EPL

Kompany appointed as Anderlecht player-manager

By Sports Desk May 19, 2019

Vincent Kompany will take on a player-manager role at Belgian Pro League club Anderlecht after calling time on his 11-year spell at Manchester City.

It was confirmed on Sunday that Kompany would be leaving Premier League champions City, with the Belgium defender ending his career at the club by winning a domestic treble.

Now his next move has been revealed, with the 33-year-old announcing that he is to take his first steps into coaching at Anderlecht, the club where he started his career, signing a three-year deal as player-manager.

And Kompany says Pep Guardiola has served as the inspiration for his decision to re-join Anderlecht, stating that the City boss allowed him to rediscover his love of football.

"The end of this season couldn’t be more memorable. I have lived the dream here," Kompany wrote on his official Facebook page.

"I have learned so much the last three years from an incredible manager. Pep Guardiola reignited my love for the game.

"I've witnessed, participated, analysed, absorbed, studied. Man City play the football I want to play. It is the football I want to teach and to see played.

"I have decided to take up the challenge at Anderlecht. Player-manager. I want to share my knowledge with the next purple generations. With that, I will also put a bit of Manchester in the heart of Belgium.

"This may come as a surprise to you. It's the most passionate yet rational decision I've ever made. As a footballer, I was born and raised at Anderlecht. Since the age of six, I have been one with that club. A history of 34 league titles, they are second to none."

Kompany left Anderlecht to join Hamburg in 2006, spending two seasons in Germany before transferring to City in 2008, going on to win four league titles, two FA Cups and four EFL Cups.

RSCA had a disappointing campaign under Hein Vanhaezebrouck and then caretaker Karim Belhocine, finishing fourth in the league, and sixth in the subsequent play-offs, as well as failing to make inroads in either the Belgian Cup or the Europa League.

Kompany explained it was a chance meeting that set the wheels in motion for what looks set to be an emotional return to his boyhood club.

"I stopped at their training grounds on my way to international duty last year, just to say hello," he continued.

"Marc Coucke, the chairman, and Sports Director Michael Verschueren asked my opinion regarding the difficult situation the club was in.

"I shared my thoughts and listened to their vision for the future: ambitious, courageous and determined to get back to number one. I offered my help, no strings attached, should they need it.

"Anderlecht has a tradition of having fantastic youth. You could say they have the past and the future but struggle with the present."

Kompany went on to put together some sessions with Anderlecht's technical director Frank Arnesen – formerly of Hamburg, Chelsea and Tottenham – on "how to build a strong playing identity", work that apparently left a strong impression.

"Not so long ago, I took a call from Anderlecht. Quite unexpectedly, they offered me the position of player-manager. Michael and Frank explained to me in detail how they saw it working in practice. They had thought it through," he added.

"Mr. Coucke, the owner, pledged full support: time, budget, framework, staff, facilities. I was left not only impressed, but also intrigued by this sign of confidence in me."

Related items

  • Learning to get used to external factors! - Laporte leads City confusion over VAR Learning to get used to external factors! - Laporte leads City confusion over VAR

    Aymeric Laporte and several of his Manchester City team-mates have expressed frustration over Gabriel Jesus seeing a late strike against Tottenham disallowed by VAR.

    City and Spurs were drawing 2-2 at Etihad Stadium on Saturday when Jesus struck in added time, firing into the bottom-right corner from inside the box.

    But celebrations were cut short by VAR with replays showing the ball hit Laporte on the arm during the build-up - and the goal was duly disallowed.

    A frustrated Pep Guardiola told Sky Sports "they need to fix" VAR, City having seen video replay decisions go against them in a game with Spurs for the second time this year following April's Champions League drama, when Raheem Sterling had a goal disallowed for offside.

    And Guardiola's players steadily followed suit on social media following the game, led by Laporte.

    "Tough game! Learning to get used to external factors! Keep working!" the centre-back posted on Twitter.

    Jesus was visibly upset by the call, despite referee Michael Oliver attempting to calm him down on the field.

    "Great game, lads. Well played, but unfortunately we didn’t get the win," the Brazil striker said. "We scored the goal we needed, but....."

    Kyle Walker was at fault for the second Spurs goal, losing Lucas Moura in the City box, but he also pointed a finger of blame at the technology.

    "Vary frustrating today. But both teams fought well," he said on Twitter, with a deliberate typo. "Well done to Spurs. Always good to see the boys and fans."

    Ilkay Gundogan, meanwhile, agrees with Guardiola's suggestion that rules involving VAR need to be amended for the good of the game.

    "Today's VAR decision is really hard to take," the midfielder wrote on social media.

    "Any attacker that commits handball, intentional or not, is now ruled a free-kick?? And if you’re defending it’s fine?? It only disadvantages the attacking team.

    "In my opinion, this rule needs to be changed."

  • Lampard not surprised by Mourinho criticism Lampard not surprised by Mourinho criticism

    Frank Lampard was not surprised to face criticism from his former manager Jose Mourinho following Chelsea's heavy loss at Manchester United last weekend.

    Mourinho questioned Lampard's decision to leave a number of experienced players out of his starting line-up at Old Trafford, including the half-fit N'Golo Kante, with Chelsea collapsing to a 4-0 loss.

    The defeat marked an unwelcome start to Premier League management for Lampard, but Chelsea's all-time leading goalscorer does not plan on getting involved in a slanging match with the Portuguese, who coached him at Stamford Bridge.

    "I was very ready for that," Lampard told reporters ahead of Sunday's game against Leicester City.

    "Being a player who played here, we were always competitive for leagues and Champions Leagues. The level of attention and criticism on your performance is inflated as a manager because you take on more responsibility.

    "I wasn't surprised by it. You have to be ready for it. You have to be ready to answer questions. You have to be ready to know what your feeling is. Whether you should say something bad. 

    "My first feeling is can I protect my players? Can I protect my club? Can I protect myself? Because I know we are working with the right intention and in the right direction. I know you have to pick and choose your battles."

    Chelsea also slipped to defeat in midweek as they were edged out on penalties by Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup.

    Christian Pulisic, Olivier Giroud and Kante came into the side as the Blues delivered a much-improved performance in a game that finished 2-2 after extra time.

    Lampard's team had a more solid look about them with Kante in midfield but the 41-year-old wants his tactics to be adaptable.

    "I think it will evolve," Lampard said of his game plan. "I hope so because you need to be thinking to evolve all the time. I don't want us to be a one-trick pony. I want us to have different strengths to our game.

    "Liverpool, for instance, have one of the best front threes in the world [Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah]. We know that. A lot of speed, a lot of quality to hurt you and so we have to think about that and change the approach to do that. I don't think there is one certain shift.

    "What I did love was the way the players took on the information we gave them. There was a really short space [of time] from Manchester United. Then there were a few messages, and they took it on brilliantly.

    "There were generals on the pitch. I thought Jorginho was fantastic the other night. He was constantly talking to people around him. Constantly talking to the back-line to drag them up and playing with quality. They are the players who are the ones that drive when they get out there.

    "That was the most pleasing thing from me - that the spirit and attitude of the players felt really special."

  • Pochettino accepts Tottenham could still lose players Pochettino accepts Tottenham could still lose players

    Mauricio Pochettino accepts Tottenham remain vulnerable to losing players while the European transfer window remains open.

    Although the deadline to sign new players has passed for Premier League clubs, teams on the continent can still add to their squads.

    September 2 is the last day clubs from Europe can buy players, with Christian Eriksen among the Spurs stars linked with exits.

    Eriksen is into the last year of his contract and is reportedly a target for Real Madrid, while Jan Vertonghen's deal is also expiring.

    Pochettino, though, is unwilling to blame uncertainty over his squad for Spurs being outplayed at Manchester City on Saturday, his side claiming a 2-2 draw at the home of the champions after Gabriel Jesus' late goal was disallowed by VAR.

    "I think it's not an excuse. I am not complaining about the situation, only explaining it," he told reporters. "Of course, we still need to wait to see what happens with our squad. Maybe some players are still in a situation where things can happen.

    "We are not a closed squad where nobody is going to move. Maybe nobody will move. The circumstances are that things are still open. The market in Europe makes things difficult in the way that we work and this type of situation doesn't help the coaching staff to create a good dynamic.

    "Of course, we are going to start our sixth season at Tottenham and I think we're world champions at adapting ourselves to different circumstances. It's a great experience. We are going to be one of the best coaching staffs in the world at adapting to circumstances.

    "Today when you play against a team like Manchester City, with all the circumstances we have inside our team, I think 2-2 and a point is massive.

    "Credit to the team and everyone who is working hard, trying to keep going, working, trying to not be focused on the circumstances, just positive, faith and hope. That is massive.

    "I don't know if people realise or not. I don't care about that. Only that the circumstances are not the best and the challenge is massive. So happy because the will of the players, their commitment and with all the circumstances we're trying to get a good result for the club and for our fans."

    City thought they had claimed all three points in added time when Jesus finished well, but the goal was ruled out after a VAR check found the ball hit Aymeric Laporte on the arm in the build-up.

    "I accept now that the VAR is in football. I was a little bit critical in the past," Pochettino added. "That wasn't nice for the people to hear from me. I love football that was 30 years ago or more.

    "Still I am watching football from the past. I love it and the way the referee was the boss. It's not another person who can make a decision. It's up to him if he sees it or not, not whether it was wrong or right.

    "Now we give it to technology and the new era in football. We're going to accept the rules. I will accept in the future because for sure in the future some decisions will be against us. I'm going to accept it in the same way with the same face. The rules are the rules and the VAR is here."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.