Vincent Kompany could be forgiven for thinking he has arrived as a manager having led Burnley to an extraordinary campaign in the Championship. With just nine games to go, the Clarets are within touching distance of promotion to the Premier League.
Having suffered just two league defeats all season, the team sits top of the Championship table having amassed 83 points. With 13 points ahead of second-place Sheffield United, both teams occupy the automatic promotion places to the English top flight. Any manager in Kompany’s position could be forgiven for feeling on top of the world.
But the 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City may have brought the former City captain and his side down to earth. It’s a result that although bad on the day for the visitors, could be hugely beneficial to the young manager in the long run. If the lessons were learnt.
More than anything, it was a reminder that this is just the beginning of the journey into top management. With Burnley set to feature in the Premier League next term, Kompany needs to start preparing for the demands at this level.
There’s no other team better than Manchester City to serve as a standard for measuring your progress both as a manager and as a team. So Kompany can be grateful for the opportunity to put his team to the test against the very best early on. A careful analysis of the performance will reveal a lot about where and how to improve the team moving forward.
Clearly, the City legend has laid a very strong foundation for future success in his managerial career. But he will need to build on it to reach the great heights possible in the game. City boss Pep Guardiola swears that the Belgian will one day grace the Etihad Stadium dugout. But that will depend very much on lessons learnt from games like this. What is obvious at this point is that Kompany has the potential to become a top manager.
With Guardiola set to leave the Etihad Stadium in the summer of 2025, who is to say that Kompany cannot be his successor? However, the young manager will need to prove he can deliver at the top level. For the City hierarchy, his performance with Burnley next season will be an audition for the job. Not only will good results be important, but the style of play will also be as vital.
Fortunately for him, the club will most likely strengthen the team upon promotion. That should give him an opportunity to bring in players that can plug any loopholes in the team. He will not be competing against City every week, so he can expect the same principles that have brought him success in the Championship to produce needed results in the Premier League.
It was the same template Guardiola used to move from Barcelona B (where he won a Tercera División title) to La Liga.
‘Vinny’s destiny to be manager of City is written in the stars,’ Guardiola said in a recent interview. ‘It’s going to happen, I don’t know when but it will happen.
When such a remarkable manager is willing to bet with journalists that Kompany will one day occupy his seat as City manager, it’s a huge vote of confidence. If anything, it should serve as an inspiration to keep learning from the best and improving every day. With hard work and good results, Kompany can pave his own way to the dugout at the Etihad Stadium.