Sunday, June 16, 2024

Vincent Kompany to Bayern: Bavarians reportedly set to hire Man City legend to replace Thomas Tuchel

After Thomas Tuchel’s decision to leave the club following the end of the season, Bayern Munich are set to hire Belgian manager Vincent Kompany to fill their coaching vacancy, according to The Guardian. Kompany is coming off of a disappointing campaign with Burnley that saw them finish 19th in the Premier League, being relegated back to the Championship. While Kompany was able to oversee an exciting attacking squad in the English second division, that didn’t translate to the Premier League.

While he did lose some of his best players with Nathan Tella and Ian Maatsen both landing in the Bundesliga, Kompany doesn’t come with the average credentials expected for Bayern Munich. Spending time coaching Anderlecht and Burnley, Kompany’s potential has shown as his preferred 4-2-3-1 has been dynamic but his biggest honor as a manager is winning the English Championship. If he ends up taking the reigns at Bayern, a Bundesliga title would be expected but so would at least a DFB Pokal or a Champions League title. 

With the presence of Bayer Leverkusen, who have grown into a force under Xabi Alonso, none of that would be easy for Kompany but this would be an appointment that shows how much Bayern’s name has fallen. Turning back to Tuchel after reportedly trying for Ralf Rangnick, Julian Nagelsmann, Unai Emery, Julen Lopetegui and Oliver Glasner, times are changing from when Bayern can call any manager they would like and have them take over.

Under CEO Oliver Kahn, Bayern’s decision-making has been questionable as even sacking Nagelsmann in the first place was something that Bayern are beginning to regret. It is an aging but talented team that needs a new spark alongside Harry Kane but there are questions of if Kompany could be the man to bring that to Allianz Arena. 

At times former players can step into these roles and excel but for every example like Alonso, there are three examples more like Steven Gerrard. While Kompany has more experience as the top manager of a team than either of those examples did before getting their first “big” job, potentially getting one with expectations as high as Bayern Munich can change things. Xabi had buy-in from the entire front office and was allowed to make mistakes while finding his footing which isn’t something that Kompany would be afforded.

This isn’t even to say that Kompany is a bad manager because considering the circumstances, he did alright with a newly promoted side. He managed Lyle Foster’s leave of absence due to mental well-being with excellent poise and has been openly praised by his players for the atmosphere brought to Turf Moor but in the Premier League, the goals just didn’t come as they were the third-lowest scorers behind only Sheffield United and Everton.

What’s the latest

As a deal inches closer to completion, Bayern have reportedly offered Kompany a contract until 2027, though compensation is still being worked on with Burnley for his departure but it is believed to be in the range of €10 million that Burnley will receive for their manager. It doesn’t seem like his current assistant Craig Bellamy will join Kompany at Burnley after managing alongside him in Belgium and England after playing together at Manchester City. His preference seems to be to stay in the United Kingdom and continue coaching there.

With the pieces coming together, Kompany’s arrival to take over the Bavarians could be coming soon.

Why would Bayern want to hire Kompany?

Looking back at everyone wanting their own Xabi, the keyword is aura. When Xabi talks, everyone listens and buys into what he’s saying. While Kompany doesn’t have it to the same degree as the Leverkusen manager, listening to Kompany talk, even when it’s about negative things like his team’s relegation, you want to believe that he’ll get it right. He tried to have his Clarets play a progressive style with through balls when they have space and trying to beat defenders in one-on-one situations but man for man they weren’t good enough to turn that into victories.

While Kompany could’ve tried to defend more and dial things back, that’s not a method that’s always proven to work either and those principles are things that can impress bigger teams like Bayern Munich. Bayern wants to be on the front foot at all times because they should be the better team in most games and be able to push possession. It’s a weird situation knowing how many managers have been linked but the one thread between them all is the ability to command a club from top to bottom. Kompany is still growing in that sense but that’s where Bayern could have a gem on their hands if this is done correctly.

Is there risk in the hire?

Given how much rejection has been seen at Bayern it seems like they’ll take what they can get but Kompany’s lack of European experience as a manager could be an issue. He has only managed three matches in European competition taking Anderlecht through the qualifying rounds of the Europa Conference League where they fell to Dutch side Vitesse. These competitions are times when a manager has to make big calls and potentially change from their standard setups and employ tactics to throw the opposition off balance while also ensuring that their team is well prepared.

In league play, as long as there’s consistency, Bayen should win most of their games but the adjustments in matches are what will make the difference. There are areas like central defense where new players will be needed and decisions need to be made in midfield but this is a good squad from top to bottom. Bayern scored the most goals in the Bundesliga with 94 but it was allowing 45 goals that was the issue. A new manager won’t need to reinvent the wheel while taking over Bayern but if the choice is Kompany, he will have to quickly learn how to make a difference in critical moments of play for the club.

It’s hard to tell if things would work as it’s a risky hire for Bayen but stranger things have also worked and produced club legends.

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