Burnley, Luton and Sheff Utd are winless – but one has shown enough to drag a huge club into the relegation dogfight

VINCENT KOMPANY was so well-regarded this summer that he had a genuine shot at the Tottenham job before committing his future to newly-promoted Burnley.

Admirers, including Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, had been impressed with how the former Manchester City captain had quickly taken to management and romped to the Championship title.

GettyVincent Kompany’s Burnley are still pointless in the Premier League[/caption]

GettyCarlton Morris is leading the line for Luton – but they are yet to pick up a point[/caption]

Yet after three games in the big league, all of which have come at Turf Moor, Kompany‘s record stands as played three, lost three, conceded 11.

Of course this does not mean we should be writing off the 37-year-old as some sort of busted flush. It is only September.

But Burnley‘s struggles, along with that of the other two promoted clubs, does show how the level in the Premier League is perhaps the highest it has ever been.

And that is why it is difficult to see past those three sides as the prime candidates for relegation this term, even at this incredibly early stage of the season.

The three new-boys have taken just ONE point from a possible 30 this term.

That is the longest run without victory ever for promoted sides in the Prem, barring the combined 22 games it took in 2004-05 for West Brom, Norwich and Crystal Palace to get a win.

Kompany pointed to the trio’s meagre collective haul when explaining his latest home hiding before the international break.

Speaking after being tonked 5-2 by Spurs – the club he potentially could have taken charge of earlier this summer – the Clarets chief said: “I don’t think anyone is naive going into this division.


“We know it’s a challenge and if you look at the total amount of points that the promoted teams have got this season, you realise every game is going to be tough.

“This was no different. (Spurs are) a quality side. At times… we weren’t able to compete.”


That final point is the key one: being unable to compete.

It has been a difficult start for Kompany’s start, against Manchester City, Aston Villa and Spurs, albeit all on their own patch.

But one shot on target against City, two vs Villa and four against Spurs – where they did, admittedly, score two goals – are a cause for concern.

They are working harder than anyone else – Kompany’s side have run a league-highest 118.1km so far this term, and in one fewer game than most teams – but with not a lot to show for it.

The hope would be that Kompany would be able to translate his easy-on-the-eye style which was far too good in the second tier to the top division.

That may still be the case but there has not been a lot of evidence so far to suggest it will happen.

And with tough trips to Nottingham Forest and Newcastle to come this month, as well as hosting Manchester United, it is very plausible we could be into October before Kompany has his first point.

Of course, had Burnley agreed to switch their August fixture against fellow new-boys Luton to Turf Moor then they may already have three points on the board.

The game was supposed to be at Kenilworth Road, but with the ground not being Prem-ready in time, the Hatters had an offer to play it up in Lancashire turned down.


We saw just how fundamental Luton’s unique home ground will be if they are to have any chance of survival when they played West Ham before the international break.

The atmosphere was deafening and is likely to catch a few sides cold this term, though David Moyes’ high-fliers were too savvy to succumb to that.

Hatters fans have been getting riled up by pundits completely dismissing their team this term, accusing them of disrespect.

Those taking aim at Garth Crooks for suggesting they would be “down by Christmas” had a point as that is nigh-on mathematically impossible if you take the claim literally.

Luton are in the Premier League on merit, not by some fluke.

Yes, it was not long ago that they were playing non-league, with current midfielder Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu in for the whole journey up the divisions.

But they won at Wembley in May to book their place at the top table, having reached the play-offs for the second successive season.

Yet from what we have seen so far, it does look like any outcome this season that does not result in a (R) being beside their name will be a minor miracle.

West Ham was tight but Brighton (4-1) and Chelsea (3-0) certainly were not.

Their expected goals against is the second worst in the league at 2.44 a game, while 233 of their collective 320 Prem appearances in their starting line-up v West Ham were taken up by Ross Barkley.


Sheffield United, who like Luton with Rob Edwards are bossed by another affable Englishman in Paul Heckingbottom, have shown the most fight so far.

That in itself has been impressive, as was promotion last term, given the financial problems that have affected the Yorkshire club.

Even this term the board robbed Heckingbottom of two of his star players by selling Sander Berge and Iliman Ndiaye.

Though in fairness they have signed a potential gem in striker £18million Cameron Archer from Aston Villa.

The forward was part of England’s Under-21 Euro-winning squad this summer, netting against Germany in the group stage, and has looked a lethal finisher at times for Lee Carsley’s side.

Lethal is exactly how you would describe his strike against Everton on debut to help United – and all the promoted sides – to their first point of the season against Everton.

It would have been three were it not for Jordan Pickford’s sensational double save at the death to deny Ollie McBurnie.

Heckingbottom can take a lot of heart from narrow defeats to Crystal Palace, Forest and champions City – the latter two of which were consigned by last-gasp heart-breakers.

And in James McAtee, borrowed from Pep Guardiola’s treble-winners, they have a star in the making on loan for the season.

Yet the fixture list is not kind. It is Spurs away next, then Newcastle at home, followed by a trip to West Ham.

And the worry would be that this early-season resilience, which has still only garnered one point, may be difficult to sustain the deeper we get into the campaign.


The hope is one of the established sides can be usurped and in Everton, who would be pointless without Pickford’s heroics, there is cause for optimism.

The Toffees took 284 minutes to score their first league goal this term.

Yet the signings of Arnaut Danjuma, Beto and Jack Harrison, plus Sean Dyche’s know-how, may be their life-savers.

The stats, depending on how much you read into them, suggest they should have six points rather one already on chances created and they certainly were unlucky in their opening-day defeat to the Cottagers.

The dire relationship between the board and fans always has the potential to explode and affect a season, barring a takeover.

Everton have been circling the drain for a few seasons now and if this is the year they do go down it, then it could be catastrophic financially.

They need the Premier League riches more than their relegation rivals but whether the fear of oblivion proves to be a positive or negative pressure we will find out.

Yet even at this early stage, the drop-zone dogfight looks to be a small one with the three promoted teams squarely in the middle of it.

GettyGustavo Hamer could help keep Sheffield United in the division[/caption]

ReutersBurnley need the likes of Nathan Redmond to be firing[/caption]

AlamyLuton’s Rob Edwards is still searching for their first points[/caption]

GettyIt looks like it could be another long season for Everton and Sean Dyche[/caption]

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