Burnley has never been a particularly fashionable football club – and that is said with the greatest respect. The reality is that they have developed a reputation, over the last decade in particular, for being a pragmatic club that plays a brand of football that is not especially easy on the eye.
This is chiefly down to the work that Sean Dyche carried out as Burnley’s manager from October 2012 to April 2022.
Indeed, the 51-year-old’s long-ball philosophy wasn’t renowned for keeping people on the edge of their seats but what it did do more importantly it has to be said, was keep Burnley in the Premier League for longer than anyone ever thought possible.
That obviously changed last season when the Clarets were relegated but even then, Sean Dyche was not in charge given that he was fired before the season ended.
Ultimately, what this change of manager and subsequent relegation meant was that Burnley had finally lost their robust identity.
Perhaps it needed losing with fresh change a healthy development, but professional football has a habit of making you extremely careful what you wish for; sometimes it’s better the devil you know.
The Kompany you keep
Burnley’s new owners ALK Capital turned to former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany to take over and the Belgian answered the call by signing a long-term deal with the Turf Moor club.
It was an appointment that was somewhat speculative on account of the fact that Kompany hadn’t managed in England before and the only job he had done with Anderlecht left people with more questions than answers about his credibility in the dugout.
Nevertheless, Burnley’s owners put their total faith in a man whose biggest accomplishment at the time was to play in one of the most iconic City teams in history.
Yes, they tasked the relatively inexperienced Kompany with getting Burnley out of the Championship and into the Premier League: the 37-year-old duly obliged at the first attempt.
In fact, Kompany was able to secure promotion to the Premier League with Burnley on Good Friday, while being in the extremely rare position of having seven games to spare.
It was an unprecedented achievement and impressively backed up in late April after Burnley clinched the title in the backyard of their fierce East Lancashire rivals, Blackburn Rovers. This really was the season that kept on giving for Kompany.
VINCENT KOMPANY’S BURNLEY ARE CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS 🏆 pic.twitter.com/HzeTvsBNco— GOAL (@goal) April 25, 2023
Furthermore, Burnley won the Championship title by scoring the most goals in the division – Kompany had been successful in bringing an exhilarating new brand of football to Turf Moor.
Indeed, success has been achieved not by outmuscling the opponent but rather by outplaying them and that is why Kompany won Championship Manager of the Season.
Of course, being handed this prize was no real surprise as Kompany topped the EFL shortlist for awards but still, the speed at which the 37-year-old triumphed caught everyone off guard.
A man in demand
After having such an immediate and positive impact at Burnley, Kompany’s managerial stock has now risen to an all-time high with Chelsea and Spurs both thought to be keen on appointing Kompany as their new manager.
Ordinarily, a move to the capital to manage one of the world’s biggest football teams would be just a reward for a record-breaking season with Burnley but on this occasion, it could be considered a sideways step as both Spurs and Chelsea have deep underlying problems at boardroom level that are affecting on-field performances.
Chelsea for instance, are priced by Betway, as of the 1st of May, at extraordinary odds of 9/4 in their online betting markets, just to finish in the top ten while Spurs look set to lose their best player Harry Kane during the summer.
In short, comprehensive rebuilds have to take place at these clubs which could mean that Kompany is under severe pressure from the beginning of his tenure.
By contrast, if he were to remain at Burnley, the Belgian could cut his teeth in the Premier League at a club where he has an immense amount of credit in the bank.
Essentially, mistakes will be tolerated at Burnley but they won’t at historically big clubs desperately trying to play catch up.
After all, the top flight is a considerable step up and there will be times when Kompany is going to struggle. Having a support system in place that will assist him in riding out any storm will be integral in Kompany’s continued managerial education.
Vinny couldn't have dreamt of a better moment to clinch the Championship title 😍— Burnley FC 🏆 (@BurnleyOfficial) April 25, 2023
A time to go and a time to stay
Naturally, the time will inevitably come to leave Turf Moor but from every angle you look at the current situation, you get the same answer: now is not that time.
Instead, Kompany should take this fearless young Burnley side into the Premier League and show the world the club’s new swashbuckling identity.