Vincent Kompany has barely stopped since taking over the reins of Turf Moor.
Even before his arrival, he was helping shape what was to come as the Clarets prepared for life outside the Premier League for the first time in six seasons. Getting into the league is enough of a challenge, but throwing the debt on the club, the need to repay a large sum of money, the inevitable departure of key players and the need to bring in almost a new squad – that’s a quite daunting prospect. .
Kompany knew what he was walking into and had been impressed by the honesty of chairman Alan Pace and the Clarets board in their vision and plan for the club. The Belgian had faced trying circumstances at Anderlecht, cutting the budget and favoring the youth. The prospect of stepping into the Burnley situation didn’t faze him, it excited him. “I’ve never been one to take on easy challenges,” he remarked upon entering.
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“I really enjoyed myself. I loved it. It feels natural to me. It’s something I wanted to do. We haven’t achieved anything yet, or maybe we’ve managed to make it so there is a football team in Burnley, it can give us something to look forward to. The challenge was varied in many ways: arriving in a new league, the Championship being one of the most physical leagues in the world. You enter a busy schedule, a rotation of the team and the style of play as well. All of that is something that I really embraced. I really enjoyed.
It also meant he was busy. Kompany played an active role in summer signings, personally addressing new signings and helping sell the club. He’s been on the grass in training with a keen attention to detail that has impressed the Clarets players, while the relentless nature of the Championship schedule means there’s plenty of preparation and planning as well as debriefings and discussions.
All of this means the Burnley boss had very little time to catch his breath, the weekend after Friday night’s draw with West Brom offering him a chance to ship goods from Belgium to his home in the north -west. Another weekend off came when the Norwich game was postponed, and even that international break came with a commitment to return to his homeland – as he continues his license coaching badges Pro.
“I don’t usually turn off anyway as a person,” Kompany said. “It’s always been a thing.”
The 48 hours after the draw with Albion earlier this month, which came a day after the transfer window ended, presented an opportunity.
“The long weekend has been one of the most enjoyable times I’ve had in a while,” the Burnley chief said. “It really happened at the right time. You were building game after game after game and then you get the biggest of all with the transfer deadline. Saturday and Sunday were good days for me. Then Monday was fully motivated again.”
So is there an outlet for Kompany outside of work and play? How does he get away from football?
“I have children so it’s the easiest way,” he smiles. “They don’t care how much you did during the week or how difficult it was, you just get pulled into something different, which in this case helps. I think that’s also a important part because this work is related to monitoring and creativity, so decision making will always be better when you have had time to think.
“I look back now that we started this league in the championship and these players, I’m going to be very honest, exceeded expectations in terms of the content of what they did. Now thinking about the next game, can we do even better?Can we take this team even further?That is now the goal.
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