Burnley vs Manchester United: United spent £59.7m on Angel Di Maria - Burnley have spent £45m on transfer fees... since 1882

The most expensive player in Burnley's team is Lukas Jutkiewicz who cost £1.5m

Sean Dyche grinned and dropped his head on to the desk in front of him when he was told that the £59.7m Manchester United have spent on Angel Di Maria surpasses the transfer market money laid out by Burnley in their entire 132-year history.

The east Lancashire side have rattled up a £45m outlay on players since 1882 but are not taking it much higher in a hurry. Their total spending since gaining promotion to the Premier League in May has been around £4.5m, with even the typical post-promotion blowout proving beyond a club whose next nine months seem certain to be spent hoping for a miracle. The wage ceiling at Burnley is £20,000 a week. It was the £11m Fulham paid Leeds United for Ross McCormack in the summer which really sent a chill through Turf Moor.

Read more: Di Maria and Ronaldo - a tale of two United No 7s
Van Gaal ready to tear up squad
Di Maria among '10 best in world'

They are a side the nation should be looking to for a story of virtuous self-sufficiency and in 43-year-old Dyche certainly possess a protagonist to cherish. His tactics will be direct when they need to be – “They will play with a lot of passion; a lot of long balls. You have to fight against it. It will be a very difficult game but we have to show we can play football, that we can pass the ball in spite of the pressure of Burnley” Manchester United’s manager, Louis van Gaal, said looking ahead to today’s game. Dyche bridled a little at that reputation. Intense, pressing, quick-breaking football is actually the Burnley way.

“Some teams keep the ball for the sake of keeping the ball,” Dyche told The Independent last year. “I want quick, passing football through the units to open up opposition, particularly on transition.” Expect something more Southampton than Wimbledon. It could threaten a young United defence, using what has been a suicidally high line so far.

 

Dyche speaks with a clarity which is a blessing in the buttoned-up, self-conscious world of the Premier League. “We have learnt that Chelsea are very good. That’s one thing,” he said of the early lessons. “And we have learnt that Swansea are also very good, but not quite as good as Chelsea….  We know the ball stays in play longer, which adds to the physicality. So players cover more ground. We know there are technically more sound players and talented ones in the teams we have certainly faced so far. There’s a tactical framework to teams that differs.” 

Angel Di Maria and Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford Angel Di Maria and Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford  

Memories of 19 August 2009 – Burnley defeating reigning champions United 1-0 at Turf Moor in their second Premier League fixture – put the odds into some kind of perspective, though even that seems a distant memory as the division’s commercial juggernaut has powered on. “It’s not so much with us because the group of players is considerably different,” said Dyche of five years ago. “Michael Duff was around, but he’s been here for 14,000 years. We know the game has changed since then and moved on.”

This lunchtime is an event made for players like goalkeeper Tom Heaton, once third choice at United, who told Sir Alex Ferguson in 2010 that he could not wait around any longer for a dream to materialise into reality. “There was the option of a new deal, and I said that was me [done],” Heaton said. “I was ready to go and try new things, drop down, play some games.”

Dyche talks of having a coffee with Van Gaal. “It will be interesting to [do that] and ask him [things]. I don’t know if I would get that chance. But I would be interested in that,” he said. Don’t bet against  Van Gaal being the one who learns most today.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones