Dan Black's verdict as ex-Blackburn Rovers midfielder Tim Sherwood blasts 'horrendous' Burnley for not being 'good enough' to play 'tippy-tappy' football
"It's over-play again, it's horrendous play. Tippy-tappy football, they're not good enough to do it. They're giving the ball away and when they give it away they're getting punished."
That was the not-so-constructive criticism of 58-game managerial 'veteran' Tim Sherwood, who lambasted the self-afflicted equaliser conceded by the Clarets in their 4-2 win over AFC Bournemouth in the third round of the FA Cup.
The 53-year-old former Blackburn Rovers midfielder, who had unsuccessful spells at the helm of both Spurs and Aston Villa, amassing a 35.7 per cent win percentage during an eight-month spell with the latter, shared his opinion with Soccer Saturday presenter Jeff Stelling.
Sherwood, an ex-England international, tore into the visitors after gifting Ryan Christie a 12th minute leveller at the Vitality Stadium, as Josh Cullen's stray pass inside his own penalty triggered his outburst.
They were, however, famous last words, given the Championship leaders went on to demonstrate that they are more than good enough to do it, just as they have been all season during Kompany's revolution.
You'll never please everyone, and mistakes will happen, but Sherwood's comments were clearly expressed while donning his blue and white tinted glasses. "It's more about belief than bravery and in the end it's also very rational," explained the Manchester City legend.
"We have created a lot of goals from our first phase build-up this season, but it's not something you can turn on and off. Play when it's not dangerous, don't play when it's dangerous, it doesn't mean anything to these players. You can't be a little bit in-between, you've just got to do it.
"It's the same with our defensive style when we press and you see those full-backs jumping, you can't say sometimes do it, sometimes don't. In-between is the most dangerous you can have in any style.
"You do it properly; we have the players to do both sides of the game and we have to accept that it's not going to be perfect. But the net result is better for us."
Whether it was sour grapes or shoddy research, Sherwood's judgement was unjust. The Clarets have now faced top flight opposition in both cup competitions — including their Carabao Cup tie against Manchester United at Old Trafford — and they've stuck to their guns.
Maybe they will get caught out more often when operating at a higher level, with deadlier finishers lurking among the nation's elite, but it's a conscious design from Kompany, a recognisable identity, that's only going to develop with practice.
Burnley showed on the South Coast that they have every chance of thriving and surviving in the Premier League, should they hold onto their lead and wrap up promotion from the Championship.
"He's addicted to football and he's addicted to success."
Connor Roberts' admission gave assurances that Kompany, a serial winner, will scrutinise his side’s stylistics, putting everything under a microscope, to ensure that they don’t play into the hands of the hierarchy’s superpowers.
"His addiction to football has helped him," added the Welshman, when offering an illuminating insight into the psyche of the club’s head coach.
The former defender has won everything there is to win as a player at the highest level in England.
Four Premier League titles, four EFL Cup triumphs and a couple of successes in the nation's most coveted cup competition.
The 36-year-old's Freudian slip, when labelling the Championship as the 'Champions League', was proof that his mind is still tuned into high-end engagements.
But the ex-Belgium international's riposte, during an inquisition from the media following the Clarets' victory over Gary O'Neil's Cherries, also showed that the tug-of-war between the angel and the devil on his shoulder was well-matched, offering a quite charming air of equilibrium.
Kompany is ambitious, he's driven, and refuses to settle for second best, but the Premier League Hall of Famer is quick to recognise that both he and Burnley have still got a lot to prove, even in the position they find themselves in.
"We're not a Premier League team, we're a Championship team," he said, when rebuffing suggestions that their victory at the Vitality Stadium was a dress rehearsal for next season.
After pausing to take in Blackpool's third round thumping of Nottingham Forest, and responding with "see, we're not the only ones", as the result from Bloomfield Road was displayed on monitors at the back of the press room, he continued his well-balanced train of thought.
"I'm extremely ambitious, but I have to be good at my level. "It [next season] is too far away from my thinking. You can make a bold statement like this and then the next thing you know...
"The gap is that big, but it's a league I know well as well. I gained nothing from this game, other than it was a good test against a better opposition than we've faced this season and the lads showed that they can raise their levels. We'll have to see how far they can raise their levels, but it's difficult to say now."
That might be the case at present, but you get the impression that the six-goal thriller on the South Coast offered a glimpse into the future for both clubs.
While the Clarets look unstoppable, winning 11 in 13 games, the Cherries, who have lost five on the bounce in all competitions, are in free fall.
Championship Bournemouth knocked Premier League Burnley out of the competition almost two years ago at Turf Moor.
This time the roles were reversed as Championship Burnley knocked out Premier League Bournemouth on their own turf.
And, based on the evidence of Saturday's outcome, and the balance of play, the two sides seem destined to switch positions once again.
Nothing is won or lost after 25 games of a 46-game season, but it would take a quite cataclysmic implosion to finish outside the second tier's top two based on their double-figure advantage over their rivals in the play-off places.
"Winning is something that you need to appreciate and value,” Kompany continued. “It was a good test for us to see how players would react to stronger opposition, but the game will be done very soon and we'll go back to our Championship duties.
"With these guys you always feel like you can get something out of a game and that's why I'm privileged to be able to relish these types of occasions."
You get the feeling they’ll be able to relish at least 36 occasions of a similar type next term, particularly when armed with players and a coach shooting for the stars and deserving of a place at the top.
Sherwood might insist that the Clarets aren’t adept to playing out from the back, but perhaps he’ll alter his quite obvious narrow-mindedness if he was to watch Burnley’s fourth and final goal back.
The away side intricately played it out from a tight spot in the right back position before Ashley Barnes slipped Manuel Benson into the area to finish past goalkeeper Mark Travers.
And they’d been just as punishing when converting numbers one, two and three. Johann Berg Gudmundsson provided the surgical incision for the opening goal when jumping on Marcos Senesi’s error and Benson provided the execution when lifting the ball into the roof of the net.
The second, following Christie’s equaliser, was also a manifestation of Burnley’s bravery, belief and aggression, with Anass Zaroury dispossessing Lewis Cook, Barnes helping the ball on to Josh Brownhill to catch Bournemouth out in transition, and the midfielder squared for the Moroccan ace to convert.
Zaroury’s second of the afternoon was one of the moments that led to Kompany calling his summer signing a ‘superstar’ in the aftermath. The 22-year-old slid the ball between the legs of substitute Lloyd Kelly and Philip Billing, having traded passes with Brownhill, before nestling the ball in the far corner.
Dominic Solanke pulled one back, when the visitors pressed the ball, and the man, almost too exuberantly, with three men drawn to Christie, which enabled the striker to score at the second attempt after Bailey Peacock-Farrell had denied him in the first instance.
Barnes then set up the fourth, measuring a pass in behind Kelly for Benson to apply a first-time finish, before the veteran forward had an impact at the other end of the pitch when clearing Christie’s header off the line.
Kompany concluded: “I don't think it would do us any service if we changed too much. The couple of moments I could see being dangerous were when we didn't get out quick enough and we are defending a little bit deeper and missing our triggers to get up the pitch.
"Then you can see the goal threat building. But I think whenever we are defending the middle of the pitch with a high line and making sure there is not a lot of time on the ball to pick passes then I feel we are a solid defensive team and it is finding that balance.”