Team of the Decade: Burnley

HULL, ENGLAND - MAY 09: Danny Ings (2ndL) of Burnley celebrates scoring the opening goal with Matthew Taylor (L), George Boyd and Ashley Barnes (top) of Burnley during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Burnley at KC Stadium on May 9, 2015 in Hull, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Welcome to the latest edition of Last Word on Football’s Team of the Decade series. Today we look at the players and manager who have made it into the Burnley team of the decade.

The Clarets had an eventful ten years. Promotion, relegation and a spell in Europe have given fans plenty to cheer and be anxious about. Burnley have been an established Premier League club since 2016 and look like staying there for some time to come.

Burnley Team of the Decade

Manager – Sean Dyche

There was little doubt who would get the nod as manager. Sean Dyche has made the club a permanent Premier League fixture, plus one capable of qualifying for Europe. Dyche is well respected throughout football and loved at Turf Moor. His love of attacking football is there to see through the formation he sticks with, despite others moving to other more ‘up to date formations’.

Formation – 4-4-2

Few in today’s game use the now old fashioned formation 4-4-2. Sean Dyche and Burnley are one team that still do, and they use it very well. It is a tried and tested formula that has seen the Clarets establish themselves as a Premier League club and also compete in Europe. Few play with two strikers in this day and age; however, Burnley do and they do it well.

Goalkeeper – Tom Heaton

Signed on a free transfer from Bristol City, Tom Heaton would spend six years at Turf Moor. A consistently good, reliable keeper, Heaton became Burnley’s first player to be capped by England in over 40 years. He played 200 times and hardly put a hand or foot wrong before moving on to Aston Villa.

Right Back – Kieran Trippier

One of the best crossers of a ball during the last decade, Trippier was a firm fan favourite at the club. He was named in the PFA Team of the Year twice in succession while at the club before going on to Tottenham Hotspur and he now plies his trade at Atletico Madrid.

Trippier also made 19 appearances for England and scored a stunning free-kick in England’s semi-final at the last World Cup. A huge admirer of Sean Dyche, Trippier would love to return to the club at some point.

Central Defender – Michael Keane

A composed central defender, Michael Keane not only stopped goals but he could also cause problems in the opposition area. He would play 108 games, scoring seven goals before his big-money move to Everton.

Central Defender – James Tarkowski

Benefiting from Michael Keane’s departure, Tarkowski has established himself at the heart of the Clarets defence. Comfortable on the ball and a threat at the other end of the field, Tarkowski, should he be sold, should fetch more than the fee received for Keane. He made his international debut for in England against Italy in 2018.

Left-Back – Stephen Ward

Republic of Ireland international Ward was a reliable full-back for half of the last decade. An important part of the Clarets team that gained promotion and also escaped relegation from the Premier League. Now playing a step down at Stoke City.

Right Midfield – Scott Arfield

Arriving on a free transfer from Huddersfield Town, Arfield let no one down at Turf Moor. A Canadian international with an eye for goal, he could play in several positions and would feature 193 times during his time at the club.

Central Midfield – Dean Marney

Marney played a big part in helping the Clarets to two promotions. A hard man with good distribution skills, Marney is the type of player every team needs. Signed in 2010, he would spend eight years with the club.

Central Midfield – Jack Cork

Mr Consistency at Burnley, Cork originally arrived on loan from Chelsea. He would spend time at Southampton and Swansea City before arriving permanently at Turf Moor. Cork has forced his way into the England squad since signing and will be hoping to earn more caps whilst with the club.

Left Midfield – Dwight McNeil

Several players could have taken this spot; however, the talented youngster with a big future ahead of him takes the place. McNeil burst onto the scene in late 2018 and hasn’t looked back. A winger who enjoys the assists as much as scoring, the 20-year-old is set to have a bright future and is attracting interest from several clubs. Fans will be hoping he will stay at the club for some time to come.

Striker – Danny Ings

Joining from Bournemouth for £1 million, Ings was an integral part of Burnley’s promotion to the Premier League. He would win a Championship Player of the Month and a Player of the Year award. Although the team would be relegated from the Premier League, Ings impressed with his goals and performances and earned a move to Liverpool.

Striker – Ashley Barnes

Signed from Brighton & Hove Albion in 2014, Barnes has played a major role in the success of Burnley in recent years. Performing and scoring consistently in the top flight of English football, Barnes wins the race to the second strikers’ role. A role that could have been filled by several strikers who have played in Burnley’s colours over the last ten years.

Subs: Nick Pope, Ben Mee, Steven Defour, Chris Wood, Ashley Westwood, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, George Boyd


Main Photo


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