn right…….what an achievement…..surely Sir Sean is the Premier league manager of the year.
— peter walter chorley (@petewalrus) May 6, 2018
Classy Clarets, thanks for guard of honour for Arsene, thanks to your fans for singing one Arsene Wenger, imo Sean Dyche manager of the season, congratulations and good luck in Europe unless you are playing us of course.
— Masked Gunner (@onemaskedgunner) May 7, 2018