Humiliating Horror Show at the Hawthorns!
Sunday 28th September 2014 @4pm Kick-Off
The Clarets suffered a humiliating 4-0 drubbing at the hands of West Brom at the Hawthorns on Sunday after conceding two goals in each half. In front of the live Sky Sports cameras Burnley put in one of their worst performances in some time and were outplayed in all departments. The defence was woeful, the midfield ineffective and the strike force non-existent. If you give your keeper the man of the match award despite conceding four goals you know your team is in trouble!
You could make excuses in the sense that we had a lot of players out injured and were forced to put out a completely different team to recently but it just seemed to highlight our lack of depth in the squad. The result and performance to say the least was very worrying after recent decent shifts. We had been congratulating ourselves prior to this game on how well our defence had been playing with three consecutive clean sheets on the board but to now let in four goals and not manage to score one at the other end just seemed to highlight our underlying problems. Burnley just can`t seem to score and it was noticeable in this match how few chances we created. Clarets fans have been unable to celebrate a goal now since the opening day of the season when Arfield put one past Chelsea and it really is now becoming a major worry! Danny Ings and Sam Vokes, our goal-scoring powerhouse from last season are of course still out injured but goals from the Juke also seem to have dried up after an impressive pre-season campaign. Ashley Barnes and Marvin Sordell are also struggling to find the back of the net. Is it the strikers` fault or the service they are getting? What has happened to Trippier? He was terrible on Sunday both in defence and in terms of getting forward. His trademark runs this season and his assists appear to have dried-up unless Dyche has told him to stay back more and defend against the Premier League opposition attacking forces. Arfield also seems to have gone off the boil since missing the penalty against Palace the other week whilst our midfield on Sunday seemed to be mainly wingers with two of them being forced to play in the middle. It didn`t work, in fact nothing worked and it was truly painful to watch!
Let`s be clear, West Brom did not look that impressive, we were just terrible! If we can`t pick up points against such a side we are going to struggle this season to stay up and with Burnley still looking for their first win and propping up the Premier League table things are already beginning to look a little ominous. Three points from six games is not looking good at this stage and we need to quickly get back on track and get that elusive first win before confidence plummets. We simply have to forget this match, put it to the back of our minds and move on starting with a tricky game at Leicester next Saturday
Not only were we without Danny Ings and of course Sam Vokes up front but crucially both our regular central midfielders of late, Dean Marney and David Jones were also out injured and for the first time this season we adopted a 4-1-4-1 formation. Jutkiewicz played alone up front supported by four players behind him who were all normally wingers! (Wallace, Arfield, Boyd and Kightly). Boyd and Arfield played in the centre of midfield but it looked a strange line-up to say the least! Steven Reid took up the anchor role in front of the back four. In summary then we lined-up as follows:
Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Reid, Wallace, Arfield, Boyd, Kightly, Jutkiewicz
Subs: Gilks, Keane, Long, Ward, Chalobah, Sordell, Barnes
Full Match Report
With the match underway, there was early evidence that Burnley could be about to struggle with West Brom taking the initiative in the opening minutes and putting Burnley on the back foot. The ploy of trying to force the Baggies to play down the flanks seemed to work though and Burnley soaked up the early pressure snuffing out most of the crosses from the wings. It wasn`t until the 13th minute that Burnley created their first real chance when Kightly attempted a half-volley but was unable to keep the ball down and on target. West Brom began to turn the screw and a deflection off Duff was enough to deny Chris Blunt with the ball hitting the side-netting. Berahino from a tight angle then dragged his shot just a few inches wide of the post as the Baggies began to press and dominate the game. It only looked a matter of time before West Brom would take the leak with the ball hardly in the hosts half and just past the half-hour mark the inevitable happened. It was a very well-taken in-swinging ball by Blunt from a corner that did the damage. Craig Dawson who we tried to sign in the summer jumped up the highest to head home at the far post! He has now signed a new three-year deal at the Hawthorns so his desire to move away appears to be no more. Burnley seemed to give up hope and it`s difficult to recall any meaningful Clarets attacks in the first half. West Brom were now chucking everything at the Burnley defence hoping to double their advantage. Duff and Shackell combined well to snuff out a dangerous run by Berahino and then in the 42nd minute, Brunt came close with a well taken first-time effort that flew just inches wide of target. Heaton then pulled off a great save to deny Dorrans after getting his fingertips to the long-range effort and seeing the ball fly over the crossbar. It was a killer blow moments later though when just on the stroke of half-time, the hosts finally managed to double their lead. Once again the goal came from a corner, this time taken by Morrison. The ball found Dorrans at the near post and he managed to flick the ball on where Berahino was quick off the mark to score from close range and give the Clarets one major headache at half-time. We had not been in the game at all and now had a mountain to climb to get back into it.
Sean Dyche had to do something and he made two changes for the start of the second half. On came Chelsea loanee, Nathaniel Chalobah to make his debut for the club replacing the somewhat ineffective Reid. Ashley Barnes was also now on the pitch after replacing Ross Wallace. It was time to revert to our normal 4-4-2 and hope we could somehow get a goal back. Nothing much changed though and Burnley continued to look woeful in all departments. First Shackell got his body in the way of a shot from outside the box by Craig Gardner and then Mee repeated the feat to deny Sessègnon. It was game over though soon after when in the 56th minute, the Baggies bagged a third! Dorrans played Berahino through on goal and he nonchalantly thumped the ball beyond Heaton`s reach to make it 3-0. It was now too little, too late as the Clarets finally notched up a couple of gears and started to create a few chances of their own in the forlorn hope of somehow getting back in the game. Jutkiewicz came close with a header after latching onto a superb cross from Trippier into the box. Baggies keeper, Ben Foster though was able to produce a good save. Sordell was now on the pitch after replacing Jutkiewicz in the 67th minute and although both he and Barnes had chances they simply could not keep their shots on target. West Brom continued to look dangerous on the break and indeed dangerous full-stop! Dorrans skipped into the penalty area only to thankfully scuff his shot wide of the post. Burnley kept huffing and puffing but by now Clarets fans knew their side`s fate. Dawson blocked a Boyd shot and then Foster saved a Trippier attempt but it all seemed pointless now and just to rub salt in the wounds, West Brom got a fourth in the last minute of normal time. West Brom substitute Cristián Gamboa was allowed too much space down the right and he pulled the ball back for Dorrans to make no mistake and ensure the miserable day for Clarets fans was now complete. Burnley have not scored now in eight hours and 46 minutes of Premier League play and with the defence now crumbling there are serious problems that Sean Dyche will have to address and quickly.
West Brom: Foster, Wisdom, Dawson, Lescott, Pocognoli (Gamboa 83), Dorrans, Gardner (Yacob 87), Morrison, Brunt, Sessègnon (Samaras 74), Berahino.
Subs not used: Myhill, McAuley, Mulumbu, Blanco
Goals: Dawson 30, Berahino 45+1, 56, Dorrans 90
Booked: Yellow Card for Dorrans (75)
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Reid (Chalobah 46), Wallace (Barnes 46), Arfield, Boyd, Kightly, Jutkiewicz (Sordell 67)
Subs not used: Gilks, Keane, Long, Ward
Booked: Yellow Cards for Chalobah (46) and Mee (89)
Possession: 63% West Brom, 37% Burnley (Source: BBC Sport)
Referee: Jonathan Moss (West Yorkshire)