IT said it all about the predicament in which Manchester United find themselves that their 2-0 defeat to Burnley at Old Trafford on Wednesday night felt like a huge deal for the visitors but, in a very strange way, just more of the same for those home supporters who clogged the exits with ten minutes still to play.
There are two definitions of ‘charisma’ in the dictionary - and while Jose Mourinho may prefer the description as a ‘divinely conferred power or talent’, we're sticking to the more traditional understanding of the word - a ‘compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others’.
Kevin Long is the only Corkman in the Ireland squad to grace the Premier League this season, but his journey from the Connolly Road to Turner’s Cross, and further afield to Burnley’s Turf Moor, has taken in a multitude of highs and lows.
The January transfer window has not yet opened and already a huge deal has been agreed, with Virgil van Dijk heading from Southampton to Liverpool for what is understood to be £75million, the highest price ever paid for a defender.
Burnley’s impressive start to the campaign is this season’s ‘Cinderella’ story but the stereotype of the Lancashire club led by a gruff ‘old-school’ manager disguises the very effective method behind their rise.