Kompany should stay at Burnley to avoid the mistakes made by Gerrard, Lampard and Solskjaer
Burnley will be back in the Premier League next season, but this will be a different Burnley team to the one that suffered relegation from the English top flight nearly 12 months ago. Under Vincent Kompany, the Clarets have bounced back by swaggering to the Championship title in a style unfamiliar to those used to Sean Dyche’s direct and physical approach.
Kompany’s success at Turf Moor has marked the Belgian out as one of the best young managers in the country. The 37-year-old has been linked with the vacant managerial positions at Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur while Pep Guardiola has also spoken about Kompany as a potential future Manchester City manager.
There’s no doubting Kompany’s potential. He quickly rebuilt Burnley after arriving from Anderlecht last summer and turned the Clarets into a dominant force in the Championship. What’s more, Kompany’s methods and ideas align with the values held by most elite level clubs in the modern game. He might well be destined for the top of the sport as a manager.
At this early career crossroads, though, Kompany must demonstrate patience. He should look at how other former Premier League icons made hasty decisions in the early stages of their managerial careers and were made to pay for it. If Kompany wants to reach the top as a managerial, he must first put in the groundwork.
Frank Lampard didn’t do this as he was fast-tracked into the Chelsea job after just one season in charge of Derby County. While the former midfielder initially proved his worth as a champion of youth, guiding a number of young players into the first team from the academy, Lampard was ultimately shown to be out of his depth in a tactical sense.
Similar could be said of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who took Manchester United to second place in the Premier League table in the 2020/21 season, but saw his team fall apart soon after. The Norwegian was a popular figure at Old Trafford, but lacked the nous to turn United into genuine Premier League title challengers.
Steven Gerrard won a Scottish Premiership title at Rangers and made a good start as Aston Villa manager until his assistant Michael Beale left to branch out on his own as a boss. Without Beale, Gerrard was exposed as a tactical lightweight and lasted only a few months as Aston Villa slipped towards the bottom three. Villa’s resurgence under Unai Emery has hardly helped Gerrard’s standing either.
Lampard is back at Chelsea as interim manager until the end of the season, but he has blown his shot of an elite level job on a permanent basis. Gerrard and Solskjaer also need to rebuild their reputations with their failure still fresh in the memory. They won’t get another Premier League job in the immediate term. The wrong career choice at this stage could see Kompany suffer a similar fate.
At no point has Kompany expressed a restlessness to move on from Burnley. In fact, the former Belgium international has hit back at Guardiola even suggesting he could take over at City. “He has got to stop saying it,” Kompany said after. Recent FA Cup match against his former club. “I’m a Championship manager, I don’t know what you want from me.”
Next season, Kompany will be a Premier League manager and this will give him a higher platform to prove himself. He doesn’t need to leave Burnley to progress his managerial career. Success at Premier League level would likely prompt more clubs to come calling for the Belgian. Kompany must learn lessons from the failure of some of his peers.