Winning four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a Premier League Player of the Season award doesn’t come without some good old hard graft.
Vincent Kompany achieved all this as a player as part of a Manchester City side that’s risen from the ashes to establish a stranglehold of football across England.
His efforts, despite injuries denying him more joy in his decorated career, has seen Kompany earn legendary status – City unveiling a statue of their former defender outside the Etihad Stadium in August 2021.
All this counts for nothing now the Belgian is in the world of management and his new gig is certainly a challenge.
He’s taken over a Burnley side that’s playing in the Championship after suffering relegation from the Premier League last term and the movement out of Turf Moor has made his job all the more difficult.
Many of the players who helped stabilise the Clarets in the Premier League now gone with centre-backs James Tarkowski and Ben Mee both leaving on free transfers.
Meanwhile, defender Nathan Collins, goalkeeper Nick Pope and winger Dwight McNeil have also departed, while Maxwel Cornet’s future is looking increasingly uncertain.
Ahead of their season opener against Huddersfield on Friday night, live on talkSPORT, Kompany admitted he’s under no illusions about the size of the task that awaits him.
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“There are loads of reasons to be positive. But I don’t want to get out of the way of the reality,” Kompany said.
“The starting point for us is that we have lost and released a whole bunch of players who were the core of this team for many, many years.
“All the success associated with this club, many of those players have gone. We are trying to replace them with the restrictions that everyone knows.
“That is the job I signed up for. For me to come and tell you we are going to have the best performance ever on Friday, I hope so but it has to be a more long-term planning.
“I want to be really direct with this. I have painted the picture. I want everyone to be clear this is what I signed up for, so it is not a surprise.
“There is a part of it that we have lost a huge core of the team without really making money, the idea is that we find players that suit the system and the way we want to play and we grow with them.
“We build foundations and to be healthy again, because this club has been healthy for many years.”
Kompany is no stranger to an uphill battle, though. Having arrived shortly before Sheikh Mansour’s takeover of Man City, he would’ve been worried about his place as the club signed better calibre players as their rise progressed.
The former defender’s response was exemplary as he raised his game to keep his place in the first-team before being made club captain in 2011 until he left in 2018.
Time will tell on whether he can successfully climb this particularly steep mountain as Burnley boss.
From Barrow to Bristol City and Stockport to Swansea, talkSPORT has the EFL covered this season with more exclusive commentaries, and coverage of all 72 teams across the year.
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