'Always a work in progress': Vincent Kompany weighs in on Burnley's youth vs experience conundrum

Vincent Kompany believes Burnley have managed to strike the right balance between fielding young talent and experience – but concedes there’s still progress to be made.
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The likes of Charlie Taylor, Josh Brownhill and Johann Gudmundsson were initially left out of Kompany’s starting line-ups at the beginning of the season, with Kompany favouring some of the club’s more inexperienced players.

But the Burnley side now includes a mixture of both young and older heads, in what Kompany hopes is the right balance.

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“It’s always about finding the balance but ultimately, and my position is really care, team cohesion – having players who have played together, knowing what their task is on the pitch – is much more important than experience,” he said.

“If your team is able to move as one in every phase, that’s more important but it takes time.

“In terms of the balance, we wanted to make sure we had enough players who could actually take us through this Premier League while also having enough talent to become a bit more in this league.

“I think we’ve struck that balance quite well, but it’s always a work in progress.”

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 07: Vincent Kompany, Manager of Burnley, inspects the pitch prior to the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Chelsea FC at Turf Moor on October 07, 2023 in Burnley, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)BURNLEY, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 07: Vincent Kompany, Manager of Burnley, inspects the pitch prior to the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Chelsea FC at Turf Moor on October 07, 2023 in Burnley, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
BURNLEY, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 07: Vincent Kompany, Manager of Burnley, inspects the pitch prior to the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Chelsea FC at Turf Moor on October 07, 2023 in Burnley, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
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Kompany has been keen to stress that Burnley needed to bring in talented young players with huge potential over the summer to elevate the club’s ceiling.

But to compliment that, the Clarets also need some cool and wiser heads to lead those youngsters along the way.

“That’s definitely been something we’ve thought long and hard about,” Kompany added.

“We had to stock up in talents and bring in players who would give us the prospective to outgrow perhaps just struggling in the Premier League and going beyond that. But you also have to find the balance and in so many moments they’ve been important for us.

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“We have a good group. We’ve got good players, so I’ve got no complaints from my side. I’m happy and excited.

“As a manager you always want to achieve your ideal in terms of the squad and what you need for the league and it’s never enough as a manager, but at the same time I’m excited every time I work with them.

“They’re willing to learn, they work hard and they work their socks off. From there I believe we can get results.”