Kevin De Bruyne has defended Belgium teammate Vincent Kompany after the former Manchester City captain made a difficult start to life as Anderlecht player-manager.
Kompany failed to win any of his first four league matches in charge of Anderlecht and has since handed coaching duties to assistant Simon Davies in order to concentrate on captaining the side.
How badly has Kompany started? Five things to know…
- Anderlecht made their worst start to a league campaign in 21 years.
- They failed to win any of their first four games, losing two and drawing the others 0-0.
- Kompany is now concentrating on captaining the team, handing touchline coaching duties to assistant Simon Davies.
- Anderlecht fell to another defeat in their fifth league match, losing 1-0 at Genk.
- De Bruyne has defended his countryman’s start to life as a manger.
Things didn’t get better in Anderlecht’s fifth league game as the Belgians fell to a third defeat in five, compounding the club’s worst start to a campaign in 21 years.
But De Bruyne, who was captained by Kompany for four years at Manchester City, believes his compatriot is being overly criticised, insisting the difficulties of a first job in management should not be underestimated.
“He’s been a manager for like two months, so what do you expect?” De Bruyne said.
“To go there and win every game? It’s not like this in football. I think there’s a lot of people who want him to fail, because to do this job, to be player and a manager, some people don’t like it but I know Vinny pretty well and he probably won’t care what people say about it.”
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“He is trying to play a style that we did”
De Bruyne also suggested that Kompany’s desire to have Anderlecht play like Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City could mean results will take a while to turn positive.
City initially struggled under Guardiola before winning successive Premier League titles by playing a highly-acclaimed style of football.
De Bruyne added: “The games that I saw I think they’re playing really well, they’re missing a striker for the moment but I think he had a very tough job.
“I think he had like 50 players at the beginning of the season and had to let 25 players go, and he gained 10 players, it’s nearly impossible. And then put another philosophy into it, it’s very difficult.
“Obviously he didn’t start well in terms of points but I can understand it a little bit because he is trying to play a style that we did and obviously we had growing pains, so I can understand that.
“Football is a business where you get points but I think he will get time. In Belgium only one is relegated so I don’t think he needs to worry about that! If he gets the time that will be nice.”