Consistency the key for Vincent Kompany as he bids to lift Burnley

By Sports Desk October 02, 2023

Vincent Kompany is refusing to put any extra emphasis on Tuesday’s trip to face fellow Premier League new boys Luton as his side look to end their winless start to the season.

Kompany has spoken repeatedly about the tough start Burnley have faced – they have already suffered defeats against Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle, Tottenham, and Aston Villa – and many fans have been looking to the postponed trip to Kenilworth Road for a much-needed victory.

But the 37-year-old Kompany said it would do his side no good to treat this match differently to any other.

“It’s a mental exercise for me to really try and make no distinction,” he said. “It’s how I have been brought up, it’s how I know football.

“When you’re at the very top and you underestimate the small sides, you lose points. When you’re at the bottom and you overestimate the big sides…you don’t stand a chance.

“So I want to have consistency in every game, doing what it takes to get a result. I understand Luton is someone we faced last season so we’re looking forward to meeting our old friends again.”

This fixture was originally due to be played in the second week of the season but was postponed while Luton worked to upgrade their ground following promotion and Kompany said he felt the delay had benefited both sides in terms of their improvement since the campaign began.

But while Luton’s work was rewarded with a first win when they beat Everton 2-1 at Goodison Park on Saturday, Burnley have taken only one point from their opening six games.

Results are needed now, but Kompany said there had been no loss of confidence within his squad despite the tough start.

“What we did is we went into this with eyes wide open,” he said. “We did a lot of work on managing expectations.

“I can draw a little bit on my own experience. When you get to a certain level, year one or the first three or four months might not feel straightaway when you feel you belong in a place.

“But they’ll battle themselves through it and then they’ll see soon enough that a lot of these players, most of these players, are good enough to play this at this level and actually enjoy success at this level. But you know you’ve to learn the tough way sometimes.”

Kompany insisted he has not been losing any sleep himself, other than during a brief illness last week.

“No chance, on the contrary,” he said when asked if his own confidence had been dented. “I’ve seen enough to believe in the squad.

“But to the point as well, like I’ve said, I’m conscious that it’s not the words ‘I’m happy’. I’m not happy but I’ve seen enough in terms of habits and how these guys approach it to know that they’ll come out stronger from this. They’ll come out a good team.”

Lyle Foster is likely to go straight back into the side after serving a three-match ban for his late red card at Forest and could bring a much-needed boost to a Burnley side who are the lowest scorers in the league.

Foster had scored two in five for Burnley, also netting for South Africa, before his ban.

“I think he was on a trajectory where he showed good signs to be a good player in this league,” Kompany said.

“I think the guys who filled in did well, but you know when you have someone with momentum, you want to keep him as much as you can involved.

“Hopefully tomorrow we can have the Lyle that we had before the suspension and and then everybody knows he is a threat and he scores goals as well.”

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    Burnley manager Vincent Kompany believes increasing diversity at boardroom level is the key to unlocking change at every other level of football.

    Last week the Football Association released figures showing the football clubs who had voluntarily pledged to improve their ethnic and gender diversity through the Football Leadership Diversity Code had collectively failed to hit any of their annual targets.

    Fifty-three clubs have signed up to the FLDC, which is in its third year and which sets voluntary targets in four areas of recruitment – senior leadership roles, team operations, coaching in the men’s game and coaching in the women’s game.

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    Asked what he thought could be done to improve those figures, Kompany said change must come from the top.

    “You’d like to think over time this is going to evolve,” the 37-year-old said. “I’ve always made the point clearly and I think in this day and age it’s even more important – what is the diversity in a boardroom, the levers of power?

    “The coaching, you give the job to the best people but I think the diversity, where it’s really needed is where the power is, that’s what affects everything we’re doing.

    “If you have a boardroom that’s diverse, you can’t brush things under the carpet. These things will get solved.”

    The latest figures show that within the 53 club signatories, 21 per cent of senior leaders and 29 per cent of team operations are female and seven per cent of senior leaders and nine per cent of team operations are black, Asian or mixed heritage.

    Across the coaching workforce, 13 per cent of coaches and 11 per cent of senior coaches are black, Asian or mixed heritage.

    “If you have 15 (job) applications and management and the board have got opinions from different walks of life, you can’t just brush it under the carpet, it goes through everything…” Kompany added.

    “Today you have to choose between black and white, pro this or against this, but I think once you have a little bit of diversity you get much closer to the truth. The reality is, yes there isn’t enough but the truth is that’s only what we see. What’s behind it is more important to bring balance.

    “When it’s balanced it’s going to be more fair and when it’s more fair it will take a little bit of pressure away from the whole debate I think.”

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    Vincent Kompany has suffered no loss of belief despite the bruising start to the season suffered by his Burnley side.

    Last season Kompany’s men were breaking records as they charged to the Championship title with 101 points, with many – not least Pep Guardiola – talking up the former Manchester City captain’s chances of one day taking over at the Etihad Stadium.

    But there has been a major reality check for Burnley since they got back to the top flight and history is now being made for the wrong reasons as they have lost seven straight home league games to start the campaign, and go into Saturday’s match against fellow strugglers Sheffield United rock bottom.

    Kompany is paying no attention to the statistics, however, as he remains convinced his side are improving and remain on the right course.

    “Statistics are just statistics,” he said. “To me, that’s not why I’m doing the job. If I wanted to take away the risk of this happening maybe I would make different choices in life. For me I’m in it for everything that goes with it.

    “No matter what happens, when the story of this gets written however many years from now this is just part of it. I believe in myself a lot as well. That’s the truth of it.”

    Although Kompany has stuck to his principles during Burnley’s struggles so far, he insisted that did not mean his side had not been adapting during the season, and pointed to recent improvements in the performances against Crystal Palace, Arsenal and West Ham – even if all three ended in defeat.

    “I try and be consistent,” he said. “That’s also a method to get over moments like this, but I think if you look closely at what we’ve done from the start to now, adapting is definitely what we’ve done.

    “I don’t know how you give up principles but you adapt. If you break down the positives, the performances we’ve definitely adapted but we knew we had to.

    “You can’t come into the Premier League on the back of a season where you had 101 points and the first thing you do is say, ‘I don’t believe you can do it this way’. You have to stress test it first and then adapt.

    “We’ve very clearly adapted and that’s given us the narrative of the last three or four games.”

    Burnley caught the eye in the Championship with possession-based attacking football, but trying to play like that in the Premier League was always going to be a very difficult challenge.

    While Burnley have had to change, Kompany said his own natural aggressive instincts remain.

    “The possession reputation comes from the fact we were the better team in the Championship, but I try to make the point that I’m naturally aggressive,” Kompany said. “I was an aggressive player. It’s such an important thing for me.

    “Last year we were so good in those moments. The difference is we were better than other teams, we had more of the ball. This season, whether we have the ball or not is not always decided by us.

    “The point I’m trying to make is when you don’t have the ball, I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be like the West Ham game or the Palace game was good as well or Arsenal where we were done by two set plays.

    “It’s what wasn’t there at the start of the season but it’s something we always had and hopefully we’ve recovered it now.”

  • Anderson's RSA team condemns disenfranchisement efforts by Ricketts-led JFF Anderson's RSA team condemns disenfranchisement efforts by Ricketts-led JFF
    The Real Solid Action (RSA) campaign team, led by candidate Raymond Anderson, has expressed profound outrage and dismay at the recent uncovering of actions taken by the Michael Ricketts-led Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) administration to disenfranchise constitutionally recognized voter organizations.
    Anderson's team said it has in its possession irrefutable evidence showing the JFF's repeated attempts to prevent legitimate voter organizations from exercising their right to vote in the upcoming presidential election, scheduled for January 14. These tactics, the RSA team believes are a blatant disregard for democratic principles and are aimed at silencing voices that are crucial to the fair and transparent functioning of the electoral process.
    "Among those wrongfully and shamelessly targeted are the Vin Blaine-led, Jamaica Football Coaches Association and Beach Soccer Jamaica, led by Pat Garel.  These organizations play a pivotal role in the development and governance of football in Jamaica and must not be silenced.  We also find it absolutely deplorable, unconstitutional and shameful that the federation's leadership deliberately failed to inform these groups of their rights and obligations under the new constitution and has decided to share the document with these entities only as recently as October 2023," an RSA release said.
    "Further investigations by Team RSA have unearthed attempts by the incumbent president, Michael Ricketts, and his administration to register newly formed "shell" companies. These entities, formed by disingenuous directors and federation staff members, are intended to replace the disenfranchised organizations, further skewing the electoral process in favor of the current JFF leadership. Contact has been made with the Electoral Committee regarding these developments, and we expect and have confidence that this body will act in keeping with its mandate and thoroughly examine the evidence presented as a matter of urgency and with fairness," it added. 
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