Vincent Kompany discusses Burnley's need for 'flexibility' & the role of ex-Sheffield United man Sander Berge
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Citing the example of summer signing Sander Berge, who can play both as a number six and a number eight, Kompany claims no player in his squad – other than the goalkeepers – will have a set position this season.
Given the need to adapt depending on the opposition, players must be able to sacrifice themselves for the good of the “collective” according to the Burnley boss.
“For us they play where we need them to play and they know that,” he said.
“We are rarely going to be favourites in games this season and we need to be flexible to give ourselves whatever little advantage we can, so we’re not building the team around any one player or his favourite position.
“We’re just putting the team into such a shape that we think we can win the game, that’s our only priority.
“We’re going to try and avoid putting him [Berge] in the net, so we do select players in positions based on their profile and what they can do.
“It’s been part of our success. The only thing we have to maintain is the collective side of it, it’s so important to me.
“It’s why I don’t really entertain discussions about who plays and who doesn’t and the players know it. You go into the dressing room and they know that’s how we are, that’s how I am.
“But we have been very respectful, because we probably put more time into players who don’t play because we want them to push those who do play.
“For those who aren’t playing, they have to wait their turn and they get the same treatment and we will do everything we can to make them better.
“When you look at the team that played against Nottingham Forest [in the Carabao Cup], the fact it can still look the same is because it’s still our approach.”
Kompany has extolled the virtues of boasting strong depth to his squad, but there is only one man who can play in between the sticks.
That man so far this season has been new recruit James Trafford, albeit last season’s number one, Arijanet Muric, did start in the cup.
But despite Trafford appearing to be Kompany’s favoured choice, the Belgian insists both shot stoppers have an integral part to play.
“It’s the same process as it is for the rest of the squad,” he said.
“You can go down the road to the top four, top five, top six clubs we have in the North West and you can ask about who plays and what not, but I think at Burnley it’s pretty simple.
“We want to have a competitive squad and if we can, hopefully have two players per position that are really close and can push each other, especially with their age so they can still improve.
“It’s the same for the goalkeepers and we’re here to push them. I don’t really make it more difficult than it needs to be.”