Tactics Journal

by Kyle Boas

Analyzing football tactics

Vincent Kompany to Bayern Munich

Vincent Kompany is misunderstood. He can be successful at Bayern Munich but it takes some imagination to say how successful he can be. Burnley played as if they had Manchester City’s squad, regardless of whether they had the quality to execute.

In today’s game, any manager can underperform expectations. Kompany is a manager who should perform better with a higher quality squad. He has a special ability to extract the maximum from his players, with his team punching above their weight with the ball.

Their top goalscorer in the Championship, Nathan Tella, went to Bayer Leverkusen in the summer; Ian Maatsen left for Chelsea then Borussia Dortmund. They both played for Burnley the season they were promoted. They were missing that extra special quality in the lineup. Wilson Odobert brought some of that extra energy and dribbling threat, but it was not the same.

Burnley’s lineup in the Championship the season they were promoted was stronger than the one they had in the Premier League. They didn’t replace the players they lost. They tried to replace goalkeeper Arijanet Muric with an exciting English prospect in James Trafford. That didn’t work out. The loan of center-forward David Datro Fofana from Chelsea in January came too late in the season to make a difference.

Kompany completely transformed the way they play to help them get promoted, but I don’t think many managers would be able to save Burnley from relegation based on the lower budget they had and the recruitment that resulted from said budget. Burnley did not have the quality to play the way he wants but he persisted anyway.

Figure 1.1 - Illustration of a possible potential Bayern Munich lineup next season under Vincent Kompany.

Right now, Kompany is the default positional coach with tremendous leadership qualities. He uses a high line. He likes using the 3-box-3 midfield formation in possession. He’ll have the goalkeeper come out to help in the build-up. What you see is what you get; he is somewhat predictable. He has a way he likes to play, and will brute force his way through games by playing that specific way regardless of the opponent or what his availble squad is.

The imagination comes in when you try to predict what he will do when he gets higher quality players, players of Bayern Munich’s ability. Will he change things, come up with more solutions we have not seen.

Based on the past, I could see him using a back-four to start, which then shifts into that 3-box-3 formation. Someone of Joshua Kimmich’s profile would be important, because he can play both at fullback, holding midfield, and as an outside center-back on the right.

It’s a very solid base for players like Alexsander Pavlovic and Jamal Musiala to work from. He likes quick, fast-paced passing sequences, and that requires highly technically gifted players. Those dribblers are needed to help force defenses to come out.

His former manager, Pep Guardiola, has been singing his praises ever since the former Manchester City captain retired:

It doesn’t matter if he was relegated with Burnley. I have a high opinion about his work, as a person, his personality, knowledge of the game, how he handles the media.

Vincent Kompany will become a future Man City manager, mark my words. Yeah, it will happen for sure. You will call me when this is going to happen.

I’m confident that with experience, he should succeed, but if he doesn’t, that is football. I respect the risk Bayern Munich is taking.

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