Pep believes Vincent Kompany's exploits has him ready for Man City job
JACK GAUGHAN: Pep believes his former Man City captain Vincent Kompany is destined for the Etihad hotseat. Playing a variation of Guardiola ball, Burnley are storming the Championship and will fancy upsetting the club who moulded their manager
- Pep Guardiola thinks it’s inevitable that Vincent Kompany will boss Man City
- Former captain and manager meet in the FA Cup quarter-finals this weekend
- Kompany has lead Burnley to a 13 point lead at the top of the Championship
Once the homecoming was confirmed, Pep Guardiola did not offer Vincent Kompany much wiggle room. Burnley’s season, he said, had been ‘unbelievable’ – which is fair enough, it has – before then venturing that Kompany’s ‘destiny’ is to become Manchester City’s manager.
‘Sooner or later,’ Guardiola said. ‘It’s going to happen.’ Whether Kompany thanks his old boss for the very definite endorsement is another matter entirely. City firmly earmarked Patrick Vieira once and look what happened there.
That is for further down the road and for now, there are more immediate matters to attend. Burnley, the runaway leaders of the Championship playing a variation of Guardiola ball, are nine points from securing an instant return to the Premier League.
To say that felt unlikely when Kompany turned up at Gawthorpe Hall last summer, with minimal players and questions surrounding the club’s finances, is an understatement.
On the opening night, a win at Huddersfield Town, he fielded eight new signings. The Clarets were sensational with rotation of the ball never seen before, greeted by a few wide eyes in the directors’ box, not least from rival managers taking in the game.
Pep Guardiola says it’s Vincent Kompany’s destiny to become a future Man City manager
Kompany has led Burnley to the top of the Championship and are certainties for promotion
They look set to become the sixth team in the division’s history to break 100 points. Kompany is also trying to deliver a first FA Cup semi-final since 1974, although that is the tallest of orders.
Despite going to City games, and still living in Manchester, Kompany has not been to see his statue outside the Etihad Stadium. Not one for sentimentality but surely even he will allow himself some of that on Saturday evening. It’d be a shame if he didn’t.
‘It’s undeniable, it’s a club with a special place in my family’s heart,’ he said. ‘But I can move past, move forward to appreciate what it means to just coach there. To bring a team there who hopefully do the fans proud. It’s an event for the club and for them to enjoy.
‘It’s the first time so it’s obviously different but my mindset is to just do my job and be prepared. The core message for us is to go out there and work hard.’
He ought to make time for some positive reflection once promotion is secured because this has been an absolute triumph. Kompany’s methods have transformed the club but also the town, falling back in love with watching their team.
He is a workaholic, clearest in January, when after training he hopped over to watch target Lyle Foster play for Westerlo in Belgium and then back at his desk for 7:30am the next morning. Foster – a striker seen as someone to impact the team next year not this – is settling in after an £11million move.
Kompany has been likened to Guardiola in his management style thanks to his intensity
Together as captain and boss Kompany and Guardiola enjoyed Premier League title success
Kompany has taken former City staff, including Marc Boixasa (a consultant) and analyst Richard Bredice. Even the old City club photographer is at Turf Moor. A City fan on work experience was thrilled recently when Kompany made time to have a chat and sign a shirt.
The 36-year-old has the five-man leadership group concept that Guardiola employs – a lobby of players he regularly conducts meetings with to discuss harmony.
He has been as keen to create that atmosphere as evolving the team tactically, with the latter partly down to the former. A Christmas party for the squad and their families at the training ground, organised at his behest, involved a live reindeer.
Players all stay in a hotel before home matches, with Crow Wood spa – 10 minutes away – a favourite, unless booked up for weddings. Kompany demands that Sky Sports is installed in all rooms to alleviate potential boredom.
‘He is exactly like Pep,’ one source said. ‘Very intense.’ Another added: ‘Training is the same, Pep-esque in how he explains to the players that how what they are doing today will fit for the opposition at the weekend.’ Burnley, then, will fancy upsetting the club who moulded their manager.
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