Bayern Munich’s left-field wheeze of hiring Vincent Kompany

<span>Not Sean Dyche, at his <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Bayern;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Bayern</a> unveiling.</span><span>Photograph: S Mellar/FC Bayern/Getty Images</span>
Not Sean Dyche, at his Bayern unveiling.Photograph: S Mellar/FC Bayern/Getty Images


While Bayern’s decision to employ a man who masterminded Burnley’s relegation from the Premier League with 24 points as their new manager has prompted many to question the sanity of those who stalk the corridors of power in Munich, it might not be as stone-hatchet wild a decision as appears on first view. Like the role of designated driver, coal mine canary or traffic warden, it seems nobody else wanted the job and Bayern had reported overtures for – deep breath – Xabi Alonso, Julen Lopetegui, Jürgen Klopp, Oliver Glasner, Julian Nagelsmann, Ralf Rangnick, Roger Schmidt, Alan Curbishley and old Uncle Tom Cobley rejected. Indeed, such were the levels of desperation plumbed by the German club’s overlords that they briefly explored the humiliating possibility of having Thomas Tuchel replace himself, only to have him laugh them out the gate as well.

And so it came to pass, in a move likely to prompt a chuckle from Sean Dyche, that one of European football’s heavyweights hit upon the left-field wheeze of hiring the second best of the past two Burnley managers to whip them back into shape after a rare trophyless season. Presumably because, like many football folk who look to be getting promoted beyond their stations this week, he comes rubber-stamped with the Pep Guardiola seal of approval. “I just joined the club but I’m starting to understand a little bit [about] the recruitment process and I can only say that the fact I’m here means they’re doing a very good job,” cooed Kompany, opting to channel his inner Big Phil Neville at Thursday’s unveiling. “That’s it. I know what a big club Bayern Munich is. I’m very proud but also very motivated to start. The season could start today, right away.”

While Bayern’s season isn’t actually due to begin for another 10 or 11 weeks, Kompany will hope it gets off to a rather more auspicious start than last season, when they got walloped by Leipzig in the German Super Cup. The Belgian will be all too aware there are plenty of naysayers inside and outside the club who almost certainly expect him to fail and knows those “Bayern in crisis” stories are only ever a defeat or two away. Responding politely to hacks struggling to contain their amazement that a failed Burnley manager was sitting before them as the newly appointed Bayern manager, Kompany revealed he’d had plenty of approaches from other clubs, even if he did seem to imply that most go to different schools. “I think the aspect of being surprised is because you assume that it was the only club that called and you assume that it was the only interest I had,” he sniffed. “You only assume that because I’m very private. I was actually quite fortunate to have a lot of interest from other clubs as well.”

Unless he signs them this summer, it is safe to assume Kompany will be dealing with more elite players than Arijanet Muric, Dara O’Shea and Connor Roberts, who can probably be trusted to play the ball out from the back without somehow contriving to shank it into their own net. However, with great players come great egos and it remains to be seen how the 38-year-old deals with some of the louder voices in what can often be a fractious dressing room. “I grew up on the streets of Brussels,” he roared, before calling on his new charges to be brave and aggressive. “I have no intention to all of a sudden become a different person, and I don’t think that’s what they want,” he added, even though all available evidence suggests they would really prefer him to be Alonso or any number of other candidates.


“We are very happy and proud. The people of Olympiakos have been singing about a crazy dream for 99 years. Today is not a crazy dream, it is reality, here in Greece. These are moments of emotion and great joy. We continue not only to dream, but also to soar high. We’re moving on. Here we go, [Big Vase] could be next” – owner Evangelos Marinakis sets his sights on more silverware after the team pipped Fiorentina 1-0 after extra time in a shocker of a Tin Pot final.


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I was pleased to hear about Vincent Kompany landing the Bayern job after a season of disappointments, VAR angst and relegation. Made me wonder if any other European giants will be equally keen to offer our overly stressed relegated managers a new berth for next season. If it helps him get the PSG job, the only phrase Chris Wilder should need is: ‘Tu manges une baguette, devant moi, un manager de Ligue Urrrn?!’” – Colin Reed.

Yesterday’s Football Daily has surfaced perhaps the most compelling question in football today: which manager would make the most commercially successful action figure? Surely not David Moyes, though he would have a certain (and slightly disconcerting) cult appeal. I’ll vote for Pep Guardiola. The knitwear accessories alone should generate annual sales enough to seal the successful careers of several corporate drones” – Rich Johnson.

Send letters to Today’s letter o’ the day winner is … Rich Johnson, who now has the chance to win a David Squires cartoon from our print shop at the end of the week. Terms and conditions for all this can be viewed here.