<UPDATE>: Thanks to Matthew I’ve now access to all of Burnley’s 1920-21 results via this remarkable website – for which much gratitude. It was a 2-0 defeat away to Bradford City. In general, league tables don’t make a great deal of sense until 3 games have been played, but here we are putting a modern side who are favourites to go down, allegedly the division whipping boys, up against two actual eventual title-winners. And they’re holding their own. So far.</UPDATE>
I’m having problems getting hold of the early 1920-21 results – things get simpler from game 4 onwards for reasons that will become clear – and all I know about game 3 in 1920 is that, yet again, the Clarets lost. Who beat them, and in what style, I’ll discover when the National Library of Scotland reopens tomorrow.
But 1959-60 lost too – 3-1 at home to a West Ham who were about to experience their classic decade. The modern team’s 1-0 win at home to Everton make the situation at the top of the mini table decidedly interesting:
Rather more interesting than the mini-table is the fact that Burnley are now halfway through their intense series of early matches and have won both of them. The pressure is off for the games against Liverpool and Chelsea – but so are the bets. What price another win, perhaps against Liverpool which would complete an unusual Merseyside double – and Burnley 25% of the way towards safety before the beginning of autumn?
To finish with, two interesting facts about Burnley that you might not have known. They were the first team to receive the FA Cup from the hands of the reigning monarch, in 1913. And, when the offside rule changed in 1925, they were the first team to experience the new law’s ability to generate high-scoring matches. They lost their opening game in 1925-6 to Aston Villa, by ten goals to nil. Like Wigan against Manchester United, they didn’t play a bad game – it was merely a defensive failing, one which, of all managers, Herbert Chapman was shortly to experience as his new Arsenal side went down 7-0 to Newcastle.