Style, promotion experience and fan connection: What Burnley should be looking for in their successor to Vincent Kompany

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As we patiently wait for Vincent Kompany’s surprise move to Bayern Munich to finally be announced (it’s looking like it could be later today), Burnley will be working hard behind the scenes to find his replacement.
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We’re still in the early stages of collecting names and putting a shortlist together, so don’t be surprised if we continue to see names being bandied about and put forward by agents over the coming days. Some could be true, some won’t.

But what exactly are the Clarets looking for in Kompany’s successor?

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Ideally, it has to be someone with a similar philosophy (ugh, that word) to the departing Belgian.

Given the squad Kompany has assembled, full of young, bright, up-and-coming talents who have been tasked with playing modern, possession-based football, it would make little sense to rip all that up and employ an older, perhaps more traditional manager. I don’t anticipate that happening.

It’s also been reported that the club wants someone with experience of winning promotion from the Championship. Looking at the betting, current favourite Scott Parker certainly ticks that box, having won two promotions from the second tier with Fulham and Bournemouth respectively.

There’s been a lot of talk about the Clarets wanting a big name, a high-profile manager in a similar vein to Kompany. I wouldn’t pay a great deal of attention to this, it will be more of a bonus rather than a necessity should the ideal candidate also be well-known. Of all the traits required, it’s hardly the most important, is it?

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Scott Parker, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Frank Lampard all feature highly in the early betting.Scott Parker, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Frank Lampard all feature highly in the early betting.
Scott Parker, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Frank Lampard all feature highly in the early betting.

Frank Lampard is perhaps the biggest ‘name’ linked to the post so far, but you’ve also got Ruud van Nistelrooy who has done good work in his native Netherlands with PSV Eindhoven.

We can’t also rule out the club returning to the continent again, just as they did when they plucked Kompany out of the Belgian league two years ago.

Raphaël Wicky, a Swiss manager who previously led Chicago Fire and Young Boys, is the surprise name to date. There will inevitably be countless others whose names haven’t been published also in the mix.

One often overlooked characteristic of a new manager is the ability to strike up a genuine connection with the supporter base. Clearly winning games helps with that! But it’s a shame Steve Cooper has ruled himself out of the running as he struck up a real rapport with the Nottingham Forest fans.

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Whatever direction Burnley decide to go in, there’s no great rush. They must focus on simply identifying the right man. If that takes a week longer than anticipated, so be it.

Time is on their side anyway, given the players are unlikely to report back for pre-season training until the end of June, which gives the club a good two or three weeks to complete their process.

The only caveat to that is the club have a lot of work to do in overhauling their bloated squad this summer and they could do with having the manager in post sooner rather than later to consider some of those big decisions.

With 13 loanees returning, for example, and a potential squad of 39 players, there’s plenty to be done for Kompany’s successor.

But once candidates are spoken to and names are whittled down, the process can often move quite quickly anyway.