Ashley Westwood: Burnley midfielder speaks to Sky Sports ahead of Everton clash at Goodison Park

Ashley Westwood admits Burnley have had a tricky begin to the marketing campaign, however believes the tireless work ethic, new signings and rising youth bodes effectively for the season ahead.

The Clarets have registered solely a degree from their opening three video games, however had been unfortunate to depart empty handed within the season-opening 2-1 defeat with Brighton, whereas there have been positives within the 1-1 draw with Leeds. Next up? A tough recreation at Everton in entrance of the Sky cameras on Monday Night Football.

“We’ve played well and created chances,” says Westwood. “I think results will come. We started well against Brighton but couldn’t quite see the game out. Liverpool is always going to be a tough one and then Leeds, when we did very well and should have got three points – but we didn’t see the games out.”

The 31-year-old is fast to spotlight the impression of followers returning to stadiums. “It’s nice now lockdown has lifted but the fans being back has been tremendous. The lads admitted having lumps in throats from the noise generated after the Brighton game – so it’s good to have them back.”

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Monday thirteenth September 7:00pm

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The Burnley type

It is likely to be simple to connect destructive connotations with Burnley’s enjoying type, which, on paper, actually stands out as distinctive – even perhaps a throwback to yesteryear with a 4-4-2 formation and frequent lengthy balls. But there are components to the type that are actually ‘on development’: league-high numbers for distances coated and urgent from the entrance.

“We’ve always pressed teams high up,” says Westwood. “The front two do it and do a brilliant job. I think the reason we [are pressing high more frequently on paper] is more teams are trying to play out from the back now and it gives us a chance to press them high.”

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Image:
Ranks signify standings earlier than fourth spherical of fixtures

Indeed, solely Liverpool and Southampton recorded greater than Burnley’s 30 excessive turnovers within the Premier League this season going into the weekend – outlined as passing sequences that begin in open play and start inside 40 metres of the opponent’s purpose line, which successfully means profitable again and retaining possession excessive up the pitch.

The excessive press usually goes hand in hand with a crew’s bodily capacity to cowl the arduous yards and shut opponents down. Indeed, no crew within the Premier League has coated greater than the Clarets’ 331km this season.

“We’ve at all times [run a lot] – that is the principle factor right here. We at all times have to outwork groups. If you do not, you do not often win the sport.

Burnley working by matchday this season

OpponentBurnley kmOpponent km
Brighton111.3110.4
Liverpool109.9108.1
Leeds109.7111.2

“Our working stats had been fairly low in opposition to Leeds, we’re not often like that, however I feel we sat off them a bit – we did not need a basketball match. We at all times work arduous. We often get a end result after we outrun the opposition.

Burnley PPG in PL since begin of 20/21

GamesPPG
Did outrun271.15
Didn’t outrun140.64

“We’re a fit bunch. We did a monster pre-season, which was tough – as always. The game has sort of changed, if you don’t come out on top [physically], then you get left behind. We worked hard over the summer and that benefits us during the season.”

Burnley are by far the league’s aerial powerhouse. Dyche’s aspect have received a league-high 82 headers already and the graphic beneath exhibits how this energy is utilised to shield their very own field, declare lengthy balls down the broader channels to accumulate second balls and assault crosses within the opponent’s field.

With such a bodily type of play, is the ‘lighter contact’ by referees and VAR this season a boon? Burnley centre-back James Tarkowski was awarded a controversial purpose in opposition to Brighton after showing to push the defender out of his path – an incident that epitomised the brand new intention to officiate this time period.

Image:
James Tarkowski scored a controversial purpose throughout the 2-1 defeat to Brighton

“I feel Tarks [Tarkowski] was getting grabbed to begin with and he is acquired on the incorrect aspect of [the defender], outmuscled him and powered it into the purpose. So I feel it was honest [to allow the goal].

Image:
Burnley midfielder Ashley Westwood speaks solely to Sky Sports

“It looks like a foul if you look back in slow motion, but if defenders are going to grab attackers in the box, then there’s got to be give both ways. And [our physicality] is a big weapon for us and we’re very good at it.

“I feel [the benefit of extra leniency] was proven at the Euros, the place the officers acquired it spot on. I watched lots of the video games and it was superb and has rolled on to the Premier League. I feel it can profit the league and hold the sport flowing extra.”

Is the type distinctive?

Burnley have accomplished a league-low 553 passes and common possession of simply 35 per cent, however a clash with Liverpool at Anfield skewed these figures so early on within the season.

When wanting to assault, the graphic beneath exhibits how Dyche’s aspect think about constructing hazard down the flanks – whereas solely three golf equipment have tried greater than their 75 crosses to date.

Broken down additional, passing networks reveal the commonest distribution combos between gamers, with each central midfielders usually feeding their respective flank: Jack Cork on the left and Westwood on the precise.

But the direct type with lengthy balls actually rings true – as visualised beneath. Only Brentford have tried extra lengthy passes this season and the Clarets have a league-low passing accuracy of 68 per cent because of this. But, as Westwood explains, there’s methodology behind the method and the dangerous endeavour actually pays dividends.

“[Our playing style] gets us results, we’ve all been here a long time and we know what’s needed to stay in the Premier League, so we don’t we don’t get too bogged down with stats like that – we know what we are, what we’re doing and what we need to get a win.”

What’s the Westwood function?

Westwood’s function seems considerably an anomaly. His deep positioning would maybe outline him as a defensive midfielder – however realistically displays the crew’s deeper type. However, his numbers actually excel in attacking areas.

“I’ve [ranked well] for creating chances and assists over the past few years,” says Westwood. “It’s something I’ve personally been wanting to maintain – to create as many chances as possible. It’s putting balls in the box, feeding the two up top. It’s developed my game and it’s been a massive boost for me.”

As the membership ranks spotlight beneath, the midfielder reigns supreme for assists, passes accomplished, final-third passes and crosses tried per 90 minutes this season – ratios that mirror earlier campaigns.

Westwood additionally has a knack of scoring in-swinging targets direct from corners together with his favoured proper foot, which he has achieved twice over the previous 18 months – stemming from being the membership’s major corner-taker down the left flank.

“The Southampton one was [assisted by] wind and the one at Liverpool was dubious – lots of people were saying it was a foul on the goalkeeper,” provides Westwood. But will he take a nook down the precise? “No, always on the left.”

Transfer considerations… once more?

Dyche has expressed his considerations publicly in regards to the membership’s switch coverage and limitations on quite a few events through the years after a number of seasoned stars left without spending a dime when their contracts expired. Robbie Brady joined that record this summer time – however the membership did spend money on two younger full-backs: Maxwel Cornet from Lyon and Connor Roberts from Swansea.

“Connor hasn’t trained with us yet, I think he is very close so we’re excited to see him. Maxwel has been away [on international duties], so we’ve not met him yet and we’re all excited for him to come in, too. [Signings were] needed, we’ve brought a few bodies in and it’s competition for places again now – it’s what’s needed in the Premier League.”


Burnley actually want an injection of youth. Three video games into the marketing campaign, they’ve presently overtaken Crystal Palace because the league’s oldest crew.

But Westwood believes there’s additionally rising expertise rising inside the membership’s ranks, particularly younger prospect Rico.

“Rico’s a tremendous player, a real talent. It’s about nurturing these young lads, not letting them get ahead of themselves and, if they’re lucky, they’ve got a good group [they can make it].

“I feel you’ve got seen it with Dwight – he is is a really grounded lad and he is simply flourished from being within the group right here and he is popping out of his shell much more and so he ought to, he is performed 100 video games and has that confidence behind him.

“So it’s about bedding yourselves in with the first team and that should help nourish and develop the youngsters’ games – seeing how we act and train every day, the professionalism and what’s needed to be a Premier League footballer.”

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Burnley journey to Goodison Park to play Everton reside on Sky Sports this Monday, having crushed the Toffees 2-1 on the street in March final season

But, nearer on the horizon, Westwood and Co face Rafael Benitez’s Everton on Monday Night Football and the midfielder factors out the identical fixture produced one of their standout performances final time period.

“We put in one of our best performances there last year. Dwight scored a great goal and we know what’s needed and will focus on what we need to do. We’re a threat for any team in the league if we’re on it.

“We by no means get carried away. We knew when the fixtures got here out it was at all times going to be a tricky begin – you’ve to play these groups at some stage. Last season, we did not win till in a while within the season, so everyone knows what’s wanted and what we have got to do to get ourselves up the desk and get wins on the board.”

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