I usually try to steer clear of football topics for Friday CF, but I’m low on topic ideas today, and I’ve had something football-related stuck in my craw all week: are Burnley the most despicable, most unliked team in the Premier League right now? They are for me, at least from an objective point of view where I’ve put Arsenal’s rivalries aside.
They’re overly physical, oftentimes dirty. They dive. Sean Dyche is insufferable in the media about referee decisions and opposing teams diving, and their fans seem to relish and actively encourage all of it. After James Tarkowski slide clean through Richarlison with an incredibly dangerous tackle, all I saw was celebration from their supporters about how great and proper of a challenge it was. And I’m pretty sure Tarkowski put in such a violent challenge after realizing it was an opposing star player, i.e. he targeted him specifically.
More generally (and this might make a longer post at some point down the road), the Premier League has swung the pendulum way too far in the opposite direction with this “game flow” foul change. There are dangerous tackles going uncalled and unpenalized in nearly every match just because last season, they called too many fouls or something. It’s going to get good players hurt (see e.g. Harvey Elliot last weekend) if they don’t rein it in.
Talk about your dislike of various teams in the comments or whatever other topic under the sun strikes your fancy, it is Friday after all.