Frank Sinclair exclusive interview

The Ex-Jamaica legend speaks exclusively to Sportingbet about his former clubs, transfers and the managerial merry-go-round that they're all embroiled in.

Frank Sinclair | Sportingbet

On Dyche not being Manager of the year?

"He’s been progressing the club over the last 4 years and on any other season he would have won it, and deservedly so. However, you can’t ignore what Pep Guardiola has done this year, breaking so many different records at Man City and it’s unfortunate at potentially he’s best year at the club, that’s happened. Dyche will be looking at the bigger picture and seeing how he can improve himself and the club as a whole."

On keeping Dyche at the club:

"He’ll be ambitious, but he’s happy at the club and I don’t think he’ll just take any job that comes Obviously, if an opportunity comes to go to one of the bigger clubs, he may take it.

"There’s a certain category of clubs who would recruit Dyche, but I don’t think he would get anywhere near the top 4, as they have a certain remit that they look for.

"I think Dyche could manage any club between 5th and 10th, and when the right job comes along, I’m sure he’ll look at it.

"I think he’s very focused on progressing Burnley Football Club as a team, and I don’t think he’d take a job where he hasn’t got a realistic chance of being successful."

On Burnley’s 2018/19 campaign:

"The club and manager are in a great position, as they massively surpassed what their expectation of the season was at the beginning of the season.

"With success, there will always come greater expectations, but I think the owners will be sensible and see what Dyche has achieved with his time at the club before expecting too much.

"Burnley’s overall stats weren’t great, with games being very tight week in week out. On another season, certain results may have gone against them, and it could have cost them 10 points, which leaves the club in a completely different position.

"I think first and foremost, the expectations of Burnley are to remain in the Premier League, with anything else being a bonus."

On Burnley replicate the season again:

"The hurdle the club now has is playing in the Europa League. I’m sure they’ll try and strengthen the squad in the transfer market, but I don’t know how much they’ll be able to do so with the funds that are available.

"Burnley’s starting 11 is not bad, but I think they need to get another goal scorer in to help Ashley Barnes, who’s has an excellent season.

"I think Ashley Barnes was one of the most improved players in the Premier League last season, from where he was the season before."

On Burnley’s squad competing in the League and Europa League:

"Burnley don’t have the squad to compete in the league and in Europe, and I think Sean Dyche knows that."

"Every season you need to improve your squad regardless of where you finish, you cannot afford to stand still in football. You’ve seen this with the likes of Leicester City winning the league, standing still and nearly getting relegated."

On Burnley losing Tarkowski:

"I don’t think they will lose Tarkowski. He’s progressing at the club and he’s in and around the England squad. I think it’s definitely a different story if he went to the World Cup and played superbly, as he would attract a different type of football club.

"If Tarkowski doesn’t go to the World Cup, then he won’t leave Burnley this transfer window. He had a great season last year, and I think he’ll stay at Burnley to build up his constancy before one of the big clubs try to peruse him."

James Tarkowski | Sportingbet

On what part of the squad needs the most strengthening:

"I think every club is looking for a 20 goal a season striker, which Burnley haven’t had for a while. If they can get someone in of that calibre, then they’ll always have a successful season.

"Ashley Barnes has had a great season, and the whole team has been a handful to deal with going forward, scoring some great goals. However, if you want to continue progressing as a team, then they will need to go on and sign a striker that will improve the team."

On players Sinclair would like to see at Burnley:

"There’s some excellent players that could be available from demoted teams this year. The likes of Rondon and both Jordan and Andre Ayew would be fantastic additions to the team.

"If there was a chance for Burnley to sign Rondon, I’d bite your hand off to see it happen."

On signing Shaqiri:

"I think any team from the top 10 downwards would love to sign him, however I don’t think that Shaqiri is the type of player Dyche would go for. He’s got bags of talent, but he doesn’t fit the mould of player Dyche goes for."

On Pope starting for England:

"I think he has performed as well as Butland and Pickford this season, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he did start.

"I think Butland has a little more experience and will start at the World Cup."

"I think Pope and Pickford have big futures in English football, but are still young and have a lot to learn before featuring more prominently."

Nick Pope | Sportingbet

On Sean Dyche being a future England manager:

"I definitely think he can be. He’s certainly building a reputation for himself, and every manager wants to try and reach the pinnacle, to continuously challenge and push them self as far as possible.

"I think the opportunity is a long way away from where he is now. He’s doing a fantastic job at Burnley, but to manage at an international level he’ll have to have a vast experience across managing in not just the league, but European competitions as well.

"He’ll keep building on his own career and I don’t see further down the line why he couldn’t be England manager."


On Huddersfield staying in the Premier League next year:

"The three newly promoted teams will take encouragement that the three previous teams to go up all managed to stay in the Premier League.

"I think it takes teams 8/10 months before they work out newly promoted teams style of play, but once they do, it can become more difficult for them, which is why Huddersfield struggled towards the end of the season.

"Due to the size of the club, they’ll always be in and around the relegation zone, so they need to keep making small improvements to stay in the Premier League."

On whether Wolves, Cardiff’s and Fulham’s previous Premier League experience will pose an issue to Huddersfield:

"Not at all. Huddersfield will be looking to gain most their points off these teams, as they will be in and around them throughout the season. They’ll have to beat these teams if they want to stay up."

On what a successful 2018/19 campaign looks like for Huddersfield:

"The teams main focus will be to stay in the Premier League before anything else. However they do it, they will need to stay in the Premier League in order to maintain a good financial structure to keep progressing as a club."

On where the club need to strengthen most:

"They lack a real attacking threat for a Premier League side. I don’t think Mounie had a great season, as he drifted in and out of games, so they will look to bring in a prolific striker.

"There’s some great talent amongst the teams that were relegated this year, and there’s a great chance to try and sign a player like Rondon or either one of the Ayew brothers. These are players that will want to be ambitious and may want to go straight back up to the Premier League, and if that’s their ambition, then they’re the players that the club should target."

Salomon Rondon | Sportingbet

On Mounie’s first year:

"It’s always difficult for a player who’s new to the league to come in and perform immediately. A lot of the players that came in have struggled in the Premier League, so I think he will have learnt a lot and will be looking to improve on his overall performance from this year."

On whether Wagner will look to sign another striker:

"I’d be very surprised if Wagner didn’t look to sign another striker. They’ll have to improve their squad the same way every other club do. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t looking in the market for another striker."

On Huddersfield looking to sign Kongolo permanently:

"I think he’s proven he can handle the Premier League, but Monaco will see how well he’s performed. The move may have only ever been part of his overall development for his parent club.

"If available, they should definitely look to try and get him in. A lot of players want to play in the Premier League, which could tempt him further to make the switch permanent."

On securing Wagner:

"I believe Huddersfield should be looking to lock Wagner down. I think he was fortunate to get the job in the first place, and people presumed he was going to struggle. However, the fans have really taken to him and he’s shown great enthusiasm towards the club, so I imagine once the right deal come along, he’ll sign it."


On Vardy going to Atletico:

"There was a lot of talk previously regarding Vardy going to Arsenal, but he signed a new contract at Leicester. Atletico is a massive football club, and if he wants to play Champions League football, then obviously he’ll have to look at these types of clubs, as I don’t think Leicester will get back in to the Champions League any time soon.

"It depends how ambitious Vardy is. If he wants to play at the top and Atletico is an option for him, then it may be something he takes."

On Vardy having a good World Cup:

"All eyes are on the World Cup, so if Vardy plays well, then a big club will come in for him. I think Vardy needs to concentrate on having a good World Cup, but I think his bigger issue will be getting ahead of Kane in the team."

Jamie Vardy | Sportingbet

On Mahrez going to City:

"I believe it’s time for him to move on. It was quite apparent that he wasn’t happy that the move didn’t go through in January and I think Pep Guardiola will come back in for him.

"I think he will improve Man City’s side, even with the top quality they have in the likes of Sterling.

"He could play for any of the top four sides in England, and I’d be surprised if he was a Leicester player come the beginning of the season."

On where the Mahrez money should be spent:

"Defensively, they have had the same back line for the last three years without improvement, so they will need to recruit some new personal in that area.

"The team play counter attacking football, and to do so they will need to have a quality defence, as well as a midfield that work hard for the side. They had this with Kante and Drinkwater, but they’ve struggled to replace the two midfielders.

"With the high transfer fee they’ll receive for Mahrez, it’ll give them the chance to sign a crop of very good Premier League players."

On Wes Morgan moving on:

"I think Morgan has been excellent for the club since he signed, especially on the league winning campaign, but I think it’s time for the next era to come through.

"I think Maguire has taken the defence up another level and they need to look at signing someone on the same calibre as him to improve the team.

"If Morgan has a great presence in the changing room, then they should definitely look to keep him in and around the club."

Wes Morgan | Sportingbet

On Claude Puel:

"I think he’s the man for the job. He made an immediate impact when he arrived with players that weren’t his own, although, the performances took a dip towards the end of the year, which fans obviously weren’t happy about.

"I think he needs the chance to bring his own players in before he can be judged."

On the signing of Pereira:

"It’s no easy feat to get in to the Portuguese team and Leicester have done well to sign Pereira ahead of the World Cup.

"I’ve seen enough of him to assure me he’ll be a good signing for Leicester and the club need to continue bringing in players of the same high calibre.

"I think in today’s transfer market, Leicester managed to get him for a great price."

On what a good season for Leicester is for 2018/19:

"They’ve got to be looking to finish in the top 10, and maybe pushing for Europe. I don’t think Burnley have a better squad than Leicester, but they showed what they can achieve with the squad all working for each other.

"Winning the league was a one off, they deserved it, but the squad was then broken up and they haven’t been able to replace the duo of Kante and Drinkwater, which is obviously very hard to do.

"The clubs first ambition should still be to achieve the 40-point mark and stay in the league above anything else."


Conte’s future:

"There’s a lot of rumours of Sarri coming in should Conte leave, and when a club are openly letting this type of information open to the public eye, I think it looks like Conte won’t be at the club come the start of the season.

"I think it’s a vast amount of money Chelsea will have to pay Conte should they ask him to leave, and I think that’s the main stumbling block as it stands, as they won’t want to pay the money.

"Chelsea aren’t struggling for money and have been paying managers off for years who didn’t complete their tenure, and I believe they’re still paying off previous managers. They can’t let the payment stand in the way of getting the right man in.

"Towards the beginning of the calendar year, there was talk of Conte becoming Italy’s international manager again, but I think this may not be an option now, with Chelsea not performing as well in the second half of the season.

"If he does want to stay, he’ll want reassurance of what he’ll be able to achieve next year regarding transfers."

Antonio Conte | Sportingbet

On whether Conte has been treated unfairly:

"When you look at Chelsea’s model, it’s not a surprise what’s happening. Most managers last 2/3 seasons at best, with even Mourinho only lasting three seasons.

"The model works well for Chelsea, as they still regularly win trophies even with a lot of managerial changes, which makes it hard to argue with."

On Chelsea given young English Managers a chance:

"Chelsea’s history shows that they usually hire foreign managers, and I can’t see that changing.

"I’d love to see Eddie Howe at Chelsea. I think with his philosophy, and the chance to work with better players he would be terrific. He carries himself well and he’d be phenomenal for Chelsea, but realistically, he doesn’t fit the model that Chelsea go for."

On Sarri coming in:

"Napoli have played some fantastic football this year and Sarri has fantastic experience, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at Chelsea next season.

"Napoli have some great individuals in their side, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he would want to being some of them players to the club with him.

"Sarri has had Napoli playing the best football in Italy this year, even without winning any trophies. For the entertainment factor, and the chance for Sarri to work with better players, I think Chelsea will have a good season under Sarri if he were to come in."

On Hazard’s future:

"I think for Hazard to be mentioned in the same category as Ronaldo or Messi, he would have to move to a club like Real Madrid.

"Chelsea will be doing everything they can to keep him there for at least another year, but Real Madrid were linked heavily last year and could come back in for him again.

"With Bale potentially leaving Madrid, I think Real will have a list of players that they will want to replace him with, and I believe that Hazard will be on there.

"Hazard is a crowd-pleaser and definitely a big-name player that Madrid like to bring in. I think if you put him on that stage and at a club like Real Madrid, he’ll improve and become a better player."

Eden Hazard | Sportingbet

On where Chelsea need to improve:

"They will need another striker. Morata started well but struggled as he went on, whilst Giroud took his place and played well, but they haven’t replaced Costa since he left.

"The new manager may not see either Morata or Giroud as players who fit the role they want up front, but I definitely think that this is a position that needs to be addressed."

On Chelsea missing out on Champions League:

"Top players will be expecting to play for teams in the Champions League, and Chelsea will struggle to sign these players now.

"Chelsea will have to fork out a lot of money to convince a player to sign for them and not a team that qualified for the Champions League.

"With the finical backing the club has, and the discussion of the new stadium being built, Chelsea will definitely be an elite club in Europe."

On the future of the Chelsea squad:

"Chelsea should be looking at the great talent they loaned out this year. Loftus Cheek and Kennedy have had great loan spells, and Chelsea should be looking at whether they can break in to the team.

"Not being in the Champions League, this could be a great chance to try and bring through some of their youth players who have been dominating the youth cup competitions in both the English League and Europe.

"We’ve seen academy players and young players at Chelsea not given the chance, before then moving on to become big stars, with the likes of De Bruyne, Salah and Lukaku. When you see this, it makes you think of the team that they could have had."

Have Liverpool signed a better player in Fabinho over Bakayoko?

Brazilian players for one reason or another tend to perform well immediately once they join the Premier League. Bakayoko has had a tough season, but he’s very young and he’ll definitely have learnt a lot from the last season. He’s got the stature and the ability, but I think he lacked self-confidence and belief, as he was in and out of the side, which he may not have experienced for a while."

On Drinkwater not playing at Chelsea:

"He was playing week in week out at Leicester, but then became a bit part player at Chelsea, which he would have known, but I don’t think he can be judged on last season’s performance."