OPINION: Kompany to Bayern could work despite recent struggles


OPINION: Kompany to Bayern could work despite recent struggles

Kompany appears set for Bayern Munich
Kompany appears set for Bayern MunichProfimedia / Marek Kratochvil
According to reports, Burnley manager Vincent Kompany (38) is set to be appointed by Bayern Munich - despite finishing 19th in the Premier League with the Clarets.

Bayern's well-documented hunt for a new manager appears to be coming to a close with the Bavarians finally settling on former Manchester City defender Kompany.

After finishing third in the Bundesliga and crashing out in the semi-finals of the Champions League, the Germans need some change.

Their search for a new manager has been very public, as have the multiple rejections they have faced since announcing Thomas Tuchel would not remain at the helm after the current season.

Several managers have reportedly rejected a move to the 31-time Bundesliga champions, with names ranging from Bayer Leverkusen's Xabi Alonso to former Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick declining the role.

That left Bayern looking in a different direction for their new man and they seem to have landed with Kompany.

Despite seeming like a strange appointment, the Belgian has shown some quality in his short time as a manager that could be appealing to a Bayern side in desperate need of a refresh.

Kompany's managerial career so far

Kompany retired from football in 2020 following 11 years at Manchester City and one final roll of the dice as a player-manager with Anderlecht.

After one season in the unusual hybrid role, he shifted into full-time management with the Belgian giants where he would deliver a third-placed finish.

Following his relative success in his homeland, Kompany moved to then-recently relegated Burnley and took control of trying to get the Clarets back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

He did just that, hitting 101 points and turning a new-look side into what is now widely accepted as one of the best teams the Championship has ever seen.

Promotion to the Premier League followed but unfortunately for the Lancashire club it proved to be a step too far and they would be relegated back to the second tier with just 24 points.

That brings us to now, where many expected Kompany to carry on in the Championship until Bayern swooped in with their surprise interest.

Premier League bottom five
Premier League bottom fiveFlashscore

Style of play

Burnley exhibited a style of play that was extremely effective in England's second tier, with quick and powerful wingers and full-backs, as well as a dominant midfield that allowed them to keep possession of the ball for the vast majority of games.

Most of their goals came from the wide players, with strikers still chipping in but not solely relied on to fire them to promotion.

A trio of attacking forwards in Anass Zaroury, Manuel Benson and Nathan Tella provided Burnley's main threat and managed a combined 35 goals across the 2022/23 campaign.

They were given more freedom thanks to a solid midfield base of Josh Cullen and Josh Brownhill, with the experienced Jack Cork also stepping in when needed - allowing Kompany's side to maintain possession and put constant pressure on their opponents.

Add on a reliable goalkeeper and defensive unit in Arijanet Muric, Jordan Beyer and Taylor Harwood-Bellis who all excelled with the ball at their feet and Burnely had the perfect formula for a dominant, possession-based style of play.

Ultimately, that same style of play would cost the Clarets on their return to the Premier League.

Kompany opted to stick with what he knew and the added quality in the division above proved to be too much, with teams constantly picking off Burnely and attacking at will - which would eventually consign them to relegation.

While this might sound like a red flag to Bayern, it could work in their favour. 

Regardless of this year's struggles, the Bavarians boast one of the best squads in the Bundesliga that features players who will have no issues coping with Kompany's style.

Bayern's players are used to playing at the highest levels in Europe and could take very quickly to the Belgian's ideas, with plenty of the current squad suited to what their potential new head coach could ask for.

The likes of Leroy Sane, Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry fit the bill for exciting attacking forwards, while Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Konrad Laimer represent solid options for a dominant midfield.

Factor in mercurial talents like Jamal Musiala and Harry Kane, and it's easy to see the potential Kompany's arrival could bring.

Learning curves

Despite his fourth full year in management resulting in relegation, Kompany will have learned a lot from his latest struggles.

The Belgian was at first very reluctant - almost stubborn - to change his ways and that ultimately cost Burnley much-needed points.

In hindsight, he also persisted with an under-performing James Trafford in goal and perhaps reverted to Muric when there was too much of a mountain to climb; another valuable lesson in how and when to rotate and drop his players.

Kompany would have also been taught some hard lessons in the transfer market after struggling to put together a balanced side that was ready for the Premier League.

Burnley spent close to £100million after promotion and the majority of moves didn't work out, although with the power Bayern already have, perhaps Kompany will be afforded more time and less pressure to get the right deals for the right players.

All these learning curves will only serve to boost Kompany's ability in the long term and are much better learned now rather than further down the line.

Could Kompany to Bayern work?

Taking into account his preferred style of play and the experiences already faced in his early career - as well as an elite winning mentality from his time as Manchester City captain - Kompany could be a good fit for Bayern.

The Belgian will be under a lot of pressure given the recent shortcomings of far more experienced coaches but if given time, can have a good impact in Germany.

Despite the recent emergence of Leverkusen as a genuine contender for the title in the coming years, the Bundesliga should still be a fairly straightforward affair for Bayern who already have a superb squad and by far the greatest resources.

That provides a bit of a safety net for Kompany once he arrives and would allow him to get acquainted with his new surroundings before mounting a serious push for silverware both domestically and in Europe.

He will need to identify which players he wants to bring in and anyone who isn't in his plans quickly, but there is plenty to like about Bayern's eventual choice of manager - it will be interesting to see how he fares.

Ali Pollock
Ali PollockFlashscore UK


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