Lessons in management from Pep Guardiola, Turf Moor’s ‘state-of-the-art’ facilities and a reunion with coach Craig Bellamy… new Burnley boss Vincent Kompany takes stock ahead of his debut season in the Championship
- Vincent Kompany has taken over at Burnley and is preparing for his debut season
- He compared Burnley’s facilities to the ones at Man City when he joined in 2008
- The Belgian said Burnley had ‘state-of-the-art’ facilities at first press conference
- Kompany said he will draw upon Pep Guardiola’s management style at Turf Moor
- Craig Bellamy is set to join Kompany as a coach despite leaving at Anderlecht
As he got his feet under the table as Burnley manager on Friday, the decorated former City skipper was asked if there were comparisons between the club he joined in 2008 and the one he has chosen for his return to English football.
‘This club is 10 times better,’ replied Kompany emphatically at Burnley’s training complex.
Vincent Kompany will lead Burnley in the Championship during his debut season at the club
The ex-Manchester City star was manager of Anderlecht in Belgium between 2020 and 2022
‘This was Man City when it got taken over. It’s a state-of-the-art facility: fantastic pitches and everything we need to be extremely demanding with the players.
‘But it’s a different era. Every club has invested since and Burnley are the same. It’s an incredible work environment.
‘City at the time was what it was. It was City. You just enjoyed playing for them and never expected much. It wasn’t about luxuries. This is a Premier League facility, really impressive.’
The reality is, however, that Burnley are no longer a Premier League club. Relegation last month means the repayment of a large chunk of a £65million loan and the departure of half the first-team squad.
Having cut his managerial teeth in difficult circumstances back in Belgium with Anderlecht, Kompany has walked into the job with his eyes wide open.
The Belgian defender admitted that former boss Pep Guardiola has inspired him as a manager
‘I’m prepared for any scenario,’ he added. ‘It’s really a very delicate and dangerous period of time when you’ve got these transitions. You can fall very far down or go very quickly back up.
‘The difference between left and right is massive, just small details. Obviously in my previous job I ended up the wrong side of it. We’d already gone too far down the wrong path, and I can see it cripples the club. I’m happy to be here for the long-term.’
Kompany, who won 10 major trophies in 11 years at City, refused to say whether he spoke to Pep Guardiola before taking the job at Turf Moor. However, he will be drawing on Guardiola’s style of management, if not his style of football.
‘I met this fantastic coach, the best in the world,’ said Kompany. ‘The simple thing I took from Pep wasn’t a style of football, it’s that he was the very best at telling his players why they were doing things on the pitch; why you pass in a certain way, why you defend in a certain way. I will always be able to tell my players why they are doing something.’
Kompany won four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups with Man City
It’s no surprise that Kompany could turn to City for new players. He is expected to sign young defender CJ Egan-Riley and has been linked with Taylor Harwood-Bellis who had a difficult spell under him on loan at Anderlecht. Burnley are also close to signing Dan Ballard from Arsenal and Scott Twine from MK Dons.
The 36-year-old also confirmed that former City team-mate Craig Bellamy is set to join him on the coaching staff at Burnley, despite leaving his role as assistant coach at Anderlecht in September for mental health reasons.
‘He’s someone I have huge respect for,’ said Kompany. ‘He’s incredibly gifted and he’s a typical misunderstood guy who gives so much. If I can have him with me, I will.’
Ex-Man City star Craig Bellamy left his coaching role at Anderlecht for mental health reasons
Kompany, whose father was a Congolese immigrant to Belgium, was asked for this thoughts about the infamous ‘White Lives Matter’ banner that was flown over Turf Moor two years ago.
‘If you start judging an entire organisation and the people and players because a couple of idiots are flying a banner, there’s no way I would associate the football club with this,’ he said.
‘It’s not black or white, you come in and you work hard together to build something. Sometimes you change mentalities in that way. I’ve come in to coach a football club, to write a story. I always stay by my principles no matter what.’