Vincent Kompany was a fine footballer – but can he cut the mustard as a manager?
The former Manchester City and Belgium defender faced the media for the first time today after being unveiled as the new Burnley boss.
And ‘Vinnie’, as he was affectionately by his teammates, pulled no punches when he admitted his side faced a “complicated” start to the season.
Life in the Championship is no breeze – and Kompany knows he has a lot to learn as he embarks on this intriguing challenge as Clarets chief.
But the 36-year-old has stressed he is a quick learner – and he’s rightly relishing the chance to prove his worth in Lancashire and win promotion after a fight-year top flight stay.
And the four-time Premier League winner is hoping is vast experience at the top level will play a key factor in the club’s chances of getting back into the Premier League after last season’s dismal relegation.
“It’s a transition period, it’s about how we get back their [to the Premier League],” Kompany, who revealed he turned down offers from other clubs to take over the Clarets, tells the Sportsman.
“This club didn’t just make a big statement and jump into the Premier League after one year, it’s about the recruitment you do and how you develop the players.
“It’s not rocket science, the hardest part is just keeping people calm. You have to stay and steering a course which remains clear.
“But as a player you score a few goals, you have a few good performances and you get to make choices for money and trophies. If you’re lucky you get both.
“I’m still a young manager. When you’re a manager it’s different, you rely on so many people around you. You rely on them to develop and show the work you do.
“You can hop from one club to another hoping you can reach the holy grail, and you hope you land in a good spot.ra
“However, I’ve had extreme transparency from the club from the very start, which has been great.
🗣️ “We’re close to bringing in a few players…”
New Burnley boss Vincent Kompany reveals the club are close to announcing a few signings ✍️⏳
“I’ve signed a four-year contract. I’m patient, I’m here for the long-term.”
Kompany, who enjoyed a stellar career at City which also included winning two FA Cup and four EFL Cup titles, promised new signings in the next 24 to 48 hours, with players set to undergo medicals.
Promising Arsenal centre-back Dan Ballard has been linked with a move to Turf Moor, MK Dons star Scott Twine has joined for £4m and Manchester City defensive duo CJ Egan-Riley and Taylor Harwood-Bellis are also believed to be close to signing up for Kompany’s promotion blueprint.
The latter worked under Kompany in his first management job at Anderlecht.
And with occasional England shot-stoper Nick Pope having left for Newcastle United, experienced centre-backs James Tarkowksi and Ben Mee having departed on free transfers – and growing interest in Nathan Collins – Kompany has a real re-building job on his hands.
“We’re looking forward to bringing in some exciting players,” revealed Kompany.
“But we’ve got depth in quality, especially for the Championship.
“When you get relegated, well then top players leave the club. But we’re working hard to get new players in.
“The hardest part is how quickly can you turn things around, especially when you’ve got new players coming in and new ideas as well.
“There’s still a bit of uncertainty as well, it happens when a club like this gets relegated.”
The Clarets kick off the new Championship season away to Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium on 29 July.
It’s the Friday night Sky Sports feature game to kick of the new domestic season.
And arguably, facing up to last season’s beaten Play-Off finalists, is probably the toughest fixture Kompany – and the Clarets – could have landed.
“There’s no doubt we’ve got some tough fixtures, but it will give us a good idea of where the team is early doors,” admitted Kompany. “Maybe that’s better as well. But the doubt is normal.
“We’ve got some tough matches, but I expected that.”
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