Is Vincent Kompany a Premier League level manager?

Life in the Premier League for Vincent Kompany was filled with leadership and success. His days as Manchester City captain saw him win four Premier League titles, and hailed as one of the best centre-back of the Premier League era. Now he is in the hot-seat at Burnley, who are struggling after returning to the top flight under the stewardship of Kompany.

The fortress that was Turf Moor under Sean Dyche is no more. Rather, Burnley have picked up just five points from a possible 36 available on home soil this campaign. 13 of their 24 goals so far this season have been at home, so they do carry a threat but simply cannot keep enough clean sheets to gain vital points. Burnley are 19th in the Premier League on 13 points, seven points adrift of Luton in 17th. It has not worked out so far in the top flight for Kompany. 23 games played and Burnley have recorded just three wins, and are without a league maximum since before Christmas.

Three players who were a vital part of Burnley’s promotion last season were Nathan Tella, Manuel Benson and Anass Zaroury. Tella was on loan from Southampton and the Clarets were desperate to re-sign him, but Southampton who had just been relegated themselves, were keen to hold onto him. The Saints reluctantly sold Tella to Bayer Leverkusen for €23.3M.

Benson has made just four Premier League appearances so far this season. He has been hindered by injury but is now fully fit, yet not making it into the match-day squad. There were rumours of a deadline day move for Benson, but it did not materialise, and he was once again omitted from the squad in Burnley’s 2-2 draw with Fulham. Benson scored eleven goals and got three assists in 33 league appearances last season. Not playing one of last season’s heroes is definitely something that is making fans doubt their manager.

Anass Zaroury was another key figure last season, yet like Benson has only been handed limited minutes. Zaroury has made six league appearances this season but got his move away from Turf Moor, joining Championship side Hull for the rest of the season.

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In total Burnley signed 15 new players over the summer, and their squad looked a whole lot different in August 2023, to how it looked at the end of the 2022/23. In January they added a further three players on loan to help boost their survival hopes.

David Datro Fofana has made an impact with three goal contributions in his first two games. If they are to survive, that goal threat has to improve to match the levels Luton Town have been showing recently. The balance between exciting, expansive football and making sure they are solid in defence is a fine balance but one Kompany’s team are yet to perfect.

Kompany has always come across as a man with class and dignity, but he is fast becoming to learn that the Premier League is a brutal league for those whose with a lack of experience at a managerial level. But the irony is, a player with a winning mentality like Kompany in a fabulous Manchester City team, is struggling to instil that into his Burnley team. By no means are Burnley relegated, but that desire to succeed which Kompany displayed throughout his playing days, has now got to come to the fore as the run-in approaches.

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