BURNLEY, England (Reuters) - Former Burnley striker Jimmy Robson believes manager Sean Dyche is the right man to rid the Premier League club their “yo-yo” reputation.
Burnley, who host Arsenal at Turf Moor on Sunday, have been promoted from the second tier Championship twice in the last seven years, only to be relegated after one season in the Premiership.
They won promotion again last season after clinching the Championship and Robson was immensely proud of the fact they were back in the top flight, where they are currently 13th on seven points after six games this season.
”It’s an immense feeling to see them playing in the top flight again,“ Robson told Reuters. ”They’re a bit of a yo-yo club just now but I am hoping this season they can put things together and really work on staying in the Premier League.
”The hardest part is staying in - but I think Sean Dyche is the right man to do it. He’s done a good job and he’s the best manager Burnley have had for a long while.
“He seems to get on well with the players for a start which is important for a manager. His technical ability of reading the opposition and things like that is good and with the whole backroom staff helping him, he’s doing a great job.”
Robson, who played for Burnley from 1956-1965 and made over 200 appearances for the club, led the side to the Football League First Division title in 1960, where the celebrations were far removed from the open-top bus parades of today.
“Even after we won the league in the final game against Manchester City, and I scored the winner, there was no lap of honour or anything like that,” he said.
“They took us to the Town Hall, we picked up players who had already been dropped off and we went over to Nelson Golf Club to celebrate.”
Robson played more than 450 games in a career that included stints at Blackpool, Barnsley and Bury and like many of his contemporaries held down another job as well as being a professional player.
”I worked as an electrician and I helped them put the flood lights up at the stadium,“ said Robson, who has an impressive collection of memorabilia on display at Turf Moor. ”I used to climb up to the top of the pylon to fix the flood lights.
”Sometimes, I would leave work, go to play in the game for Burnley and then go back to work again.
“It’s totally different now.”
The 77-year-old Robson, who still regularly watches Burnley at home, also noticed how much the style of play had changed.
“It’s about possession more than anything else,” said Robson. “(And) things the referees give a yellow card for now would have been good tackles in my day,” he added with a smile.
Robson, however, was a huge fan of the style of play of Arsenal under manager Arsene Wenger, who celebrates his 20th year in charge of the north-London club on Oct. 1.
”I’ve always admired the way Arsenal play and games like this are what being in the Premier League is all about,“ Robson added. ”They do keep possession but they do go forward with it. They’re a hard team to beat.
“The game will be a big test for Burnley but the players like to play against the best teams and we judge their performances by that.”
Editing by Greg Stutchbury