The curtain raiser of the EFL Championship was a feisty contest between the recently relegated side from Premier League, Burnley, and Huddersfield who missed promotion to England’s top football terrain after a defeat against Nottingham Forest in the play-off final a few months ago.
The Clarets looked rejuvenated and precisely on point with their game under the tutelage of their new manager, Vincent Kompany. The Belgian who had taken up the job after the departure of Sean Dyche brought the winner’s mentality to the club, who are now unfortunately in the second tier of English football after six seasons in the Premier League.
The bosses high up the food chain needed someone who could reignite the club and take them back to the top tier by the end of the season. The Belgian’s name was suggested and after much deliberation, the club brought the four times Premier League champion on board as their new gaffer.
High press, inverted full-backs, keep the ball-pass the ball, are some tactics that the Burnley players are now gearing up to imbibe in their style and the first glimpse of its application in the game against Huddersfield was a sight to behold.
The Clarets charged forward in the first half with 75% possession. The uncanny resemblance of Guardiola’s tactics was quite visible and then came the first ray of hope for the Clarets when their winger, Ian Maatsen, a player on loan from Chelsea, scored the first and only goal in the game, enough to push Burnley over the finish line and hand Kompany his first victory as a manager.
By the end of the game, the Clarets had completed almost 600 passes with 84% accuracy. This is a complete turnaround since the club had a poor pass rate and accomplished 300 passes in two Premier League games in the previous season. The streets are already naming the style of the new manager ‘Kompany ball’. Check out the Twitter reactions below –
This kind of football is completely uncharted territory for the club and its fans. Even though the sole result is promising, it remains to be seen whether the players will keep up with the gruelling sessions that Kompany might have planned for them. Since Guardiola never hesitated to push his players to the extreme, it’s only natural for anyone to expect that Kompany would go down the same path.
The Belgian has the club where it exactly needs to be. If the winning run is to continue, the players should do everything possible to listen and adhere to the rules of a good ‘Kompany.’