What’s Next for Vincent Kompany?

Ben Wylie

What’s Next for Vincent Kompany?

At midday on Friday 15th April, football was met with the seemingly unfathomable news that after 10 years in charge of Burnley Football Club, with just eight league games remaining, club legend Sean Dyche was relieved of his managerial duties.

Whether the decision was justified or not is up for debate, but now it's done, the show must go on, and one shock name linked to replace Dyche is none other than former Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany.

Kompany’s Managerial Experience

Kompany’s managerial experience is limited, taking charge of just 89 games for boyhood club Anderlecht. Initially appointed as a player-coach, Kompany struggled to balance the two roles, quickly taking the decision to hang up his boots to focus solely on management. Throughout his time in the dugout, the Belgian has shown real promise, boasting a respectable record of 39 wins, 29 draws, and just 17 losses across all competitions averaging 1.73 points per game.

In 2019/20, the slow start that saw Kompany appointed coupled with the Belgian’s unsuccessful attempt to balance a player-manager position saw Anderlecht end the season in eighth, 10 points adrift of any challenge for European football.

2020/21 marked the Belgian's first full season at the helm, with Anderlecht much improved securing a third-place finish, however, missed out on European football after finishing bottom of Belgium’s Championship Round, a mini-tournament between the top four sides for European qualification.

As the end of the 2021/22 season fast approaches, Kompany is on track to repeat last year's feat of Championship round football and will be hopeful of going one step further by returning the club to European competition.

The resurgence Anderlecht has experienced under Kompany is certainly impressive, however with less than 100 games on his CV, questions of inexperience can be levelled at the former City captain. At this stage, whoever takes over at Turf Moor is in for a real challenge, begging the question of could Kompany really a viable option?

Kompany’s Potential as a Manager

In leaving Anderlecht in 2008, Kompany experienced the rise of now European heavyweight Man City. Appearing 360 times for the Sky Blues, Kompany left Manchester with a plethora of silverware; including two FA Cups, four League Cups, and four Premier League titles.

In his 12 years at City, the Belgian played under a host of world-class coaches, experiencing varying degrees of success and with his tenure at City coinciding with their rise in stature, Kompany was afforded a playing career mirrored by few others.

Playing under the likes of Pep Guardiola, Manuel Pellegrini, and Roberto Mancini, Kompany has experience with various systems and styles, being exposed to numerous coaching regimes, drills, and match preparation techniques that will have shaped his current coaching philosophies.

In having a blend of diverse yet successful former managers to draw techniques from, if nothing else, Kompany is armed with the knowledge to become a top-level coach, however, in truth, any natural ability for management is likely still to flourish.

Would Kompany be a Good Fit for Burnley?

At heart, links with Kompany and Burnley boil down to two questions; Is Kompany ready for a move? And if so, would Burnley be a good fit?

Currently, the situation at Turf Moor is bleak, and whether Kompany is Premier League ready could be made irrelevant with the Clarets in real danger of relegation. Time and time again, former world-beating players take Premier League jobs early in their managerial careers only to fail at an early stage, something Kompany will certainly want to avoid.

At best, Burnley looks like a manager's nightmare, with financial and contractual issues likely to cause serious problems for the next boss.

As for Kompany to Burnley, in our eyes, it looks like a square peg in a round hole, as in reality, Burnley needs a seasoned campaigner to stabilise a rapidly sinking ship, whereas Kompany should look for a project to grow as a coach, without rash judgement and reliance on immediate successes.

Relegation or not, a rebuild at Burnley is imminent, with several of the club's core players including Ben Mee, James Tarkovski, and Nick Pope all out of contract in the next two summers, effectively removing the heart of their successes across the last five seasons.

Again, having only managed Anderlecht, Kompany has no experience of overhauling and rebuilding a squad, and although whoever sits in the dugout at Turf Moor next will have support, the onus will be on them to make final decisions.

With everything considered, the answer to our aforementioned question is no. Categorically, Burnley shouldn’t be Kompany’s next club.

At present, the only certainty at Turf Moor is uncertainty, as, without financial backing and contractual issues, the club show no evidence of future planning, and should be waving enough red flags to put any young manager off. Kompany looks to be building something at Anderlecht, and whilst one day he will undoubtedly leave, for now, he should stay the course and further his reputation, continuing to quietly watch his managerial stock rise in the process.


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