Paddy Davitt gives his Burnley verdict after the 0-0 draw in the Premier League in Norwich City.
1. The sound of music
You know like an away crew when the final whistle is greeted by a chorus of booing that you’ve done your job. A point and a clean slate on Turf Moor is by no means to be sniffed at.
Coming up after six league defeats, an alarmingly negative goal difference, and your head coach fighting a rearguard action in his public statements, it’s an even better result.
That booing was soon drowned out by cheers and shouts of ‘Yellows’ from the far end.
They were quick to show their appreciation for a gritty, determined, determined, flawless offer from the boys in green and yellow.
Yes, those questions on the other side of the park will remain, but if this is a work in progress, displays like this one will convince a firmer foundation to be built. the Claret.
Burnley will have imagined their chances of flipping this Norwich vintage to take their first win on the board. But City showed, based on this evidence, that they are not “soft” touches.
2. Early Pantomime Season
It was hard to decipher who was the biggest, baddest villain in the eyes of the home fans, from Grant Hanley or Ben Gibson. Every touch was booed.
Hanley’s enchantment with Burnley’s bitter Lancashire rivals, Blackburn Rovers, will never be forgotten in these parts. While Gibson made his first competitive return since an acid spell.
Signed as a record signing, he set off after an extended stint in the wilderness.
There was certainly no lack of extra motivation. Both played with a desire and a concentration that produced the perfect response to the boo boys.
As a pair, they anchored a championship title win. As a trio, they begin by suggesting Ozan Kabak that they can put up some solid resistance. As individuals, they must also prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are top-level defenders in the Premier League.
How they defended their box, how they kept an eye on Chris Wood in particular, showed that they are heading in the right direction.
3. Bravo Dim
Back in the one line-up change after the defeat at Everton, this felt like a big pre-match moment in Giannoulis’ appointment at Norwich.
He was, hard in the eyes of many, handpicked by Daniel Farke for his rocky first half at Manchester City.
Brandon Williams has been preferred in the Premier League settlement ever since. but after the Manchester United mercenary slid off the high plane he was heading for at Arsenal, this felt like an opportunity. His head coach felt the same.
Giannoulis was back in and with the added defensive assurance of a threesome behind him he may have had that license to showcase his undisputed attacking threat.
A natural left foot provides balance, but this outing was arguably his best defensive in a yellow shirt.
At no point did he shy away from physical combat. There was one crucial jump in the closing stages that did enough to distract Matthew Lowton from turning the knife with a distant header. He took on challenges in a way that suggested he had taken Farke’s barbs on board.
That bodes well for both Giannoulis and Norwich. There is real potential, with him on one wing and Max Aarons on the other wing.
4. Time to press pause
Farke and his coaching staff will be grateful for the interruption of an international period to reflect on a period of bruising. By no means is one point from the first seven Premier League games the healthy return he wanted. Or the small measures that would lead to something other than a quick return to the Premier League over the course of this campaign.
But given all the noise, all the frustration, all the simmering discontent in certain parts of the fanbase, amplified after that devastating home defeat to Watford, Farke now has a chance to distil a grueling spell and sum up how they carry on, starting with visit from Brighton to Carrow Road.
There were faltering signs of a revised form and the staff in it got to grips with the top flight ahead of this competition.
But a point earned in such circumstances only injects faith.
Farke reiterated Friday that he knows they need more in forward areas, but the priority since Watford tried to keep the back door closed.
Now the boss and his coaches have tangible evidence to throw on the table.
5. No injuries, Normann
What Farke wants to avoid at all costs during this international break is injuries to his players leaving for national service.
Topping that list should be Norwegian international Mathias Normann, who got through his first 90 minutes in Norwich’s colors.
Normann’s drive, his all-action style and his unquestionable quality on the ball are invaluable attributes in a Norwich central midfield mix that still feels like it’s in the development phase.
Nick Pope negated him with a flying stop from a free kick in the second half, there was another twist and spin that took him past Burnley players before a stabbed cross-cum-shot snapped the top of Pope’s beam. Plus a series of diagonal balls to bring his wing backs into play.
Normann already looks like an astute signature. The good thing is that he will definitely only get better and his influence will grow.
But before Brighton comes there will be new World Cup qualifiers for him and a group of his club mates.
Norwich certainly deserves the good fortune of Farke’s international brigade returning safe and sound to Colney for the next two weeks.