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What Vincent Kompany has achieved at Burnley, in his first job in English football, deserves so much attention

What Vincent Kompany has achieved at Burnley, in his first job in English football, deserves so much attention

The former Manchester City defender is working wonders at Turf Moor.

Vincent Kompany took Burnley five points clear at the top of the Championship with a 2-1 win over Swansea City on Monday, continuing his sensational start to life as a manager in English football.

The former Manchester City captain became player-manager of Anderlecht in 2019 after leaving the Etihad Stadium. He'd become their permanent manager in 2020 after retiring, helping them to the Belgium Cup final in 2022.

Burnley were relegated from the Premier League that season after sacking longtime boss Sean Dyche. Knowing they needed to rebuild with a new identity, they turned their attention to Kompany.

During their time in the top-flight, the Clarets were known as a physical side who weren't afraid to grind out results by any means necessary. That's all changed since Kompany's arrival. Check out one of his coaching sessions below.

Relegation from the Premier League saw Burnley lose a whopping 15 players. Among those were Nick Pope, Dwight McNeil, Maxwel Cornet and Wout Weghorst, alongside starting centre-back James Tarkowski, Ben Mee and Nathan Collins.

It's a wealth of talent. Pope is now Newcastle United's number one and challenging for the top four, while Weghorst recently scored twice in a World Cup quarter-final. What their departures did do was give Kompany a blank slate to work with, in addition to £68 million in the bank.

He used his connections at City to seal a couple of signings. Arijanet Muric joined permanently, while Taylor Harwood-Bellis came in on loan.

Chelsea full-back Ian Maatsen and Southampton winger Nathan Tella were notable arrivals too. The oldest of Kompany's 16 signings was Josh Cullen, at 26 years old.

Kompany is building something special. (Image

These younger players were keen to buy into Kompany's methods, influenced by former City manager Pep Guardiola. The ex-Belgium international is happy for his side to hold onto the ball for long periods, waiting for a lapse of concentration in the opponent.

Harwood-Bellis, who also had a spell at Anderlecht, knows how to play this role perfectly at the back. Jordan Beyer, on loan from Borussia Monchengladbach, isn't bad with the ball at his feet either.

Under Dyche, Burnley had the lowest average possession in the league at 39.3 per cent. While it's in the division below, that's increased to 63.6 per cent. Turf Moor hasn't seen football like this for years.

Burnley have won their last six games and look certainties for automatic promotion. The gap between themselves and Blackburn Rovers in third is 16 points, with Sheffield United currently second.

When asked about his early success as a manager, Kompany told the EFL's official website last month: "I’ve spoken about the togetherness of this club, and the environment. That’s important to me. But as a manager, the most important thing I want from my team is a high work rate.

"I have an incredibly hard-working and honest team here, which is something I insist on as a manager. It’s a philosophy I believe in as a manager and it dictates the type of players I want to sign.

"My message to the players is, ‘if you have the ball, there’s no need to give it away’, especially if we think we can do something with it. That’s why we have more possession than any other team, because we enjoy being on the ball and enjoy doing something with it when we have it."

Burnley return to action against Bournemouth in the FA Cup on Saturday.

Featured Image Credit: League Of 72/YouTube, The Coaches Path/Twitter & Alamy

Topics: Vincent Kompany, Burnley, EFL Championship