LONDON, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Burnley may have been one of the pre-season favourites to get relegated from the Premier League but after six games they are more than holding their own with seven points.
Arsenal, after a sticky start, have won their last four league games and are on a high after crushing Chelsea last weekend and beating Basel in the Champions League.
Arsene Wenger celebrates 20 years in charge of Arsenal this weekend but Sean Dyche’s Burnley are strong at Turf Moor and will not be laying down the red carpet.
Here is what the fans have to say about the state of play at their clubs’ respective ambitions this season:
Barry Oliver - Burnley Supporters Club Chairman
”It’s all very well saying you’ve been promoted to the Premier League and you’re going to get 200 million pounds. There’s no point in spending all of that because there’s nothing to say you’ll stay in League in the following year. You’ve got to have enough money in reserve to cover that.
”If you look back to when Bradford City were promoted into the Premier League. They bought Italian forward Benito Carbone but were relegated the following season and his £40k per-week salary almost bankrupt the club at the time.
”We don’t want to be in that sort of situation. Burnley are running the club in the right way.
”We’ve got a good team spirit at Burnley and we don’t want players coming in who unsettle that group. You want the people that you bring in to have the same mindset.
”It’s a friendly family club and everybody knows each other. The people who are involved all come to the games regularly, they’ve got a hands on approach and they know what’s going on inside the club.
“Whereas, if you look at Blackburn Rovers and the Venkys - they spend all of their time in India. The club is nothing more than a business venture for them, their hearts aren’t in it.”
“If you are going to accept foreign investment you want them to have a genuine interest in the club and the football -- not just the money that they may or may not make out of it.”
Akhil Vyas (Arsenal Supporters Trust)
”At the start of the season, after the Liverpool defeat, we felt like we were on shaky ground and it was poisonous for a while. It felt like we were always one defeat away from an emotional riot in the stands.
”But we signed Lucas Perez and Shkodran Mustafi in the window and we started to get some results. The mood was still 50-50 and it could have gone one way or the other but I think what changed it was the Chelsea result.
”Before that game the story came out in the Rob Beasley book about Jose Mourinho saying he wanted to “break Wenger’s face”. That galvanised the Arsenal fans because we all loathe Mourinho.
”We battered Chelsea in the first half but what gave us even more optimism was the second half because we were in control and never looked like conceding which was a little un-Arsenal like.
“We have leaders in this team now, starting with Alexis, and while we are not arrogant to expect to win the title, we want to be still fighting for it with two or three games to go.” (Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)