Following a troublesome few days in which Burnley were to be found licking their wounds over the unwarranted defeat at Arsenal and the injury to Dean Marney, Tuesday the 31st January 2017 was the day in which the Clarets kicked those difficulties into the long grass.
The Clarets spent most of the early part of the day fending off Everton's advances for the services of Michael Keane, whilst simultaneously looking to find a way to secure a victory over Leicester City and hoping to extend Burnley’s string of consecutive home victories to seven in all competitions, the third most imposing home record in the Premier League.
Meanwhile off the pitch, the Burnley Board of Directors were busy flexing their spending muscles, securing the acquisitions of Robbie Brady from Norwich City and Ashley Westwood from Aston Villa.
Down the years it had become a tradition amongst Burnley supporters to express irritation at the parsimony of the Clarets’ hierarchy. But no longer, in the last two transfer windows Burnley gaffer Sean Dyche has been backed to the tune of around £40 million. This amount of money would help facilitate the purchase of a significant portion of the former East Lancashire mill town’s real estate.
Dyche prefers to spend his allocated funds on high-end Championship talent. Additions such as Andre Gray, Jeff Hendrick and Johann Berg Gudmundsson all represent ambitious players with a hunger to succeed at Premier League level. It is hard to believe Brady and Westwood will struggle to fit into Dyche's visionary mould.
The defeat of Leicester was both important and hard-earned, a no-holds barred physical clash played out in incessant drizzle, an examination of intestinal fortitude as much as footballing skill. Such fixtures are right up Joey Barton’s street and he obliged by delivering a masterful display of courage in possession and clever passing under pressure.
Burnley’s second half display fully merited victory but as the minutes ebbed away, it seemed the frustration suffered at the Emirates might yet again be repeated. The mighty Keane had other ideas and he rose majestically to meet an Arfield corner and in the ensuing melee the ball seemed to brush Sam Vokes’ arm.
Mike Dean who had provided another frustratingly inept refereeing performance, failed to spot the infringement and the Welsh striker swept the bouncing ball into the roof of the net to provide the Clarets with another Premier League scalp.
In the past Burnley have suffered disproportionately on the wrong end of decisions meted out by referee Mike Dean. Swings and roundabounts have been the mantra of many a football manager and it was high time for Burnley to be on the right end of another wrong Mike Dean decision for once.
The fact the Clarets were long overdue an errant refereeing decision and this one swinging in their favour, helped to smooth the pain of the travesty at the Emirates. Clarets' fans and players will no doubt have a renewed sense of faith in the forces of karma. Balance has been restored in the footballing universe.
Next up at Turf Moor are Chelsea, the Premier League's Champions elect. Burnley must then prepare for a whole raft of challenging away league games and the BT televised fairytale FA Cup tie against non-league minnows and giant slayers, Lincoln City.
It would be an enormous understatement to say Burnley have found points hard to come by on their travels. Twenty nine points have been accumulated so far by the Clarets in this campaign, just a single one earned on the road, the rest won at Fortress Turf Moor.
It was therefore imperative that three points were taken from the reigning champions, Leicester City. Ranieri's Foxes represent a team disorientated by last season’s astounding success and are now bereft of the swagger and polish they displayed in winning the title.
Burnley on the other hand, are now ten points clear of the EPL dreaded drop zone, ninth in the League table and a place in the quarter finals of the FA Cup surely there for the taking, The 31st January, 2017 was indeed a good day for everyone associated with Burnley Football Club.
This atricle was written by uber Burnley fan and Clarets Mad contributor David Thornley. (TEC).