Short odds placed on the possibility that a Burnley scarf placed over Vincent Kompany statue. That too outside the Etihad Stadium before kickoff. No image could better capture the conflict between the past and the present than the Clarets manager going back to a place. A place that will always hold a special place in his heart.
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He effortlessly transitions into talking about his favourite memories from his 11 seasons at the club between 2008 and 2009 while wearing a sky blue shirt. Yet Kompany pleased to talk about how easily his Burnley team is flying at the top of the Championship, nine points clear and only a few more steps away from an immediate return.
He is reluctant to talk about the future, especially because Pep Guardiola has stated that it is “written in the stars” that he will return to managing Manchester City. When Pep Guardiola eventually departs, which he will, talk of a return to England to manage Burnley has unavoidably started.
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Kompany ready to face Manchester City
Yet, for Kompany, the only thing that lies ahead is this evening’s FA Cup quarterfinal matchup with his old team. At the very least, defeating City will be a difficult challenge while adding fuel to the fire regarding a comeback. Yet no one who is familiar with Kompany is discounting such a tenacious rival.
“There are mixed feelings obviously as the last time I was there in any competitive capacity was the famous Leicester game. But now I am coming as the opponent,” he said. “Hopefully we can show our best side. But being in the quarter-finals is an achievement.”
All season long, Kompany has been moderately agitated by rumours that he may return to City. Yesterday was no exception. The Belgian adamantly maintained that his mission is to advance Burnley; period. Burnley has been infused with the same fierce spirit that characterised Kompany’s time at the Etihad. He won 10 trophies including four Premier League titles in 11 seasons, is likely his biggest accomplishment.
“I don’t see why changing the badge would change my mentality and will to win. That is an aspect of my life that has always been there. Our problems today are winning Championship games and in that world we have done really well. But we have to try and get better.”
“I got a massive recognition from the club (in the statue) for what I was not just as a player but a competitor but also a leader in moments. But now I am on the other side and that is the person I want to represent for Burnley every day of the week.”
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