What can a club do when a legend like Vincent Kompany leaves? It’s one of the toughest questions to answer in football. It’s impossible to replace them with just one new captain, or one player to replace them in the team. Only a collectively great team with a collectively great purpose can replace a legend, which is what this Manchester City side is equipped to do.
Life After Vincent Kompany for the Citizens
Remembering His Quality
At his peak, Kompany was a superb centre-back. When he arrived at Manchester City as a young and inexperienced 22-year-old he had all the tools. His great size and athleticism made his transition to the Premier League simple and easy. Nobody could outjump him for a header, or outmuscle him to a loose ball.
But it was his anticipation which made him great. Young Kompany would win challenges and intercept balls no one his size should be getting too. And who could forget all the power headers from all over the field! His leaping ability and heading accuracy were everything a manager could ask for from a centre-half.
He scored so many memorable goals too. The rocket headers in multiple Manchester derbies, and of course the thunderbolt he scored against Leicester City en route to his fourth Premier League title. But even with all that glory, fans will still think about what could have been.
The real shame of Kompany’s career is that he wasn’t able to stay healthy. After 11 seasons in Manchester only thrice did he play more than 30 Premier League games. His injuries have really ramped up over the last four seasons, seeing him limited to less than 18 games in each season.
To his credit, he did well to change his game in his later years and more importantly, under Pep Guardiola. Some thought he would not be able to handle the transition to Guardiola’s passing and pressing style. But he weathered all of the changes, even as City bought centre-back after centre-back to both complement and replace him.
Vincent Kompany’s Future
Vincent Kompany has already taken charge of his first game as the player-manager for his hometown Anderlecht of the Belgian first division. Kompany played in a 2-1 defeat to Oostende but it was a commitment to youth which made headlines.
Four teenagers got the start in the opening game and Kompany hopes that a youth movement can help his beloved club. He wants Anderlecht to be mentioned in the same breath as Ajax or Benfica or Dinamo Zagreb to a lesser extent. A flagship for a country outside of Europe’s top leagues to challenge the hierarchy.
It’s a noble proposition, but one that will take time and patience. There is precious few patience available in football so hopefully, Kompany is given what he needs to succeed at his home town club.
Meanwhile, Manchester City must move on. David Silva will wear the armband this season, as he so capably has when Vincent Kompany has been injured in the past. However, Silva already announced that this will be his last season in Manchester as well. It’s a shame they couldn’t be leaving together. Two Manchester City legends who completely changed this club’s history.
As for who could captain the side in the future. Players like Raheem Sterling and John Stones would make a ton of sense on paper. Both are leaders, both are excellent players. But more than likely the next City captain should be Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian midfielder is in the prime of his career, and he has already worn the armband in the past.
More importantly, Kevin De Bruyne is still Manchester City’s player. He may have been hurt last season but his quality still speaks for itself. Get ready for another monster season from De Bruyne now that he is fully healthy.
Manchester City is built for sustained title challenges. In the end, Kompany will be part of a glorious chapter in the club’s history. But it won’t be the last chapter, and it may not even be the most memorable.
The Community Shield
On Sunday The Citizens will play their first meaningful game of the season when they take on Liverpool in the FA Community Shield. The traditional start of the English season will bring a special 125th-anniversary kit for Manchester City.
This game can also be the first real gauge as to how ready City is for the start of the season. Pep is going to play something close to his best lineup. Most fans will be looking to see how Rodri plays at the base of that midfield. Especially against Liverpool’s high press, this match will be a good indicator of how Rodri will transition to the Premier League.
Other than that, this game is just about getting ready for the new season! Its finally here, the fans have waited but they can finally celebrate Manchester City are back!