Burnley: The surprise of Premier League season 2017/2018
At the halfway mark of the Premier League, there is little doubt which team has been the most surprising.
Whilst the likes of Huddersfield, Brighton and Watford all appear to be punching above their weight in league position, it was just a few weeks ago that Burnley were in the top four.
At the halfway stage of the Premier League, Burnley are seventh in England’s top division, just three points off of fourth placed Liverpool.
L’Equipe produce feature on Burnley
Since Burnley were expected to be battling relegation, there is a lot of intrigue across the planet regarding how Sean Dyche has lead his side to mid-table comfort.
And, perhaps a crack at the Europa League next season.
On Christmas Eve, L’Equipe published an article on Burnley titled: “Welcome to Burnley, in the heart of the surprise team of the English championship”.
“A 100% white team”
Surprisingly, the famous and usually very reliable French newspaper have described Burnley as “as a 100% white team with players with flattened noses and big ears, coached by a ginger Englishman, in a city who voted 70% for Brexit and which has been the breeding ground of racial tensions.”
The introduction in L’Equipe goes onto say:
“Formed with 80% British players and 100% white players, Burnley is the surprise team of the season. 40 kilo-meters north of Manchester, everything is from another century.
Burnley’s team photo is such a programme. Guys with short hair, flattened noses, big ears, ready to fight, who seems to announce their style of play on Saturday afternoon and their lifestyle as Saturday night. There is no single black player in the squad of the 7th-ranked in Premier League, coached by a ginger English-man Sean Dyche (46 years old). And it’s as difficult to believe that’s premonition as it’s coincidence.
In fact, there was a coloured player in the early season photo, Daniel Agyei, and he was loaned to Walsall. That’s not why he was loaned, of course, but so goes Burnley FC, a team that looks like the city, a northern enclave forty kilometers from Manchester, which voted 70% for Brexit , which had been the breeding ground of strong racial tension, in 2001.”
“Made in Burnley”
The rest of the L’Equipe article is behind a paywall. Said article has since gone viral on Reddit Soccer and according to many commenters, for those that pay, the rest is much less controversial.
In France, many football fans have been upset with L’Equipe’s description of Burnley as “100% white”.
After all, Burnley are a good football team and it is a shocking assumption to think that Sean Dyche picked his team on the basis of their skin colour.
Daniel Agyei, who is mentioned in the article, is currently on loan at Walsall from Burnley.
— Michaël Michée (@Michael_Michee) December 25, 2017