Burnley. 4th Place. December 12.
Yes, you read that right. Sean Dyche's Burnley overcame a tough battle against Stoke City to jump up to 4th in the table. The club who have yo-yo'd between England's top two divisions over the past five years seem to have finally cemented their place in the top flight, and a great deal of praise should be heaped on manager Dyche.
During their time in the Championship (2013/14 and 15/16), the Clarets were expected to struggle, with a number of betting companies suggesting that they wouldn't stand a chance of promotion, instead settling for a mid-table finish.
However, with first and second placed finishes, this was only the start of Dyche proving any doubters wrong. Lets be honest, Dyche himself doesn't have many critics, but the squad he has built, on paper, don't look strong enough to compete in the Premier League.
This is where the 43-year-old works his magic. Last year the Clarets struggled but just about managed to survive, hitting that crucial 40 point mark to stay clear of relegation. This season, after just 17 games, they are only nine points off their total from the last campaign, showing the progress Dyche has made.
He appears to have shored things up at the back, as his side have only lost four times thus far and aren't showing any signs of making any defensive slips.
Fourth in the Premier League ✅— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 12, 2017
Above Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs ✅
Ninth win of the season ✅
ANOTHER clean sheet ✅
Here's what Sean Dyche had to say after Burnley's big win.
Watch: https://t.co/0C0XntEw2y pic.twitter.com/BZZOVMySjK
But having already been relegated from the top flight and finishing 16th last year, there could be a reasonable case for Dyche's sacking. In today's game, managers have been let go for much, much less *insert image of a distressed Frank De Boer here* so relegation and a survival battle could cause the chairman to switch things up. But Dyche is loved at Burnley, and the faith they have repaid in him is currently working the other way.
The Englishman was heavily linked with a move to Everton in the summer, with many bookmakers favouring him over a number of high profile candidates. The interest was evident, and with the position Burnley were in, you couldn't really blame Dyche if he had chosen to move on to a bigger club.
He would've left the Clarets in a great position and opened the door for a new challenge, but the love he is shown by the club even when times are tough was enough to keep him on board.
The Clarets face a tough month ahead, with both Manchester United and Spurs to play in a three day period. But with the position they're in, Dyche will fancy his side's chances to continue their progression in what is looking like being one of the best season's in the club's history.