There is no doubt that Vincent Kompany is a Manchester City legend. During his time at the club, he won 12 trophies, including four Premier League titles, two FA Cups, four EFL Cups, and two Community Shields. In short, Kompany was the leader of the group of players that made Manchester City one of the biggest clubs in the world.
And now the Belgian returns to the Etihad Stadium on March 18, 2023, as the manager of Burnley, who face Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. This is only the second assignment of Kompany’s short managerial career, but he has been brilliant at it.
Presently, no team across the top 5 second-tier European leagues comes even close to the level of The Clarets. Burnley have an eight-point lead at the top of the table and are almost certain of a return to the Premier League.
In just two seasons, Kompany has shown that he can be as good a manager as he was a player and leader. If Burnley get promoted, they will be among the best teams in the world, and a clash against Manchester City will be a perfect precursor for the challenge that Kompany’s men face next season.
Who is Vincent Kompany?
Vincent Kompany is a name that any football fan will remember. The Belgian started his career at Anderlecht, a club where he would also start his managerial career. He would then join Bundesliga side Hamburger SV where he spent two years before becoming one of Manchester City’s first signings under the new ownership of the Abu Dhabi United Group.
While signed as a defensive midfielder, Roberto Mancini saw great potential for him in defence. In addition, he was also made the team captain in the 2011-12 season, in which he would lead Manchester City to their first league title in 44 years. By the time he left the club, City would have three more titles and a host of trophies.
He would return to his boyhood club Anderlecht for one last season before calling time on his career. However, with one career ending, another started for Kompany as he was named the new head coach for Anderlecht in 2020.
In his two seasons as manager, he helped Anderlecht finish third in the league table and took them to the final of the 2022 Belgian Cup. This was an impressive achievement for a man starting his managerial career.
However, this brought the attention of several clubs, of which Burnely were the most interested. The club had just been relegated from the Premier League and had also parted with Sean Dyche, their manager for the past nine-and-a-half years.
Their hunt ended at Kompany, and he was appointed to the post in June 2022. And he has taken like a duck to water, winning 22, drawing ten and losing just two matches.
Coming soon: Pep Guardiola 𝘃𝘀 Vincent Kompany. pic.twitter.com/qa0q3k0fiV
— City Xtra (@City_Xtra) March 1, 2023
Vincent Kompany’s tactics and style of play
When he took over Anderlecht, Kompany brought tactics that he learnt under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. Under him, Anderlecht played a four-man backline in which fullbacks used to board the wing to create overloads. So, to ensure that the team has numerical superiority, Kompany opted for a two-man midfield, one of which dropped down to defence.
In the attack, the team used quick passing to overwhelm the opposition quickly. For this, the Belgian used high press to win the ball back promptly. In the defensive third, Kompany used man-to-man marking to block the passing lanes of the opposition.
And at Burnley, the tactics have remained the same, but with the quality of players he has in the EFL Championship. The club has spent considerable money in the summer transfer window to ensure quickie promotion to the Premier League.
Using these players, Kompany has created a system that stresses using the wings and inside channels to conduct their attacks. Under the system, the defenders are also encouraged to go for long balls, an adjustment Kompany has made at Burnley. It is one of the reasons why defender Taylor Harwood-Bellis averages 6.7 accurate long balls per 90 minutes, the second-best for any player in the league.
Burnley have also become a pass-oriented side averaging 467.2 passes per 90 minutes, the second-best for a team in the league. These tactics have been so impressive that Burnley have scored 20 goals more than what they were expected to.
At the same time, Burnley’s high press has also been so successful that teams have barely gotten the chance to get near the Clarets’ goal, which is why they have conceded the least in the league.
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Vincent Kompany Burnley’s analysis
Burnley spent a significant amount after being relegated in the summer of 2022. One of the primary reasons for this was the club wanted to change the playing style of the club. Under previous manager Sean Dyche, the club played a compact system based on defensive stability and quick counter-attacks.
However, under Kompany, Burnley have entirely altered their tactics playing attractive and expansive football. In the new style, Burnley look to take the game to the opposition, a trait that was rarely seen under Sean Dyche.
Moreover, the team also deployed creative players, one of the primary reasons they created 51 big chances, the second-most in the EFL Championship League. Whether Kompany can replicate these tactics in the Premier League if they get promoted remains to be seen. However, against Manchester City, one could expect a glimpse of what could be on the cards come next season.