Vincent Kompany appointment: What can Burnley fans expect?

Well, after a somewhat drawn out saga, Burnley have finally confirmed Vincent Kompany as their new manager.

By Chris Boden
Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 3:00 pm

But what can Burnley fans expect from Sean Dyche’s successor in terms of his footballing philosophy?

I spoke to Kjell Doms, who covers Kompany’s former club Anderlecht for HLN in Belgium, and he outlined what Kompany achieved back home in Brussels at the club where his playing career began.

Kompany took over at Anderlecht in 2019, initially as player-manager, before stepping back to focus on playing for the rest of his first season, as the club finished eighth.

Anderlecht's head coach Vincent Kompany celebrates after winning a soccer match between RSC Anderlecht and RAFC Antwerp, Thursday 12 May 2022 in Antwerp, on day 4 of the Champions' play-offs of the 2021-2022 'Jupiler Pro League' first division of the Belgian championship. BELGA PHOTO VIRGINIE LEFOUR (Photo by VIRGINIE LEFOUR / BELGA MAG / Belga via AFP) (Photo by VIRGINIE LEFOUR/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

After hanging up his boots, however, Anderleht achieved a third place finish in the regular season, only to finish bottom of the four-team Championship round.

And last season, the Purple and White were again third in the regular season, and then third in the Championship round.

Anderlecht were also Belgian Cup runners-up, losing to Gent on penalties, and were knocked out in the play-off round of the UEFA Europa Conference League by Vitesse.

He returned to Brussels with the club without European football for the first time in 56 years remarkably, amid crowd protests and trouble, with sporting director Michael Verschueren hoping to to “give a new impulse to the club and to use for RSCA 2.0.”

Kompany’s ‘purple blood’ meant he was hailed as a returning hero, at a time when the club were down and out, and in his three years, he gace the fans new belief.

He arrives at Turf Moor at the end of a golden era, which has seen the club spend seven of the last eight seasons in the Premier League, enjoying two top-10 finishes and European football for the first time in half a decade.

And his style of play is likely to be a polar opposite of Dyche’s, building from the back – and it remains to be seen what the repercussions will be for Nick Pope, if he doesn’t get a Premier League move, with Kompany’s preference for a goalkeeper who can instigate that.

Doms said: “Kompany gave Anderlecht it's identity back, playing an attractive style of football.

"He wants his team to never abandon the beautiful game. Building up from the back, so he needs central defenders and a goalkeeper with good feet.

"He played a rather particular 4-2-2-2 system, with no real wingers, but midfielders who have tendencies to come to the centre.

"He liked a very energetic attacker who can run and keep running (Christian Kouamé) in combination with a guy who's well capable of keeping the ball and good link-up play (Joshua Zirkzee).”

However, much like Dyche, Kompany was criticised for not changing his system to suit different opponents: “The critique in Anderlecht was that he never wanted to adapt to the opponent, and always stuck with his philosophy.

"Very romantic of course, but if you lose four out of four against Union (Anderlecht and Union are located just next to each other in Brussels), it's not a good sign.”

Unlike Dyche, who left the club with the oldest squad in the Premier League, Kompany turned to youth in his first managerial role: “He did try to intergrate a lot of young players, and that bought him a lot of credit, especially with the fans.

"In the end he emphasised the young squad too much in the eyes of his bosses.

"Kompany had the feeling he overachieved with a fourth and third place the last two seasons.

"The board members think he did a good job, but there was more possible in their eyes.

"Not saying he had to become champion, but Anderlecht failed in the big moments, the European qualifiers against Vitesse, the Cup Final against Gent...”